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Nor was Soterichus a little admired for what he had spoken, as one that both by his countenance and speech had shown his zeal and affection for that noble science. After all, said Onesicrates, I must needs applaud this in both of you, that you have kept within your own spheres [p. 134] and observed your proper limits. For Lysias, not insisting any further, undertook only to show us what was necessary to the making a good hand, as being an excellent performer himself. But Soterichus has feasted us with a discovery of the benefit, the theory, the force, and right end of music. But one thing I think they have willingly left for me to say; for I cannot think them guilty of so much bashfulness that they should be ashamed to bring music into banquets, where certainly, if anywhere, it cannot but be very useful, which Homer also confirms to be true:—
Song and the merry dance, the joy of feasts.
Not that I would have any one believe from these words, that Homer thought music useful only for pleasure and delight, there being a profounder meaning concealed in the verse. For he brought in music to be present at the banquets and revels of the ancients, as believing it then to be of greatest use and advantage to repel and mitigate the inflaming power of the wine. To which our Aristoxenus agrees, who alleges that music was introduced at banquets for this reason, that as wine intemperately drunk weakens both the body and mind, so music by its harmonious order and symmetry assuages and reduces them to their former constitution. And therefore it was that Homer reports that the ancients made use of music at their solemn festivals.

1 Odyss. I. 152.

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