But I, though I could still say a good deal about music, yet, as I hear the noise of flutes, I will check my desire for talking, and only quote you the lines out of the Amateur of the Flute, by Philetærus—
O Jove, it were a happy thing to die[p. 1012] After this there arose a discussion about the sambuca. And Masurius said that the sambuca was a musical instrument, very shrill, and that it was mentioned by Euphorion (who is also an Epic poet), in his book on the Isthmian Games; for he says that it was used by the Parthians and by the Troglodytæ, and that it had four strings. He said also that it was mentioned by Pythagoras, in his treatise on the Red Sea. The sambuca is also a name given to an engine used in sieges, the form and mechanism of which is explained by Biton, in his book addressed to Attalus on the subject of Military Engines. And Andreas of Panormus, in the thirty-third book of his History of Sicily, detailed city by city, says that it is borne against the walls of the enemy on two cranes. And it is called sambuca because when it is raised up it gives a sort of appearance of a ship and ladder joined together, and resembles the shape of the musical instrument of the same name. But Moschus, in the first book of his treatise on Mechanics, says that the sambuca is originally a Roman engine, and that Heraclides of Pontus was the original inventor of it. But Polybius, in the eighth book of his History, says,—“Marcellus, having been a great deal inconvenienced at that siege of Syracuse by the contrivances of Archimedes, used to say that Archimedes had given his ships drink out of the sea; but that his sambucæ had been buffeted and driven from the entertainment in disgrace.”
While playing on the flute. For flute-players
Are th' only men who in the shades below
Feel the soft power and taste the bliss of Venus.
But those whose coarser minds know nought of music,
Pour water always into bottomless casks.