So as there was a great deal of music introduced, and not always the same instruments, and as there was a good deal of discussion and conversation about them, (without always giving the names of those who took part in it,) I will enumerate the chief things which were said. For concerning [p. 984] flutes, somebody said that Melanippides, in his Marsyas, dis- paraging the art of playing the flute, had said very cleverly about Minerva:—
Minerva cast away those instrumentsAnd some one, replying to him, said,—But Telestes of Selinus, in opposition to Melanippides, says in his Argo (and it is of Minerva that he too is speaking):—
Down from her sacred hand; and said, in scorn,
"Away, you shameful things—you stains of the body!
Shall I now yield myself to such malpractices'"
It seems to me a scarcely credible thingintimating his belief that she, as she was and always was to continue a maid, could not be alarmed at the idea of disfiguring her beauty. And in a subsequent passage he says—
That the wise Pallas, holiest of goddesses,
Should in the mountain groves have taken up
That clever instrument, and then again
Thrown it away, fearing to draw her mouth
Into an unseemly shape, to be a glory
To the nymph-born, noisy monster Marsyas.
For how should chaste Minerva be so anxious
About her beauty, when the Fates had given her
A childless, husbandless virginity?
But this report, spread by vain-speaking men,And after this, in an express panegyric on the art of flute-playing, he says—
Hostile to every chorus, flew most causelessly
Through Greece, to raise an envy and reproach
Against the wise and sacred art of music.
And so the happy breath of the holy goddessAnd very neatly, in his Aesculapius, has Telestes vindicated the use of the flute, where he says—
Bestow'd this art divine on Bromius,
With the quick motion of the nimble fingers.
And that wise Phrygian king who first poured forth
The notes from sweetly-sounding sacred flutes,
Rivalling the music of the Doric Muse,
Embracing with his well-join'd reeds the breath
Which fills the flute with tuneful modulation.