But how much better, O most sagacious Ulpian, is this hydraulic organ, than the instrument which is called nabla; which Sopater the parodist, in his drama entitled Pylæ, says is also an invention of the Phoenicians, using the following expressions—
Nor is the noise of the Sidonian nabla,And in the Slave of Mystacus we find—
Which from the throat doth flow, at all impair'd.
Among the instruments of harmonyAnd Philemon says, in his Adulterer—
The nablas comes, not over soft or sweet;
By its long sides a lifeless lotus fix'd
Sends forth a breathed music; and excites men,
Singing in Bacchic strain a merry song.
A. There should, O Parmeno, be here among usThere is also an instrument called the triangle, which Juba mentions in the fourth book of his Theatrical History, and says it is an invention of the Syrians; as is also the sambuca, which is called λυροφοίνιξ. But this instrument Neanthes the Cyzicene, in the first book of his Seasons, says is an invention of Ibycus the Rhegian poet; as also the lyre called barbitos was of Anacreon. But since you are running all us Alexandrians down as unmusical, and keep mentioning the monaulos as our only national instrument, listen now to what I can tell you offhand about that.
A nablas or a female flute-player.
B. What is a nablas?
A. Don't you know? you idiot!
B. Indeed I don't.
A. What, do not know a nablas l
You know no good; perhaps a sambucistria
You ne'er have heard of either?