extensive grain business, his scribes carried their writing-implements in boxes with pendent leather tops, and with handles at the sides.
As the scribe had two colors of ink, he needed two pens, and we see him on the monuments of Thebes, busy with one pen at work, and the other placed in that most ancient pen-rack, behind the ear. Such is represented in a painting at Beni Hassan.
It is said that the best reeds for the purpose formerly grew near Memphis, on the Nile; near Cnidus of Caria, in Asia Minor; in Armenia and in Italy: those of the latter being of relatively poor quality.
A place yet famous for them, and which may have supplied the ancient demand in part, is in the vicinity of the Persian Gulf, in a large fen or tract of soggy land supplied with water by the river Helle, a place of Arabia formed by united arms of the Euphrates and Tigris.
They are cut in March, tied in bundles, laid six months in a manure-heap, where they assume a beautiful color, mottled yellow and black