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 Nearchus, producing proofs of their skill in works of art, says, that when they saw sponges in use among the Macedonians, they imitated them by sewing hairs, thin threads, and strings in wool; after the wool was felted, they drew out the hairs, threads, and strings, and dyed it with colours. There quickly appeared also manufactures of brushes for the body, and of vessels for oil (lecythi). They write, he says, letters upon cloth, smoothed by being well beaten, although other authors affirm that they have no knowledge of writing. They use brass, which is cast, and not wrought; he does not give the reason of this, although he mentions the strange effect, namely, if that vessels of this description fall to the ground, they break like those made of clay. This following custom also is mentioned in accounts of India, that, instead of prostrating themselves before their kings, it is usual to address them, and all persons in authority and high station, with a prayer. The country produces precious stones, as crystal, carbuncles of all kinds, and pearls.
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