“O scribe, be not idle, be not idle, else you shall promptly be curbed. Do not give your heart to pleasures, or you shall be a failure. Write with your had, read with your mouth, and take the advice of those who know more than you. Exercise the office of magistrate, then you will find it (of account) in old age. Fortunate is a scribe skilled in his office, a master of upbringing (?) . Persevere in action every day, that you may gain mastery over them. spend no day in idleness of your shall be beaten. The boy has a back, and he hearkens to the beating of him...”—
From “The advice to a youthful scribe” as found on Pap. Anastasi V (trans. Caminos, Late Egyptian Miscellanies, 1954: p. 231).
This text is part of a corpus of material found on many manuscripts from the New Kingdom, known collectively as the”Late Egyptian miscellanies”. This set of texts comprises ‘wisdom’ literature like the extract quoted above, model letters, as well as short hymns and poems. Most of these are the same texts, or similar texts. The miscellanies appear to have been used in scribal training, possibly as a form of apprentice’s masterpiece.