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from amongst us." The Governor spoke thus
by reason of certain loans without interest
and presents (over and above the purse and
the string of pearls which the merchant had
presented at his first coming), with which
Matthias had freely obliged the Governor:
who also hoped a continuance of the same.
Whereupon the chief of the monastery hid
his hands and was humbled; and the
Governor and he parted with a good
understanding and agreement.

It fell out, therefore, that after a month of
servitude Matthias and his bride were called
before an assembly of the whole monastery,
and informed that the conditions imposed
were simply for the sake of trial. Nearly all
the wealth of the merchant was restored to
him, and he was liberated and led back amidst
applauding crowds to his palace at Tarsus.
Of course he made a liberal donation to the
monastery, over and above a round sum which
Boag the treasurer had not found it in his
heart to return with the rest. Being a just
and generous man, he not only relieved the Jew
from the consequences of his wager, but made
such presents to the Christian tailor, that he
had no longer any need to ply the needle for
his livelihood. Tradition dilates with delight
on the happiness which Carine bestowed on
her husband; who used always to say, "that
with wealth or without wealth, with liberty
or without liberty, she was sufficient to bring
content into any house, and to make the
sternest heart happy."


It is time that Leatherthe tough old
veteran whose fame extends far and wide
should look to his laurels. He is from
time to time attacked by a number of annoying
antagonists, who saucily threaten to
"put him down." Once it is Papier Mâché,
a conglomerated paste-like stripling, who
claims a toughness and lightness of his own,
without the solid consistency of Leather. At
another time it is young Carton Pierre, a
native of France, who presents a substance
built up of paper and plaster. But the veteran
has had more formidable attacks from two
other interlopersMeer India Rubber and
Shah Gutta Percha; these boast so much of
their elasticity, their toughness, their
indestructibility, and every other corporeal and
corpuscular excellence, that Leather has had
as much as he can do to maintain his ground
against them. It is well, therefore, to know,
that tough old Leather does not mean to give
up the contest. He will fight his battle yet,
and shows a disposition to carry the contest
into the enemy's country. Already we find
ladies making leather picture frames and
leather adornments of various kinds for their
apartments; and we perceive that saloons
and galleries are once again, as in times of
yore, exhibiting leather tapestries. We find,
too, architects and decorators acknowledging
that leather may be accepted as a fitting and
graceful means of embellishment in many
cases where carved wood would otherwise be

A leather tapestry is not a curtain hanging
loose, like the arras or Gobelin hangings; but
it is stretched on canvas, and made to form
the panels of a room; the stiles or raised
portions being of oak or some other kind of
wood. Such was generally the case in the old
leather tapestries, and such it is in those
now produced; but the mode of use is
susceptible of much variation; since the gilding,
and stamping, and painting of the leather
are independent of the mode of fixing. These
tough old garments, to keep the walls warm,
were known in early times to an extent which
we now little dream of.

As a wall-covering, leather presents great
advantages; not only from its durability and
its power of resisting damp, but from its
facility of being embossed, the ease with
which it receives gold, silver, and coloured
decoration, and the scope it affords for introducing
landscapes, arabesques, emblazonments,
or other painted devices. All these
properties were known before decorators had
been startled by the novelties of Carton
Pierre, Papier Mâché, and Gutta Percha.
Continental countries were more rich in these
productions than England. In the Alhambra,
the Court of the Lions still presents,
if we mistake not, the same leather hangings
which were put up there six centuries ago.
The great Flemish townsLille, Brussels,
Antwerp, and Mechlinwere all famous for
producing these hangings; those from the
last-named town were especially remarkable
for their beauty. Eighty years ago the
French manufacturers complained that,
however excellent their gilt and embossed
leather might be, the Parisians were wont to
run after those of Flanders; just as Worcester
glove-makers in our day deprecate the wearing
of French gloves by true-born Britons.
There were, nevertheless, fine specimens
produced at Paris and Lyons; and there were
one or two cities in Italy also, in which the
art was practised. Many old mansions in
England have wherewithal to show that
leather hangings of great beauty were
produced in this country in the old time.
Blenheim, the seat of the Dukes of Marlborough,
is one of the places at which these English
leathers are to be found. At Eastham manor-
house, in Essex, built by Henry the Eighth,
there were leather tapestries of great
sumptuousness, covered with such large quantities
of gold, that they realised a considerable
sum when sold half a century ago, by a
proprietor who cared more for coined gold than
for art. It is curious to note that the writer
of an old French treatise on this art, acknowledges
the superior skill of the Englishmen
engaged in it, and laments that his countrymen
cannot maintain an even position with them
in the market. Thus the English leather

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