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PREFACE.

The author has long been of opinion that the alleged contempt of scutcheons” is not so universal as is usually represented, and that, even where the sentiment is expressed, it is frequently not very genuine. Many sounder hearts than Voltaire's, and many wiser heads than Lord Chesterfield's have reverenced, instead of ridiculing, the armorial traditions of Europe ; and in these days of crumbling Republics, the favourite theories of the Utilitarians are passing into wholesome obscurity. What is the use of it? or, what is it worth ? are questions which are not so universally asked as formerly ; and the principles of those heartless, short-sighted philosophers who would estimate everything under the sun according to its money value, seem to be gradually falling into disrepute. Under these hopeful circumstances, and notwithstanding Professor Innes’ friendly Requiescat,” the author has made a humble attempt to rescue the "Noble Science" from the “tender mercies of the lapidary and the coach-painter," at whose wsparing hans it has certainly met with many painful inclignities.

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PREFACE.

A considerable portion of this volume was written, without a view to publication, several years ago, when its completion was unavoidably abandoned ; but the author was induced to resume his labours, and in consequence of the unexpected encouragement which he received, his manuscript has at length assumed its present shape. Various circumstances, over which he had no control, have retarded the appearance of the work, the preparation of which was more than once suspended for several months together; and he may state, more over, that he has gone much more fully into certain branches of the subject than was originally contemplated. On the whole, he has adhered pretty closely to the arrangement proposed in his prospectus. While he has thought it expedient to omit an intended chapter relative to armorial bearings as a source of revenue, he has introduced a pretty detailed account of Scottish Heraldry as illustrated by Seals, besides a chapter on the Royal Arms in Scotland, and other minor additions. He has also devoted a considerable amount of space to the subject of change of Surname, which has recently excited a good deal of public interest. Besides a comprehensive list of Contents, he has prepared a copious Index, which he ventures to hope will prove serviceable.

In the selection of his examples, the author has always en leavoured to introduce the most apposite illustrations ; and if it should be considered that too much prominence has been given to certain surnames, he has merely to remark that, independently of his greater familiarity with the relative bearings, it so happens that the pages

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