Heraldry. For ourselves we look upon heraldry as simply one of those branches of knowledge which is useful in its proper place. The origin of the science - if it may properly be called a science - is intimately interwoven in the origin of history. "When men became distinguished, and felt themselves animated by those natural feelings of pride and ambition which distinction generates, they sought some method of marking to the eye their position; and, as the first means of distinction were military talents and courage, no readier method presented itself than that of placing a distinguishing sign or symbol on the shield, as the most conspicuous of the warrior's accoutrements. During long and glorious ages of the history of the world, such symbols were adopted amongst almost all peoples, and there can be no doubt that they constituted heraldry in the simplest acceptation of the word. But each armorial bearing was the badge of the individual, and spoke of himself but not of his family. It was under the feudalism of the middle ages only that heraldry was, or perhaps could be, reduced to a system such as it presents in our days. As far as we can trace it, the adoption of armorial bearings as family badges began in the latter half of the twelfth century. This is a fact which we believe is generally acknowledged, but we doubt much whether, as some suppose, the Crusades had anything to do with it, or whether it was anything more than a natural accompaniment of the peculiar progress of society in that age.