Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Tom Sawyer's and Huckleberry Finn's Coat of Arms


          Before Tom develops his unnecessarily complicated rescue plan for Jim, he tells Huck that they need to have a coat of arms. 
"On the scutcheon we’ll have a bend or in the dexter base, a saltire murrey in the fess, with a dog, couchant, for common charge, and under his foot a chain embattled, for slavery, with a chevron vert in a chief engrailed, and three invected lines on a field azure, with the nombril points rampant on a dancette indented; crest, a runaway n-----r, sable, with his bundle over his shoulder on a bar sinister; and a couple of gules for suporters, which is you and me; motto, Maggiore fretta, minore atto.  Got it out of a book – means the more haste the less speed.”
          Huck asks him to explain what it means, but Tom says that it does not matter. 

Here is somewhat of an explanation:

"On a shield-shaped object...a gold band from upper (left) corner to lower (right) corner, inside bend a reddish-purple diagonal cross, with a dog lying down with head up, with a chain underneath his foot, (and here is where it was confusing:) an inverted "V" at top with points outward, three scalloped lines on blue, with deep v-shaped points at upper third of shield; above the shield, a black image of runaway slave with bundle over shoulder (though there is no such thing as a bar sinister); Tom and Huck as supporting elements of the shield (although gules means red - it is said that Twain used this word facetiously to mean ghouls); and then the motto."

Last year, my kids and I studied a little blazonry to make our own coat of arms, and I wanted to see if anyone was able to develop what Tom’s and Huck’s coat of arms would look like; and I only found two examples online.  So I decided to make one myself.   Most of it I was able to understand, but some of it really did not work; therefore, I did my best, and this is what I came up with.

My thirteen-year old said I was investing too much time in it, so I really needed to wrap it up and be done with it.  Family names were usually added to the bottom, too, so I could have written Tom and Huck under their placements, respectfully. Maybe another time.

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