British islands, must be entitled to, and I feel assured will receive, favourable consideration. Even should the attempted explanation fail to obtain entire sanction, it will at least lead to attentive and accurate observations upon an interesting subject, which may at some future time refute or establish the theory which I venture to propound. The style of interlaced ornament to which I refer is found in an infinite variety of devices on the earliest sculpture, whether of stone or metal, and in the oldest manuscripts and illuminations of Britain and I reland. It retained its peculiar distinctive character throughout the Roman occupation of Britain, slightly modified by, and often mixed with, classical ornaments. These, however, in a great measure disappeared during the Saxon period, a circumstance which induces the belief that, whatever its origin and purpose, interlaced ornamentation was equally familiar to the Saxon invaders and to the British aborigines. (Typographical errors above are due to OCR software and don't occur in the book.)
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