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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [Q6v f162v]

In colores.

On Colours

Emblema cxvii.

Index maestitiae est pullus color: utimur omnes
Hoc habitu, tumulis cùm damus inferias.
At sinceri animi, & mentis stola candida purae:
Hinc sindon sacris linea grata viris.
Nos sperare docet viridis. Spes dicitur esse
In viridi, quoties irrita retro cadit.[1]
Est cupidis flavus color, est & amantibus aptus,
Et scortis, & queis spes sua certa fuit.
At ruber armatos equites exornet amictus;
Indicet & pueros erubuisse pudor.
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [Q7r f163r]Caeruleus nautas, & qui caelestia vates
Attoniti nimia relligione petunt.
Vilia sunt gilvis nativáque vellera burrhis[2]:
Qualia lignipedes stragula habere solent.
Quem curae ingentes cruciant vel zelus amoris,
Creditur hic fulva non malè veste tegi.
Quisquis sorte sua contentus, ianthina gestet:
Fortunae aequanimis taedia quíque ferat.
Ut varia est natura coloribus in gignendis,
Sic aliis aliud: sed sua cuique placent.[3]

Black is a sign of sadness; we all use this garb when we perform funeral rites at tombs. But white clothes are a sign of a sincere mind and pure thoughts. Hence the sindon, the linen garment beloved of holy men. Green teaches us to hope. Hope is said to be in the green whenever it sinks back unfulfilled. A gold colour is suitable for avaricious people and lovers, and whores, and anyone whose hopes have come to fruition. Let red garb adorn armed horsemen, let modesty show boys blushing. Blue suits sailors and prophets who, muddled with too much religion, pursue things in the skies. Cheap and untreated are the fleeces for dun-coloured cloaks, the sort of coverings that the wooden-legged have. A man tortured by great anxieties or the jealousy of love is considered appropriately dressed in yellow. Anyone content with his lot may wear mauve, also the man who bears with composure the unpleasantnesses inflicted by Fortune. - Nature is diverse in producing the colours, and different things are for different situations. Yet each of us is pleased by what is his own.

UT sunt varia mentis humanae παθήματα, va-
riíque sensus, ita ex coloribus qui sensum impri-
mis permovere solent, ducuntur varia symbola, qui-
bus exprimuntur tacita animorum consilia vel etiam
cogitationes, ut cùm apponuntur in vestibus, au-
laeis, signis militaribus, vestibulis aedium, pergulis, &c.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [Q7v f163v]

Sur les couleurs.

LE noir convient au dueil, & coustumierement
Nous nous en habillons pour un enterrement.
Le blanc est la couleur d’une ame saincte et pure,
Les Prestres pour cela ont l’aulbe pour vesture.
Le verd signe d’espoir: l’espoir est dit en verd,
Quand le fruit esperé en belle herbe se perd.
Le fauve aux amoureux convient, & aux cupides,
Aux putains, & à ceux qui d’espoir ne sont vuides.
Aussi le rouge sied aux gendarmes armez:
Les enfans rougissans pour ce sont estimez.
Le bleu aux nautonniers, & à ceux qui s’addonnent
A superstition, & trop craintifs s’estonnent.
Le bureau, l’enfumé sont pour les pauvres gens,
Comme sont Capuchins & moines indigens.
Roux-jaune marquera la grande vehemence
D’amour, ou de celuy que le soucy offence.
Le Violet à ceux qui se contentent bien,
Ou qui pour accidents ne se troublent en rien.
Or ainsi qu’est nature és couleurs variable,
Aussi l’affection d’un chacun est muable:
Et ce qu’un trouve bon, à quelque autre desplaist,
Mais chacun plus s’arreste à ce que plus luy plaist.

Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [Q8r f164r]

COmme il y a diverses considerations
& fantasies d’esprit, aussi maintes sor-
tes de devises sont tirees des couleurs,
qui principallement meuvent le sens: par
telles devises sont exprimez les conseils &
pensees secrettes, comme quand on les met
aux vestemens, tapisseries, estendars, por-
taux des maison, galeries, &c.

Notes:

1.  ‘Green teaches us to hope’. Cf. Emblem 44, line 5. In viridi, ‘in the green’ echoes the phrase in herba, for hopes unfulfilled. See e.g. Ovid, Ex Ponto, 16.263: ‘adhuc tua messis in herba est’ (your harvest is still in green leaf).

2.  Textual variant: birris.

3.  ‘each of us is pleased by what is his own’. Cf. Erasmus, Adagia, 115 (suum cuique pulchrum).



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