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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [D6v f30v]

In colores.

On Colours

Index moestitiae est pullus color, utimur omnes
Hoc habitu tumulis cum damus inferias:
At synceri animi, & mentis stola candida purae.
Hinc syndon 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.
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [D7r f31r]At ruber armatos equites exornet amictus,
Indicet & pueros erubuisse pudor.
Ceruleus nautas, & qui coelestia vates
Attoniti nimia religione petunt.
Vilia sunt gilvis nativaque vellera birris,
Qualia lignipedes stragula habere solent.
Quem curae ingentes cruciant, vel zelus amoris
Creditur hic fulva non male veste tegi.
Quisquis sorte sua contentus, ianthina gestet
Fortunae aequanimis taedia quique ferat.
Ut varia est natura coloribus in gignendis,
Sic aliis aliud, sed sua cuique placent. [2]

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.

Notes:

1.  ‘Green teaches us to hope’. Cf. Emblem 44 of the 1550 edition ([A50a044]). 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.  ‘each of us is pleased by what is his own’. Cf. Erasmus, Adagia, 115 (suum cuique pulchrum).


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Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [O1v p210]

Los colores.

TERCETOS.

A la fatiga triste y congoxosa
(Dize Alciato) el negro color viene:
Tal es el luto que en las tumbas possa.
El blanco al simple y casto bien conviene:
De aqui de los religiosos varones
Blanca sobrepelliz qualquiera tiene.
Que el verde sea esperança, ay sus razones:
De aqui el refran se dize del que espera
Y acaban en esp’rar sus intenciones.
El roxo a’l amador y à la ramera
Conviene, y da à entender los cobdiciosos,
Y a’quel cuya esperança fue çertera.
El purpureo color los valerosos
Y fuertes cavalleros vista y cubra:
Y de à entender los niños vergonçosos.
A los que es agradable el mar,[1] encubra
El que es obscuro azul, y à los que el cielo
No ay cosa que por sciencia no descubra.
Link to an image of this page  Link to an image of this page  [O2r p211] Tienen los Byssos un natural pelo
De color vayo, qual es el de aquellas
Bernias d’el hombre pobre y sin consuelo.
El que cuidados tiene con querellas
De zelo vista un roxo leonado,
Que tal conviene a’l zelo y sus çentellas.
Y el que contento está, de un violado
Azul se vista, que este le conviene
A aquel que suffre bien su mal estado.
Como Naturaleza se detiene
En engendrar tan diversos colores,
Ansi qualquiera el suyo escoge y tiene[2]
Y piensa ser aquel de mas primores.

Notes:

1.  This comma is editorial; the original text contains an apostrophe.

2.  ‘qualquiera el suyo escoge y tiene’. Cf. Erasmus, Adagia, 115 (suum cuique pulchrum).


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