Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Sir Thomas Elyot's (c 1490-1546) Castel of Helthe, 1541, "Complexion is a combynation of two dyvers qualities of the foure elements in one bodye, as hotte and drye of the Fyre: hotte and inoyste of the Ayre."
Bartholomeus Anglicus (Bartholomew of England) (c 1203–1272), Batman vppon Bartholome, "Mans bodie is made of foure Elements, that is to wit, of Earth, Water, Fire and Aire: euery seuerall hath his proper qualities. Foure be called the first and principall qualityes, that is heate, cold, drie, and moist: they be called the first qualities, because they slide first from the Elements into the things that be made of Elements."
Sir John Harington's (1561-1612) Englishmans Doctor, or the Schoole of Salerne, 1608, "The watry flegmatique are fayre and white; The sanguin, roses joynd to lillies bright; The collericke, more red; the melancholy, Alluding to their name, are swart and colly."
From William Shakespeare's (1564-1616) Love's Labour's Lost Act 1, Scene 2
Boy, A Woman, Master.
Brag. Of what complexion?
Boy. Of all the foure, or the three, or the two, or one of the foure.
Brag. Tell me precifely of what complexion?
Boy. Of the sea-water Greene sir.
Brag. Is that one of the foure complexions?
Boy. As I haue read sir, and the beft of them too.
Brag. Greene indeed is the colour of Lovers: but to haue a Love of that colour, methinkes Sampfon had small reason for it. He surely affected her for her wit.
Boy. It was so sir, for she had a greene wit.