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Colour Associations
respective frequency being 47, 54, 53, 64, 54, 51; 12 occurs only sixteen
times. Gamblers have not unfrequently the silliest ideas concerning
numbers, their heads being filled with notions about lucky figures and
beautiful combinations of them. There is a very amusing chapter in Rome
Contemporaine, by E. About, in which he speaks of this in connection
with, the rage for lottery tickets.
Numerals are occasionally seen in Arabic or other figures, not
disposed in any particular Form, but coloured. An instance of this is
represented in Fig. 69 towards the middle part of the column, but as I shall
have shortly to enter at length into the colour associations of the author, I
will pass over this portion, of them, and will quote in preference from the
letter of another correspondent.
Baron von Osten Sacken, of whom I have already spoken, writes
“The localisation of numerals, peculiar to certain persons, is foreign to me. In my
mind’s eye the figures appear in front of me, within a limited space. My peculiarity,
however, consists in the fact that the numerals from I to 9 are differently coloured; (1)
black, (2) yellow, (3) pale brick red, (4) brown, (5) blackish gray, (6) reddish brown, (7)
green, (8) bluish, (9) reddish brown, somewhat like 6. These colours appear very distinctly
when I think of these figures separately; in compound figures they become less apparent.
But the most remarkable manifestation of these colours appears in my recollections of
chronology. When I think of the events of a given century they invariably appear to me on
a background coloured like the principal figure in the dates of that century; thus events of
the eighteenth century invariably appear to me on a greenish ground, from the colour of
the figure 7. This habit clings to me most tenaciously, and the only hypothesis I can form
about its origin is the following :—My tutor, when I was ten to twelve years old, taught me
chronology by means of a diagram on which the centuries were represented by squares,
subdivided in 100 smaller squares; the squares representing centuries had narrow coloured
borders; it may be that in this way the recollection of certain figures became associated
with certain colours. I. venture this Previous page Top Next page