Summa minutiae

“A facility for quotation covers the absence of original thought.” —Lord Peter Wimsey

Roseate blood

In his Medieval Hymns and Sequences, John Mason Neale identifies roseate as the pale color of the last drainings of life-blood (“as everyone knows”, he says) since though one drop would suffice, Christ shed all.

An 1895 agricultural bulletin from the University of Michigan defines roseate, rosaceous as “rose-red; a pale blood-red”.

From Harry Irving Greene, a popular novelist and short-story writer in the early 1900s, here's another reference associating roseate with blood. It reads like a fictional vignette designed to tickle all the sentimental reflexes in the folks “back home.” It appeared in newspapers in May 1918.

Father: This wonderful letter that I am writing you - a miracle letter. I was hurt, badly, but I am going to get well. It happened like this — you know I am I an not allowed to name place or date.

No Man's Land! We were raiding it by night, three of us — scouting, prowling. It was as dark as the dungeons of inferno, but often they sent up signal shells — roseate, bursting things that bathed all that evil land in a blood-red light. When their glare flared over us we had to stand as we were caught, hand or foot upraised — moveless objects in the red glow until the light snuffed out and all was dark once more.