Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. One who charms or professes to charm or control serpents by any means, especially by the power of music; a snake-charmer. The practice is of very ancient origin, and is best known in modern times by its application to the cobra-di-capello in India. This most venomous of serpents is allured by the simple monotonous music of a pipe, and easily captured by the expert charmer, who then extracts its fangs and tames the snake for exhibition.
“A little after the time I write of, throwing himself into my chair after some visit to a music-hall or hippodrome, he began, ‘O, Yeats, I was never in love with a serpent-charmer before’.”
“ These have conquered me -- the divinity of the instruction, and the power of the Word: for as a skilled serpent-charmer lures the terrible reptile from his den and causes it to flee, so the Word drives the fearful passions of our sensual nature from the very recesses of the soul; first driving forth lust, through which every ill is begotten -- hatreds, strife, envy, emulations, anger, and such like.”
“Her performance being finished, the bayadère was succeeded by others, each of whom appeared to have her specialty -- one imitating by her postures a serpent-charmer; another quite unequivocally representing”
“What more fit exponent can there be for this weird plant's expression than the song of the serpent-charmer, the singing which can root the feet unto the ground and stay the flowing of the impetuous blood?”
“I wasn't going to be beaten by the curate, however, prattled he never so wisely with the cunning of the serpent-charmer.”
“If a serpent-charmer kills a cobra, he loses for ever his power over snakes.”
“Quoth she, "I am fleeing from the serpent-charmer, who is in chase of me, and if thou wilt save me and hide me with thee, I will make fair thy recompense and do thee all manner of kindness.”
“As the serpent-charmer of India is compelled to extract the deadly teeth of his venomous prey before he is able to handle him with impunity, so the slaveholder must strike down the conscience of the slave before he can obtain the entire mastery over his victim.”
“I heard his musical, barbaric chant, -- the song by which the serpent-charmer charms the serpent, -- sweet, so sweet, the very birds on the boughs hushed their carol as if to listen.”
“No;" said he, "it is the song by which the serpent-charmer charms the serpent.”
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