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Incantation   /ɪnkˈæntˈeɪʃən/   Listen
Incantation

noun
1.
A ritual recitation of words or sounds believed to have a magical effect.  Synonym: conjuration.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Incantation" Quotes from Famous Books



... exceeds, and there has been one man whose monthly revenue since that period exceeds the entire accumulations of the wealthiest citizen of the United States at the end of the last century." "By some means, some device, some machination, some incantation, honest or otherwise, some process that cannot be defined, less than a two-thousandth part of our population have obtained possession and have kept out of the penitentiary, in spite of the means they have adopted to acquire it, of more than one half of the entire accumulated wealth ...
— The Arena - Volume 4, No. 19, June, 1891 • Various

... stepped into the circle of blue light that fell from the window-a man thin and pale, a man with long hair, in a black doublet, who approached the foot of the bed where Sainte-Croix lay. Brave as he was, this apparition so fully answered to his prayers (and at the period the power of incantation and magic was still believed in) that he felt no doubt that the arch-enemy of the human race, who is continually at hand, had heard him and had now come in answer to his prayers. He sat up on the bed, feeling mechanically at the place where ...
— Celebrated Crimes, Complete • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... Shakspeare's picture of the witches is truly magical: in the short scenes where they enter, he has created for them a peculiar language, which, although composed of the usual elements, still seems to be a collection of formulae of incantation. The sound of the words, the accumulation of rhymes, and the rhythmus of the verse, form, as it were, the hollow music of a dreary witch-dance. He has been abused for using the names of disgusting objects; but he who fancies the kettle of the witches can be made ...
— Lectures on Dramatic Art - and Literature • August Wilhelm Schlegel trans John Black

... In her incantation formulae, the word "Jumala" often occurred, the name of the Bjarmers' old god, whose memory, in the far north, is not so completely eradicated as one would think, and who to this day has perhaps some sacrificial stone or other on the wide mountain wastes of Finland. Against Lap ...
— The Visionary - Pictures From Nordland • Jonas Lie

... stabs and the thrusts, and the gashes of the many wounds that they had, than to apply to them spells and incantations and charms, in order to staunch their blood, and their bleeding mortal wounds. And for every spell and incantation and charm that was applied to the stabs and the wounds of Cuchulain, he sent a full half westward across the ford to Ferdia; and of each kind of food, and of pleasant, palatable, intoxicating drink that the men of Ireland brought to Ferdia, he sent a half across ...
— Heroic Romances of Ireland Volumes 1 and 2 Combined • A. H. Leahy

... spirit, and, through means of the butler and housekeeper, knows every thing that goes forward, tells me that the maid-servants are continually trying their fortunes, and that the servants'-hall has of late been quite a scene of incantation. ...
— Bracebridge Hall, or The Humorists • Washington Irving

... An incantation used in addressing this god begins: "O Father, Thaulang, who hast enabled me to be born, who hast given me my stature and my life." This is very certain proof that the maternal system among the Khasis has no connection ...
— The Position of Woman in Primitive Society - A Study of the Matriarchy • C. Gasquoine Hartley

... had passed for the most meditative and abstracted of men to remember his purpose, our host, reminded of what he had apparently forgotten by my companion's conjuring robes, an electrical machine, and other instruments of incantation, which the slaves carried from our carriage, civilly inquired when we intended to commence operations. "What operations?" demanded my companion, with much apparent unconcern. "The discovery of the ring." "Whenever his highness pleased, ...
— Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume 1, No. 3, August, 1850. • Various

... injure another takes one of these sticks, and warms it at a small fire he has made; he sticks the gooweera in the ground a few inches from the fire. While it is warming, he chants an incantation, telling who he wants to kill, why he wants to kill him, how long he wants the process to last, whether it is to be sudden ...
— The Euahlayi Tribe - A Study of Aboriginal Life in Australia • K. Langloh Parker

... everybody," said Mrs. Todd kindly; and I felt for a moment as if it were part of a spell and incantation, and as if my enchantress would now begin to look like the cobweb shapes of the arctic town. Nothing happened but a quiet evening and some delightful plans that we made about going to Green Island, and on the morrow there was the clear sunshine and ...
— The Country of the Pointed Firs • Sarah Orne Jewett

... us had any faith in the incantation except Peter, and, by infection, Cecily. You never could tell what might happen. Cecily took the wishbone in her trembling little hands and began her backward pacing, repeating solemnly, "I wish that we may find Paddy alive, ...
— The Golden Road • Lucy Maud Montgomery

... than the poets, find acrid and dangerous juices in the anemone and its kin. Certain European peasants will run past a colony of these pure, innocent blossoms in the belief that the very air is tainted by them. Yet the Romans ceremonially picked the first anemone of the year, with an incantation supposed to guard them against fever. The identical plant that blooms in our woods, which may be found also in Asia, is planted on graves by the Chinese, who call ...
— Wild Flowers Worth Knowing • Neltje Blanchan et al

... king, they are mine own. On the fourteenth of the dark half of the moon at night, I had gone into a place where dead bodies are burned, for the purpose of accomplishing a witch's incantation. After long and toilsome labour she appeared, but her demeanour was so unruly that I was forced to chastise her. I struck her with this, my trident, on the left leg, if memory serves me. As she continued to be refractory, in order to punish her I took ...
— Vikram and the Vampire • Sir Richard F. Burton

... said, and she hardly recognized her own voice, so deep and vibrant were its tones, "did you ever hear of snakey-noodles? Snakey-noodles! snakey-noodles! snakey-noodles!" she repeated three times like a magic incantation. ...
— Molly Brown's Senior Days • Nell Speed

... wife, especially his wife, the daughter of a lay brother of a bishop who has got a baronetcy for making an enormous fortune out of the war, wouldn't have me at any price. But Theophilus must have muttered some incantation which frightened them, so they surrendered. Poor old Theophilus and I had a touching meeting. He's about as lonely a thing as you could wish to meet. He married an American heiress, who died about eight years ago, and he's as rich as Croesus. We're bosom friends now. As for Mrs. Ronald I sang ...
— The Mountebank • William J. Locke

... its own! The tumult of thy mighty harmonies Will take from both a deep autumnal tone, Sweet though in sadness. Be thou, Spirit fierce, My spirit! Be thou me, impetuous one! Drive my dead thoughts over the universe Like wither'd leaves to quicken a new birth! And, by the incantation of this verse, Scatter, as from an unextinguish'd hearth Ashes and sparks, my words among mankind! Be through my lips to unawaken'd earth The trumpet of a prophecy! O, Wind, If Winter comes, can Spring ...
— The Golden Treasury - Of the Best Songs and Lyrical Poems in the English Language • Various

... Mirabella. This performance was enlivened by an amusing incident. It will be recalled by people familiar with the history of the opera that Scribe and Meyerbeer first designed "Robert" for the Opra Comique, but remodeled it for the Grand. For a few moments in the incantation scene at this performance the audience seemed inclined to ignore the author's sober second thought, and accept the work as a comic instead of romantic opera. The wicked nuns, called back to life by the sorcery of Bertram, amid the ruins of the cloister, appeared to have been stinted by the undertaker ...
— Chapters of Opera • Henry Edward Krehbiel

... right hand and by myself I swear, And ocean's gods and heaven's gods I adjure, Thou shalt be Tamar's, Tamar shalt be thine." Then she, regarding him long fixed, replied: "I have thy promise, take thou my advice. Gebir, this land of Egypt is a land Of incantation, demons rule these waves; These are against thee, these thy works destroy. Where thou hast built thy palace, and hast left The seven pillars to remain in front, Sacrifice there, and all these rites observe. Go, but go early, ere the ...
— Gebir • Walter Savage Landor

... cafe waiter until the latter, with a disconcerting "Voila! Voila!" darted off to attend to a customer, and then strolled through the Porte Notre Dame onto the Quai Sadi-Carnot. There a familiar sound met his ears—the roll of a drum followed by an incantation in a quavering, high-pitched voice. It was the Town Crier, with whom, as with a brother artist, he had ...
— The Joyous Adventures of Aristide Pujol • William J. Locke

... issue. There is hardly a play which will not provide similar instances of the lack of genuine constructive power. In the Oedipus we get the same long narrative of horror that has disfigured the Hercules Furens and the Medea. Creon describes to us the dark rites of incantation used to evoke the shade of Laius.[180] In the Phaedra we find what at first would seem to be a clever piece of stagecraft. Hippolytus, scandalized at Phaedra's avowal of her incestuous passion, seizes her by the hair and draws his sword as ...
— Post-Augustan Poetry - From Seneca to Juvenal • H.E. Butler

... Everything he could think of was tried; but without producing the desired effect." The Alchemist then despaired; after a dream, wherein an old man came and talked with him about the "Mercury of the Sages," the Alchemist thought he would charm the Mercury, and so he used a form of incantation. The Mercury suddenly began to speak, and asked the Alchemist why he had troubled him so much, and so on. The Alchemist replied, and questioned the Mercury. The Mercury makes fun of the philosopher. Then the Alchemist again torments the Mercury by heating him ...
— The Story of Alchemy and the Beginnings of Chemistry • M. M. Pattison Muir

... side the voice babbled of the Duma—babbled happily, as though the word was a new religious charm or a witch's incantation. Crude political conversations broke out amid all the business of the mart. He had only to listen to know ...
— Ghetto Comedies • Israel Zangwill

... life-giving charm consists in a spell taken from a book of magic. But in the Tamil version, the process is described as being of a different and double nature. According to it, the mother of the murdered child "by the charm called sisupabam re-created the body, and, by the incantation called sanjivi, restored it to life." The suitor, having learnt the charm and the incantation, "took the bones and the ashes (of the dead girl), and having created out of them the body, by virtue of the charm sisupabam gave life to that ...
— Russian Fairy Tales - A Choice Collection of Muscovite Folk-lore • W. R. S. Ralston

... was making headway neither in his quest for the philosopher's stone nor in his efforts to prove the existence of a spiritual world. In vain he pored over every work of occultism upon which he could lay his hands, and tried all known means of incantation. Year after year passed without result, until at last he hit on the expedient of crystal-gazing. As every student of things psychical is aware, if one takes a crystal, or glass of water, or other body with a reflecting surface, and gaze at it steadily, he may possibly perceive, after ...
— Historic Ghosts and Ghost Hunters • H. Addington Bruce

... death through their sacred ceremonies, not only in their own tribe, but over all the Islands. Sacred men and women, wizards and witches, received presents regularly to influence the gods, and to remove sickness, or to cause it by the Nahak, i. e. incantation over remains of food, or the skin of fruit, such as banana, which the person has eaten on whom they wish to operate. They also worshiped the spirits of departed ancestors and heroes, through their ...
— The Story of John G. Paton - Or Thirty Years Among South Sea Cannibals • James Paton

... sweet sound as of an instrument. The Jesuit, GASPAR SCHOTT, in his Magio Medica treats of Fascination as twofold: De Fascinatione per Visunt et Vocem. I have found among Italian witches as with Red Indian wizards, every magical operation depended on an incantation, and every incantation on the feeling, intonation, or manner in which it is sung. Thus near Rome any peasant overhearing a scongiurasione would recognize it ...
— The Mystic Will • Charles Godfrey Leland

... especially devoted to the worship of this deity. He does not tire of singing her praises, and of speaking of the temple he erected in her honor. Still, Ur-Bau does not stand alone in his devotion; Uru-kagina, Gudea, and others refer to Bau frequently, while in the incantation texts, she is invoked as the great mother, who gives birth to mankind and restores the body to health. In the old Babylonian inscriptions she is called the chief daughter of Anu, the god of heaven. Among her titles, the one most frequently given is that of 'good lady.' She ...
— The Religion of Babylonia and Assyria • Morris Jastrow

... civility, or prefer to throw in their lot with the centrifugal tendency and ride on the flying crest of change, are writers dubbed Classic or Romantic. The Romantics are individualist, anarchic; the strains of their passionate incantation raise no cities to confront the wilderness in guarded symmetry, but rather bring the stars shooting from their spheres, and draw wild things captive to a voice. To them Society and Law seem dull phantoms, by the light ...
— Style • Walter Raleigh

... society, concealing himself to eat: he fears that another, with as sharp an appetite, but more strong than himself, should come and ravish his meal from him. The ideas of witchcraft are also widely spread among barbarians; and they are not a little fearful that some incantation may be ...
— Curiosities of Literature, Vol. 1 (of 3) • Isaac D'Israeli

... engulf, confuse, confound, mingle, heap up; —se be bewildered, be perplexed. confusin f. confusion, disorder. confuso, -a confused, dim, indistinct, bewildering. conjurar conjure, implore. conjuro m. conjuration, incantation. conmigo pron. pers. with me. conmover stir, affect. conocer know, be acquainted with, recognize; —se know each other. conque conj. so then, and so. conquistar conquer, subdue. conseguir attain, obtain, gain. consentido, -a spoiled. considerable ...
— El Estudiante de Salamanca and Other Selections • George Tyler Northup

... limitations. Fire is of course a plaything in magic hands. Water has its docile moments, the earth herself may be tampered with, and an incantation may call man or any of his possessions to attention. But space is too great a thing, space is the inconceivable Hand, holding aloft this fragile delusion that is our world. There is no power that can mock at space, there ...
— Living Alone • Stella Benson

... SHARP MINOR, must be ranked among his most energetic compositions. He has inserted in it a MAZOURKA. Had he not frightened the frivolous world of fashionable life, by the gloomy grotesqueness with which he introduced it in an incantation so fantastic, this mode might have become an ingenious caprice for the ball-room. It is a most original production, exciting us like the recital of some broken dream, made, after a night of restlessness, by the first dull, gray, cold, leaden rays ...
— Life of Chopin • Franz Liszt

... things, the physician was replaced by the priest. The supernaturalistic theory was revived, and held its own for well on a thousand years. For every complaint the Church provided a specific in the shape of a charm, an incantation, or a saint. St. Apollonia for toothache, St. Avertin for lunacy, St. Benedict for stone, St. Clara for sore eyes, St. Herbert for hydrophobia, St. John for epilepsy, St. Maur for gout, St. Pernel for agues, St. ...
— Religion & Sex - Studies in the Pathology of Religious Development • Chapman Cohen

... over again. The grass seemed signalling to me with all its fingers at once; the crowded stars seemed bent upon being understood. The sun would make me see him if he rose a thousand times. The recurrences of the universe rose to the maddening rhythm of an incantation, and I began ...
— Orthodoxy • G. K. Chesterton

... sorrowful; lightnings quiver, storm's roll; and high above the gigantic musician! banning and compelling all things, proudly and firmly wielding them from whirl to whirlpool, to the abyss.— He laughs at himself; for the incantation was, after all, but play to him. Thus night beckons. His day ...
— On Conducting (Ueber das Dirigiren): - A Treatise on Style in the Execution of Classical Music • Richard Wagner (translated by Edward Dannreuther)

... substantive, which happens to be Latin and incorrect at the same time. It does seem a waste of time to say Chrysanthemum leucanthemum instead of Whiteweed; though, if the long scientific name were an incantation to banish the intruder, our farmers would gladly consent to ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Volume 7, Issue 42, April, 1861 • Various

... ineffectually a second time, and John Campbell determined upon the Grand Rite, which began by each person spinning on his own axis, and in this manner circumambulating the temple in procession. Whenever they passed an embedded fakir, they obtained an incantation from his lips, but still Baal-Zeboub failed. Thereupon the native Grand Master suggested that the evocation should be performed by the holiest of all the fakirs, who was produced from a cupboard more fetid than the temple ...
— Devil-Worship in France - or The Question of Lucifer • Arthur Edward Waite

... Southern Greece and the Danubian Provinces, and which would twice within the last twenty-five years have seen its Empire dashed to pieces by an Egyptian vassal but for the intervention of Europe, might be arrested in its decadence by an incantation, and be made strong enough and enlightened enough to govern to all time the Slavic and Greek populations which had still the misfortune to be included within its dominions. Recognising—so ran the words which read like ...
— History of Modern Europe 1792-1878 • C. A. Fyffe

... gathered around him with looks {300} of terror and frantically signed to him to put away the book. They mistook it for some kind of a fetish, that is, an object inhabited by a powerful spirit, and his muttering they supposed to be a magic incantation. Then a happy thought struck him. He began to sing the service in a loud and cheerful voice. This delighted the savages, who fancied that the book was teaching him to ...
— French Pathfinders in North America • William Henry Johnson

... mystical manner it may do them good, are very apt to end as sceptics in regard to its efficacy and value. Or they may become superstitious, and continue to say prayers as the poor Indian mutters his incantation to keep off the witches. God hears prayer when His children cry to Him—when His faithful friends speak to Him straight and true from their hearts; and such know well that ...
— Opening a Chestnut Burr • Edward Payson Roe

... slumber with tender kisses, lays her softly down upon the green mound, and draws down the visor of her helmet. Then, after covering her with her shield to protect her from all harm, he begins a powerful incantation, summoning Loge to surround her with an impassable barrier of flames. As this incantation proceeds, small flickering tongues of fire start forth on every side; they soon rise higher and higher, roaring and crackling until, as Wotan disappears, they form a ...
— Stories of the Wagner Opera • H. A. Guerber

... and Rosie wrote Elizabeth Jarvis Gordon and Charles Henry Peters on her slate and performed the necessary ceremony. It turned out quite satisfactorily, and Rosie's next duty was to chant the usual incantation over the buttons ...
— 'Lizbeth of the Dale • Marian Keith

... in tones that were almost tender in their urgency, to come and drink before he died. His voice seemed to cast a spell, like an incantation, upon the tubby little figure, with something yearning in the upward turn ...
— Romance • Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer

... I own it! There is such incantation, in the small circle of her eye, as mortal man scarcely can resist! I adored her; nay still adore! But she knows me not. I have a soul of fire. She has driven me beyond the limits ...
— Anna St. Ives • Thomas Holcroft

... in the locust bough, and in the air an incantation that made a folly of sermons and souls and old maids' resentments and gossips' queries. The preacher fought on, another Saint Anthony in a ...
— In a Little Town • Rupert Hughes

... the virtue out of charms and incantation. Madame de Genlis is said to have fenced the greater part of her library ...
— The Book-Hunter in London - Historical and Other Studies of Collectors and Collecting • William Roberts

... yards up the slope, scarce a mark was visible to show that humanity had ever been near the spot. Anne found herself a seat on a stone, and swept with her eyes the tremulous expanse of water around her that seemed to utter a ceaseless unintelligible incantation. Out of the three hundred and sixty degrees of her complete horizon two hundred and fifty were covered by waves, the coup d'oeil including the area of troubled waters known as the Race, where two seas ...
— The Trumpet-Major • Thomas Hardy

... heeded him; all stared. The rats, like beings of incantation, stole about with an absence of fear, a disregard of man's presence, that was odious ...
— Dragon's blood • Henry Milner Rideout

... insects, and reptiles. But the prince having his eyes shut, and his back toward him, could not see his motions, and the enchanter being horribly affrighted, as well as naturally a great blockhead, was so long in recollecting the formula of his incantation, that the prince, seeing by a sly glance over the shoulder, that he was sufficiently near, suddenly turned round, and with one blow severed his head from his shoulders. Then catching it before it fell to the ground, he threw it into the great kettle that hung boiling over the ...
— Graham's Magazine Vol XXXII No. 1 January 1848 • Various

... Othello's 'Pontic sea' with its 'violent pace.') Medea's incantation in Ovid's Metamorphoses, vii. 197 ff., which certainly suggested Prospero's speech, Tempest, V. i. 33 ff., should be compared with Seneca, Herc. Oet., 452 ff., 'Artibus magicis,' etc. It is of course highly probable that Shakespeare read some Seneca at school. I may add that in the ...
— Shakespearean Tragedy - Lectures on Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth • A. C. Bradley

... upon the tepee cover told me that guards had been posted to keep back the rabble from intrusion, and once I saw signs of a brief struggle in front when the swarm had grown too inquisitive and were forced back with scant ceremony. The weird dance and incantation continued; and although I knew but little of the customs of the Pottawattomies, there was a cruel savagery and ferocity about it which I felt held but ...
— When Wilderness Was King - A Tale of the Illinois Country • Randall Parrish

... sitting in an arm-chair listening, as usual, while Valentia talked. He did not always understand what she was saying, nor did he even always know the subject she was discussing, but he loved to hear her voice, that was like an incantation in his ears. He said a few words occasionally, desiring that the ...
— The Limit • Ada Leverson

... of legions of kingdoms between earth and heaven, and the twelve unearthly worlds of Plato. She alluded to a Barrier between men and other orders of beings, beyond which dwelt Those whom the magicians of old glimpsed after long toil and incantation. ...
— The Thing from the Lake • Eleanor M. Ingram

... agnus dei qui tolis pecata mundi is used as an incantation in which every word more or less incomprehensible has a sacred character so that if one should say that he despises qui tolis, it would be considered a blasphemy because the Qui Tolis is something sacred ...
— The Legacy of Ignorantism • T.H. Pardo de Tavera

... priests as a species of sorcerers, and believe they have the power to take the lives of whomsoever they choose by incantation. Themorangha,[BT] one of the most enlightened of the chiefs, came one day to Marsden, in great agitation, to inform him that a brother chief had threatened to employ a priest to destroy him in this manner, ...
— John Rutherford, the White Chief • George Lillie Craik

... men of science or men of religion have any idea of. In its various forms as they are now classified,[83] e.g. contagious magic, and homoeopathic magic, the exercise of the mysterious will-power, real or imaginary, is to be found all the world over, accompanied usually with a spell or incantation which is believed to enforce and increase that power—a kind of telepathy, which seems to be the psychological basis, so far as there is one, of the whole system. In these rites the virtue resides in some action, ...
— The Religious Experience of the Roman People - From the Earliest Times to the Age of Augustus • W. Warde Fowler

... After a brief incantation, accompanied by more vigorous puffs at the big pipe, the order was issued to remove the scaffold. The skulls were placed on posts at the back of the lodge, and two stalwart savages took up their positions in the center of the open space, one with the ...
— Seven and Nine years Among the Camanches and Apaches - An Autobiography • Edwin Eastman

... the bog-end's yellow incantation, You sitting in the cowslips of the meadows above, —Me, your shadow on the bog-flame, flowery may-blobs, Me full length in the cowslips, muttering you love— You, your soul like a lady-smock, lost, evanescent, You, with your face all rich, like ...
— Some Imagist Poets - An Anthology • Richard Aldington

... at him carmine prolato, "with a measured song or cadence." The same peculiarity is observable in all experiments with the moving tables or rapping spirits, which are more successful when accompanied by constant music. Circe fascinated with incantation; and the Psalmist alludes to it as a means of charming. Serpents, as well as men, are thus charmed. Virgil says, that, if to this incantation by words certain herbs are joined, the fascination works ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 5, No. 32, June, 1860 • Various

... of the great "sky-scrapers," and gaze down upon a wilderness of houses, with roofs as innumerable as tree-tops, and people looking like tiny insects below. Or one might go out into the harbour late upon a winter afternoon, and see it as a city of a million lights, rising like an incantation from the sea. Round about it was an unbroken ring of docks, with ferry-boats and tugs darting everywhere, and vessels which had come from every port in the world, emptying their cargoes into the huge maw of ...
— The Metropolis • Upton Sinclair

... we solved the incantation of this whiteness, and learned why it appeals with such power to the soul; and more strange and far more portentous—why, as we have seen, it is at once the most meaning symbol of spiritual things, nay, the ...
— Moby Dick; or The Whale • Herman Melville

... in a low, droning chant but before he had uttered a dozen words there came a distant roar, dull but unmistakable, that drowned the sound of his incantation. ...
— The Black Phantom • Leo Edward Miller

... with the boy for him to know that he was the Medicine Man of the tribe, whom the chieftain had been kind enough to send to his help. Instead of giving the youth the few simple remedies he required, he resorted to incantation and sorcery as has been their custom for hundreds of years. The barbarian fraud continued to chant and rattle and dance back and forth, until Jack's eyes grew weary of following the performance. ...
— Camp-fire and Wigwam • Edward Sylvester Ellis

... that the Bantu regards himself as having got under control in his charms, he has to worship the uncontrolled army of the air. This he does by sacrifice and incantation. ...
— Travels in West Africa • Mary H. Kingsley

... day by day the machine grew in complexity and power. But in the process it yielded automatically a result very different from that which its constructors had foreseen. It is the story of the witch who, by a magic incantation, had won the consent of her broomstick to go to the river and fill her buckets; having no formula ready to check the work, she watched her cave fill with water ...
— The Meaning of the War - Life & Matter in Conflict • Henri Bergson

... considerable skill in warbling. But the moon—what is happening to it? It is not merely climbing higher, but it is manifestly clarifying its light. When I came, it was copper-coloured, now it is honey-coloured, the horn of it is almost white like milk. This little bird's incantation has, without question, produced this fortunate effect. This little bird, halfway on the road between the nightingale and the cicada, is doubtless an enchanter, and one whose art possesses a more than respectable property. ...
— Hypolympia - Or, The Gods in the Island, an Ironic Fantasy • Edmund Gosse

... terrible words a most singular thing happened. In whatever attitude the creatures were they remained so; and gradually each assumed a stony and lifeless expression, and the spell or incantation which the Ambassador had pronounced ...
— Dick, Marjorie and Fidge - A Search for the Wonderful Dodo • G. E. Farrow

... six words are all that tradition has preserved of the original incantation by means of which Irish rats were rhymed to death. Thereby hangs a good Celtic tale, which I should be glad to tell you in this note; but the publishers say that being prosed to death is as bad as being rhymed to death, and that the readers won't ...
— The Book of Humorous Verse • Various

... beard, and was dressed in goat-skins, and had sandals on his feet, and a thick stick in his hand— altogether a very wild-looking character. Jerry drew back, and looked at him very much as if by some incantation he had conjured up the spirit of ...
— A Voyage round the World - A book for boys • W.H.G. Kingston

... wine. Light the solution, and it will burn with a beautiful emerald green flame. Pieces of sponge soaked in this spirit, lighted and suspended by fine wires over the stage, produces the lambent green flames now so common in incantation scenes; strips of flannel saturated with it, and applied round copper swords, tridents, &c., produce, when lighted, the flaming swords and fire forks brandished by the demons in such scenes; indeed, the chief consumption of nitrate of ...
— Home Pastimes; or Tableaux Vivants • James H. Head

... not thou rehearse The holy incantation of a verse; But when that men have both well drunk and fed, Let my enchantments then be sung or read. When laurel spirts i'th' fire, and when the hearth Smiles to itself, and gilds the roof with mirth; When up the thyrse[C] is rais'd, and when the ...
— The Hesperides & Noble Numbers: Vol. 1 and 2 • Robert Herrick

... inarticulate mutterings are probably an echo of the "incantation and magic words" ("incantationem et verba quas sibi reperta sunt de quibus ad funem utitur ... quoniam in fune aliquam nec vocem nec gemitum emittit sed solum inter dentes ipse videtur et auditur loqui" [Die beiden Foscari, pp. 160, 161]), which, according to the decree of the ...
— The Works of Lord Byron - Poetry, Volume V. • Lord Byron

... daughter can no longer go abroad in the appearance of a swan, because the robe is not able to work any more wonders until that feather in your pocket has been sewed back into the robe with the old incantation." ...
— Figures of Earth • James Branch Cabell

... spoken charm and repeating the words of an incantation against omens, treachery, and ...
— The Mirror of Kong Ho • Ernest Bramah

... have gone out of fashion, and though some attempts to revive the taste have been made—as in the "Night Side of Nature"—such efforts have proved deplorable failures. The young people of to-day make light of ghosts. The spectres in the incantation scene of "Der Freyschutz" are received with roars of laughter, and even the statue in Don Giovanni seems "jolly," notwithstanding the illusive music of Mozart. We were about to remark that the age had outgrown superstition, but we remembered ...
— The Three Brides, Love in a Cottage, and Other Tales • Francis A. Durivage

... An incantation used to invite spiders, which are considered unlucky by the superstitious, to come again at the ...
— Tales of Old Japan • Algernon Bertram Freeman-Mitford

... from the Wendigo Age to the time of the kerosene lamp. "Fra' witches and warlocks," I solemnly intoned, "fra' wurricoos and evil speerits, and fra' a' ferly things that wheep and gang bump in the nicht, Guid Lord deliver us!" And that incantation, I feel sure, cleared the air for both my own sprite-threatened offspring and for the simple-minded Olie himself, although Dinky-Dunk explained that my Scotch was rather ...
— The Prairie Wife • Arthur Stringer

... we have Milton's description of the Moon when affected by the demoniacal practices of the 'night-hag' who was believed to destroy infants for the sake of drinking their blood, and applying their mangled limbs to the purposes of incantation. The legend is of Scandinavian origin ...
— The Astronomy of Milton's 'Paradise Lost' • Thomas Orchard

... a manner Tian continued his progress from the town until he came above the Temple of Fire and Water Forces, where on a high tower a strong box of many woods was chained beneath a canopy, guarded by an incantation laid upon it by Leou, that no one should lift it down. Recognizing the contents as the object of his search, Tian brought his horse to rest upon the tower, and breaking the chains he bore the magic sheaths away, ...
— Kai Lung's Golden Hours • Ernest Bramah

... another difficulty, happily easy to reform, which somewhat interfered with the success of the performance. At the end of the incantation scene the Italian translator has made Macbeth fall insensible upon the stage. This is a change of questionable propriety from a psychological point of view; while in point of view of effect it leaves the stage for some moments empty of all business. To remedy this, a bevy of ...
— Lay Morals • Robert Louis Stevenson

... other, on the contrary, altered them all into long letters and seemed to cap all the Os with a circumflex accent. It might be said that one side had the pronunciation of the South, the other that of the North; thus chanted, the office became strange, and ended by rocking like an incantation, and soothing the soul which fell asleep in the rolling of the verses, interrupted by the recurrent doxology like a refrain after the last verse ...
— En Route • J.-K. (Joris-Karl) Huysmans

... would be asked! Aggie left the room and came back with her store, which she put into Grizzie's hand. Grizzie laid it on the table, went in her turn to her box, brought thence her store, laid it on the other, took both up, closed her hands over them, shook them together, murmured over them, like an incantation, the words, "It's nae mair mine, an' it's nae mair thine, but belangs to a', whatever befa'," and put all in her pocket under her winsey petticoat. Thence, for a time, the invalids wanted, nothing—after the moderate ideas of need, that ...
— Warlock o' Glenwarlock • George MacDonald

... the "Most Mighty Name" [of God] is a magic spell or incantation which the acquirer can apply to wonderful purposes. God hath, among the Muhammadans, ninety-nine names or epithets; the Ismi A'zam is one of the number, but it is only the initiated few who can say which of the ...
— Bagh O Bahar, Or Tales of the Four Darweshes • Mir Amman of Dihli

... waist with a black scarf, and on his head a black, conical-shaped hat, some three feet high. Haying fastened the remains to the extremity of a long, black wand, he held them in the fire of the altar until they were nearly consumed, and then laid the charred mass in the urn, muttering an incantation in Latin. The urn being buried deep in the ground, we formed a ring around the grave, and sung the dirge. Then, lighting our larches by the dying fire, we retraced our steps with feelings suited ...
— A Collection of College Words and Customs • Benjamin Homer Hall

... immediately removed. The two boys could hear the sound of footsteps moving round them, and voices chanting in some unknown tongue what seemed to be a mysterious incantation. ...
— The Hero of Garside School • J. Harwood Panting

... and sorcery from the Tengus, or long-nosed elves of the mountains, and could fly high in the air with incredible swiftness. Speaking a few words of incantation, he put on the wings of a Tengu, mounted a white cloud and rode on the east wind to India, bought the elixir of the mountain spirits, and returned to Japan in ...
— Japanese Fairy World - Stories from the Wonder-Lore of Japan • William Elliot Griffis

... question was raised and the investigation made. In the Caroline archipelago fishing is combined with various rites and religious notions. The chief medicine man owes the authority of his position, not to his knowledge of the art of fishing, but to his knowledge of the formulae of incantation and exorcism employed in fishing. There must be abstinence from the sex relation before a fishing expedition. The men start in silence. Especially, the hoped-for success must not be mentioned. The boat must have a formula of luck pronounced over it. Sacrifices of taro ...
— Folkways - A Study of the Sociological Importance of Usages, Manners, Customs, Mores, and Morals • William Graham Sumner

... could skin the ordinary kahuna lapaau" (medicine man) "when it came to praying to Lonopuha and Koleamoku; read dreams and visions and signs and omens and indigestions to beat the band; make the practitioners under the medicine god, Maiola, look like thirty cents; pull off a pule hee incantation that would make them dizzy; and she claimed to a practice of kahuna hoenoho, which is modern spiritism, second to none. I have myself seen her drink the wind, throw a fit, and prophesy. The aumakuas were brothers to her when she slipped offerings to them ...
— On the Makaloa Mat/Island Tales • Jack London

... performed by a person whose special duty it is, and who, I think, is usually the pig-killer. He takes a particular kind of fragrant grass, makes an incantation over it, rubs it on the noses of the dogs (if there are any), [85] and then ties it in several portions to the meshes of the net to be used. If there are dogs, but no net, then, after rubbing the dogs' noses, he throws ...
— The Mafulu - Mountain People of British New Guinea • Robert W. Williamson

... play songs by him—"Music and a song, Come away, come away," Act III., Sc. 5, and "Music and a song, Black spirits," etc., Act IV., Sc. 1. This was done to please the inferior part of the audience. These songs and all this sort of operatic incantation are entirely foreign to the supernatural motive of the tragedy as Shakespeare conceived it. And I will here remark that the usual performance of "Macbeth" with "a chorus" and "all Locke's music" is a ...
— The Galaxy - Vol. 23, No. 1 • Various

... snake promised to teach her an incantation by means of which she could support herself, so saying, the snake conferred some magic power upon and taught her an incantation; and promised her that if she took some dust in her hand and repeated the incantation and then blew ...
— Folklore of the Santal Parganas • Cecil Henry Bompas

... magical words. At such times I invoke the aid of passionate souls, not shrinking even from the vain, provided that they loved greatly and give great expression to their humanity. Such is that wild lover of George Sand whose Souvenir, for all its rhetoric, charms like an incantation. The ancients quenched the ashes of the pyre with red wine, as if the blood of the god-given vine could hearten the spirit that yet hovered near. Over my ashes let no wine be poured, but read me such verses high and valiant, that if my soul yet lingers undelivered from the earth's ...
— Apologia Diffidentis • W. Compton Leith

... that you shall be helpless, that you may not in good form resist their calculated, schemed, coordinated blood-drawing. And I had as lief have a Sioux Medicine man dance a one-step round my camp fire, and chant his silly incantation for my curing, as any of these blood pressure, electro-chemical, pill, powder specialists. Give me an Ipswich witch instead. Let her lay hands on me. Soft hands that turn away wrath. Have you such or did your ancestors, out of ...
— The Letters of Franklin K. Lane • Franklin K. Lane

... sacrifices of men, and to men the commands and rewards of the gods; and this power spans the chasm which divides them, and in this all is bound together, and through this the arts of the prophet and the priest, their sacrifices and mysteries and charms, and all prophecy and incantation, find their way. For God mingles not with man; and through this power all the intercourse and speech of God with man, whether awake or asleep, is carried on. The wisdom which understands this is spiritual; all other wisdom, such as that of arts or handicrafts, is mean and vulgar. Now these ...
— The Best of the World's Classics, Restricted to prose. Volume I (of X) - Greece • Various

... worship in the midst of the distasteful turmoil of the Chinese country. Under the high white arch, where I stood alone with my sailors, the "Dies Iroe," chanted by a missionary priest, sounded like a soft magical incantation. Through the open doors we could see sights that resembled enchanted gardens, exquisite verdure and immense palm-trees, the wind shook the large flowering shrubs and their perfumed crimson petals fell like rain, almost to the church itself. Thence we marched to the ceremony, ...
— An Iceland Fisherman • Pierre Loti

... illustrate the tale of Sudama the poor Brahman whose tattered hovel is changed by Krishna into a golden palace. He was evidently assisted by a weaker painter but in the pictures which are clearly his own work, the same quality of lyrical incantation appears. As Sudama journeys to Dwarka Krishna's golden city, his heart swoons with adoration, the hills, trees and ocean appear to dance about him and once again, the linear music of the composition engenders a feeling of supreme ecstasy.[109] We do not know which member of ...
— The Loves of Krishna in Indian Painting and Poetry • W. G. Archer

... words of this spell serve for all men alike? Had the Sirens only to utter this one incantation, and was ...
— The Memorabilia - Recollections of Socrates • Xenophon

... ridges distant, leading a boy in her hand, and, coming again to the grave where Hector Munro was interred alive, demanded of the witch which victim she would choose, who replied that she chose Hector to live and George to die in his stead. This form of incantation was thrice repeated ere Mr. Hector was removed from his chilling bed in a January grave and carried home, all remaining mute as before. The consequence of a process which seems ill-adapted to produce the former effect was that Hector Munro recovered, and after ...
— Letters On Demonology And Witchcraft • Sir Walter Scott

... his eyes, saw the same glaring lamps, heard the same dismal sound, and, in an agony of fright, began to recite the alphabet, by way of an incantation against the powers of darkness. The cat on hearing the loud voices felt as much alarm as she had caused, and fled in the darkness, leaving the worthy ...
— Harper's Young People, April 6, 1880 - An Illustrated Weekly • Various

... of the forest stirred, and sent forth sounds like an incantation. Soon might be distinguished the various voices of the mighty trees, as they expressed their terror or their agony. The oak roared, the beech shrieked, the elm sent forth its deep and long-drawn groan; while ever and anon, amid a momentary pause, the passion of the ...
— Coningsby • Benjamin Disraeli

... "Star-spangled Banner" with the full strength of lungs inflated by patriotism, until the stirring staves ring and resound through those dim caves. The miners, who hold the superstition, that to whisper bodes ill-luck, must have imagined we were exorcising evil spirits with an incantation. ...
— Atlantic Monthly Volume 7, No. 39, January, 1861 • Various

... ingredient which, on account of the harm it does him, he fancies may be useful to the perfection of his poison, though in fact it be of no use at all? If a bone snatched from the jaws of a fasting bitch be thought necessary in incantation; or if witchcraft have recourse to the raiment of the owl because it resorts to the tombs and mausoleums of the dead and wails and hovers about at the time that the rest of animated nature sleeps; certainly the savage may imagine that ...
— Wanderings In South America • Charles Waterton

... and measured rhetoric a charm of which her careless colloquial speech was incapable. Even the "Fifth Reader," with its imposing passages from the English classics carefully selected with a view of paralyzing small, hesitating, or hurried voices, in Cressy's hands became no longer an unintelligible incantation. She had quietly mastered the difficulties of pronunciation by some instinctive sense of euphony if not of comprehension. The master with his eyes closed hardly recognized his pupil. Whether or not she understood ...
— Cressy • Bret Harte

... Mrs. Hastings. "Oh, nobody knows what that kind of people may do. I'll meet any one face to face, but these juggling, incantation individuals appal me. I have a brother who travels in the Orient, and he tells me about hideous things they do—raising wheat and things," ...
— Romance Island • Zona Gale

... thou hast at divers times this last summer been seen and heard alone, inasmuch as human eye may discover, on the narrow slip of greensward between the Avon and the chancel, distorting thy body like one possessed, and uttering strange language, like unto incantation. This, however, cometh not before me. Take heed! take heed unto thy ways; there are graver things in law even ...
— Citation and Examination of William Shakspeare • Walter Savage Landor

... escapes that gets within their reach, but they never injure women. One of these of a prodigious size was caught having gold rings in its ears, which was supposed to have been done as some species of witchcraft or incantation by the Kafrs to clear the river from these dangerous animals. In confirmation of this opinion, we read in an Arabian author named Matude, giving an account of prodigies, that about the year 863 a brazen crocodile was found under the ruins ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume VI - Early English Voyages Of Discovery To America • Robert Kerr

... the others. Tummasook made a brag about how he had once killed a polar bear, and in the vigour of his pantomime nearly slew his mother's brother. But nobody heeded. The woman Ipsukuk fell to weeping for a son lost long years agone in the ice, and the shaman made incantation and prophecy. So it went, and before morning they were all on the floor, sleeping soundly with ...
— The Faith of Men • Jack London

... him and suddenly, as we are told, struck him with a druidic wand, or according to one version, flung at him a tuft of grass over which he had pronounced a druidical incantation." ...
— The Book of Hallowe'en • Ruth Edna Kelley

... making a random cast on the surface of a strange language. You cannot tell what will come up. It is like an experiment in witchcraft. We should not have been at all surprised, I must confess, if our preliminary incantation had brought forth a cow or ...
— Fisherman's Luck • Henry van Dyke

... whithersoever he turned his eyes, there was the young man, seeming to be, and yet not to be Holden, and haunting him like a shadow. As these imaginations possessed themselves more and more of the Indian's mind, he began to fancy himself the victim of some incantation, with which he naturally connected the Recluse as the cause; and, finally, by continual brooding on the subject, both his appetite and sleep deserted him. His moodiness at length attracted the attention of Peena. Ohquamehud was lying on the floor of her ...
— The Lost Hunter - A Tale of Early Times • John Turvill Adams

... masculine comfort. But oh, tantalizing spectacle! Under the illumination of a tall, crimson-shaded, standard lamp, stood a little, white-covered table, reminding her irresistibly of a little table in a fairy story, which the due incantation causes to rise out of the ground. A small silver-gilt tureen of soup smoked upon it and a little pile of delicate rolls lay beside the plate set for one. But alas! she might not, like the favored girl in the fairy story, proceed without ...
— The Invader - A Novel • Margaret L. Woods

... of the concerns of the British East India Company with the merchants of China, it may be necessary to administer an oath to a Chinese, the same ceremony is gone through of wringing off the head of a cock, which is by them considered in a very serious light, a sort of incantation, whose effects upon their minds are not unlike those produced by supposed magic spells, once common in our own country, by which the vulgar were persuaded that the Devil was to be made to appear before them. In a Chinese court of justice an oath is never administered. ...
— Travels in China, Containing Descriptions, Observations, and Comparisons, Made and Collected in the Course of a Short Residence at the Imperial Palace of Yuen-Min-Yuen, and on a Subsequent Journey thr • John Barrow

... thrill of interest as the old man began to spin slowly on his toes round the column of smoke, chanting slowly some strange mixture of savage music which was, as Frank guessed, an incantation to the fetish that, as he believed, dwelt in the smoke. As the smoke grew thicker he cast some sort of powder from a skin-bag into it and instantly a thick yellow column of vapor ...
— The Boy Aviators in Africa • Captain Wilbur Lawton

... my forehead and the backs of my hands still chafed by the texture of the horsehair, and we faced one another in the dreary light. My Father, perfectly confident in the success of what had really been a sort of incantation, asked me in a loud wheedling voice, 'Well, and what is the answer which our Lord vouchsafes?' I said nothing, and so my Father, more sharply, continued, 'We have asked Him to direct you to a true knowledge of His will. We have desired Him to let you know whether it is, or is not, in ...
— Father and Son • Edmund Gosse

... than to either the service or the sermon; but to-day she wistfully turned her thoughts to both, in the hope that they might do her good, although she had as vague an idea as to the mode or process as if both were an Indian incantation. ...
— A Face Illumined • E. P. Roe

... so confused that he could not even begin; then he reddened with anger, and, gnashing his teeth, tore the graceless book out of Fanny's hand, threw it down upon the table and commenced an assault upon the heathen words, and with glaring eyes read the million-times repeated incantation: "His abacem, panacem, phylacem, coracem facemque," striking the back of his head with clinched fist at ...
— Debts of Honor • Maurus Jokai

... upon his haunches. The drums ceased. A slave appeared bearing a pure white kid. Kingata Mata took the animal and held it before Kawa Kendi, who muttered a long incantation over it and cut the throat with a spear head. Then to Marufa was the bleeding carcass carried and while still alive he slit open the belly, smeared the liquid over his chest and right arm, and tore out the ...
— Witch-Doctors • Charles Beadle

... a friend of ours, in order to win a favour of his beloved, filled his room with skulls and bones like a churchyard?' The most loathsome tasks were prescribed—to draw three teeth from a corpse or a nail from its finger, and the like; and while the hocus-pocus of the incantation was going on, the unhappy participants ...
— The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy • Jacob Burckhardt

... bright spear through him and far beyond. Loud yell'd the boar, sank in the dust, and died. Around Ulysses, then, the busy sons Throng'd of Autolycus; expert they braced The wound of the illustrious hunter bold, 570 With incantation staunched the sable blood, And sought in haste their father's house again, Whence, heal'd and gratified with splendid gifts They sent him soon rejoicing to his home, Themselves rejoicing also. Glad their ...
— The Odyssey of Homer • Homer

... and 'incantation' all owe their origin to the time when spells were in vogue. 'Charm' is just carmen, from the fact that 'a kind of Runic rhyme' was employed in diablerie of this sort; so 'enchant' and 'incantation' are but a singing to—a true 'siren's song;' while 'fascination' took its rise when the mystic ...
— Continental Monthly, Vol. III, No IV, April 1863 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy • Various

... he, too, was transfixed, and the fire seemed burning his vitals, until he felt water sprinkled on his face, and saw that his wife, whom he had left at home too ill to move, stood behind him and was casting holy water into the furnace, speaking an incantation as she did so. At that moment a storm arose, and a rain fell that put out the fire; but as the last glow faded the ...
— Myths And Legends Of Our Own Land, Complete • Charles M. Skinner

... to these forms of symbolical magic (which might be multiplied to any extent), we find among savages the belief in the power of songs of INCANTATION. This is a feature of magic which specially deserves our attention. In myths, and still more in marchen or household tales, we shall constantly find that the most miraculous effects are caused when the hero pronounces a few lines of rhyme. In Rome, as we have all read ...
— Myth, Ritual, and Religion, Vol. 1 • Andrew Lang

... being nothing like making the enemy too confident. Then I held out the palm of my hand for inspection and tried to look like a man pretending he does not believe in magic. Whatever Maga thought, the old hag was delighted. She began to croak an incantation, shuffling first with one foot, then with the other, and finally with both together in a weird dance that almost shook her old frame apart. Then she went through a pantomime of finger-pointing, as if transferring from herself to Maga the ...
— The Eye of Zeitoon • Talbot Mundy

... stage of theism, is sorcery. Incantation, dancing, fasting, bodily torture, and ecstasism are practiced. Every tribe has its potion or vegetable drug, by which the ecstatic state is produced, and their venerable medicine-men see visions and ...
— Sketch of the Mythology of the North American Indians • John Wesley Powell

... strange jargon—the Lord's Prayer repeated backwards—the incantation usual in proceedings for obtaining unhallowed assistance against an enemy. Susan uttered the lugubrious discourse three times slowly, and when it was completed the image had considerably diminished. ...
— The Return of the Native • Thomas Hardy

... Emperor, of the Empress, of the Empress Marie, of the Tsarevitch and of the Grand Duchess herself were thundered out every minute or two—they were the only words that I could understand Listening to the priest's sonorous incantation reverberating through the building that morning, one little dreamt that within less than two years' time the winsome princess—her photograph was to be seen everywhere in the Petrograd streets and she seemed to be especially popular—whose day we were engaged ...
— Experiences of a Dug-out, 1914-1918 • Charles Edward Callwell

... adopted by both French and English to express the aboriginal magic arts, has no therapeutic significance. Very few even pretended remedies were administered to the natives and probably never by the professional shaman, who worked by incantation, often pulverizing and mixing the substances mystically used, to prevent their detection. The same mixtures were employed in divination. The author particularly mentions Mandan ceremonies, in which a white "medicine" stone, as hard as pyrites, ...
— Sign Language Among North American Indians Compared With That Among Other Peoples And Deaf-Mutes • Garrick Mallery



Words linked to "Incantation" :   conjuration, invocation, spell, magical spell, charm, magic spell



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