Salammbo: A Romance of Ancient Carthage

By Gustave Flaubert; M. French Sheldon | Go to book overview

CHAPTER X. .
THE SERPENT

THESE clamours of the populace did not frighten the daughter of Hamilcar; she was disturbed by loftier inquietudes--for her great serpent, the black Python, languished: and for the Carthaginians a serpent was not only a national, but a personal fetich. They believed every serpent to be an offspring of the slime of the earth, inasmuch as it emerged from the depths, and it needed no feet to walk upon; its movements recalled the undulations of the streams; its temperature ancient darkness, clammy, full of fruitfulness; and the orb that it described in biting its tail, the complete planetary system, the intelligence of Eschmoûn.

Salammbô's serpent had frequently of late refused the four living sparrows offered to it at the new and full of each moon. Its beautiful skin, covered like the firmament with spots of gold on a dead black surface, was now yellow, flabby, wrinkled, and too large for its body; about its head was spreading a downy mould; and in the corners of its eyes appeared little red points that seemed to move.

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Salammbo: A Romance of Ancient Carthage
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Introduction. ix
  • Chapter I - The Feast. 1
  • Chapter II - At Sicca. 26
  • Chapter III - Salammbo 55
  • Chapter IV - Under the Walls of Carthage. 66
  • Chapter V - Tanit. 91
  • Chapter VI - Hanno. 112
  • Chapter VII - Hamilcar Barca. 140
  • Chapter VIII - The Battle of the Macar. 192
  • Chapter IX - The Campaign. 218
  • Chapter X - The Serpent 239
  • Chapter XI - In the Tent. 256
  • Chapter XII - The Aqueduct 282
  • Chapter XIII - Moloch. 309
  • Chapter XIV - The Defile of the Battle-Axe. 358
  • Chapter XV - Mâtho. 409
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