For instance, this new idea that You-Know-Who can kill with a single glance from his eyes. That's a basilisk, listeners. One simple test: Check whether the thing that's glaring at you has got legs. If it has, it's safe to look into its eyes, although if it really is You-Know-Who, that's still likely to be the last thing you ever do.
The dominant problem of pictorial art since the nineteen-fifties is photography, and, by extension, film and video. The basilisk eye of the camera has withered the pride of handworked mediums. Painting survives on a case-by-case basis, its successes amounting to special exemptions from a verdict of history.
As the last dish of confections was removed a weird pageant swept across the further end of the banqueting-room: Oberon and Titania with Robin Goodfellow and the rest, attired in silks and satins gorgeous of hue, and bedizened with such late flowers as were still with us. I leaned forward to commend, and saw that each face was brown and wizened and thin-haired: so that their motions and their wedding paean felt goblin and discomforting; nor could I smile till they departed by the further door. ("The Basilisk")
R. Murray Gilchrist
Out of the sea will rise Behemoth and Leviathan, and sail 'round the high-pooped galleys... Dragons will wander about the waste places, and the phoenix will soar from her nest of fire into the air. We shall lay our hands upon the basilisk, and see the jewel in the toad's head. Champing his gilded oats, the Hippogriff will stand in our stalls, and over our heads will float the Blue Bird singing of beautiful and impossible things, of things that are lovely and that never happen, of things that are not and that should be.
Sin is a basilisk whose eyes are full of venom. If the eye of thy soul see her first, it reflects her own poison and kills her; if she see thy soul, unseen, or seen too late, with her poison, she kills thee: since therefore thou canst not escape thy sin, let not thy sin escape thy observation.
New Hampshire has always been cheap, mean, rural, small-minded, and reactionary. It's one of the few states in the nation with neither a sales tax nor an income tax. Social services are totally inadequate there, it ranks at the bottom in state aid to education--the state is literally shaped like a dunce cap--and its medical assistance program is virtually nonexistent. Expecting aid for the poor there is like looking for an egg under a basilisk.... The state encourages skinflints, cheapskates, shutwallets, and pinched little joykillers who move there as a tax refuge to save money.
By now, at the end of a sloping alley, we had reached the shores of a vast marsh. Some unknown quality in the sparkling water had stained its whole bed a bright yellow. Green leaves, of such a sour brightness as almost poisoned to behold, floated on the surface of the rush-girdled pools. Weeds like tempting veils of mossy velvet grew beneath in vivid contrast with the soil. Alders and willows hung over the margin. From where we stood a half-submerged path of rough stones, threaded by deep swift channels, crossed to the very centre. ("The Basilisk")
R. Murray Gilchrist
There was a clatter as the basilisk fangs cascaded out of Hermione's arms. Running at Ron, she flung them around his neck and kissed him full on the mouth. Ron threw away the fangs and broomstick he was holding and responded with such enthusiasm that he lifted Hermione off her feet. "Is this the moment?" Harry asked weakly, and when nothing happened except that Ron and Hermione gripped each other still more firmly and swayed on the spot, he raised his voice. "OI! There's a war going on here!" Ron and Hermione broke apart, their arms still around each other. "I know, mate, " said Ron, who looked as though he had recently been hit on the back of the head with a Bludger, "so it's now or never, isn't it?" "Never mind that, what about the Horcrux?" Harry shouted. "D'you think you could just - just hold it in, until we've got the diadem?" "Yeah - right - sorry -" said Ron, and he and Hermione set about gathering up fangs, both pink in the face.
When she had arranged her household affairs, she came to the library and bade me follow her. Then, with the mirror still swinging against her knees, she led me through the garden and the wilderness down to a misty wood. It being autumn, the trees were tinted gloriously in dusky bars of colouring. The rowan, with his amber leaves and scarlet berries, stood before the brown black-spotted sycamore; the silver beech flaunted his golden coins against my poverty; firs, green and fawn-hued, slumbered in hazy gossamer. No bird carolled, although the sun was hot. Marina noted the absence of sound, and without prelude of any kind began to sing from the ballad of the Witch Mother: about the nine enchanted knots, and the trouble-comb in the lady's knotted hair, and the master-kid that ran beneath her couch. Every drop of my blood froze in dread, for whilst she sang her face took on the majesty of one who traffics with infernal powers. As the shade of the trees fell over her, and we passed intermittently out of the light, I saw that her eyes glittered like rings of sapphires. ("The Basilisk")
R. Murray Gilchrist