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Ithuriel's Spear

The spear of the the angel Ithuriel, the slightest touch of which exposed deceit. Hence, when Satan squatted like a toad “close to the ear of Eve,” Ithuriel only touched the creature with his spear, and it resumed the form of Satan.

Him [i.e. Satan], thus intent Ithuriel with his spear
Touched lightly; for no falsehood can endure
Touch of celestial temper, but returns
Of force to its own likeness.

Milton: Paradise Lost, iv 810-813.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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