Asmodeus

[the destroyer]. The demon of vanity and dress, called in the Talmud “the king of devils.”

The Asmodeus of domestic peace

(in the Book of Tobit). Asmodeus falls in love with Sara, daughter of Raguel, and causes the death of seven husbands in succession, each on his bridal night. After her marriage to Tobit, he was driven into Egypt by a charm, made by Tobias of the heart and liver of a fish burnt on perfumed ashes, and being pursued was taken prisoner and bound.

Better pleased
Than Asmodeus with the fishy fume
That drove him, though enamoured, from the spouse Of Tobit's son,
and with a vengeance sent
From Media post to Egypt, there fast bound.
Milton: Paradise Lost , iv. 167–71.

The companion of Don Cléofas, in The Devil on Two Sticks. (Chap. iii.)

Asmodeus flight.

Don Cléofas, catching hold of his companion's cloak, is perched on the steeple of St. Salvador. Here the foul fiend stretches out his hand, and the roofs of all the houses open in a moment, to show the Don what is going on privately in each respective dwelling.

“Could the reader take an Asmodeus-flight, and, waving open all roofs and privacies, look down from the roof of Notre Dame, what a Paris were it!”

Carlyle: French Revolution II., vi. chap. vi.

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