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Nessus a centaur who was killed by Hercules; when dying, he told Hercules' wife Deianeira that if she ever doubted her husband's love, a robe smeared with Nessus's blood would ensure his constancy. Deianeira followed this advice, but the centaur's blood was a poison that consumed Hercules with fire.
shirt of Nessus a destructive or expurgatory force or influence.