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Arnold

of Melchthal, patriarch of the forest cantons of Switzerland. He was in love with Matilda, a sister of Gessler, the Austrian governor of the district. When the tyranny of Gessler drove the people into rebellion, Arnold gave up Matilda and joined the insurgents; but when Gessler was shot by William Tell, he became united to her in marriage. (Rossini's opera of Guglielmo Tell.)

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