Brother of Weland, the Vulcan of Northern mythology. Egil was a
great archer, and a tale is told of him the exact counterpart of the
famous story about William Tell: One day King Nidung commanded Egil to
shoot an apple off the head of his son. Egil took two well-selected
arrows from his quiver, and when asked by the king why he took two,
replied (as the Swiss peasant to Gessler), “To shoot thee, O tyrant,
with the second, if I fail.”
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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