1008 POULTRY MEG'S FAMILY
The clerk told all this in our own time ; he had collected it and put it together from books and manuscripts ; it lay with many more manuscripts in the table-drawer.
' Up and down is the way of the world ! ' said he, 'it is strange to hear ! ' And we shall hear how it went with Marie Grubbe, but we will not forget Poultry Meg, who sits in her grand hen-house in our time ; Marie Grubbe sat there in her time, but not with the same spirit as old Poultry Meg.
The winter passed, spring and summer passed, and then again came the stormy autumn-time, with the cold, wet sea-fogs. It was a lonely life, a wearisome life there in the old manor-house. So Marie Grubbe took her gun and went out on the moors, and shot hares and foxes, and whatever birds she came across. Out there she met oftener than once noble Sir Palle Dyre from Norrebaek, who was also wandering about with his gun and his dogs. He was big and strong, and boasted about it when they talked together. He could have dared to measure himself with the late Mr. Brockenhus of Egeskov, of whose strength there were still stories. Palle Dyre had, following his example, caused an iron chain with a hunting-horn to be hung at his gate, and when he rode home he caught the chain, and lifted himself with the horse from the ground, and blew the horn.
' Come yourself and see it, Dame Marie ! ' said he, 4 there is fresh air blowing at Norrebaek ! '
When she went to his house is not recorded, but on the candlesticks in Norrebaek Church one can read that they were given by Palle Dyre and Marie Grubbe of Norrebaek Castle.
Bodily strength had Palle Dyre : he drank like a sponge ; he was like a tub that could never be filled ; he snored like a whole pig-sty, and he looked red and bloated.
' He is piggish and rude !' said Dame Palle Dyre, Grubbe's daughter. Soon she was tired of the life, but that did not make it any better. One day the table was laid, and the food was getting cold ; Palle Dyre was fox-hunting and the lady was not to be found. Palle Dyre came home at midnight, Dame Dyre came neither at midnight nor in the morning, she had turned her back on Norrebaek had ridden away without greeting or farewell.