Holiday, Jesus, birth, men
Twelfth Night came, and Mother Sören lighted for Holberg a candle of the Three Kings – that is, three small tallow candles – which she herself had prepared.
"A candle for each man!" said Holberg.
"Each man?" she exclaimed, and looked at him hard.
"Each of the wise men from the east," Holberg said.
"Oh, that's how you meant it," she said, and sat in silence for a while. But on that evening of the Three Kings, he learned a great deal about her that he had not known.
"You are fond of the man you are wedded to," Holberg said, "yet people tell me he daily mistreated you."
"That concerns no one but me," Mother Sören declared. "The blows would have done me good had they fallen when I was a child. Now they probably fall for my sins. I only know the good he has done me." She stood up straight.
So this was Marie Grubbe, so strangely does the ball of fortune turn. She did not live to see many more feasts of the Three Kings. Holberg wrote that she died in June, 1716, but he did not write, for he did not know, that when Mother Sören, as they called her, lay dead in Borrehouse, a flock of large black birds flew over the roof in silence. They did not scream, and it was as if they knew that at funerals one must be quiet. As soon as she was in her grave, the birds departed (...)