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The motif Parish clerk in HCA : Chicken Grethe's Family (1869)
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The Hans Christian Andersen Center

The motif Parish clerk in HCA : Chicken Grethe's Family (1869)

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Example 1:

She had a rocking chair, and a wardrobe, and even a chest of drawers, on which stood a highly polished brass plate with the name "Grubbe" engraved on it. This was the name of the old noble family that had lived there in the days when the castle was standing. The brass plate had been found while they were digging the ground and the parish clerk said that it had no value except as a relic. The clerk knew all about the place and the old days, for he was a scholar and his table drawer was filled with manuscripts. He knew much about the old days, but perhaps the oldest crow knew more and jabbered it out in his own language, but that was crow-talk, which the clerk did not understand, learned though he was.

Example 2:

All this was told in our own time by the parish clerk. He had pieced it together from books and letters, and it lay with many another manuscript hidden away in his table drawer.

Example 3:

The parish clerk could tell about this too. It was not a tale which he had pieced together. He had the whole strange story from a reliable book which we can get and read for ourselves.

Example 4:

Bra! Bra!" they croaked. And "Bra, Bra!" the whole tribe croaked when the old castle was torn down. "And this they cry still, though there is nothing left to croak about," said the parish clerk, when he told the story.

(...)

"No one knew her," they said. "She had no relatives. By an act of charity she came here, and children she had none!"

Nevertheless, she had ancestors, though she did not know of them, nor did the parish clerk, for all the manuscripts he had in his table drawer.

(...)

And Chicken Grethe was buried in a good grave. No one knows where it lies except the old crow, if he isn't dead too.

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