Music exalts everything; even illusions
I sat on a divan with Jinny; Hilda and Isaak were in armchairs; Siegfried sat in an upright chair, near the window. The trumpets were raw and lovely. ‘When beauty’s the prize, when beauty’s the prize, what mortal fears dying?’ And Polyphemus, crude and savage Polyphemus, making articulate his difficult devotion. ‘Oh, ruddier than the cherry! Oh, sweeter than the berry!’
Hilda said, when the record ended: ‘I could never understand Galatea choosing Acis rather than Polyphemus.’
When one is in love, one looks for signs and identities; could there be any doubt that Hilda and I were destined for union when her words, crystallizing my own random thoughts, showed that our minds had been running in one path? Music exalts everything; even illusions.
Isaak said pedantically: ‘But Polyphemus was a monster.’
‘Acis,’ Hilda said thoughtfully, ‘sounds to me like a pansy. I should prefer a monster.’
Jinny said: ‘Hilda! I won’t have you talking like that.’ She glanced towards the window. ‘For your brother’s sake, if not for anything else.’