And the goblins--they had not really been there at all? They were only the phantoms of cowardice and unbelief? One healthy human impulse would dispel them? Men like the Wilcoxes, or ex-President Roosevelt, would say yes. Beethoven knew better. The goblins really had been there. They might return--and they did. It was as if the splendour of life might boil over and waste to steam and froth. In its dissolution one heard the terrible, ominous note, and a goblin, with increased malignity, walked quietly over the universe from end to end. Panic and emptiness! Panic and emptiness! Even the flaming ramparts of the world might fall. Beethoven chose to make all right in the end. He built the ramparts up. He blew with his mouth for the second time, and again the goblins were scattered. He brought back the gusts of splendour, the heroism, the youth, the magnificence of life and of death, and, amid vast roarings of a superhuman joy, he led his Fifth Symphony to its conclusion. But the goblins were there. They could return. He had said so bravely, and that is why one can trust Beethoven when he says other things.
Those same women tell me I am too short to be beautiful,” I traced my hands across my breasts, “they say my breasts are too large,” I traced down my waist to my hips, “that I curve in places they do not,” I traced down my thighs. Sidhe women don’t have thighs. I let my hair fall across my face as I moved, so that my eyes gazed at him half hidden behind the scarlet of my hair. “They tell me I am ugly.”He spilled out of his chair, dumping his queen to the floor. He roared, “Who says these things? I will crush their jaws and see them choke on their own lies!”The outrage on his face, the trembling rage of him—I took it for the compliment it was. I realized in that moment that Kurag might want me for more than just politics or supernatural bloodlines. In that heartbeat, I thought that maybe, just maybe, the Goblin King loved me, in an odd sort of way. I had expected many things today, but not love.I don’t know why, but I suddenly realized there were tears trailing down my face. Crying because some goblin had offered to defend my honor? I gazed up at Kurag, and I let him see what was in my face, my eyes, all of it. Because I realized that I still didn’t believe I was beautiful. The guards wanted me because to be without me was to be celibate. They pursued me so they might be king. None of them wanted me, for me. Maybe that was unfair, but how would I ever know why they came to my bed? I looked at Kurag and knew that here was a man who’d known me since I was a child, and he thought I was beautiful, and worth defending, and he would never bed me, never be my king. Knowing that anyone adored me, just for me, meant something. Something I had no words for, but I let Kurag see that I valued it. That I valued him, and how he felt about me.