Whether our prologue be in heaven or
on earth, the counting of the stars above
or grains of sand that line the beachy shore,
our epilogue is mainly about love.
Men can’t do anything without some make-
believe, as Abraham found out, but try
interpreting their dreams when they’re awake,
because they think that sleeping dogs can’t lie.
Inspired by the opening lines of George Eliot’s “Daniel Deronda, ” which were themselves inspired by Goethe’s “Faust, ” one of Eliot’s favorite pieces of literature:
Men can do nothing without the make-believe of a beginning. Even Science, the strict measurer, is obliged to start with the make-believe unity, and must fix on a point in the stars’ unceasing journey when his sidereal clock shall pretend that it is at nought. His less accurate grandmother Poetry has always been understood to start in the middle, but on reflection it appears that her proceeding is not very different from his, since Science, too, reckons backwards as well as forwards, divides his units into billions, and with his clock-finger at nought really sets off in medias res. No retrospect will take us to the real beginning, and whether our prologue be in heaven or on earth, it is but a fraction of that all-supposing fact with which our story sets out.
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