Of the ecstasy of Adolphe, and the remarkable
As pleased as Lord Foppington with his appearance,
the Chevalier tripped off to bid good-morning to Venus. He found
her wandering, in a sweet muslin frock, upon the lawn outside, and
plucking flowers to deck her little déjeuner. He kissed her
lightly upon the neck.
Im just going to feed Adolphe,
she said, pointing to a little reticule of buns that hung from her
arm. Adolphe was her pet unicorn. He is such a dear,
she continued; milk white all over, excepting his black eyes,
rose mouth and nostrils, and scarlet John. This way. The unicorn
had a very pretty palace of its own, made of green foliage and golden
barsa fitting home for such a delicate and dainty beast. Ah,
it was a splendid thing to watch the white creature roaming in its
artful cage, proud and beautiful, knowing no mate and coming to
no hand except the Queens itself.
As Venus and Tannhäuser approached
the wicket, Adolphe began prancing and curvetting, pawing the soft
turf with his ivory hoofs and flaunting his tail like a gonfalon.
Venus raised the latch and entered.
You mustnt come in with me,
Adolphe is so jealous, she said, turning to the Chevalier
who was following her, but you can stand outside and look
on; Adolphe likes an audience. Then in her delicious fingers
she broke the spicy buns, and with affectionate niceness, breakfasted
her ardent pet. When the last crumbs had been scattered, Venus brushed
her hands together and pretended to leave the cage, without taking
any further notice of Adolphe. Every morning she went through this
piece of play, and every morning the amorous unicorn was cheated
into a distressing agony lest that day should have proved the last
of Venuss love. Not for long, though, would she leave him
in that doubtful, piteous state, but running back passionately to
where he stood, make adorable amends for her unkindness.
Poor Adolphe! How happy he was, touching
the Queens breasts with his quick tongue-tip. I have no doubt
that the keener scent of animals must make women much more attractive
to them than to men; for the gorgeous odour that but faintly fills
our nostrils must be revealed to the brute creation in divine fullness.
Anyhow, Adolphe sniffed as never a man did around the skirts of
Venus. After the first charming interchange of affectionate delicacies
was over, the unicorn lay down upon his side, and, closing his eyes,
beat his stomach wildly with the mark of manhood!
Venus caught that stunning member in her
hands and laid her cheek along it; but few touches were wanted to
consummate the creatures pleasure. The Queen bared her left
arm to the elbow, and with the soft underneath of it made amazing
movements horizontally upon the tightly-strung instrument. When
the melody began to flow, the unicorn offered up an astonishing
vocal accompaniment. Tannhäuser was amused to learn that the
etiquette of the Venusberg compelled everybody to await the outburst
of these venereal sounds before they could sit down to déjeuner.
Adolphe had been quite profuse that morning.
Venus knelt where it had fallen, and lapped
her little apéritif.