Excerpt from "The Smile At The Foot Of The Ladder," by Henry Miller

Nothing could diminish the lustre of the extraordinary smile which was engraved on Auguste's sad countenance. In the ring this smile took on a quality of its own, detached, magnified, expressing the ineffable.
At the foot of a ladder reaching to the moon, Auguste would sit in contemplation, his smile fixed, his thoughts far away. This simulation of ecstasy, which he had brought to perfection, always impressed the audience as the summation of the incongruous. the great favorite had many tricks up his sleeve but this one was inimitable. Never had a buffoon thought to depict the miracle of ascension.