In the British science fiction novel by H. G. Wells, "The food of the Gods", I read:
"No doubt he was among the first to discover them. They were scattered at intervals up and down the path between the near down and the village end--a path he frequented daily in his constitutional round. Altogether, of these abnormal fungi there were, from first to last, quite thirty. The Vicar seems to have stared at each severally, and to have prodded most of them with his stick once or twice. One he attempted to measure with his arms, but it burst at his Ixion embrace."
What is meant by "his Ixion embrace"?