must look with admiration upon so handsome a creature as
"Drink, my lady, drink, that your arm may be strong!"
And they all drank, and with animated smiles pressed their lips on the spot which the king's mouth had touched. And now their eyes had a brighter flame, and their cheeks a more fiery glow.
A strange and exciting sight it was, to see those beautiful women burning with malicious joy and thirst for vengeance, who for the moment had laid aside all their elegant attitudes, their lofty and haughty airs, to transform themselves into wanton Bacchantes, bent on chastising the offender, who had so often and so bitterly lashed them all with his tongue.
"Ah, I would a painter were here!" said the king. "He should paint us a picture of the chaste nymphs of Diana pursuing Actaeon. You are Actaeon, John!"
"But they are not the chaste nymphs, king; no, far from it," cried Heywood; laughing, "and between these fair women and Diana I find no resemblance, but only a difference."
"And in what consists the difference, John?"
"Herein, sire, that Diana carried her horn at her side; but these fair ladies make their husbands wear their horns on the forehead!"
A loud peal of laughter from the gentlemen, a yell of rage from the ladies, was the reply of this new epigram of John Heywood. They arranged themselves in two rows, and thus formed a lane through which John Heywood had to pass.
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