Page:La Fontaine - The Original Fables Of, 1913.djvu/121
THE COMPANIONS OF ULYSSES
"But will they be willing to accept their own forms again?" asked the nymph, "Go to them and make them the offer."
Ulysses, glad and eager, ran to his Greeks and cried, The poisoned cup has its remedy, and I come to offer it to you. Dear friends of mine, will you not be glad to have your manly forms again? Speak, for your speech is already restored."
The lion was the first to reply. Making an effort to roar he said, "I, for one, am not such a fool. What! renounce all the great advantages that have just been given me? I have teeth, I have claws, I can pull to pieces anything that attacks me. I am, in fact, a king. Do you think it would suit me to become a citizen of Ithaca once more? Who knows but that you might make of me a common soldier again. Thank you; but I will remain as I am."
Ulysses, in sad surprise, turned to the bear. "Ah, brother! what form is this you have taken, you who used to be so handsome?""Well, really! I like that!" said the bear in his way. What form is this? you ask. Why it is the form that a bear should have. Pray who instructed you that one form is more handsome than another? Is it your