It happened to Ulysses, just as before, that, when he had gone a few steps from the edge of the cliff, the purple bird came fluttering towards him, crying, "Peep, peep, pe--weep!" and using all the art it could to persuade him to go no farther.
"What mean you, little bird?" cried Ulysses. "You are arrayed like a king in purple and gold, and wear a golden crown upon your head.
But Ulysses had no time to waste in trying to get at the mystery.
"Whither are you going in such a hurry, wise Ulysses?" asked Quicksilver.
"That little bird, which met me at the edge of the cliff," exclaimed Ulysses; "was he a human being once?"
"And my poor companions," said Ulysses. "Have they undergone a similar change, through the arts of this wicked Circe?"
"But can I do nothing to help them?" inquired Ulysses.
Ulysses had been looking at that very spot only just before; and it appeared to him that the plant had burst into full flower the instant when Quicksilver touched it with his fingers.
After listening attentively, Ulysses thanked his good friend, and resumed his way.
When Ulysses reached the lawn, in front of the palace, the lions and other savage animals came bounding to meet him, and would have fawned upon him and licked his feet.
On entering the hall, Ulysses saw the magic fountain in the center of it.