But Helen looked askance at her lord, and chode him with bitter words. “Would that thou hadst never come back from the fight, but hadst perished by the arm of the warrior who was once my husband! Thou didst boast thyself to be a better man than Menelaus! Go then, and challenge him again, to meet thee face to face once more!”
Yet Helen, though she could not but despise Paris, soon became reconciled to him, partly from a remnant of her former love for him, and partly from her fear of Venus.
In the meantime, Menelaus was raging through the field in search of him. Nor could any of the Trojans find him, or they would have given him up; for they hated him like death, as the cause of all their sufferings.
And King Agamemnon said to the Trojans, “Now that the Mars-loving Menelaus hath conquered Paris do ye give back to us Helen and all her treasures!” But this was not to be.
THE DUEL BETWEEN HECTOR AND AJAX
By Walter C. Perry
And now we must speak of Hector, the noble Trojan prince, who, after Achilles, was the most famous warrior of the two hostile armies. Achilles, indeed, was the son of a goddess, even silver-footed Thetis; while Hector’s mother, Hecuba, was a mortal woman.
Well knowing the dangers to which he was exposed, and how soon he might fall in battle, Hector now bethought him of his lovely wife, Andromache, and his little boy Astyanax. When he came to the Scaean Gate, the Trojan women came running to him, with eager questions about their husbands, sons, and brothers; and sorrow filled their hearts. Among them came his fond and generous mother, Hecuba, leading by the hand the fairest of her daughters, Laodice, and she called him by his name, and spoke: “Dear Son! why hast thou left the field? Do the Achaians press thee hard? Dost thou come to make prayers to Father Zeus, from the Citadel? But come, I will bring thee honey-sweet wine, that thou mayest pour out a libation to Almighty Zeus, the Son of Cronos, and refresh thyself with a draught.”
But Hector answered her, “Bring me no luscious wine, dear mother! lest thou rob me of my strength and courage. Nor dare I make a libation to Zeus, with hands unwashen and soiled with blood. But go thou to the Temple of Athene, driver of the spoil; and lay the finest robe, the most precious to thyself, upon her knees; and vow to sacrifice twelve fat kine to her; and beg her to have mercy on the Trojans, and on their wives and little children! So, perhaps, she will hold back the terrible warrior, Tydides, from sacred Ilium. And I will go and seek out Paris; would that the earth would swallow him up! for Zeus hath cherished him to be the bane of his country, and of his father Priam.”
Then Hecuba went to her ambrosial chamber, and took the finest of her embroidered robes, the work of Sidonian women, which shone like a star; and went, with other aged women, to the temple of Athene. And the fair-cheeked Theano, daughter of Kisseus, the priestess, wife of Antenor, opened the temple gates, and took the shining robe, and laid it upon Athene’s knees, and prayed to the great daughter of Zeus. But the goddess did not grant her prayer.