Now the gods, seated by the side of Zeus, were holding assembly on the golden floor, and in their midst the queenly Hebe poured them nectar, and they with golden goblets pledged one the other as they looked forth upon the city of the Trojans.
And forthwith the son of Cronos made essay to provoke Hera with mocking words, and said with malice:“Twain of the goddesses hath Menelaus for helpers, even Argive Hera, and Alalcomenean1
Athene. Howbeit these verily sit apart and take their pleasure in beholding,
whereas by the side of that other laughter-loving Aphrodite ever standeth, and wardeth from him fate, and but now she saved him, when he thought to perish. But of a surety victory rests with Menelaus, dear to Ares; let us therefore take thought how these things are to be;
whether we shall again rouse evil war and the dread din of battle, or put friendship between the hosts. If this might in any wise be welcome to all and their good pleasure, then might the city of king Priam still be an habitation, and Menelaus take back Argive Helen.”
So spake he, and thereat Athene and Hera murmured, who sat side by side, and were devising ills for the Trojans. Athene verily held her peace and said naught, wroth though she was at father Zeus, and fierce anger gat hold of her; howbeit Hera's breast contained not her anger, but she spake to him, saying:
“Most dread son of Cronos, what a word hast thou said! How art thou minded to render my labour vain and of none effect, and the sweat that I sweated in my toil,—aye, and my horses twain waxed weary with my summoning the host for the bane of Priam and his sons? Do thou as thou wilt; but be sure we other gods assent not all thereto.”
Then, stirred to hot anger, spake to her Zeus, the cloud-gatherer:“Strange queen, wherein do Priam and the sons of Priam work thee ills so many, that thou ragest unceasingly to lay waste the well-built citadel of Ilios? If thou wert to enter within the gates and the high walls,
and to devour Priam raw and the sons of Priam and all the Trojans besides, then perchance mightest thou heal thine anger. Do as thy pleasure is; let not this quarrel in time to come be to thee and me a grievous cause of strife between us twain. And another thing will I tell thee, and do thou lay it to heart.
When it shall be that I, vehemently eager to lay waste a city, choose one wherein dwell men that are dear to thee, seek thou in no wise to hinder my anger, but suffer me; since I too have yielded to thee of mine own will, yet with soul unwilling. For of all cities beneath sun and starry heaven
wherein men that dwell upon the face of the earth have their abodes, of these sacred Ilios was most honoured of my heart, and Priam and the people of Priam, with goodly spear of ash. For never at any time was mine altar in lack of the equal feast, the drink-offering, and the savour of burnt-offering, even the worship that is our due.”