And the old man, godlike Priam, answered him: “Seat me not anywise upon a chair, O thou fostered of Zeus, so long as Hector lieth uncared-for amid the huts;
nay, give him back with speed, that mine eyes may behold him; and do thou accept the ransom, the great ransom, that we bring. So mayest thou have joy thereof, and come to thy native land, seeing that from the first thou hast spared me.”
Then with an angry glance from beneath his brows spake to him Achilles swift of foot:
“Provoke me no more, old sir; I am minded even of myself to give Hector back to thee; for from Zeus there came to me a messenger, even the mother that bare me, daughter of the old man of the sea. And of thee, Priam, do I know in my heart—it nowise escapeth me—that some god led thee to the swift ships of the Achaeans.
For no mortal man, were he never so young and strong, would dare to come amid the host; neither could he then escape the watch, nor easily thrust back the bar of our doors. Wherefore now stir my heart no more amid my sorrows, lest, old sire, I spare not even thee within the huts,
my suppliant though thou art, and so sin against the behest of Zeus.”
So spake he, and the old man was seized with fear, and hearkened to his word. But like a lion the son of Peleus sprang forth from the houses—not alone, for with him went two squires as well, even the warrior Automedon and Alcimus,
they that Achilles honoured above all his comrades, after the dead Patroclus. These then loosed from beneath the yoke the horses and mules, and led within the herald, the crier of the old king, and set him on a chair; and from the wain of goodly felloes they took the countless ransom for Hector's head.
But they left there two robes and a fair-woven tunic, to the end that Achilles might enwrap the dead therein and so give him to be borne to his home. Then Achilles called forth the hand-maids and bade them wash and anoint him, bearing him to a place apart that Priam might not have sight of his son, lest in grief of heart he should not restrain his wrath,
whenso he had sight of his son, and Achilles' own spirit be stirred to anger, and he slay him, and so sin against the behest of Zeus. So when the handmaids had washed the body and anointed it with oil, and had cast about it a fair cloak and a tunic, then Achilles himself lifted it and set it upon a bier,
and his comrades with him lifted it upon the polished waggon. Then he uttered a groan, and called by name upon his dear comrade:“Be not thou wroth with me, Patroclus, if thou hearest even in the house of Hades that I have given back goodly Hector to his dear father, seeing that not unseemly is the ransom he hath given me.
And unto thee shall I render even of this all that is thy due.”