When Hektor heard this he was glad, and went about among the Trojan ranks holding his spear by the middle to keep them back, and they all sat down at his bidding: but the Achaeans still aimed at him with stones and arrows, till Agamemnon shouted to them saying, "Hold, Argives, shoot not, sons of the Achaeans; Hektor desires to speak."
They ceased taking aim and were still, whereon Hektor spoke. "Hear from my mouth," said he, "Trojans and Achaeans, the saying of Alexander, through whom this quarrel has come about. He bids the Trojans and Achaeans lay their armor upon the ground, while he and Menelaos fight in the midst of you for Helen and all her wealth. Let him who shall be victorious and prove to be the better man take the woman and all she has, to bear them to his own home, but let the rest swear to a solemn covenant of peace."
Thus he spoke, and they all held their peace, till Menelaos of the loud battle-cry addressed them. "And now," he said, "hear me too, for it is I who am the most aggrieved. I deem that the parting of Achaeans and Trojans is at hand, as well it may be, seeing how much have suffered for my quarrel with Alexander and the wrong he did me. Let him who shall die, die, and let the others fight no more. Bring, then, two lambs, a white ram and a black ewe, for Earth and Sun, and we will bring a third for Zeus. Moreover, you shall bid mighty Priam come, that he may swear to the covenant himself; for his sons are high-handed and ill to trust, and the oaths of Zeus must not be transgressed or taken in vain. Young men's minds are light as air, but when an old man comes he looks before and after, deeming that which shall be fairest upon both sides."
The Trojans and Achaeans were glad when they heard this, for they thought that they should now have rest. They backed their chariots toward the ranks, got out of them, and put off their armor, laying it down upon the ground; and the hosts were near to one another with a little space between them. Hektor sent two messengers to the city to bring the lambs and to bid Priam come, while Agamemnon told Talthybios to fetch the other lamb from the ships, and he did as Agamemnon had said.
Meanwhile Iris went to Helen in the form of her sister-in-law, wife of the son of Antenor, for Helikaon, son of Antenor, had married Laodike, the fairest of Priam's daughters. She found her in her own room, working at a great web of purple linen, on which she was embroidering the struggles [athloi] between Trojans and Achaeans, that Ares had made them fight for her sake. Iris then came close up to her and said, "Come hither, child, and see the strange doings of the Trojans and Achaeans till now they have been warring upon the plain, mad with lust of battle, but now they have left off fighting, and are leaning upon their shields, sitting still with their spears planted beside them. Alexander and Menelaos are going to fight about yourself, and you are to the wife of him who is the victor."
Thus spoke the goddess, and Helen's heart yearned after her former husband, her city, and her parents. She threw a white mantle over her head, and hurried from her room, weeping as she went, not alone, but attended by two of her handmaids, Aithra, daughter of Pittheus, and Klymene. And straightway they were at the Scaean gates.
The two sages, Ucalegon and Antenor, elders of the people, were seated by the Scaean gates, with Priam, Panthoos, Thymoetes, Lampos, Klytios, and Hiketaon of the race of Ares. These were too old to fight, but they were fluent orators, and sat on the tower like cicadas that chirrup delicately from the boughs of some high tree in a wood. When they saw Helen coming towards the tower,
they said softly to one another, "No wonder the Trojans and Achaeans endure so much and so long, for the sake of a woman so marvelously and divinely lovely. There is no sense of nemesis here. Still, fair though she be, let them take her and go, or she will breed sorrow for us and for our children after us."