"Holy Athena," she cried, "protectress of our city, mighty goddess, break the spear of Diomedes and lay him low before the Scaean gates. Do this, and we will sacrifice twelve heifers that have never yet known the goad, in your temple, if you will have pity upon the town, with the wives and little ones If the Trojans." Thus she prayed, but Pallas Athena granted not her prayer.
While they were thus praying to the daughter of great Zeus, Hektor went to the fair house of Alexander, which he had built for him by the foremost builders in the land. They had built him his house, storehouse, and courtyard near those of Priam and Hektor on the acropolis. Here Hektor entered, with a spear eleven cubits long in his hand; the bronze point gleamed in front of him, and was fastened to the shaft of the spear by a ring of gold. He found Alexander within the house, busied about his armor, his shield and cuirass, and handling his curved bow; there, too, sat Argive Helen with her women, setting them their several tasks; and as Hektor saw him he rebuked him with words of scorn. "Sir," said he, "you do ill to nurse this rancor; the people perish fighting round this our town; you would yourself chide one whom you saw shirking his part in the combat. Up then, or ere long the city will be in a blaze."
And Alexander answered, "Hektor, your rebuke is just; listen therefore, and believe me when I tell you that I am not here so much through rancor or ill-will [nemesis] towards the Trojans, as from a desire to indulge my grief. My wife was even now gently urging me to battle, and I hold it better that I should go, for victory is ever fickle. Wait, then, while I put on my armor, or go first and I will follow. I shall be sure to overtake you."
Hektor made no answer, but Helen tried to soothe him. "Brother," said she, "to my abhorred and sinful self, would that a whirlwind had caught me up on the day my mother brought me forth, and had borne me to some mountain or
to the waves of the roaring sea that should have swept me away ere this mischief had come about. But, since the gods have devised these evils, would, at any rate, that I had been wife to a better man - to one who could smart under dishonor [nemesis] and men's evil speeches. This man was never yet to be depended upon, nor never will be, and he will surely reap what he has sown. Still, brother, come in and rest upon this seat, for it is you who bear the brunt of that toil [ponos] that has been caused by my hateful self and by the veering [atê] of Alexander - both of whom Zeus has doomed to be a theme of song among those that shall be born hereafter."
And Hektor answered, "Bid me not be seated, Helen, for all the goodwill you bear me. I cannot stay. I am in haste to help the Trojans, who miss me greatly when I am not among them; but urge your husband, and of his own self also let him make haste to overtake me before I am out of the city. I must go home to see my household, my wife and my little son, for I know not whether I shall ever again return to them, or whether the gods will cause me to fill by the hands of the Achaeans."
Then Hektor left her, and forthwith was at his own house. He did not find Andromache, for she was on the wall with her child and one of her maids, weeping bitterly. Seeing, then, that she was not within, he stood on the threshold of the women's rooms and said, "Women, tell me, and tell me true, where did Andromache go when she left the house? Was it to my sisters, or to my brothers' wives? or is she at the temple of Athena where the other women are propitiating the awful goddess?"
His good housekeeper answered, "Hektor, since you bid me tell you truly [alêthea], she did not go to your sisters nor to your brothers' wives, nor yet to the temple of Athena, where the other women are propitiating the awful goddess, but she is on the high wall of Ilion
, for she had heard the Trojans were being hard pressed, and that the Achaeans were in great force: she went to the wall in frenzied haste, and the nurse went with her carrying the child."