Then Sospis said: The challenger's word is decisive; for the challenger proposed the conditions, and when they were accepted, the other party had no power to make additions. Now the condition proposed in this challenge was not killing, but overcoming; and there was reason that it should be so, for Helen ought to be the wife of the bravest. Now the bravest is he that overcomes; for it often happens that an excellent soldier might be killed by a coward, as is evident in what happened afterward, when Achilles was shot by Paris. For I do not believe that you will affirm, that Achilles was not so brave a man as Paris because he was killed by him, and that it should be called [p. 448] the victory, and not rather the unjust good fortune, of him that shot him. But Hector was overcome before he was killed by Achilles, because he would not stand, but trembled and fled at his approach. For he that refuseth the combat or flies cannot palliate his defeat, and plainly grants that his adversary is the better man. And therefore Iris tells Helen beforehand,
In single combat they shall fight for you,And Jupiter afterwards adjudges the victory to Menelaus in these words:
And you shall be the glorious victor's wife.
The conquest leans to Menelaus's side.2For it would be ridiculous to call Menelaus a conqueror when he shot Podes, a man at a great distance, before he thought of or could provide against his danger, and yet not allow him the reward of victory over him whom he made fly and sneak into the embraces of his wife, and whom he spoiled of his arms whilst he was yet alive, and who had himself given the challenge, by the terms of which Menelaus now appeared to be the conqueror.