He spake, and Achilles bade his comrades and the handmaids set bedsteads beneath the portico,
and to lay on them fair purple blankets, and to spread thereover coverlets, and on these to put fleecy cloaks for clothing. So the maids went forth from the hall with torches in their hands, and straightway spread two beds in busy haste. Then mockingly spake unto Priam Achilles, swift of foot:
“Without do thou lay thee down, dear old sire, lest there come hither one of the counsellors of the Achaeans, that ever sit by my side and take counsel, as is meet. If one of these were to have sight of thee through the swift black night, forthwith might he haply tell it to Agamemnon, shepherd of the host,
and so should there arise delay in the giving back of the body. But come, tell me this, and declare it truly: for how many days' space thou art minded to make funeral for goodly Hector, to the end that for so long I may myself abide, and may keep back the host.”
And the old man, godlike Priam, answered him: saying:
“If thou indeed art willing that I accomplish for goodly Hector his burial, then in doing on this wise, O Achilles, wilt thou do according to my wish. Thou knowest how we are pent within the city, and far is it to fetch wood from the mountain, and the Trojans are sore afraid.
For nine days' space will we wail for him in our halls, and on the tenth will we make his funeral, and the folk shall feast, and on the eleventh will we heap a barrow over him, and on the twelfth will we do battle, if so be we must.”
Then spake to him in answer swift-footed, goodly Achilles:“Thus shall this also be aged Priam, even as thou wouldest have it;
for I will hold back the battle for such time as thou dost bid.”
When he had thus spoken he clasped the old man's right hand by the wrist, lest his heart should any wise wax fearful. So they laid them to sleep there in the fore-hall of the house, the herald and Priam, with hearts of wisdom in their breasts;
but Achilles slept in the innermost part of the well-builded hut, and by his side lay fair-cheeked Briseis.