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So saying, Hector of the flashing helm departed, [370] and came speedily to his well-built house. But he found not white-armed Andromache in his halls; she with her child and a fair-robed handmaiden had taken her stand upon the wall, weeping and wailing. So Hector when he found not his peerless wife within, [375] went and stood upon the threshold, and spake amid the serving-women:“Come now, ye serving-women, tell me true; whither went white-armed Andromache from the hall? Is she gone to the house of any of my sisters or my brothers' fair-robed wives, or to the temple of Athene, where the other [380] fair-tressed women of Troy are seeking to propitiate he dread goddess?” Then a busy house-dame spake to him, saying: “Hector, seeing thou straitly biddest us tell thee true, neither is she gone to any of thy sisters or thy brothers' fair-robed wives, nor yet to the temple of Athene, where the other [385] fair-tressed Trojan women are seeking to propitiate the dread goddess; but she went to the great wall of Ilios, for that she heard the Trojans were sorely pressed, and great victory rested with the Achaeans. So is she gone in haste to the wall, like one beside herself; and with her the nurse beareth the child.” [390] So spake the house-dame, and Hector hasted from the house back over the same way along the well-built streets. When now he was come to the gate, as he passed through the great city, the Scaean gate, whereby he was minded to go forth to the plain, there came running to meet him his bounteous wife, [395] Andromache, daughter of great-hearted Eëtion, Eëtion that dwelt beneath wooded Placus, in Thebe under Placus, and was lord over the men of Cilicia; for it was his daughter that bronze-harnessed Hector had to wife. She now met him, and with her came a handmaid bearing in her bosom [400] the tender boy, a mere babe, the well-loved son of Hector, like to a fair star. Him Hector was wont to call Scamandrius, but other men Astyanax; for only Hector guarded Ilios.1 Then Hector smiled, as he glanced at his boy in silence, [405] but Andromache came close to his side weeping, and clasped his hand and spake to him, saying:“Ah, my husband, this prowess of thine will be thy doom, neither hast thou any pity for thine infant child nor for hapless me that soon shall be thy widow; for soon will the Achaeans [410] all set upon thee and slay thee. But for me it were better to go down to the grave if I lose thee, for nevermore shall any comfort be mine, when thou hast met thy fate, but only woes. Neither father have I nor queenly mother. ”

1 291.1

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