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Hector wonders whether Achilles will read him like a ‘book of sport’ or a handbook for huntsmen and fowlers. He turns to the idea of battle as the pursuit of game.
Achilles then attempts to provoke Hector. Finally Hector is provoked into replying in the same vein. But he recovers his manners almost immediately and begs pardon from the Greeks. He adds that Achilles insolence had drawn the folly from his lips. Ajax steps in and asks Achilles not to anger himself. ‘Do not chafe thee, cousin’ he says and then turns to Achilles to stop issuing these threats until you meet Hector in the field whether by accident or because you have at last been moved to seek him.
Hector tells Achilles to meet him in the battlefield and adds that they have had insignificant wars since Achilles had been abstaining from the fight. Achilles says that he will meet him in battle on the following day but ‘Tonight, all friends.’ Agamemnon tells the Greeks to go to his tent where he will first feast with Hector. Afterwards each of them could separately entertain Hector at his leisure. He commands that the military drums be beaten and the trumpets be blown to welcome Hector. All but Troilus and Ulysses exit.