μὴ οὐχὶ … φέρουσα explains the special sense of κενή. "You have not come empty-handed—i.e. without bringing some terror for me." μὴ οὐ properly stands with a partic. in a negative statement only when “μή” could stand with it in the corresponding affirmative statement: thus (a) affirmative: “βραδὺς ἔρχει μὴ φέρων”, you (always) come slowly, if you are not bringing: (b) negative: “οὐ βραδὺς ἔρχει, μὴ οὐ φέρων”, you never come slowly, unless you are bringing. Here “μὴ οὐ” is irregular, because the affirmative form would be “ἥκεις οὐ” (not “μὴ”) “φέρουσα”, a simple statement of fact; and so the negative should be “οὐχ ἥκεις οὐ φέρουσα”. But bringing bad news is felt here as a condition of her coming. Hence “μὴ οὐ” is used as if the sentence were formally conditional: “οὐκ ἂν ἦλθες μὴ οὐ φέρουσα”.
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