οὔθ᾽ εἷλκον οὔτ᾽ ἂν ἦγον. The chief protasis is contained in the partic. ἐπεμβαίνων (924),=“εἰ ἐπενέβαινον”, while “εἰ … εἶχον” merely subjoins a special case in which the apodosis would still hold good:—“εἰ ἐπενέβαινον, οὐκ ἂν εἷλκον, οὐδὲ” (“εἷλκον ἂν”) “εἰ εἶχον”. Remark that the form of the apodosis, “οὔθ᾽ εἷλκον...ἂν” etc., does not logically imply, “"I am now dragging,"” but merely, “"I am not now forbearing to drag"”: there is no opportunity for such abstention, since the fact supposed by ἐπεμβαίνων (“"If I were on Theban soil"”) is non-existent. The conditional form with the imperf. indic. has been preferred to that with the optative (used in the similar illustration at 776), because Theseus is thinking of what Creon is actually doing.
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