ἀλλ᾽ ἤθελον μέν: sc. “ἐξεῖναί μοι συνθάπτειν”. This impf. (without “ἄν”) states a wish which has not been fulfilled; i.e., a wish that something were now true which is not true. It is usually joined with “μέν” (implying the contrast with the actual fact): so Ar. Ran. 866“ἐβουλόμην μὲν οὐκ ἐρίζειν ἐνθάδε” (‘I would that I were not contending here—as I am’): Andoc. or. 5 § 1 “ἐβουλόμην μέν, ὦ ἄνδρες, τὴν δύναμιν τοῦ λέγειν..ἐξἴσου μοι καθεστάναι τῇ..συμφορᾷ”: Isae. or. 10 § 1 “ἐβουλόμην μέν, ὦ ἄνδρες,..τἀληθῆ πρὸς ὑμᾶς..εἰπεῖν δυνηθῆναι”: Aeschin. or. 3 § 2 “ἐβουλόμην μὲν οὖν, ὦ Ἀθηναῖοι, καὶ τὴν βουλὴν..ὀρθῶς διοικεῖσθαι”. So “μάλιστα μὲν ἐβουλόμην”, Isae. fr. 4 (Scheibe). This usage is analogous to that of the impers. “ἔδει, χρῆν”, etc., with inf. ( O. T. 256 n.). On the other hand, “ἤθελον ἄν” (88 n.), “ἐβουλόμην ἄν”, with inf., means that the wish would have been (or would now be) formed, if it had not been (or were not now) vain to form it.
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