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366. The manner in which this complex sentence expressing fear was developed from an independent sentence like μὴ νῆας ἕλωσι, may they not seize the ships, and a preceding verb of fearing like δείδω, the two gradually becoming one sentence, has already been explained (307). As the fear and the desire to avert the cause of fear are both implied in μή with the subjunctive, it is not strange that this expression can follow verbs like ὁρῶ and οἶδα which do not imply fear in themselves; as ἐξελθών τις ἴδοι, μὴ δὴ σχεδὸν ὦσι κιόντες, let some one go out and see that they do not approach near (cf. videat ne accedant); originally, let some one go out and look to it: may they not approach, Od. xxiv. 491. So οὐδέ τι ἴδμεν, μή πως καὶ διὰ νύκτα μενοινήσωσι μάχεσθαι, nor do we know any way to prevent their being impelled to fight even during the night; originally, nor have we any knowledge: may they not be impelled to fight, Il. x. 100.See also PLAT. Phaed. 91 D, τόδε ἄδηλον παντὶ, μὴ πολλὰ σώματα κατατρίψασα ψυχὴ τὸ τελευταῖον αὐτὴ ἀπολλύηται, i. e. no one knows any security against the soul itself finally perishing, etc. The indirect question sometimes used in translating such a clause with μή, as whether they may not approach or whether they may not be impelled, is merely an attempt to express the hesitation which the apprehension involves, as there can be, of course, no real indirect question. See especially the cases of μή with the present indicative (369, 1), which are often called interrogative. See the corresponding construction in 492.

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