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492. A comparison of these peculiar conditional constructions (491) expressing hope or desire with clauses with μή expressing anxiety and desire to prevent a result, both depending on οἶδα or εἶδον, is suggestive. With Od. ii. 332 and Il. xvi. 860 (in 491) compare Il. x. 100, οὐδέ τι ἴδμεν, μή πως καὶ διὰ νύκτα μενοινήσωσι μάχεσθαι, nor do we know any way to prevent their being impelled, etc., and PLAT. Phaed. 91 D (quoted in 366); and with Il. iv. 247 and xv. 31 (491) compare Od. xxiv. 491, ἴδοι μὴ δὴ σχεδὸν ὦσι κιόντες (366). This comparison shows that εἰδέναι (or ἰδεῖν) εἴ κε τοῦτο γένηται means to know (or see) the chances of gaining this (object of desire); while εἰδέναι (or ἰδεῖν) μὴ τοῦτο γένηται means to know (or see) some way to prevent this (object of fear). The idea of desire or anxiety belongs to the dependent clause, and not at all to the leading verb.

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