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καὶ εἰ ἔμελλε γίγνεσθαι, καὶ ποιεῖν] What seems to be meant is this; anything which was on the point of being done, we may assume to have actually happened; or whatever a man was on the point of doing, that he actually did. Expressed at full length this would run, καὶ εἴ τι ἔμελλε γίγνεσθαι, (ἐγένετο: καὶ (εἴ τις ἔμελλε) ποιεῖν, ἐποίησεν, or πέπραχεν (again from § 18). In any other Greek author one would hardly perhaps venture upon thus supplying an ellipse; but I see no other way of extracting at once sense and Greek from the text. There appears to be no variation in the MSS. Bekker, ed. 3, and Spengel, read καὶ εἰ ἔμελλε [γίγνεσθαι, καὶ] ποιεῖν. In § 19, the latter also puts ἐβούλετο καὶ, and (after ἐκώλυεν) καὶ εἰ δυνατὸν (so A^{c} for ἐδύνατο), in brackets, as interpolations. The last three words are also omitted by MS Z^{b}. It seems to me that, in the two latter cases at least, the text is perfectly intelligible and defensible. The only reason alleged for omitting the five words in brackets in § 19 is that, if we retain them, εἰ ἐβούλετο...ἐκώλυεν is a mere repetition of the preceding εἰ ἐδύνατο καὶ ἐβούλετο. That this is not the case, Victorius has pointed out in his explanation. The former of the two topics, § 18, combines power and wish: both together are certain to produce the act. The latter statement is different; the wish alone is sufficient to produce the act—provided there are no external impediments in the way: in that case the mere wish, the internal impulse, is not sufficient.

‘For it is natural or likely—this is all we want for our argument— that one who is waiting to do something, or on the point of doing it, would also actually carry out his intention, and do it: the probability is that it has been done’.

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