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‘But both of them’ (either the two last examples of παρὰ γράμμα; or that topic itself and the preceding, παρὰ προσδοκίαν: they all require the same precaution) ‘must be properly pronounced’ (or delivered—attention must be called to the παρὰ προσδοκίαν, by a slight pause, and to the double-entendre by heightening the tone or some similar expedient). The following words, οὕτω δὲ καὶ τὰ ἀστεῖα, sadly want the end of the sentence to enable us to determine their meaning. Victorius understands it, “tanquam in σκώμμασιν et iocis amarioribus, ita in urbanis hisce sermonibus”: but Ar. makes no such distinction: all the jokes παρὰ γράμμα are alike ἀστεῖα. Vater fills it up thus; οὕτω δὲ καὶ (ταὐτὸ δύναται ταῦτα) τὰ ἀστεῖα (διὰ ὁμωνυμίας): ταῦτα being the before-mentioned ἀμφότερα; so that this is to be referred to the ὁμωνυμία which follows, and begins a new topic: a most unnatural interpretation as it seems to me. In default of any thing better I propose the following:—

‘And so likewise witticisms, pointed sayings in general (as distinguished from the two special varieties, or two particular instances preceding), (require the same attention to pronunciation), as to say that “to the Athenians the command of the sea was not the beginning (both expressed by the same word, ἀρχήν) of their misfortunes”; for they derived benefit from it’ (it was the source not of evil, but of good). Or, as Isocrates puts it, that “the command was to the city the beginning (or source) of her calamities.” This, or something like it, occurs three times in Isocrates. The two similar places, one a mere repetition of the other, Phil. § 61, and de Pace § 101, are probably what Ar. had (very imperfectly) in his recollection: the third is, Paneg. § 119, which differs more widely from the quotation.

‘For in both (these cases, or examples) that is said which one would not suppose likely to be said by any one, (lit. which one would not suppose that any one, τινά, would say) and (yet, at the same time) is recognised as true (sound, in accordance with facts, Victorius, see III 7.9, infra § 10): for though it is true that there is nothing particularly clever in calling the command a beginning, (in calling ἀρχὴ ἀρχή, though in different senses), still he uses the term not in the same, but in different senses, (in the second example, Vahlen), and does not contradict (or deny) the use of ἀρχή (in the first example), only in a different sense’. The second example, from Isocrates, may seem at first sight to contradict the first, what is affirmed in the one being denied in the other. But if allowance be made for the double sense of ἀρχή, the apparent discrepancy between the two statements will disappear.

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