εὖ γε στοχάζει κ.τ.λ.: ‘yes, you take your aim well, and seek to fence yourself round against the charge.’ The mark at which the man aims is his own safety; and this is explained by the next phrase. Commentators have made difficulties by assuming that the metaphors of στοχάζει and ἀποφράγνυσαι must be harmonised into a single picture,—as of an archer shooting from covert. But in fact there is a rapid transition from one to the other; the second interprets the first; and all that is common to them is their military source. στοχάζομαι was familiar in a sense akin to that which it has here: cp. Plat. Lach. 178B “στοχαζόμεν οι τοῦ συμβουλευομένου ἄλλα λέγουσι παρὰ τὴν αὑτῶν δόξαν” (trying to hit the thought of the person who consults them): Polyb. 6. 16 “ὀφείλουσι δὲ ἀεὶ ποιεῖν οἱ δήμαρχοι τὸ δοκοῦν τῷ δήμῳ καὶ μάλιστα στοχάζεσθαι τῆς τούτου βουλήσεως”. So here the verb suggests a designing person, whose elaborate preamble covers a secret aim. Creon is quick to suspect bribery (221). Cp. 1033 “ὥστε τοξόται σκοποῦ ι τοξεύετ᾽ ἀνδρὸς τοῦδε”. Schneidewin thought that “στοχάζει” might here be a term of hunting or war, with ref. to the erecting of nets on poles, or of palisades. “στοιχίζειν” was so used, of nets in hunting ( Cyneg. 6. 8). But “στοῖχος” is from rt “στιχ”, while “στόχος” is from a probably distinct rt “σταχ” (“στάχυς”), “στεχ” (perhaps lengthened from “στα”). In Aristot. Rhet. 3. 14§ 10 the citation of v. 223 is immediately followed by the words “τί φροιμιάζῃ”; which Nauck (with Bergk) substitutes for “εὖ γε στοχάζει” here. But, though the schol. there says that Creon spoke them, they evidently belonged to some other passage, which Arist. cites as a second example: perh. to Eur. I. T. 1162 “τί φροιμιάζει νεοχμόν; ἐξαύδα σαφῶς”. A schol. on Arist. l. c. says, “τὸ δὲ τί φροιμιάζῃ ἐν τισὶ τῶν ἀντιγράφων οὐ κεῖται” (i.e. in some MSS. of Arist. ); which looks as if the words had been deleted, in such copies, by readers who could not find them in κἀποφράγνυσαι. Inscriptions of the 5th cent. B.C. show “φάρξαι” (not “φράξαι”) to have been the old Attic aor. (Meisterhans p. 89), and so “ναύφαρκτος”, etc.: but the analogy of the pres. “φράττω” recommends “φράγνυμι” rather than “φάργνυμι”. For the constr., cp. Thuc. 8.104 “ἐβούλοντο ἀποφάρξασθαι αὐτοὺς οἱ ἐναντίοι” (to shut them off). τὸ πρᾶγμα, so soon after 239: cp. on 76.
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