προὔτρεψεν, impelled, here =“ἠνάγκασε”: cp. O. T. 358 n. οὐ γὰρ εἴχομεν κ.τ.λ.: ‘for we did not know how to gainsay him, nor how, if we did the thing (advised by him), we could prosper.’ As ἀντιφωνεῖν means opposing his suggestion, so δρῶντες means acting on it. Others join ὅπως δρῶντες, ‘by what course of action.’ Since, however, a definite proposal was before them—viz., reference to Creon—we must then understand, ‘by what other course’ (than the proposed one). But the sense is, ‘We could not refute him, and, on the other hand, we dreaded your anger if we followed his advice.’ εἴχομεν has the same sense in both clauses. “ἔχω”, as=‘to know how,’ takes (1) an infin., or (2) a relat. clause with subjunct., as 42, Tr. 705 “οὐκ ἔχω...ποῖ γνώμης πέσω”. This is merely an indirect form of the deliberative subjunct., “ποῖ γνώμης πέσω”; So here, “πράξαιμεν” would be “πράξωμεν” if the principal verb were in a primary tense. The direct question would be, “πῶς καλῶς πράξωμεν”; Carefully distinguish “ὅπως” (or “πῶς”) “ἄν” with optat. after this “οὐκ ἔχω”, as Tr. 991 “οὐ γὰρ ἔχω πῶς ἂν ι στέρξαιμι”, I know not how I could. The two constructions are combined again in Ai. 428 “οὔτοι σ᾽ ἀπείργειν οὐδ᾽ ὅπως ἐῶ λέγειν ι ἔχω”.
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