οἰκτραὶ γάρ: ‘(I ask this,) for they deserve pity, unless their present plight deceives me,’—i.e., unless it excites greater pity than I should feel if I knew more. ξυμφοραὶ is much better than the v.l. ξυμφορᾷ, which would easily arise from a wish to have the same subject in both clauses. When a common word for fraud, such as “κλέπτειν”, is used in the figurative sense, ‘to produce an illusion,’ it is evidently fitter that the subject to the verb should not be a human being. Cp. Ant.681“εἰ μὴ τῷ χρόνῳ κεκλέμμεθα”: ib. 1218 “θεοῖσι κλέπτομαι”.
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