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πρὶν ἐξευρεῖν κτλ. Cf. Men. 86 E. θέντες κτλ. εἶναι goes with θέντες: “das Dasein des gewünschten als gegeben annehmend” (Schneider). A few inferior MSS omit εἶναι; but “apparet εἶναι facile supervacaneum, minime vero explicationis gratia addendum videri librariis potuisse” (id.). To write ἤδη for εἶναι (with Vind. E: cf. also Postgate in J. Ph. XV p. 113) is too great a change, and otherwise objectionable, in view of the ἤδη which follows.
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