North & Hillard Ex. 204; Q1: the following is to be translated into Latin: "If he had not mocked me, I should perhaps have forgiven him." (Impossible conditions: past tense: pluperfect subjunctive in both clauses.)
The Answer Book: "nisi mihi irisisset, forsitan ei ignossem."
Curious as to the deployment of "mihi" given that "irrideo" does not take dative, I arrived, by circuitous route (Q: https://latin.stackexchange.com/a/12946/1982 and Q: The grammar of the expression "mihi cordi est") at "Dative of Reference" (D of R) from Allen & Greenough (p376-379 original; p234 reprint): "The dative often depends, not on any particular word, but on the general meaning of the sentence. The dative in this construction is often called the Dative of Advantage or Disadvantage, as denoting the person or thing for whose benefit or to whose prejudice, the action is performed."
This solves the above example. (Not quite: see Mitomino's answer and my answer.)
On the same page the serendipitous discovery of an interesting piece of translation: "laudavit mihi fratrem" = "he praised my brother, out of regard for me"; A & G state: "laudavit fratrem meum" would imply no such motive."
Although this is a (D of R) the "out-of-regard-for-me" part reads like a leap of faith. How, without context, is it determined? Would anyone, here, have translated in this way?
Initially, it appears, from the example from (N & H) and this one that a (D of R) is NOT translated as a regular dative (to or for something).
Adding, therefore, to the confusion, the remaining examples, from A & G, appear to do the opposite. Consider: "meritos mactavit honores, taurum Neptuno, taurum tibi pulcher Apollo" (Aen. III. 118) = "he offered the sacrifices due, a bull to Neptune, a bull to you beautiful Apollo".
Datives "Neptuno" & "tibi" are translated as regular datives. (Why isn't it "pulchro Apollini"?)
What is going on, here?