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Bradley, A. C. Shakespearean Tragedy: Lectures on Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, Macbeth.
2nd ed. London: Macmillan, 1905.
PAGE 459

thing like a miracle) that Cordelia has got intelligence of it. We may suppose that this intelligence came from one of Albany's or Cornwall's servants, some of whom are, he says (III. i. 23),

         to France the spies and speculations
Intelligent of our state.

     (b) The words 'and shall find time,' etc., have been much discussed. Some have thought that they are detached phrases from the letter which Kent is reading: but Kent has just implied by his address to the sun that he has no light to read the letter by.1 It has also been suggested that the anacoluthon is meant to represent Kent's sleepiness, which prevents him from finishing the sentence, and induces him to dismiss his thoughts and yield to his drowsiness. But I remember nothing like this elsewhere in Shakespeare, and it seems much more probable that the passage is corrupt, perhaps from the loss of a line containing words like 'to rescue us' before 'From this enormous state' (with 'state' cf. 'our state' in the lines quoted above).

     When we reach III. i. we find that Kent has now read the letter; he knows that a force is coming from France and indeed has already 'secret feet' in some of the harbours. So he sends the Gentleman to Dover.

2. The Fool's Song in II. iv.
     At II. iv. 62 Kent asks why the King comes with so small a train. The Fool answers, in effect, that most of his followers have deserted him because they see that his fortunes are sinking. He proceeds to advise Kent ironically to follow their example, though he confesses he does not intend to follow it himself. 'Let go thy hold when a great wheel runs down a hill, lest it break thy neck with following it: but the great one that goes up the hill, let him draw thee after. When a wise man gives thee better counsel, give me mine again: I would have none but knaves follow it, since a fool gives it.

That sir which serves and seeks for gain,
   And follows but for form,
Will pack when it begins to rain,
   And leave thee in the storm.

   1The 'beacon' which he bids approach is not the moon, as Pope supposed. The moon was up and shining some time ago (II. ii. 35), and lines 1 and 141-2 imply that not much of the night is left.

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