A gentleman with attendants appears, calling upon his attendants to seize Lear on his daughter’s behalf. Lear misunderstands and thinks he has been captured. In his antic mood, he promises to die bravely. His captors declare him their king and release him, but he runs off the stage as if a kind of game. The gentleman remains, in part to explain to the audience that they represent Cordelia. Edgar then asks him the meaning of the noise they hear. It is the sign of an impending battle, to begin within the hour perhaps. The gentleman suggests that Cordelia is nearby, but her army has moved on. After the gentleman leaves, Gloucester repeats his pledge to die naturally. He asks again who Edgar may be, and Edgar again gives an elliptical reply, refusing to acknowledge himself to his father.
ACT IV. SCENE VI. SEGMENT C.
Enter a Gentleman [with Attendant]
O, here he is. Lay hand upon him. Sir,
Your most dear daughter—
No rescue? What, a prisoner? I am even
The natural fool of fortune. Use me well; 
You shall have ransom. Let me have surgeons;
I am cut to the brains.
Gentleman You shall have any thing.
KING LEAR No seconds? All myself?
Why, this would make a man a man of salt, 
To use his eyes for garden water-pots,
[Ay, and laying autumn's dust.
Gentleman Good sir—
I will die bravely, like a bridegroom.
What? I will be jovial. Come, come. 
I am a king, my masters, know you that.
Gentleman You are a royal one, and we obey you.
Then there’s life in’t. Come, an you get it,
You shall get it with running. Sa, sa, sa, sa.
Exit [running, attendants follow]
A sight most pitiful in the meanest wretch, 
Past speaking of in a king. Thou hast one daughter,
Who redeems nature from the general curse
Which twain have brought her to.
EDGAR Hail, gentle sir.
Gentleman Sir, speed you. What’s your will? 
EDGAR Do you hear aught,
Sir, of a battle toward?
Gentleman Most sure and vulgar.
Every one hears that, which can distinguish sound.
But by your favor, how near’s the other army? 
Near and on speedy foot. The main descry
Stands on the hourly thought.
EDGAR I thank you, sir. That’s all.
Though that the queen on special cause is here,
Her army is moved on. 
EDGAR I thank you, sir.
You ever gentle gods, take my breath from me.
Let not my worser spirit tempt me again
To die before you please.
EDGAR Well pray you, father. 
GLOUCESTER Now, good sir, what are you?
A most poor man made tame to fortune’s blow,
Who, by the art of known and feeling sorrows,
Am pregnant to good pity. Give me your hand,
I’ll lead you to some biding. 
GLOUCESTER Hearty thanks.
The bounty and the benison of heaven
To boot, to boot!