William Shakespeare’s Dune, Act I, Scene vi.

Paul’s study in Castle Caladan
Enter PAUL and DOCTOR WELLINGTON YUEH

YUEH: Your father will be with us presently
And though I think you’ll joy to know that time
Is short and does exclude us from our books
I have a filmbook viewer in your cabin
And several lessons for our voyage planned.

PAUL: I shall in all be diligent, good sir.

YUEH (aside): Such dreadful waste of promise in this boy
Such deadly need, and I dare falter not
To save my Wanna from Harkonnen pain.

PAUL: Will we study aught about the Fremen?

YUEH: The Fremen are but half Arrakis’ people.
The others live in graben, sink and pan
In villages. I’m told they like to marry
Fremen when they can.

PAUL:                                      Do you have pictures?

YUEH: Aye, perhaps. Their eyes are blue-in-blue.
No trace of white escapes the planet’s touch.

PAUL: A strange mutation. Are they then purblind?

YUEH: Not mutant, but infused so with mélange
The spice has saturated all their blood.
It’s said they serenade their knives, and men
Are not esteemed more dangerous than women
Who take their knives for lovers, and bear babes
As deadly as themselves, not meet for you
To mingle with, I think.

PAUL (aside):                             What mighty folk
As allies could we win, if we are wise!

YUEH: Your father comes anon, and I’ve a gift
For you. A trifle, but a very ancient thing
The Orange Catholic Bible, not on film
But printed in a microcosm. This
The magnifier is, and this the edge
Held closed by charge electrical. Press here.
The book will open to whatever page
You do select. But never touch a page.
It is to small an delicate for that.

PAUL: It must be old indeed. A thing of Earth?

YUEH (aside): I play the hypocrite to mine own heart
And say I’ll send him where I dare not go
To Heaven’s grace, where traitors never fare.

How old I do not know, but keep it safe
And secret, lest they father hold in trust
As for your youth a gift too valuable.

PAUL: If it’s so valuable, I should not take–

YUEH: Indulge an old man’s whim. ‘Twas mine when young.
Now read to me a passage from the book
Of Kalima, you’ll find a notch to mark
The place: “From water does all life begin…”

PAUL (reading): “Bethink you that a deaf man cannot hear.
“What senses, then, may every person lack
“That we cannot another world detect…”

YUEH: Stop it!

PAUL:                                    Is aught amiss, that you should tremble?

YUEH: Your pardon, sir. That is… that was…
My wife’s most favorite passage, and it stirs
Most agonizing memories. ‘Twas not
The passage I’d intended you to read.

PAUL: There are two notches graven on the side.

YUEH: Young fingers find what aged hands may miss.
The book is history as well as faith
Now put it by; your father comes anon.

PAUL: I thank thee, Dr. Yueh. Anything
You do desire, I pray you, let me know.

YUEH: I want for nothing. (Aside) Dead men have no wants.
Why torture I myself? Why torture him?
O damned Harkonnen beasts! Why chose ye me
To be the tool of this damned misery?

Exit