William Shakespeare’s Dune, Act III, Scene i.

Act III, Scene i.

The interior of a stilltent in the desert. PAUL and JESSICA.

PAUL: O Seas of Caladan

O people of Duke Leto
Citadel of Leto fallen
Fallen forever…

My words dry up and scatter as the sand.
Wherefore can I not mourn my father? Is
The moisture of mine eyes and heart by thirst
Of desert unabated thus consumed
Unnoticed, disregarded as his blood
The which the howling waste drinks in a draught
And screams for more, insensate, unappeased.

JESS (reading): “Forgive me not: so great a burden I
Could never bear. My deed is done without
A jot of malice or the hope that I
Should find a drop of mercy in this cup
That I have poured. Tahaddi al-burhan:
My last and final test of will it is.
I give these final gifts with Leto’s ring
As token of my writing truly. Take
Some comfort that the Duke died not alone
That one we hate above all others fell
With him and wakes to find his soul in hell.”
Harkonnen Yueh hated, that I knew
And cannot be mistaken. For his wife
He hath committed all this carnage. Why
Hath he then saved us only out of it?

PAUL: She seeth it as through a darkling glass.
Why is my vision clear, like diamond panes?
My untrained eyes her schooling quite outstrips,
For she believed Harkonnens hunted us
When Idaho did dive out of the storm
To find us in the wrack of those who would
Have left us bleeding out our lives on sand.
But I saw Idaho in how he flew
That ornithopter stooping on us out
O’th’darkness, warning us of coming worms.
I see the truth, and feel its impact not.
Why can I not for my dead father mourn?
Is this what Kwisatz Haderach doth mean:
To be unfeeling, though as scarred, as stone?

JESS: I thought perhaps that Hawat was remiss,
That Yueh was no doctor of the Suk

PAUL: He was more, not less, than all we thought.
If Idaho cannot unite with Kynes…

JESS: Idaho is not our only hope.

PAUL: So neither said I, nor did so imply.

JESS: Some others of thy father’s men will live.

PAUL: And yet we must rely upon ourselves.
Our chief concern is for Atreides’ arms
Atomical, which we must first secure
‘Ere old Harkonnen find them for himself.

JESS: The family atomics are secure
And hidden past the wit of him to find.

PAUL: To such a chance those arms must not be left.
They use the Sardaukar to hunt us out
An trap us ‘twixt them and the desert sands.
Count not that aught of ours shall now escape.

JESS: We’ll wait until the Sardaukar are gone.

PAUL: They’ll go when the Atreides are no more.

JESS: They dare not risk the Emperor’s dark role
In this black treachery to be revealed.

PAUL: How dare not? Do they fear Atreides ghosts?
Then they have much to fear: we’ve many such.
You heard the radio, the only men
Who wear Atreides uniforms are foes
Dressed in our colors, made to spread the tale
That we did rob the Spacing Guild’s own bank.
Such I expected, so the Guild would not
Allow us in neutrality to flee
The trap our erstwhile world’s become.
For Idaho we may another day
Here tarry, but when night shall spread her cloak
O’er desert sands, then must we wander forth
That we may rest us in the burning day.

JESS: If Idaho’s to find us, we must stay

PAUL: Then Idaho could find us, aye, or he
Who captured Idaho and bought his tongue
With coin of agony, that he’d confess.

JESS: Where can we go alone, and hunted thus?

PAUL: My father spoke of desert power, that
Which ne’er Harkonnen ruled nor ever shall.
Without that power this arid globe subdue.
Without it, none shall rule here though he should
Of Sardaukar ten thousand legions field.

JESS: Go to, thou canst not think their power weak?

PAUL: The evidence lies in this very tent.
Its frame describes our shelter and the truth
Of power on Arrakis, if you look.
The Guild for weather satellites demands
A price beyond the purse of any man.

JESS: And what have satellites to do with aught?
Suggestest thou the Guild doth rule this world?

PAUL: The Fremen rule this world! They pay the Guild
For privacy in coin that any man
With desert power hath as free as air:
The spice: this computation leaves no doubt.

JESS: Thou art no Mentat, thou canst not be sure–

PAUL: I’ll never be a Mentat: I’m a freak
Of nature by unnatural design.

JESS: How canst thou speak so?

PAUL: Speak thou not, O witch!
What hast thou done to me?

JESS: I gave thee birth!

PAUL: Didst know what thou didst do when thou didst lead
Me in thy training Bene Gesserit?
Didst thou a son or Kwisatz Haderach
Desire to rear, and didst thou ever ask
My father whether he’d to this consent?

JESS: Thou art as much thy father’s as thou art
By all heredity a child of mine.

PAUL: But not in training; not what did awake
The Sleeper. I’ve another kind of sight
That sees the countless future-reaching paths
That lie before us, like the Guildsmen’s sight
That fold the space between the farthest stars
And knit them in the Empire of Man.
You wanted me to tell thy Reverend Dam
Of how I dreamed? Now listen in her stead
For I have had a waking dream withal
Dost thou know why? The geriatric spice
The spice that here pervadeth every thing
The air, the food, the water, like the drug
That Truthsayers do take: a deadly drug
But subtle, not to kill unless you wean
The victim from its grasp. We cannot leave
Arrakis if we take Arrakis not
With us. The spice will alter any man
Who here doth dare to live, but thanks to thee
I cannot leave this vision yet unseen
But time rolls on before me like a road
As broad as that on Caladan which was
Our Avenue: That you may know I lie
Not nor am mad, before a year has passed
You’ll bear a daughter, sister unto me.
Upon Arrakis. I have seen her face.
Among the Fremen where your sisterhood
The Missionaria Protectiva hath
With lying prophecies a bolthole bought
She’ll be a sign, and there we’ll make our home.
I can no more describe to thee, cannot
To mine own self the paths I see reveal
Some places yet are dark, and yet the whole
Doth beckon with a revelation dire.

JESS (aside): How can he know what no man born can know?
The Missonaria Protectiva he
Doth name and seeth that faint germ of life
That I with all my training scarce have felt
Within my quickening womb begin to stir.

PAUL: We are upon this desert world ensnared.

JESS: There’s yet a way, Harkonnen to evade.

PAUL: Harkonnen? On those twisted humans spare
No thought. I speak not of their puling schemes.

JESS: Say not a man is human till he hath…

PAUL: Art certain thou canst draw so fine a chord
To separate the human from the beast?
Be disabused: we are our enemy
Harkonnen blood runs in our very veins:
When next you find a mirror, read the map
Of bones and flesh, or study mine e’en now
Or take my future view of records sealed.
We are Harkonnen’s get, and he our kin.

JESS: A renegade Harkonnen they outcast..?

PAUL: Thou art the daughter of the Baron’s flesh
Who did in his intemp’rate youth permit
Himself to be by Bene Gesserit
Seduced and by their calculation cold
He warmed his bed and got you, whom his foe
Should take as concubine and sow his death.

JESS (aside): The daughter they commanded me to bear
Was not to heal this feud, but to preserve
Atreides and Harkonnen genes in splice.

PAUL: They thought they reached for me, but they know not
I have arrived unlooked for and unseen
By those who schemed millennia to bring
Their superhuman’s birth to orchestrate

JESS (aside): Great Mother! He is Kwisatz Haderach!

PAUL: Thou thinkest I am Kwisatz Haderach?
Not so: I am a thing unthinkable.

JESS: (aside): I must the schools inform, they may within
The Mating Index root this mystery out.

PAUL: They’ll learn not of me till it is too late.

JESS: We’ll find a place among the Fremen bands?

PAUL: The Fremen say that Shai-Hulud, whom they
Old Father Infinite do name once said:
“Appreciate whatever thou dost meet.”
(aside) And thou my mother shalt a callus grow
Beside thy nose. Thine eyes shall turn azure
And thou shalt bear St. Alia of the Knife.

JESS: If thou art not the Kwisatz Haderach
Then what art thou, and what shalt thou attempt?

PAUL: Shalt not until thou seest it believe.
I am a seed in fertile ground beyond
Imagination fallen. What’s to come
Is choice between corruption and jihad,
Which doth fulfill the wishes of the witches
Of thy schools.

JESS: I understand thee not.
The Fremen will our sanctuary be?

PAUL: That is a path. And I shall be Muad’Dib:
The One Who Points The Way. So they shall call
Me in the days to come of blood and war.
Now father, I can mourn thy death and be
Thine own true son in heart, if ne’er in mind.

Exeunt