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

Sietch Tabr. Chanting.


JESS: The funeral for Jamis is begun.
I must warn Paul about this Fremen girl.
She’d do as concubine, but not as wife.
And I the concubine say this, but I
Was more than concubine unto my Duke.

Enter PAUL and CHANI

PAUL: Dost thou know, mother, what they do i’th’cave?

JESS: Aye, if I do read the signs aright.

PAUL: Chani showed me, for that I must give
Permission for the water to be weighed.

CHANI: They harvest Jamis’ water: ‘Tis the rule.
The body is the man’s, his water ours.
Except in combat, that the victor may
Recover that he lost, for he must fight
Without a stillsuit in the open air.

PAUL: They would give me the water of his flesh.
It chills my blood. I want no part of it.

CHANI: ‘Tis water. Nothing more remains within.

JESS: You will accept the water and its power.

PAUL: An’ if I do not, I break bonds new-forged.
Have done. I mind me of a thing I read.
‘Tis said from water doth all life begin.

CHANI: Giudichar mantene: so it is writ
That water first of all did God create.


STIL: The time is come. The weapon hath been killed
That once was Jamis’. Jamis hath been called
By Shai-Hulud, who hath ordained the moons
To daily wane and wither unto twigs
As they run out their phases, so it is
With Jamis. Let the friends of him approach.

JESS: Do as they do: t’will be a simple rite
To calm the shade of Jamis.

PAUL: T’will be more.

PAUL, STILGAR, JESSICA and FREMEN MEN sit apart around JAMIS’ belongings

STIL: Upon the rising of greater moon
The spirit leaves the water of the flesh.
And when this night the greater moon doth rise
Whom shall it summon to his skyward home?

ALL: Jamis.

STIL: I was a friend of Jamis. When the plane
Did stoop upon us at the Hole i’th’Rock.
Then Jamis pulled me into shelt’ring rocks.
As Jamis’ friend I take this robe by right
Of leadership. As one who was his chief.

PAUL (aside): Is this a baliset I see before
Me, as a sign that I shall see again
My boon companion Gurney. Doth he live?
Or is it but a toy of him who’s dead?

STIL: For Jamis’ woman, and the guardians.

He takes a book and rocks

FREMEN: Leader’s right.

STIL takes a marker

STIL: The marker for his coffee service, held
For Usul, and delivered unto him
In proper ceremony at the sietch.

FREMEN: Leader’s right.

STIL takes a crysknife hilt.

STIL: His weapon, for the plain funereal.

FREMEN: For the funeral plain.

STIL: We are the friends of Jamis. We do not
Like packs of garvarg howl for our dead.

FREMEN 1 takes a distrans

FREMEN 1: I was a friend of Jamis. He did share
When at Two Birds our water fell below
The minim and sustained us in our need.

FREMEN 2 takes a paracompass

FREMEN 2: I was a friend of Jamis: When patrols
Did catch us at the Cliffbight and I took
A grievous wound, t’was Jamis drew them off
So that the wounded of us might be saved.

PAUL (aside): They do expect that I shall join their rite,
How can I say that I was Jamis’ friend?

FREMEN 3 (to PAUL): Wouldst thou bring destruction on us all?

JESSICA takes a kerchief

JESS: I was a friend of Jamis. When the the soul
Of spirits in him saw the needs of truth
It did withdraw and spare my son his death.

PAUL takes the baliset

PAUL: I was a friend of Jamis. He hath taught
Me of the price man pays for killing man.
I would have known him better than I have.
(he weeps, and sits)

FREMEN: Usul giveth moisture to the dead!
(they touch his face)
I felt the gift! I touched his given tears.

The FREMEN rise

Full moon calls thee
Shai-Hulud shalt thou see
Red the night, dusky sky
Bloody death didst thou die
We pray to a moon, she is round–
Luck with us will then abound,
What we seek for shall be found
In the land of solid ground.

Enter CHANI with WATERMASTERS carrying waterbag

Jamis carried thirty three and thirty
Liters, seven and three thirty-second
Drachms of the water of the tribe.
I bless it ‘neath a Sayyadina’s gaze.

Ekkeri-akairi, this is the water
Fillissin -follasy of Paul Muad’Dib
Kivi a-kavi, never the more, nakalas!
Nakelas! To be measured and counted, ukair-an!
By the heartbeats jan-jan-jan of our friend


Where I am flame, be thou the coals
Where I am dew, be thou the water.

FREMEN: Bi-lal kaifa.

CHANI: This portion goeth unto Paul Muad’Dib
May he guard the water of the tribe
Preserving it against a careless loss.
May he share it in the time of need.
May he pass it on when he is gone.

FREMEN: Bi-lal kaifa.

CHANI: Kneel.

PAUL kneels

CHANI: With this water, we the tribe entrust
Thee Paul Muad’Dib. Jamis is gone from it.

CHANI raises PAUL up

STILGAR hands CHANI watercounters

CHANI: Thirty liters. Two liters. One liter.
Seven watercounters of one drachm each.
One watercounter of three thirty-seconds drachms.
In all, three and thirty liters and seven and three thirty-seconds drachms.

STILGAR: Do you accept the water?

PAUL: Aye. I do.

CHANI: I shall show you how to bind them up
Within a kerchief that they rattle not.

PAUL: Will you these watercounters hold for me?

STILGAR: Paul Muad’Dib yet knoweth not our ways
Do hold them, Chani, till it is the time
To show him how to carry them without
Commitment to him in th’accustomed way.

WATERMASTERS open a secret door to a cistern

FREMEN: Feel the moisture in the trap tonight
So Jamis lets us know he’s satisfied.

JESSICA: Ye have a windtrap hidden in this cave
To take the moisture from the very air
And place it in what seems a hidden lake
Beneath the rock. How can you do such things.

STIL: There were those of us who were sore athirst
Yet they would never touch of it a drop.
Dost thou know this?

JESS: I do believe in it.

STIL: More than eight and thirty million we
Of decaliters have we here in trust
Walled off from little makers, well-preserved.

JESS: A trove of treasure.

STIL: More than treasure. Life.
A thousand such as this we have, and few
Know all of them. Now hearken to the sound
Of paradise approaching in the fall
Of water from the air into our midst.
It hath been calculated and we know
Within a million decaliters count
That which we need, and on the day ’tis ours
We’ll change Arrakis to a kinder world.

FREMEN: Bi-lal kaifa.

STIL: Beneath the grasses we shall trap the dunes
And bind with trees the water to the soil.

FREMEN: Bi-lal kaifa.

STIL: Each year the polar ice surrenders ground.

FREMEN: Bi-lal kaifa.

STIL: We shall of this Arrakis make a home
With melting lenses stationed at the poles
And lakes of water in the gentler climes
And for the Maker and his spice, the deeps
Of sandy desert kept for him alone.

FREMEN: Bi-lal kaifa.

STIL: And none shall after water thirst again
It shall be his for taking from the seas
And shall run from qanats to feed our plants.
It shall be there for any man to take.
It shall be his for holding out his hand.

FREMEN: Bi-lal kaifa.

JESS (aside): This is the Fremen unifying dream
To sow Arrakis with the seeds of life
I sense the hand of Kynes in this. It is
A dream for men to die for, and my son
If he can find their hilt, could wield this folk
As a fanatic sword to win his place.

STIL: We leave and wait the first moon’s rise. It calls
The shade of Jamis. We shall make for home.

They close the doors and FREMEN busy themselves to leave.
CHANI and PAUL stand apart. He fingers the baliset.

CHANI: Tell me of thy wat’ry world, Muad’Dib

PAUL: In time to come, I promise, Chani, aye.

CHANI: A finely-crafted baliset it is.

PAUL: Will Jamis mind my using it?

FREMEN (passing): He liked
A piece of music now and then, he did.

CHANI: Then sing a song for me, before we go.

PAUL: This was the evensong of he who was
My friend. I do suspect that Gurney’s dead,
Yet I will sing it as he often did.
This clear time of seeing embers
A gold-bright sun’s lost in first dusk.
What frenzied senses, des’prate musk
Are consort of rememb’ring.

Night’s pearl-censered requiem
‘Tis for us!
What joys run then
Bright in your eyes?
What flower-spangled amores
Pull at our hearts?
What flower-spangled amores
Fill our desires.

JESS (aside): Why does he to that girl-child sing a song
Of love? He must not join with such as her
When he must wager all his assets ‘pon
The game of thrones to win him back his place.

PAUL (aside): My mother is my enemy, she brings
Jihad unknowing. She who bore and trained
Me to the arts of war is bringing up
The legions screaming war fanatical.
What dreaded fate, to make a mother foe.