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

Sietch Tabr


FAR: Throw off your hood, for Usul, you are home.

PAUL: Why tarry we here in the vestibule?

FAR: We wait upon the Reverend Mother, for
You heard the message. God give Chani ease.

JESS: How rich are the aromas of your home,
Good Stilgar. You make paper in this place
And plastics, and all kinds of artifice
Derived from spice. Explosives too, I think.

FAR: You know all this by what you smell i’th’air?

STIL: What you have heard is true. Liet is dead.
My brother hath been by Harkonnens slain
By treachery, and given out as t’were
A ‘thopter crash and he i’the desert lost.
We’ll mourn him as the greatest of us all
In time of mourning, and give him revenge
Befitting, that Harkonnen’s Beast shall know
What’s meant to kill as great a one as this.



HAR: Hath this my Jamis bested? He cannot
Have learnt the ways of razors, less of knives.

STIL: Be silent, Harah. This was Jamis’ choice.
T’invoke tahaddi challenge ‘gainst my will.

HAR: A child hath made my children fatherless.
Most surely ’twas a cruel twist of fate.

STIL: How many summers have you seen, Usul.

PAUL: Fifteen standard years on Caladan.

STIL: Doth one among you care to challenge me?
And ‘ere I’ve learned his weirding ways of war
I’d not him challenge. Hast thou seen her who
Hath gone with Chani to the Reverend Mother?
She is a Sayyadina, though out-freyn
And mother to this youth, who hath him taught.

HAR: Lisan al-Gaib.

STIL:                           It hath not yet been proved.
Usul, it’s our way that now to you
Doth fall responsibility to care
For Jamis’ sons. His yali, what we call
His house, is yours. His coffee service, too.
And this, his woman. She is yours as well
To take as woman or as serving wench.

HAR: I am yet young Usul. ‘Tis said I look
As young as when I was with Geoff before
He was by Jamis bested in the ring.

PAUL: If I do take her as a serving wench
May I yet change my mind, as time doth change
Th’affections and the passions of us both?

STIL: A year you have to change your heart or no.
But she is free thereafter, as she wills
To choose another. Or at any time
You may set her at liberty to choose.
But for a year you must provide for her
And always share responsibility
For Jamis’ sons. Now say what you shall choose.

PAUL: As servant I accept her in my House.

HAR: But I am young!

STIL:                           A worthy caution shown
Is necessary in a man who’d lead.

HAR: But I am young!

STIL:                          Be silent. If a thing
Hath merit, it shall come to pass in time.
Show Usul to his quarters, see him clothed
And rested, as the man he is become.

HAR: If I within the flower of my youth
Am thought unworthy to be plucked by him –

PAUL: Show me my quarters, Harah. This thy youth
In time enough we shall discuss in full

HAR: He turns my heart: he hath the weirding voice.

STIL: ‘Tis done. All else is for the council moot.

Exeunt omnes but PAUL and HARAH

PAUL: I shall not harm thee. Show me to our rooms.

HAR: Thou wilt not cast me forth at this year’s end?
I know for true I’m wilted from my youth.

PAUL: As I live, you have a place with me.
And I would see our quarters. Please, lead on.

HAR: This way.

PAUL: You do not hate me, then?

HAR:                                      Why should I hate?

PAUL: Because I bested Jamis. Killed your man.

HAR: Stilgar said you spoke as Jamis’ friend
When they did hold the ceremony, and
That you gave water to the dead. ‘Tis true?

PAUL: Aye.

HAR:             That is more than I can do or will
In time of mourning I will mourn he’s gone.
He was a good provider, quick to rage
And yet a father faithful to his sons
For so he counted both, his own and Geoff’s
And made no difference between the two
Would it be so with you, Usul, as well?

PAUL: ‘Tis not a problem that shall come to pass.

HAR: But, Usul…

PAUL:                         I’ll not speak of this with thee.

HRH: We soon must leave this place, for Sardaukar
And foul Harkonnen both do hunt us now.

HARAH leads PAUL to an alcove made into a room.

HRH: This is your yali. Why do you hang back?
I’ve friends to watch the children. Presently
They shall be known to you. Shall I bring food?

PAUL: Aye.

HRH:              Shall I help thy stillsuit to remove?

PAUL: Nay.

HRH:              You’ve not th’eyes o’th’Ibad. Strange to see
But not a thing to turn a woman cold.

PAUL: Go to, and get the food.

HRH:                                                  Thy servant, I.


PAUL: Ye are the sons of Harah, are you not?

KAL: We were the sons of Jamis, until now.
Are you as they do say, Lisan al-Gaib?

PAUL: Your mother soon returns. What are your names?

ORL: I am Orlop, I was Jamis’ son.

KAL: And I am Kaleff. I was son of Geoff
Ere I was son of Jamis, he that’s dead.

PAUL: Think not you must my company endure
Nor stifle signs of mourning for the man
You must have loved, but freely show thy grief.

KAL: We’d not dishonor you, nor stain ourselves
With such display, nor wear the mourning green.
Sin’ that would show that we accept you not
As father and as guardian to us both.

Enter HARAH with food.

HAR: Now give we thanks and eat in sight of God.

Exeunt omnes