William Shakespeare’s Dune, Act IV, Scene v.

The deep desert.
Explosions and alarums.

Enter PAUL, STILGAR, GURNEY, FREMEN and SMUGGLERS in stillsuits, fighting.

SMUGGLER: O we are lost! They lay in wait for us!
Our ‘thopters and the carryall are gone!

GURN: They dare use rockets! ‘Ware! They may have guns!

PAUL: O Gurney Halleck, leave that knife unbared.

GURN: And who art thou, who like a spirit veiled,
And damned with me to walk this hell that calls
Itself a world, dost know my rightful name?

PAUL: One with whom you, Gurney, need no blade.
Instruct your men to yield and lay down arms.

PAUL unmasks himself.

GURN: Angels and ministers of grace defend us!
‘Tis like a ducal ghost in exile bound
To walk Arrakis’ wastes in search of realm
And men he lost. Or art thou, passing hope
My master Paul Atreides? But if not
O spare me, gentle ghost. I did seek death
In service to thy arms, and found it not.

PAUL: Dost thou not trust thine eyes, that I am Paul?

GURN: They said that thou wast dead, long years ago.

PAUL: Instruct thy men to yield, ere thy are lost.

GURN: At Gurney Halleck’s word, give up the fight!
Put up your blades! Let no more blood be spilled!
For these are friends. Suffer no more to die!

SMUGGLER: Fine friends, to murder half our comrades here!

GURN: ‘Twas evil fortune; do not worsen it.
They said that thou wast surely dead for true.

PAUL: And men hunt not the dead. So death I took
For cloak and title, as I had naught else.

They embrace.

GURN: Then thou the wisdom of the Fremen art
In battle that they lately have acquired.
I should have recognized the signs, and thought
But did not know, as I were in a dream
That they did scheme so that I might have fought
Myself upon the dunes and thought to meet
My shade in battle, so to haunt myself.
If I had known, hadst thou but sent the word
I had arunning come and damn the worlds!

PAUL: I never doubted it. That you would come.

GURN: And men would wonder where old Gurney went
Arunning, and what cause would drawn him thence.
And some would more than wonder. They would search.

PAUL: How stand your men? What master will they serve?

GURN: They’ll stand where profit is: they’re smugglers all.

PAUL: Small profit in our venture, by the rood.

GURNEY makes a hand signal to PAUL, which he returns.

PAUL: Stilgar, friend, be known to Gurney Halleck
Of whom you’ve heard me speak. A truer friend
No man could have. A teacher from my youth
In sword and battle, known throughout the worlds.

STIL: Thus do I hear. You are his Duke and liege.

GURN: What, are ye deaf? This is the rightful duke
Of all Arrakis! Yield yourselves to him!

SMUGGLERS drop weapons.

PAUL: I’d not have thought to catch thee in this trap.

GURN: I do confess my fault. Yon patch of spice
I’d wager is no thicker than the paint
Upon our poor flayed harvesters, laid down
As blood to lure a buzzard to its doom.

PAUL: That wager you’d both win and lose at once.
Are more Atreides men among thy crew?

GURN: Nay! Thin as yonder spice we’re spread. Some few
Among free traders have secured a place.
But most have spent their blood and sweat to win
Their passage from this hellish desert world.

PAUL: But you have stayed.

GURN:                                    Because Rabban is here.
And thought I’d only vengeance left to me.

FREMEN cries alarum.

PAUL: A maker comes, and of sufficient size
To serve our aims. Alas we could not save
The carryall, to lift the factory.

GURN: Your father would have rather mourned the men.

PAUL: I know they were thy friends. And yet to us
They might have seen what we could not admit
Unto the world, and keep our vantages.
I’d have thine understanding on this point.

GURN: I apprehend enough. Now I would see
The thing I should not see, by your good will.

PAUL: Look where the maker thinks to hunt us down.

GURN: What is this sunstruck madness, that thy folk
Hide not from the approach that all mean dread
But stand as to receive a visitor?
God’s teeth, and more than God’s, they swarm aboard
The creature all men fear as if to horse.
The wildest smuggler’s tales told in their mugs
Of spiced beer are true. What men are these
Who look like the inhabitants o’the earth
And yet do deeds that devils scarce would dare?

PAUL: Of desert power you heard my father speak
And I have shown it thee: this world is ours.
No storm, nor creature, foe, nor fiend nor god
Can keep us from the place where we would go.
There was a time we did not ride by day
In northern climes as these, but Beast Rabban
Hath little left enough of thopter wings
To mark our progress or how we do ride.
Your aircraft were a shock to us today.

GURN: Not near unto the shock you were to us.

PAUL: What say they of Rabban in sink and town?

GURN: They say that he hath fortified the towns
Beyond your means to harm them: that they may
But sit within and let you grind your teeth
To dust upon their walls in useless spite.

PAUL: Interpreted, they are immobilized.

GURN: And you go where you will upon the sands.

PAUL: As I did learn from you, initiative
Once lost is hardly to be gained again.
And I mean not to lose it, nor the war.
Our foe hath for his throne a chopping-block.
Will you enlist with me to see his end?

GURN: My Lord, I never left thy services
But you did let me think you dead, and I
But waited til I might my worthless life
Exchange to kill Rabban, and make an end.


PAUL: Chani, be to Gurney Halleck known.
You’ve heard me speak of him, upon a time.

CHANI: Thus have I heard.

PAUL:                                     Where went the men upon
The maker lately captured on the sands?

CHANI: They but diverted it to give us time
To save the spoils of war we do conceal
Within the rocks, and race against the wind.

GURN: Mine eyes today are cheats, that first have seen
A sandworm ridden as a broken horse
And now the very rocks do split apart
To hide mine erstwhile factory within
Their solid bosom. Is this wizardry?

PAUL: Such caches we have many. Chani, seek
Out Korba, and inform him Gurney says
That some among his troop are treacherous.


GURN: She is your woman.

PAUL:                                    Mother of my heir.
Among th’Atreides is another Leto.
Now seal your suit, and come to see thy men.