Quotes from Frank Herbert's Dune Chronicles
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Melange is the financial crux of CHOAM activities. Without this spice,
Bene Gesserit Reverend Mothers could not perform feats of observation and
human control, Guild Navigators could not see safe pathways across space,
and billions of Imperial citizens would die of addictive withdrawal.
Any simpleton knows that such dependence upon a single commodity
leads to abuse. We are all at risk.
-- CHOAM Economic Analysis of Materiel Flow Patterns
We are generalists. You can't draw neat
lines around planetwide problems.
Planetology is a cut-and-fit science.
-- PARDOT KYNES, Treatise on the Environmental Recovery
of Post-Holocaust Salusa Secundus
Thou shalt not make a machine in the likeness of a human mind.
-- Chief commandment resulting from the Butlerian Jihad,
found in the Orange Catholic Bible
Spacing Guild: one leg of the political tripod maintaining the Great
Convention. The Guild was the second mental-physical training school
(see Bene Gesserit) after the Butlerian Jihad. The Guild monopoly on
space travel and transport and upon international banking is taken as
the beginning point of the Imperial Calendar.
-- Terminology of the Imperium
The highest function of ecology is the understanding of consequences.
-- PARDOT KYNES, Ecology of Bela Tegeuse, Initial Report to the Imperium
One observes the survivors, and learns from them.
-- Bene Gesserit Teaching
The populace must think their ruler is a greater man than they,
else why should they follow him? Above all a leader must be a showman,
giving his people the bread and circuses they require.
N'kee: Slow-acting poison that builds up in the adrenal glands; one of the
most insidious toxins permitted under the accords of Guild Peace and the
restrictions of the Great Convention. (See War of Assassins.)
-- The Assassins' Handbook
Kwisatz Haderach: "Shortening of the Way." This is the label applied by
the Bene Gesserit to the unknown for which they sought a genetic solution:
a male Bene Gesserit whose organic mental powers would bridge space and time.
-- Terminology of the Imperium
In response to the strict Butlerian taboo against machines that perform mental
functions, a number of schools developed enhanced human beings to subsume most
of the functions formerly performed by computers. Some of the key schools
arising out of the Jihad include the Bene Gesserit, with their intense mental
and physical training, the Spacing Guild, with the prescient ability to find a
safe path through foldspace, and the Mentats, whose computerlike minds are
capable of extraordinary acts of reasoning.
-- Ikbhan's Treatise on the Mind, Volume I
The paintbrush of history has depicted Abulurd Harkonnen in a most unfavorable
light. Judged by the standards of his older half brother, Baron Vladimir, and
his own children Glossu Rabban and Feyd-Rautha Rabban, Abulurd was a different
sort of man entirely. We must, however, assess the frequent descriptions of
his weakness, incompetence, and foolhardy decisions in light of the ultimate
failure of House Harkonnen. Though exiled to Lankiveil and stripped of any
real power, Abulurd secured a victory unmatched by anyone else in his extended
family: He learned how to be happy with his life.
-- Landsraad Encyclopedia of Great Houses, post-Jihad edition
Four things cannot be hidden -- Love, smoke, a pillar of fire,
and a man striding across the open bled.
-- Fremen Wisdom
Who can know whether Ix has gone too far? They hide their facilities,
keep their workers enslaved, and claim the right of secrecy.
Under such circumstances, how can they not be tempted to step
beyond the restrictions of the Butlerian Jihad?
-- COUNT ILBAN RICHESE, third appeal to the Landsraad
There are weapons you cannot hold in your hand.
You can only hold them in your mind.
-- Bene Gesserit Teaching
The basic rule is this: Never support weakness; always support strength.
-- The Bene Gesserit Azhar Book, Compilation of Great Secrets
Many elements of the Imperium believe they hold the ultimate power: the
Spacing Guild with their monopoly on interstellar travel, CHOAM with its
economic stranglehold, the Bene Gesserit with their secrets, the Mentats with
their control of mental processes, House Corrino with their throne, the Great
and Minor Houses of the Landsraad with their extensive holdings. Woe to us on
the day that one of those factions decides to prove the point.
-- COUNT HASIMIR FENRING, Dispatches from Arrakis
The slave concubines permitted my father under the Bene Gesserit-Guild
agreement could not, of course, bear a Royal Successor, but the intrigues were
constant and oppressive in their similarity. We became adept, my mother and
sisters and I, at avoiding subtle instruments of death.
-- From "In My Father's House" by the Princess Irulan
The working Planetologist has access to many resources, data, and projections.
However, his most important tools are human beings. Only by cultivating
ecological literacy among the people themselves can he save an entire planet.
-- PARDOT KYNES, The Case for Bela Tegeuse
It's easier to be terrified by an enemy you admire.
-- THUFIR HAWAT, Mentat and Security Commander to House Atreides
We consider the various worlds as gene pools, sources of teachings and
teachers, sources of the possible.
-- Bene Gesserit Analysis, Wallach IX Archives
Many inventions have selectively improved particular skills or abilities,
emphasizing one aspect or another. But no achievement has ever scratched
the complexity or adaptability of the human mind.
-- Ikbhan's Treatise on the Mind, Volume II
We must do a thing on Arrakis never before attempted for an entire planet.
We must use man as a constructive ecological force -- inserting adapted
terraform life: a plant here, an animal there, a man in that place --
to transform the water cycle, to build a new kind of landscape.
-- Report from Imperial Planetologist PARDOT KYNES,
directed to Padishah EMPEROR ELROOD IX (unsent)
My Father had only one real friend, I think. That was Count Hasimir Fenring,
the genetic-eunuch and one of the deadliest fighters in the Imperium.
-- From "In My Father's House" by the Princess Irulan
Blindness can take many forms other than the inability to see.
Fanatics are often blinded in their thoughts.
Leaders are often blinded in their hearts.
-- The Orange Catholic Bible
Hope can be the greatest weapon of a downtrodden people,
or the greatest enemy of those who are about to fail.
We must remain aware of its advantages and its limitations.
-- LADY HELENA ATREIDES, her personal journals
History allows us to see the obvious -- but unfortunately,
not until it is too late.
Like the knowledge of your own being, the sietch forms a firm base
from which you move out into the world and into the universe.
-- Fremen Teaching
Two hundred thirty-eight planets searched, many of only marginal habitability.
(See star charts attached in separate file.) Resource surveys list valuable
raw materials. Many of these planets deserve a second look, either for
mineral exploitation or possible colonization. As in previous reports,
however, no spice found.
-- Independent scout survey, third expedition,
The Spacing Guild has worked for centuries to surround our elite Navigators
with mystique. They are revered, from the lowest Pilot to the most talented
Steersman. They live in tanks of spice gas, see all paths through space and
time, guide ships to the far reaches of the Imperium. But no one knows the
human cost of becoming a Navigator. We must keep this a secret, for if they
really knew the truth, they would pity us.
-- Spacing Guild Training Manual Handbook for Steersmen (Classified)
The human body is a machine, a system of organic chemicals, fluid conduits,
electrical impulses; a government is likewise a machine of interacting
societies, laws, cultures, rewards and punishments, patterns of behavior.
Ultimately, the universe itself is a machine, planets around suns, stars
gathered into clusters, clusters and other suns forming entire galaxies . . . .
Our job is to keep the machinery functioning.
-- Suk Inner School, Primary Doctrine
The leaders of the Butlerian Jihad did not adequately define artificial
intelligence, failing to foresee all possibilities of an imaginative society.
Therefore, we have substantial gray areas in which to maneuver.
-- Confidential Ixian Legal Opinion
No outsider has ever seen a Tleilaxu female and lived to tell about it.
Considering the Tleilaxu penchant for genetic manipulation -- see, e.g.,
related memos on clones and gholas -- this simple observation raises a
wealth of additional questions.
-- Bene Gesserit Analysis
Like many culinary delicacies, revenge is a dish best savored slowly,
after long and delicate preparation.
-- EMPEROR ELROOD IX, Deathbed Insights
In the Imperium there exists the "principle of the individual," noble but
rarely utilized, whereby a person who violates a written law in a situation
of extreme peril or need can request a special session of the court of
jurisdiction in order to explain and support the necessity of his actions.
A number of legal procedures derive from this principle, among them the Drey
Jury, the Blind Tribunal, and the Trial by Forfeiture.
-- Law of the Imperium: Commentaries
Even the poorest House can be rich in loyalty. Allegiance that must be
purchased by bribes or wages is hollow and flawed, and could break at the worst
possible moment. Allegiance that comes from the heart, though, is stronger
than adamantium and more valuable than purest melange.
Only God can make living, sentient creatures.
-- The Orange Catholic Bible
Without a goal, a life is nothing. Sometimes the goal becomes a man's entire
life, an all-consuming passion. But once that goal is achieved, what then?
Oh, poor man, what then?
-- LADY HELENA ATREIDES, her personal journals
History has seldom been good to those who must be punished.
Bene Gesserit punishments cannot be forgotten.
-- Bene Gesserit Dictum
How simple things were when our Messiah was only a dream.
-- STILGAR, Naib of Sietch Tabr
The haughty do but build castle walls behind which they seek to hide their
doubts and fears.
-- Bene Gesserit Axiom
Any path that narrows future possibilities may become a lethal trap.
Humans do not thread their way through a maze; they scan a vast
horizon filled with unique opportunities.
-- The Spacing Guild Handbook
Perceptions rule the universe.
-- Bene Gesserit Saying
You of fearful heart, be strong and fear not. Behold, your God will come with
a vengeance; He will come and save you from the worshipers of machines.
-- The Orange Catholic Bible
Man is but a pebble dropped in a pool.
And if man is but a pebble, then
all his works can be no more.
-- Zensunni Saying
Among the responsibilities of command is the necessity to punish . . .
but only when the victim demands it.
-- PRINCE RAPHAEL CORRINO, Discourses on Leadership in a Galactic Imperium,
12th Edition
Speak the truth. That is always much easier,
and is often the most powerful argument.
-- Bene Gesserit Axiom
Imperfections, if viewed in the proper light, can be extremely valuable.
The Great Schools, with their incessant questing for perfection, often
find this postulate difficult to understand, until it is proven to them
that nothing in the universe is random.
-- From The Philosophies of Old Terra, one of the recovered manuscripts
One who rules assumes irrevocable responsibility for the ruled.
You are a husbandman. This demands, at times, a selfless act of
love which may be amusing only to those you rule.
Machine-vaccine principle: Every technological device contains
within it the tools of its opposite, and of its own destruction.
-- GIAN KANA, Imperial Patent Czar
The ultimate question: Why does life exist?
The answer: For life's sake.
-- ANONYMOUS, thought to be of Zensunni origin
The surest way to keep a secret is to make
people believe they already know the answer.
-- Ancient Fremen Wisdom
Hatred is as dangerous an emotion as love. The capacity for either one is the
capacity for its opposite.
-- Cautionary Instructions for the Sisterhood, Bene Gesserit Archives, Wallach IX
I must rule with eye and claw -- as the hawk among lesser birds.
-- DUKE PAULUS ATREIDES, The Atreides Assertion
In adverse circumstances, every creature becomes something else, evolving or
devolving. What makes us human is that we know what we once were, and --
let us hope -- we remember how to change back.
-- AMBASSADOR CAMMAR PILRU, Dispatches in Defense of Ix
We all live in the shadows of our predecessors for a time. But we who
determine the fate of planets eventually reach the point at which we
become not the shadows, but the light itself.
-- PRINCE RAPHAEL CORRINO, Discourses on Leadership
History demonstrates that the advancement of technology is not a steady upward
curve. There are flat periods, upward spurts, and even reversals.
-- Technology of the Imperium, 532nd Edition
Memory and History are two sides of the same coin. In time, however, History
tends to slant itself toward a favorable impression of events, while Memory is
doomed to preserve the worst aspects.
-- LADY HELENA ATREIDES, her personal journals
What senses do we lack that we cannot see or hear another world all around us?
-- The Orange Catholic Bible
No one but a Tleilaxu may set foot in Bandalong, holiest city of the Bene
Tleilax, for it is fanatically guarded hallowed ground, purified by their God.
-- Diplomacy in the Imperium, a Landsraad publication
Our timetable will achieve the stature of a natural phenomenon. A planet's
life is a vast, tightly interwoven fabric. Vegetation and animal changes
will be determined at first by the raw physical forces we manipulate.
As they establish themselves, though, our changes will become controlling
influences in their own right -- and we will have to deal with them, too.
Keep in mind, though, that we need control only three percent of the energy
surface -- only three percent -- to tip the entire structure over into our
self-sustaining system.
-- PARDOT KYNES, Arrakis Dreams
Even innocents carry within them their own guilt in their own way.
No one makes it through life without paying, in one fashion or another.
-- LADY HELENA ATREIDES, her personal journals
Innovations seem to have a life and a sentience of their own. When conditions
are right, a radical new idea -- a paradigm shift -- may appear simultaneously
from many minds at once. Or it may remain secret in the thoughts of one man
for years, decades, centuries . . . until someone else thinks of the same
thing. How many brilliant discoveries die stillborn, or lie dormant,
never to be embraced by the Imperium as a whole?
-- OMBUDSMEN OF RICHESE, Rebuttal to the Landsraad, The True Domain
of the Intellect -- Private Property, or Resources for the Galaxy?
They demonstrate subtle, highly effective skills in the aligned arts of
observation and data collection. Information is their stock-in-trade.
-- Imperial Report on the Bene Gesserit, used for tutoring purposes
When the center of the storm does not move, you are in its path.
-- Ancient Fremen Wisdom
Storms beget storms. Rage begets rage.
Revenge begets revenge. Wars beget wars.
-- Bene Gesserit Conundrum
Tio Holtzman was one of the most productive Ixian inventors on record.
He often went on creative binges, locking himself up for months on end
so that he could work without interruption. Sometimes upon emerging he
required hospitalization, and there were constant concerns over his
sanity and well-being. Holtzman died young -- barely past thirty Standard
Years -- but the results of his efforts changed the galaxy forever.
-- Biographical Capsules, an Imperial filmbook
In the long history of our House, we have been constantly shadowed by
Misfortune, as if we were its prey. One might almost believe the curse
of Atreus from ancient Greek times on Old Terra.
-- DUKE PAULUS ATREIDES, from a speech to his generals
Truth is a chameleon.
-- Zensunni Aphorism
In a Trial by Forfeiture, the normal rules of evidence do not apply. There are
no disclosure requirements that evidence be revealed to the opposition or to
the magistrates prior to the court proceedings. This places the person with
secret knowledge in a uniquely powerful position -- commensurate with the
extreme risk he takes.
-- Rogan's Rules of Evidence, 3rd Edition
The written Law of the Imperium cannot be changed, no matter which Great House
holds dominion or which Emperor sits on the Golden Lion Throne. The documents
of the Imperial Constitution have been established for thousands of years.
This is not to say that each regime is legally identical; the variations stem
from subtleties of interpretation and from microscopic loopholes that become
large enough to drive a Heighliner through.
-- Law of the Imperium: Commentaries and Rebuttals
The worst sort of alliances are those which weaken us. Worse still is
when an Emperor fails to recognize such an alliance for what it is.
-- PRINCE RAPHAEL CORRINO, Discourses on Leadership
The worst sort of protection is confidence. The best defense is suspicion.
As seen from orbit, the world of Ix is pristine and placid. But beneath
its surface, immense projects are undertaken and great works are achieved.
In this way, our planet is a metaphor for the Imperium itself.
-- DOMINIC VERNIUS, The Secret Workings of Ix
When faced with necessary actions, there are always choices. So long as the
job gets done.
-- COUNT HASIMIR FENRING, Dispatches from Arrakis
In plotting any course of revenge, one must savor the anticipation phase
and all its moments, for the actual execution often differs widely from the
original plan.
-- HASIMIR FENRING, Dispatches from Arrakis
What matters more, the form of justice or the actual outcome? No matter how a
court may dissect the evidence, the foundation of genuine truth remains
unblemished. Unfortunately for many of the accused, such genuine truth is
often known only to the victim and the perpetrator. All others must make up
their own minds.
-- Landsraad Law, codicils and analyses
We do what we must. Friendship and loyalty be damned. We do what we must!
her personal journals
All persons are contained within a single individual, just as all time is in a
moment, and the entire universe is in a grain of sand.
-- Fremen Saying
In the final analysis, the legendary event called Leto's Gambit became the
basis of the young Duke Atreides's immense popularity. He successfully
projected himself as a shining beacon of honor in a galactic sea of darkness.
To many members of the Landsraad, Leto's honesty and naivete became a symbol of
honor that shamed many of the Great and Minor Houses to alter their behavior
toward each other . . . for a short time, at least, until familiar old patterns
-- Origins of House Atreides: Seeds of the Future in the Galactic Imperium,
by Bronso of Ix
The universe contains untapped and heretofore unimagined energy sources.
They are before your very eyes, yet you cannot see them.
They are in your mind, yet you cannot think them. But I can!
-- TIO HOLTZMAN, Collected Lectures
Only fools leave witnesses.
Progress and profit require a substantial investment in personnel, equipment,
and capital funding. However, the resource most often overlooked, yet which
can often provide the greatest payoff, is an investment in time.
-- DOMINIC VERNIUS, The Secret Workings of Ix
A world is supported by four things: the teaming of the wise, the justice
of the great, the prayers of the righteous, and the valor of the brave.
But all of these are as nothing without a ruler who knows the art of ruling.
-- PRINCE RAPHAEL CORRINO, Discourses on Galactic Leadership
A requirement of creativity is that it contributes to change.
Creativity keeps the creator alive.
-- FRANK HERBERT, unpublished notes