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Collected Sayings of Princess Irulan
[ Bene Gesserit Sayings | Dune Quotes ]

  • There is a legend that the instant the Duke Leto Atreides died a meteor streaked across the skies above his ancestral palace on Caladan.
    The Princess Irulan: "Introduction to a Child's History of Muad'Dib"
    Dune


  • You have read that Muad'Dib had no playmates his own age on Caladan. The dangers were too great. But Muad'Dib did have wonderful companion-teachers. There was Gurney Halleck, the troubador-warrior. You will sing some of Gurney's songs as you read along in this book. There was Thufir Hawat, the old Mentat Master of Assassins, who struck fear even into the heart of the Padishah Emperor. There were Duncan Idaho, the swordmaster of the Ginaz; Dr. Wellington Yueh, a name black in treachery but bright in knowledge; the Lady Jessica, who guided her son in the Bene Gesserit Way, and -- of course -- the Duke Leto, whose qualities as a father have long been overlooked.
    "A Child's History of Muad'Dib" by the Princess Irulan
    Dune


  • "Yueh! Yueh! Yueh!" goes the refrain. "A million deaths were not enough for Yueh!"
    "A Child's History of Muad'Dib" by the Princess Irulan
    Dune


  • At the age of fifteen, he had already learned silence.
    "A Child's History of Muad'Dib" by the Princess Irulan
    Dune


  • To attempt an understanding of Muad'Dib without understanding his mortal enemies, the Harkonnens is to attempt seeing Truth without knowing Falsehood. It is the attempt to see the Light without knowing Darkness. It cannot be.
    "Manual of Muad'Dib" by the Princess Irulan
    Dune


  • Over the exit of the Arrakeen landing field, crudely carved as though with a poor instrument, there was an inscription that Muad'Dib was to repeat many times. He saw it that first night on Arrakis, having been brought to the ducal command post to participate in his father's first full staff conference. The words of the inscription were a plea to those leaving Arrakis, but they fell with dark import on the eyes of a boy who had just escaped a close brush with death. They said: "O you who know what we suffer here, do not forget us in your prayers."
    "Manual of Muad'Dib" by the Princess Irulan
    Dune


  • On that first day when Muad'Dib rode through the streets of Arrakeen with his family, some of the people along the way recalled the legends and the prophecy and they ventured to shout: "Mahdi!" But their shout was more a question than a statement, for as yet they could only hope he was the one foretold as the Lisan al-Gaib, the Voice from the Outer World. Their attention was focused, too, on the mother, because they had heard she was a Bene Gesserit and it was obvious to them that she was like the other Lisan al-Gaib
    "Manual of Muad'Dib" by the Princess Irulan
    Dune


  • What do you despise? By this are you truly known.
    "Manual of Muad'Dib" by the Princess Irulan
    Dune


  • YUEH (yu'e), Wellington (weling-tun), Stdrd 10,082-10,191; medical doctor of the Suk School (grd Stdrd 10,112); md: Wanna Marcus, B.G. (std 10,092-10,186?); chiefly noted as betrayer of Duke Leto Atreides. (Cf: Bibliography, Appendix VII [Imperial Conditioning] and Betrayal, The.)
    "Dictionary of Muad'Dib" by the Princess Irulan
    Dune


  • O Seas of Caladan,
    O people of Duke Leto --
    Citadel of Leto fallen,
    Fallen forever. . .
    "Songs of Muad'Dib" by the Princess Irulan
    Dune


  • He has gone from Alia,
    The womb of heaven!
    Holy, holy, holy!
    Fire-sand leagues
    Confront our Lord.
    He can see
    Without eyes!
    A demon upon him!
    Holy, holy, holy
    Equation:
    He solved for
    Martyrdom!
    The Moon Falls Down,
    "Songs of Muad'Dib" by the Princess Irulan

    Dune Messiah


  • "There is probably no more terrible instant of enlightenment than the one in which you discover your father is a man -- with human flesh."
    "Collected Sayings of Muad'Dib" by the Princess Irulan
    Dune


  • Greatness is a transitory experience. It is never consistent. It depends in part upon the myth-making imagination of humankind. The person who experiences greatness must have a feeling for the myth he is in. He must reflect what is projected upon him. And he must have a strong sense of the sardonic. This is what uncouples him from belief in his own pretensions. The sardonic is all that permits him to move within himself. Without this quality, even occasional greatness will destroy a man.
    "Collected Sayings of Muad'Dib" by the Princess Irulan
    Dune


  • "There is no escape -- we pay for the violence of our ancestors."
    "Collected Sayings of Muad'Dib" by the Princess Irulan
    Dune


  • There should be a science of discontent. People need hard times and oppression to develop psychic muscles.
    "Collected Sayings of Muad'Dib" by the Princess Irulan
    Dune


  • Arrakis teaches the attitude of the knife -- chopping off what's incomplete and saying: "Now, it's complete because it's ended here."
    "Collected Sayings of Muad'Dib" by the Princess Irulan
    Dune


  • The concept of progress acts as a protective mechanism to shield us from the terrors of the future.
    "Collected Sayings of Muad'Dib" by the Princess Irulan
    Dune


  • Deep in the unconscious is a pervasive need for a logical universe that makes sense. But the real universe is always one step beyond logic.
    "Collected Sayings of Muad'Dib" by the Princess Irulan
    Dune


  • How often it is that the angry man rages denial of what his inner self is telling him.
    "Collected Sayings of Muad'Dib" by the Princess Irulan
    Dune


  • Empires do not suffer emptiness of purpose at the time of their creation. It is when they have become established that aims are lost and replaced by vague ritual.
    "Words of Muad'Dib" by Princess Irulan
    Dune Messiah


  • The Fremen were supreme in that quality the ancients called "spannungsbogen" -- which is the self-imposed delay between desire for a thing and the act of reaching out to grasp that thing.
    "The Wisdom of Muad'Dib" by the Princess Irulan
    Dune


  • God created Arrakis to train the faithful.
    "The Wisdom of Muad'Dib" by the Princess Irulan
    Dune


  • The hands move, the lips move --
    Ideas gush from his words,
    And his eyes devour!
    He is an island of Selfdom.
    "Manual of Muad'Dib" by the Princess Irulan
    Dune


  • Do you wrestle with dreams?
    Do you contend with shadows?
    Do you move in a kind of sleep?
    Time has slipped away.
    Your life is stolen.
    You tarried with trifles.
    Victim of your folly.
    Dirge for Jamis on the Funeral Plain,
    "Songs of Muad'Dib" by the Princess Irulan

    Dune


  • My father once told me that respect for the truth comes close to being the basis for all morality. "Something cannot emerge from nothing," he said. This is profound thinking if you understand how unstable "the truth" can be.
    "Conversations with Muad'Dib" by the Princess Irulan
    Dune


  • We came from Caladan -- a paradise world for our form of life. There existed no need on Caladan to build a physical paradise or a paradise of the mind -- we could see the actuality all around us. And the price we paid was the price men have always paid for achieving a paradise in this life -- we went soft, we lost our edge.
    "Muad'Dib: Conversations" by the Princess Irulan
    Dune


  • Thus spoke St. Alia-of-the-Knife: "The Reverend Mother must combine the seductive wiles of a courtesan with the untouchable majesty of a virgin goddess, holding these attributes in tension so long as the powers of her youth endure. For when youth and beauty have gone, she will find that the place-between, once occupied by tension, has become a wellspring of cunning and resourcefulness.
    "Muad'Dib, Family Commentaries" by the Princess Irulan
    Dune


  • How do we approach the study of Muad'Dib's father? A man of surpassing warmth and surprising coldness was the Duke Leto Atreides. Yet, many facts open the way to this Duke: his abiding love for his Bene Gesserit lady; the dreams he held for his son; the devotion with which men served him. You see him there -- a man snared by Destiny, a lonely figure with his light dimmed behind the glory of his son. Still, one must ask: What is the son but an extension of the father?
    "Muad'Dib, Family Commentaries" by the Princess Irulan
    Dune


  • What had the Lady Jessica to sustain her in the time of trial? Think you carefully on this Bene Gesserit proverb and perhaps you will see: "Any road followed precisely to its end leads precisely nowhere. Climb the mountain just a little bit to test that it's a mountain. From the top of the mountain, you cannot see the mountain.
    "Muad'Dib, Family Commentaries" by the Princess Irulan
    Dune


  • It is said that the Duke Leto blinded himself to the perils of Arrakis, that he walked heedlessly into the pit. Would it not be more likely to suggest he had lived so long in the presence of extreme danger he misjudged a change in its intensity? Or is it possible he deliberately sacrificed himself that his son might find a better life? All evidence indicates the Duke was a man not easily hoodwinked.
    "Muad'Dib, Family Commentaries" by the Princess Irulan
    Dune


  • Many have marked the speed with which Muad'dib learned the necessities of Arrakis. The Bene Gesserit, of course, know the basis of this speed. For the others, we can say that Muad'Dib learned rapidly because his first training was in how to learn. And the first lesson of all was the basic trust that he could learn. It is shocking to find how many people do not believe they can learn, and how many more believe learning to be difficult. Muad'Dib knew that every experience carries its lesson.
    "The Humanity of Muad'Dib" by the Princess Irulan
    Dune


  • Prophecy and prescience -- How can they be put to the test in the face of the unanswered questions? Consider: How much is actual prediction of the "wave form" (as Muad'Dib referred to his vision-image) and how much is the prophet shaping the future to fit the prophecy? What of the harmonics inherent in the act of prophecy? Does the prophet see the future or does he see a line of weakness, a fault or cleavage that he may shatter with words or decisions as a diamond-cutter shatters his gem with a blow of a knife?
    "Private Reflections on Muad'Dib by the Princess Irulan
    Dune


  • When law and duty are one, united by religion, you never become fully conscious, fully aware of yourself. You are always a little less than an individual.
    "Muad'Dib: The Ninety-Nine Wonders of the Universe" by Princess Irulan
    Dune


  • Muad'Dib could indeed, see the Future, but you must understand the limits of this power. Think of sight. You have eyes, yet cannot see without light. If you are on the floor of a valley, you cannot see beyond your valley. Just so, Muad'Dib could not always choose to look across the mysterious terrain. He tells us that a single obscure decision of prophecy, perhaps the choice of one work over another, could change the entire aspect of the future. He tells us "The vision of time is broad, but when you pass through it, time becomes a narrow door." And always, he fought the temptation to choose a clear, safe course, warning "That path leads ever down into stagnation."
    "Arrakis Awakening" by the Princess Irulan
    Dune


  • "Control the coinage and the courts -- let the rabble have the rest." Thus the Padishah Emperor advises you. And he tells you: "If you want profits, you must rule." There is truth in these words, but I ask myself: "Who are the rabble and who are the ruled?"
    Muad'Dib's Secret Message to the Landsraad from "Arrakis Awakening" by the Princess Irulan
    Dune


  • And Muad'Dib stood before them, and he said: "Though we deem the captive dead, yet does she live. For her seed is my seed and her voice is my voice. And she sees unto the farthest reaches of possibility. Yea, unto the vale of the unknowable does she see because of me."
    "Arrakis Awakening" by the Princess Irulan
    Dune


  • With the Lady Jessica and Arrakis, the Bene Gesserit system of sowing implant-legends through the Missionaria Protectiva came to its fruition. The wisdom of seeding the known universe with a prophecy pattern for the protection of B.G. personnel has long been appreciated, but never have we seen a condition-ut-extremis with more ideal mating of person and preparation. The prophetic legends had taken on Arrakis even to the extent of adopted labels (including Reverend Mother, canto and respondu,and most of the Shari-a panoplia propheticus). And it is generally accepted now that the Lady Jessica's latent abilities were grossly underestimated.
    "Analysis: The Arrakeen Crisis" by the Princess Irulan
    [private circulation: B.G. file number AR-81088587]

    Dune


  • You cannot avoid the interplay of politics within an orthodox religion. This power struggle permeates the training, educating and disciplining of the orthodox community. Because of this pressure, the leaders of such a community inevitably must face that ultimate internal question: to succumb to complete opportunism as the price of maintaining their rule, or risk sacrificing themselves for the sake of the orthodox ethic.
    "Muad'Dib: The Religious Issues" by the Princess Irulan
    Dune


  • This Fremen religious adaptation, then, is the source of what we now recognize as "The Pillars of the Universe," whose Qizara Tafwid are among us all with signs and proofs and prophecy. They bring us the Arrakeen mystical fusion whose profound beauty is typified by the stirring music built on the old forms, but stamped with the new awakening. Who has not
    heard and been deeply moved by "The Old Man's Hymn"?

    I drove my feet though a desert
    Whose mirage fluttered like a host.
    Voracious for glory, greedy for danger,
    I roamed the horizons of al-Kulab,
    Watching time level mountains
    In its search and its hunger for me.
    And I saw the sparrows swiftly approach,
    Bolder than the onrushing wolf.
    They spread in the tree of my youth.
    I heard the flock in my branches
    And was caught on their beaks and claws!

    "Arrakis Awakening" by the Princess Irulan
    Dune


  • And that day dawned when Arrakis lay at the hub of the universe with the wheel poised to spin.
    "Arrakis Awakening" by the Princess Irulan
    Dune


  • He was warrior and mystic, ogre and saint, the fox and the innocent, chivalrous, ruthless, less than a god, more than a man. There is no measuring Muad'Dib's motives by ordinary standards. In the moment of his triumph, he saw the death prepared for him, yet he accepted the treachery. Can you say e did this out of a sense of justice? Whose justice, then? Remember, we speak now of the Muad'Dib who ordered battle drums made from his enemies' skins, the Muad'Dib who denied the conventions of his ducal past with a wave of his hand, saying merely: "I am the Kwisatz Haderach. That is reason enough."
    "Arrakis Awakening" by the Princess Irulan
    Dune


  • And it came to pass in the third year of the Desert War that Paul-Muad'Dib lay alone in the Cave of Birds beneath the kiswa hangings of an inner cell. And he lay as one dead, caught up in the revelation of the Water of Life, his being translated beyond the boundaries of time by the poison that gives life. Thus was the prophecy made true that the Lisan al-Gaib might be both dead and alive.
    "Collected Legends of Arrakis" by the Princess Irulan
    Dune


  • My father, the Padishah Emperor, took me by the hand one day and I sensed in the ways my mother had taught me that he was disturbed. He led my down the Hall of Portraits to the ego-likeness of the Duke Leto Atreides. I marked the strong resemblance between them -- my father and this man in the portrait -- both with thin, elegant faces and sharp features dominated by cold eyes. "Princess-daughter," my father had said, I would that you'd been older when it came time for this man to choose a woman." My father was 71 at the time and looking no older than the man in the portrait, and I was but 14, yet I remember deducing in that instant that my father secretly wished the Duke had been his son, and disliked the political necessities that made them enemies.
    "In My Father's House" by the Princess Irulan
    Dune


  • Family life of the Royal Creche is difficult for many people to understand, but I shall try to give you a capsule view of it. My father had only one read friend, I think. That was Count Hasimir Fenring, the genetic-eunuch and one of the deadliest fighters in the Imperium. The Count, a dapper and ugly little man, brought a new slave-concubine to my father one day and I was dispatched by my mother to spy on the proceedings. One of 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 subtly instruments of death. It may seem a dreadful thing to say, but I'm not at all sure my father was innocent in all these attempts. Royal Family is not like other families. Here was a new slave-concubine, then, red-haired like my father, willowy and graceful. She had a dancer's muscles, and her training obviously had included neuro-enticement. My father looked at her for a long time as she postured unclothed before him. Finally he said: "She is too beautiful. We will save her as a gift." You have no idea how much consternation this restraint created in the Royal Creche. Subtlety and self-control were, after all, the most deadly threats to us all.
    "In My Father's House" by the Princess Irulan
    Dune


  • No woman, no man, no child ever was deeply intimate with my father. The closest anyone ever came to casual camaraderie with the Padishah Emperor was the relationship offered by Count Hasimir Fenring, a companion from childhood. The measure of Count Fenring's friendship may be seen first in a positive thing: he allayed the Landsraad's suspicions after the Arrakis Affair. It cost more than a billion solaris in spice bribes, so my mother said, and there were other gifts as well: slave women, royal honors, and tokens of rank. The second major evidence of the Count's friendship was negative. He refused to kill a man even though it was within his capabilities and my father commanded it. I will relate this presently.
    "Count Fenring: A Profile" by the Princess Irulan
    Dune


  • In all major socializing forces you will find an underlying movement to gain and maintain power through the use of words. From witch doctor to priest to bureaucrat it is all the same. A governed populace must be conditioned to accept power-words as actual things, to confuse the symbolized system with the tangible universe. In the maintenance of such a power structure, certain symbols are kept out of the reach of common understanding -- symbols such as those dealing with economic manipulation or those which define the local interpretation of sanity. Symbol-secrecy of this form leads to the development of fragmented sub-languages, each being a signal that its users are accumulating some form of power. With this insight into a power process, our Imperial Security Force must be ever alert to the formation of sub-languages.
    Lecture to the Arrakeen War College
    by The Princess Irulan

    Children of Dune


  • When my father, the Padishah Emperor, heard of Duke Leto's death and the manner of it, he went into such a rage as we had never before seen. He blamed my mother and the compact forced on him to place a Bene Gesserit on the throne. He blamed the Guild and the evil old Baron. He blamed everyone in sight, not excepting even me, for he said I was a witch like all the others. And when I sought to comfort him, saying it was done according to an older law of self-preservation to which even the most ancient rulers gave allegiance, he sneered at me and asked if I thought him a weakling. I saw then that he had been aroused to this passion not by concern over the dead Duke but by what that death implied for all royalty. As I look back on it, I think there may have been some prescience in my father, too, for it is certain that his line and Muad'Dib's shared common ancestry.
    "In My Father's House" by the Princess Irulan
    Dune


  • My father, the Padishah Emperor, was 72 yet he looked no more than 35 the year he encompassed his death of Duke Leto and gave Arrakis back to the Harkonnens. He seldom appeared in public wearing other than a Sardaukar uniform and a Burseg's black helmet with the Imperial lion in gold upon its crest. The uniform was an open reminder of where his power lay. he was not always that blatant, though. When he wanted, he could radiate charm and sincerity
    "In My Father's House" by the Princess Irulan
    Dune


  • 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.
    "In My Father's House" by the Princess Irulan
    Dune: House Atreides


  • 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.
    "In My Father's House" by the Princess Irulan
    Dune: House Atreides


  • The man faced with a life-and-death decision must commit himself, or he will remain caught in the pendulum.
    "In My Father's House" by the Princess Irulan
    Dune: House Harkonnen


  • The cultural borrowings and interminglings which have brought us to this moment cover vast distances and an enormous amount of time. Presented with such an awesome panoply, we can only derive a sense of great movement and powerful currents.
    "In My Father's House" by the Princess Irulan
    Dune: House Corrino


  • Peering back through the lens of time, men and women in the future view the personalities of the Great Revolt as larger than life. Such an impression comes not through any distortion of the glass, nor from the process of embellishment that generates mythology. Instead, the heroes of the Jihad were much as they are now remembered; they rose to the occasion when humanity needed them more than ever before.
    Princess Irulan,
    The Lens of Time

    Dune: The Machine Crusade


  • Arrakis: Men saw great danger there, and great opportunity.
    Princess Irulan,
    in Paul of Dune

    Dune: The Machine Crusade


  • The human mind, facing no real challenges, soon grows stagnant. Thus it is essential for the survival of mankind as a species to create difficulties, to face them, and to prevail. The Butlerian Jihad was an outgrowth of this largely unconscoius process, with roots back to the original decision to allow thinking machines too much control, and the inevitable rise of the Omnius Empire.
    Princess Irulan,
    Lessons of the Great Revolt

    Dune: The Machine Crusade



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Copyright �1965 by Frank Herbert


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