Author: Chris Cook
Disclaimer: Based on characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer created by Joss Whedon and his talented minionators, and A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare.
SCENE, - The Town of MONTE ATHENA in Tuscany, and a Wood not far from it.
A wood near ATHENS.
[The Fairies scatter as BUFFY, their Queen, appears. Lightning and thunder show in the sky. FAITH, Queen-Regent, enters with her Attendants.]
Buffy: Ill met by moonlight, proud Faith.
Faith: What, jealous Buffy! Fairies, skip hence;
I have forsworn her bed and company.
Buffy: Tarry, rash wanton: am I not thy lady?
Faith: Then I must be thy lady too: but I know
When thou hast stol'n away from fairy-land,
And in the shape of mortal girl sat all day,
Playing on pipes of corn, and flirting
To amorous boys. Why art thou here,
Come from the farthest steep of India?
But that, forsooth, the bouncing Gypsy,
Who you admire, and count as friend,
To Giles must be wedded; and you come
To give their bed joy and prosperity.
Buffy: Not in person! For they are old, and that's gross.
But how can'st thou thus, for shame, Faith,
Glance at my credit with Jenny,
Knowing I know thy jealousy for the respect of Giles?
Faith: These are the forgings of jealousy;
And never, since the middle summer's spring,
Met we on hill, in dale, forest or mead,
By paved fountain, or by rushy brook,
Or on the beached margent of the sea,
To dance our ringlets to the whistling wind,
But with thy brawls thou hast disturb'd our sport.
Therefore the winds, piping to us in vain,
As in revenge, have suck'd up from the sea
Cnotagious fogs; which, falling in the land,
Have every pelting river made so proud
That they have overborne their continents;
The ox hath therefore stretch'd his yoke in vain,
The ploughman lost his sweat, and the green corn
Hath rotted ere his youth attain'd a beard;
The fold stands empty in the drowned field,
And crows are fatted with the murrain flock;
The nine men's morris is fill'd up with mud;
And the quaint mazes in the wanton green,
For lack of tread, are undistinguishable;
The human mortals want their winter here;
No night is now with hymn or carol blest; -
Therefore the moon, the governess of floods,
Pale in her anger, washes all the air,
That rheumatic diseases do abound;
And through this distemperature we see
The seasons alter; hoary-headed frosts
Fall in the fresh lap of the crimson rose;
And on old Hyem's chin and icy crown
And odorous chaplet of sweet summer buds
Is, as in mockery, set; the spring, the summer,
The chilling autumn, angry winter, change
Their wonted liveries; and the maz'd world,
By their increase, now knows not which is which;
And this same progeny of evil comes
From our debate, from our dissension;
We are their parents and original.
Buffy: Do you amend it then; it lies in you;
Why should Faith cross her Buffy?
I do but beg a little stake
To be my weapon.
Faith: Set your heart at rest;
The fairy-land buys not the weapon of me.
Her wielder was a slayer of my order;
And, in the spiced Indian air, by night.
Full often hath she gossip'd by my side;
And sat with me on Neptune's yellow sands,
Marking the embarked traders on the flood;
When we have laugh'd to see the sails conceive,
And grow big-bellied with the wanton wind;
Which she, with pretty and with swimming gait,
Following, - the weapon she gifted to me in her hand, -
Would imitate; and sail upon the land,
To fetch me trifles, and return again,
As from a voyage, rich with merchandise,
But she, being mortal, at the hand of Drusilla did die;
And for her sake I do bear this stake;
And for her sake I will not part with it.
Buffy: How long within this wood intend you to stay?
Faith: Perchance till after Giles' wedding-day,
If you will patiently dance in our round,
And see our moonlight revels, go with us;
If not, shun me, and I will spare your haunts.
Buffy: Give me that stake and I will go with thee.
Faith: Not for thy fairy kingdom. Fairies, away;
We shall chide downright if I longer stay.
[Exit Faith and her Fairies.]
Buffy: Well, go thy way; thou shalt not from this grove
Till I torment thee for this injury. -
My gentle Dawn, come hither; thou remember'st
Since once I sat upon a promontory,
And heard a mermaid, on a dolphin's back,
Uttering such dulcet and harmonious breath,
That the rude sea grew civil at her song,
And certain stars shot madly from their spheres
To hear the sea-maid's music.
Dawn: I remember.
Buffy: That very time I saw, - but thou couldst not, -
Flying between the cold moon and the earth-
Dawn: I know this one, some sort of witch-hunting demon?
Buffy: No, t'was Cuipid all arm'd; a certain aim he took
At a fair vestal, throned by the west;
And loos'd his arrow smartly from his bow,
As it should pierce a hundred thousand hearts;
But I might see young Cupid's fiery shot
Quench'd in the chaste beams of the watery moon;
And the imperial votaress passed on,
In maiden-meditation, fancy-free.
Yes mark'd I where the bolt of Cupid fell;
It fell upon a little western flower, -
Before milk-white, now purple with love's wound, -
And maidens call it love-in-idleness.
Fetch me that flower; the herb I show'd thee once;
The juice of it on sleeping eyelids laid
Will make a man or woman madly dote
Upon the next live creature that it sees.
Fetch me this herb, and be thou here again
Ere the leviathan can swim a league.
Dawn: Well, that would be no great deed, since thou slew leviathan,
And he now rests in watery grave immobile.
Dawn: Okay! I'll put a girdle round about the earth
In forty minutes.
Buffy: Having once this juice,
I'll watch Faith when she is asleep,
And drop the liquor of it in her eyes;
The next thing she waking looks upon, -
Be it on demon, zombie, or vampire, or ghost,
On meddling monkey, or on busy ape, -
She shall pursue it with the soul of love.
And ere I take this charm off from her sight, -
As I can take it with another herb,
I'll make her render up her stake to me.
But who comes here? I am invisible;
And I will overhear their conference.
[Enter XANDER, ANYA following him.]
Xander: I love thee not, therefore pursue me not.
Where is Tara and fair Willow?
The one I'll banish, the other banisheth me.
Thou told'st me they were stol'n into this wood,
And here I am, and wood within this wood,
Because I cannot meet with Willow.
Hence, get thee gone, and follow me no more.
Anya: You draw me, you hard-hearted adamant;
But yet you draw not iron, for my heart
Is true as steel. Leave you your power to draw,
And I shall have no power to follow you.
Xander: Do I entice you? Do I speak you fair?
Or, rather, do I not in plainest truth
Tell you I do not, nor I cannot love you?
Anya: And even for that do I love you the more.
I am your bunny; and, Xander,
The more you beat me, - as indeed bunnies should be used,
For they are vile things, - I will fawn on you;
Use me but as your bunny, spurn me, ignore me,
Neglect me, lose me; only give me leave,
Unworthy as I am, to follow you.
What worser place can I beg in your love,
And yet a place of high respect with me, -
Than to be used as you use your bunny?
[In her passion, Anya reverts to her demonic visage.]
Xander: I have told you before, use not that face with me;
For I am sick when I do look on thee.
[Anya checks her face, and reverts to human form.]
Anya: And I am sick when I look not on you.
Xander: You do impeach your modesty too much,
To leave the city, and commit yourself
Into the hands of one that loves you not;
To truth the opportunity of night,
And the ill counsel of a desert place,
With the rich worth of your virginity.
[Anya looks slightly sheepish. After a moment, Xander does also.]
Anya: Your virtue is my privilege for that.
It is not night when I do see your face,
Therefore I think I am not in the night;
Nor doth this wood lack worlds of company;
For you, in my respect, are all the world;
Then how can it be said I am alone
When all the world is here to look on me?
Xander: I'll run from thee, and hide me in the brakes,
And leave thee to the mercy of wild beasts.
Anya: The wildest hath not such a heart as you.
Run when you will, the story shall be chang'd;
Apollo flies, and Daphne holds the chase;
The dove pursues the griffin; the mild hind
Makes speed to catch the tiger, - bootless speed,
When cowardice pursues and valour flies.
Xander: I will not stay thy questions; let me go;
Or, if thou follow me, do not believe
But I shall cause thee mischief in the wood,
For there are many wild creatures about,
And though I would protect thee from them, detest thee though I do,
I would perforce run away and hide, for I fighteth like a girl.
Anya: Ay, in the temple, in the town, the field,
You do me mischief. Fie, Xander!
Your wrongs do set a scandal on my sex;
We cannot fight for love as men may do;-
Xander: Thou could'st have fooled me!
Anya: -We should be woo'd, and were not made to woo.
I'll follow thee, and make a heaven of hell,
To die upon the hand I love so well.
[Exeunt Xander and Anya.]
Buffy: Fare thee well, nymph; ere he do leave this grove,
Thou shalt fly him, and he shall seek thy love. -
Hast thou the flower there? Welcome, wanderer.
Dawn: Ay, there it is.
Buffy: I pray thee, give it me.
I know a bank whereon the wild thyme blows,
Where ox-lips and the nodding violet grows;
Quite over-canopied with lush woodbine,
With sweet musk roses, and with eglantine;
There sleeps Faith sometime of the night,
Lulled in these flowers with dances and delight;
And there the snake throws her enamell'd skin,
Weed wide enough to wrap a fairy in;
And with the juice of this I'll streak her eyes,
And make her full of hateful fantasies.
Take thou some of it, and seek through this grove
A sweet Athenian lady is in love
With a disdainful youth; anoint the youth's eyes;
But do it when the next thing so espied
May be the lady; thou shalt know the pair
By the Athenian garments they hath on.
Effect it with some care, that the nymph's love may prove
More fond on her than she upon her love;
And look thou meet me ere the first cock crow.
Rooster, thou gutter-minded fairy.
Dawn: Fear not, my lady, your servant shall do so.
Continue to Willow & Tara's A Midsummer Night's Dream, Act Two, Scene Three