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.
Another part of the Wood.
Buffy: I wonder if Faith be awak'd;
Then what it was that next came to her sight,
Which she must dote on in extremity.
Here comes my messenger. - How now, mad spirit?
What night-rule now about this haunted grove?
Dawn: Thy lady with a monster is in love.
Near to her close and consecrated bower,
While she was in her dull and sleeping hour,
A crew of patches, rude mechanicals,
That work for bread upon Athenian stalls,
Were met together to rehearse a play
Intended for great Giles' nuptial day.
The shallowest thickskin of that barren sort
Who Angel presented in their sport,
Forsook his scene and enter'd in a brake;
When I did him at this advantage take,
A Fyarl Demon's aspect I fixed on his person;
Anon, his Cordelia must be answered,
And forth my mimic comes. When they him spy,
As wild geese that the creeping fowler eye,
Or russet-pated choughs, many in sort,
Rising and cawing at the gun's report,
Sever themselves, and madly sweep the sky,
So at his sight away his fellows fly;
And at our stamp here o'er and o'er one falls;
He murder cries, and help from Athens calls.
Their sense, thus weak, lost with their fears, thus strong,
Made senseless things begin to do them wrong;
For briers and thorns at their apparel snatch;
Some sleeves, some hats; from yielders all things catch.
I led them on in this distracted fear,
And left sweet Angel translated there;
When in that moment, - so it came to pass, -
Faith wak'd, and straightaway lov'd the ass.
When thou say'st 'loved'...
Dawn: I would not have my lady jealous of such a thing;
So chose I a Fyarl, for their lack of...
Buffy: This falls out better than I could devise.
But hast thou yet latch'd the Athenian's eyes
With the love-juice, as I did bid thee do?
Dawn: I took her sleeping, - that is finish'd too, -
And the Athenian woman by her side;
That, when she wak'd, of force she must be eye'd.
Buffy: Good work, my fairy, all is... say'st thou 'she'?
[Enter XANDER and WILLOW.]
Stand close; this is the same Athenian.
Dawn: This is the woman, but the man I know not.
Dawn: My lady?
Buffy: Thou art in so much trouble...
Xander: O, why rebuke you him that loves you
Lay breath so bitter on your bitter foe?
Willow: Now I but chide, but I should use thee worse;
For thou, I fear, hast given me cause to curse.
If thou hast harmed Tara in her sleep, -
Xander: Who did the what now?
Willow: - Being o'er shoes in blood, plunge in the deep,
And kill me too.
The sun was not so true unto the day
As she to me; would she have stol'n away
From sleeping Willow? I'll believe as soon
This whole earth may be bor'd; and that the moon
May through the centre creep, and so displease
Her brother's noontides with the antipodes,
And should I not find Tara darn soon I'll make it happen!
Xander: You pierce me through the heart with your stern cruelty;
Yet you, in so doing, look as bright, as clear,
As yonder Venus in her glimmering sphere.
Willow: What's this to my Tara? Where is she?
Ah, good Xander, wilt thou give her to me?
Xander: Well, it wouldn't be my first choice, -
Willow: Out, dog! Out, cur! Thou driv'st me past the bounds
Of maiden's patience. Hast thou harmed her, then?
Henceforth be never number'd among men!
Xander: You spend your passion on a mispris'd mood;
I am not guilty of Tara's absence;
Nor is she harm'd, for aught that I can tell.
Willow: I pray thee, tell me, then, that she is well.
Xander: And if I could, what should I get therefore?
Willow: How about not having to use a mouse-wheel to keep fit for the rest of your life?
Xander: There is no following her in this fierce vein;
Here, therefore, for awhile I will remain.
So sorrow's heaviness doth heavier grow
For debt that bankrupt sleep doth sorrow owe;
Which now in some light measure it will pay,
If for his tender here I make some stay.
[He lies down.]
Buffy: What hast thou done? Thou hast mistaken quite,
And laid the love-juice on some true-love's sight!
Of thy misprison must perforce ensue
Some true-love turn'd, and not a false turn'd true.
Dawn: Then fate o'er-rules, that, one man
A million fail, confounding oath on oath.
Buffy: About the wood go, swifter than the wind,
And Anya of Athens look thou find;
All fancy-sick she is, and pale of cheer,
With sighs of love, that cost the fresh blood dear.
By some illusion see thou bring her here;
I'll charm his eyes against she do appear.
Dawn: I go, I go; look how I go, -
Swifter than arrow from the Tartar's bow.
Buffy: Dawnie... don't make me kick your fairy butt.
Dawn: I'm going!
[Exit Dawn, hurriedly.]
Buffy: Flower of this purple dye,
Hit with Cupid's archery,
Sink in apple of his eye!
When his love he doth espy,
Let her shine as gloriously
As the Venus of the sky. -
When thou wak'st, if she be by,
Beg of her for remedy.
Dawn: Captain of our fairy band,
Anya of Athens is here at hand,
And the youth mistook by me
Pleading for a lover's fee;
Shall we their fond pageant see?
Lady, what fools these mortals be!
Buffy: And whose fault is that?
Stand aside; the noise they make
Will cause Xander to awake.
Dawn: The youth who follows Anya...
Dawn: Is a lady too.
[Enter TARA and ANYA.]
Tara: Why should you think that I should woo in scorn?
Scorn and derision never come in tears.
Look, when I vow, I weep; and vows so born,
In their nativity all truth appears.
Dawn: So, if Xander doth see both ladies at once...
[Buffy slaps her forehead, glares at Dawn, and rolls up her sleeves.]
Buffy: All is well; I have a plan.
Dawn: My lady?
Buffy: Get her!
Tara: How can these things in me seem scorn to you,
Bearing the badge of faith, to prove them true?
Anya: You do advance your cunning more and more.
When truth kills truth, O devilish-holy fray!
[Buffy and Dawn grab Tara and haul her into the bushes.]
These vows are Willow's; will you give her o'er?
Weigh oath with oath and you will nothing weigh;
Your vows to her and me, put in two scales,
Will even weigh; and both as light as tales.
[She looks around.]
Xander: O Anya, goddess, nymph, perfect, divine!
Anya: Now that's more like it.
Xander: To what, my love, shall I compare thine eyne?
Crystal is muddy. O, how ripe in show
Thy lips, those kissing cherries, tempting grow!
[Anya grows suspicious.]
Anya: Wait a minute...
Xander: That pure congealed white, high Taurus' snow,
Fann'd with the eastern wind, turns to a crow
When thou hold'st up thy hand; O let me kiss
This princess of pure white, this seal of bliss!
Anya: O spite! O hell! I see you are all bent
To set against me for your merriment.
If you were civil, and knew courtesy,
You would not do me thus much injury.
Can you not hate me, as I know you do,
But you must join in souls to mock me too?
If you were good, as good you are in show,
You would not use a gentle lady so;
To vow, and swear, and superpraise my parts,
Xander: Hey, I never had a problem with your parts.
Anya: When I am sure you hate me with your hearts.
You both are rivals, and love Willow;
And now both rivals, to mock Anya;
A trim exploit, a manly enterprise,
To conjure tears up in a poor maid's eyes
With your derision! None of noble sort
Would so offend a virgin- well, a lady, and extort
A poor soul's patience, all to make you sport.
[Seeing Xander awake and besotted by Anya, Buffy and Dawn let Tara go.]
Tara: What happen'd here? Xander?
Xander: Tara, keep thy Willow; I will
If e'er I lov'd her, all that love is past.
My heart with her but as a guest-wise sojourn'd;
And now to Anya is it home return'd.
There to remain.
Tara: Anya? It is not so.
Xander: Disparage not the faith thou dost not know,
Lest, to thy peril, thou aby it dear. -
Look where thy love comes; yonder is thy dear.
Willow: Dark night, that from the eye his function takes,
The ear more quick of apprehension makes;
Wherein it doth impair the seeing sense,
It pays the hearing double recompense; -
Mine ear, I thank it, brought me to thy sound.
But why unkindly didst thou leave me so?
Tara: Why should she stay when... love... I do not know...
Willow: What could press Tara from my side?
Tara: Tara's love, so I thought, did draw her away,
Yet the sight of thine eyes would have me stay.
Beneath my bosom lie two hearts, it seems;
One that I think loves thee still;
Yet another that came'st to me as from a dream,
And to Anya doth entreat me turn my will.
Willow: You speak not as you think; it cannot be.
Anya: Lo, she is one of this confederacy!
Now I perceive they have conjoin'd all three
To fashion this false sport in spite of me.
Injurious Willow! Most ungrateful maid!
Have you conspir'd, have you with these contriv'd
To bait me with this foul derision?
Is all the counsel that we two have shar'd,
The sister's vows, the hours that we have spent,
When we have chid the hasty-footed time
For parting us, - O, is all forgot?
All school-days' friendship, childhood innocence?
And will you rent our ancient love asunder,
To join with men in scorning your poor friend?
It is not friendly, 'tis not maidenly;
Our sex, as well as I, may chide you for it,
Though I alone do feel the injury.
Willow: I am amazed at your passionate words;
I scorn you not; it seems that you scorn me.
Anya: Have you not sent Tara, as in scorn,
To follow me, and praise my eyes and face?
And made your other love, Xander, -
Who even but now did spurn me from his side, -
To call me goddess, nymph, divine, and rare,
Precious, celestial? Wherefore speaks he this
To her he hates? And wherefore doth Tara
Deny your love, so rich within her soul,
And tender me, forsooth, affection,
But by your setting on, by your consent?
For I know, Willow, no power of mortal thought
Could her love for you distort.
[Buffy glares at Dawn.]
What though I be not so in grace as you,
So hung upon with love, so fortunate;
But miserable most, to love unlov'd?
This you should pity, rather than despise.
Willow: I understand not what you mean by this.
Anya: Ay, do persÚver, counterfeit sad looks,
Make mows upon me when I turn my back;
Wink at each other; hold the sweet jest up;
This sport, well carried, shall be chronicled.
If you have any pity, grace, or manners,
You would not make me such an argument.
But, fare ye well; 'tis partly mine own fault;
Which death, or absence, soon shall remedy.
Xander: Stay, gentle Anya; hear my excuse;
My love, my life, my soul, fair Anya!
Anya: O excellent!
Willow: Xander, do not scorn her so.
Anya: Have you no modesty, no maiden shame,
No touch of bashfulness? What! Will you tear
Impatient answers from my gentle tongue?
Fie, fie! You counterfeit, you puppet, you!
Willow: Puppet! Why so? Ay, that way goes the game.
Now I perceive that she hath made compare
Between our statures; she hath urg'd her height;
And with her personage, her tall personage,
Her height, forsooth, she hath prevail'd with her. -
And are you grown so high in her esteem
Because I am so dwarfish and so low?
How low am I, thou painted maypole? Speak;
How low am I? I am not yet so low
But that my nails can reach into thine eyes!
[Willow tackles Anya. Both fall into a pool of mud, and fight.]
Anya: Get you gone, you dwarf; you bead, you acorn;
You minimus, of hind'ring knot-grass made!
Tara: I'm so confused.
Xander: Myself also. But hey! Mud-wrestling!
[Xander sits on a log and watches. Anya crawls out of the pool and shoves Willow away.]
Anya: I will not trust you! I;
Not longer stay in your curst company.
Your hands than mine are quicker for a fray;
My legs are longer though, to run away.
Willow: I am amaz'd, and know not what to say.
[Exit Willow, pursuing Anya, and Tara and Xander, pursuing Willow.]
Buffy: This is thy negligence; still thou mistak'st,
Or else commit'st thy knaveries wilfully.
Dawn: Believe me, queen of shadows, I mistook.
Did you not tell me I should know the youth
By the Athenian garments? And so I did;
And so far blameless proves my enterprise,
That I have 'nointed an Athenian's eyes.
Buffy: If you weren't my sister...
Thou seest these lovers seek a place to fight;
Hie therefore, Dawnie, overcast the night;
The starry welkin cover thou anon
With drooping fog, as black as Acheron
And lead these testy rivals so astray,
As one come not within another's way.
And from each other look thou lead them away,
Till o'er their brows come a peaceful sleep
With leaden legs and batty wings to creep;
Then crush this herb into Tara's - Tara's! - eye;
Whose liquor hath this virtuous property,
To take from thence all error with his might,
And make her eyeballs roll with wonted sight.
When they next wake, all this derision
Shall seem a dream and fruitless vision;
And back to Athens shall the lovers wend,
With league whose date till death shall never end.
Whiles I in this affair do thee employ,
I'll to my queen, and beg her pointy toy;
And then I will her charmed eye release
From monster's view, and all things shall be peace.
[Dawn hurries away, and casts a dark fog over the wood. She leads the lovers round about until they fall asleep, close by each other yet hidden by fog.]
Dawn: On the ground
To your eye,
Gentle lover, remedy.
[Squeezing the flower on Tara's eyes.]
When thou wak'st,
In the sight
Of thy former lady's eye;
[Exit Dawn. Tara, Willow, Xander and Anya sleep.]
Continue to Willow & Tara's A Midsummer Night's Dream, Act Four, Scene One