25 January 1968,
Dean asked me if I'd do a little Shakespeare, I decided to do something from The Merchant of Venice, you know, Sjhakespeare said just about everything that needed to be said on every subject, and I think on the matter of bigotry, no one has ever spoken out better than he has three hundred years ago, so I'm going to do a short scene from the Merchant of Venice.
Just imagine that I'm Shylock, an old Jewish moneylender, who lives in the Jewish ghetto of Venice, hated by the Christians, and he is approached by his old enemy, the merchant Antonio who wants to borrow 3000 ducats.
Signior Antonio, many a time and oft
In the Rialto you have rated me
About my moneys and my usances.
Still have I borne it with a patient shrug,
For suff'rance is the badge of all our tribe.
You call me misbeliever, cutthroat dog,
And spit upon my Jewish gaberdine,
And all for use of that which is mine own.
Well then, it now appears you need my help.
Go to then. You come to me and you say,
'Shylock, we would have moneys'--you say so,
You that did void your rheum upon my beard
And foot me as you spurn a stranger cur
Over your threshold! Moneys is your suit.
What should I say to you? Should I not say,
'Hath a dog money? Is it possible
A cur can lend three thousand ducats? 'Or
Shall I bend low, and in a bondman's key,
With bated breath and whisp'ring humbleness, Say this:
'Fair sir, you spit on me on Wednesday last,
You spurred me such a day, another time
You called me dog; and for these courtesies
I'll lend you thus much moneys'?
To bait fish withal: if it will feed nothing else,
it will feed my revenge. He hath disgraced me, and
hindered me half a million; laughed at my losses,
mocked at my gains, scorned my nation, thwarted my
bargains, cooled my friends, heated mine
enemies; and what's his reason? I am a Jew. Hath
not a Jew eyes? hath not a Jew hands, organs,
dimensions, senses, affections, passions? fed with
the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject
to the same diseases, healed by the same means,
warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as
a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed?
if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison
us, do we not die? and if you wrong us, shall we not
revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will
resemble you in that. If a Jew wrong a Christian,
what is his humility? Revenge. If a Christian
wrong a Jew, what should his sufferance be by
Christian example? Why, revenge. The villany you
teach me, I will execute, and it shall go hard but I
will better the instruction.