A monologue from Act I, Scene iii

by: William Shakespeare

NOTE: The Merchant of Venice was first published in 1600. It is now a public domain work and may be performed without royalties.

SHYLOCK: 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'?