The Quality of Mercy

From THE MERCHANT OF VENICE

The quality of mercy is not strained;

It droppeth, as the gentle rain from heaven

Upon the place beneath; it is twice bless’d-

It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes.

‘Tis mightiest in the mightiest: it becomes

The throned monarch better than his crown;

His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,

The attribute to awe and majesty,

Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;

But mercy is above this sceptred sway,

It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,

It is an attribute to God Himself;

And earthly power doth then show likest God’s

When mercy seasons justice.

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