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The meaning and origin of the expression: The quality of mercy is not strained

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The quality of mercy is not strained

Origin

Portrait of William ShakespeareFrom Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, 1596.

PORTIA:

The quality of mercy is not strain'd,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest;
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;

See other phrases and sayings from Shakespeare.