PORZIA in «Der Kaufmann von Venedig»

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Act IV, Scene I 

Venice. Portia at the Court.

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PORTIA:
The quality of mercy is not strain`d,
It droppeth as tghe 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 then the crown.
His scepter 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: therefore Jew,
Though justice by the plea, consider this,
That in the course of justice, none of us
Should see salvation: we do pray for mercy,
And that same prayer, doth teach us all to render
The deeds of mercy. I have spoke thus much
To mitigate the justice of my plea,
Which if thou follow, this strict court of Venice
Must needs gibe sentence 'gainst the merchant there.