The quality of mercy is not strained. 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 thronèd monarch better than his 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 sceptered sway. It is enthronèd 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 be thy 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. — Portia, in William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, Act 4, Scene 1.