by William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616)
Translation by Marcelino Menéndez y Pelayo (1856 - 1912)

The quality of mercy is not strained
Language: English 
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:
‘T is 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 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:]1 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 thy plea;
Which if thou follow, this strict court of Venice
Must needs give sentence ‘gainst the merchant there.]1

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2015-02-14
Line count: 22
Word count: 173

La clemencia no quiere fuerza
Language: Spanish (Español)  after the English 
La clemencia no quiere fuerza: 
es como la plácida lluvia del cielo 
que cae sobre un campo y le fecunda: 
dos veces bendita porque consuela 
al que la da y al que la recibe. 
Ejerce su mayor poder entre los grandes: 
el signo de su autoridad en la tierra es el cetro, 
rayo de los monarcas. Pero aún vence al cetro la clemencia, 
que vive, como en su trono, en el alma de los reyes. 
La clemencia es atributo divino, 
y el poder humano se acerca al de Dios, 
cuando modera con la piedad la justicia. 
Hebreo, ya que pides no más que justicia, 
piensa que si sólo justicia hubiera, 
no se salvaria ninguno de nosotros. 
Todos los dias, en la oracion, pedimos clemencia, 
pero la misma oración nos enseña á perdonar 
como deseamos que nos perdonen. 
Te digo esto, sólo para moverte á compasión, 
porque como insistas en tu demanda, 
no habrá más remedio, con arreglo á las leyes de Venecia, 
que sentenciar el pleito en favor tuyo y contra Antonio.

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Researcher for this text: Andrew Schneider [Guest Editor]

This text was added to the website: 2019-05-07
Line count: 22
Word count: 172