Quotation by Shakespeare

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.
William Shakespeare (1564–1616), British dramatist, poet. Portia, in The Merchant of Venice, act 4, sc. 1, l. 193-7.

Offering Shylock the chance to show mercy; "sceptred sway" means earthly rule; "attribute to means characteristic of.
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