This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 10, 2004 3:06 AM. The previous post in this blog was Bronx cheers. The next post in this blog is Comedy gold. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Saturday, January 10, 2004

Above this sceptred sway

I'm grading exams these days, a big old pile of pain for both the exam takers and the grader (that'd be me). I've got it down to a system, including erasable color pencils, classical music on the radio, and a big old nasty Excel sheet. But there's no room for complacency -- the grades we assign in law school courses often have a big impact on the students' futures.

When it's time for a break, such as now, almost any pastime will do. This time around, a moment of reflection on the famous words of Willy the Shake:

The quality of mercy is not strainíd,
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.
íTis 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 enthroned in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute to God himself;
And earthly power doth then show likest Godís,
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.
Obviously, Portia was not working with a mandatory curve.

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