Thursday, April 23, 2015

Nobody's Said It Better

April 23 is World Book and Copyright Day (also known as the International Day of the Book).  It's organized by UNESCO to 
recognise the power of books to change our lives for the better and to support books and those who produce them.
I think that's pretty cool.

It's also the accepted date for Shakespeare's birthday.  We don't know exactly when he was born as there is no birth record.  But we have baptismal records.  They show he was baptized April 26, 1564. Baptism at that time and place generally occurred around 3 days after birth.  So . . .

Besides, we know that Shakespeare died on April 23, 1616, which lends an appealing symmetry to his life.

In honor of World Book Day and of Shakespeare, and in recognition of one of this blawg's major themes, from The Merchant of Venice.
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: we do pray for mercy;
And that same prayer doth teach us all to render
The deeds of mercy.


  1. It's a shame this passage isn't quoted as often as I'd like- I think it's some of Shakespeare's best work. And definitely relevant to the content of this blog. Thanks for sharing!