What's the "een" in Halloween?
Mercy is something that has to be freely given; no one can force someone else to be merciful. (“Strained” is an old form of “constrained,” meaning “forced.”) From The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare.
A line from the play The Merchant of Venice, by William Shakespeare. Strained means “constrained,” or “forced”; the speaker is telling Shylock that mercy must be freely given, and is inviting him to show mercy to the title character.