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24 Dec 2017

“The quality of mercy is not strained,” Portia tells Shylock in “The Merchant of Venice.” It is “twice blest; it blesseth him that gives and him that takes.” The billionaire J. Paul Getty would probably have disagreed with Shakespeare’s take. A hoarder of women, art, antiquities — and most of all, money — Getty also might have taken issue with Portia’s claim that mercy “becomes the throned monarch better than his crown.”