Pun Quotes (3 quotes)
Lord Northampton made a very apt quotation on the reading of Captain Denham's paper on the deposits in the Mersey, It appears, said his lordship, that the quality of Mersey is not strained.
In The Literary Gazette (21 Oct 1837), No. 1083, 677. (As an unverified guess by the Webmaster, the paper may have been read at the Royal Society, where the Marquis of Northampton was president 1838-48.)
The quality of Mersey is not strained. A century ago the river of that name, in England, afforded not less than sixty varieties of fish; now it affords none. (1876)
Description of the turbid, polluted River Mersey, Liverpool, England in the nineteenth century. In Daily Alta California (21 Aug 1876), 28, No. 9633, 2. The expression The quality of Mersey is not strained is seen repeated in various sources through the years to the present. The pun refers a line in Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice that The quality of mercy is not strained. An earlier mention appears in Harper's New Monthly Magazine (Dec 1870), 42, No. 247, 158.
The river Mersey, a mile-wide estuary not unlike the Hudson, perhaps in my childhood even more filthy. We used to say the quality of Mersey is not strained.
In Kenneth Ewart Boulding and Richard P. Beilock (Ed.), Illustrating Economics: Beasts, Ballads and Aphorisms (1980, 2009), 3.