persecuted <merit>

Discussion in 'English Only' started by gil12345, Sep 14, 2017.

  1. gil12345

    gil12345 Senior Member

    Hi there,

    "Woman is destined to pursue no path in which she does not find an enemy. If she is liberal, generous, careless of wealth, friendly to the unfortunate, and bountiful to persecuted merit, she is deemed prodigal, and over-much profuse; all the good she does, every tear she steals from the downcast eye of modest worth, every sigh she converts into a throb of joy, in grateful bosoms, is, by the world, forgotten;"

    Mary Robinson, _Letter to the Women of England_ | Romantic Circles (page 82)

    Based on the context, I think merit should mean "valuable person," but I failed to get this meaning from dictionaries. So I am wondering what it does mean here.


  2. Barque Senior Member

    It's used in a fairly broad sense - it refers to anyone who deserves praise or encouragement or help.

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