Maria edgeworth an essay on the noble science of self-justification

It is now commonplace to say that the canon wars of the 1980s and early 1990s provoked changes to anthologies in the following decades. What we read in the Norton, Blackwell, or Broadview anthologies of British or American literature is not what we read thirty years ago. The change has been characterized as a movement away from aesthetic criteria—Matthew Arnold’s famous “the best which has been thought and said in the world”—to a more representative selection, one that conveys the diverse literary landscape of a defined historical period or national tradition. In the 1990s, space opened for underrepresented authors, genres, historical moments, and worldviews; John Milton and William Wordsworth now mingle with Anne Finch and Olaudah Equiano, appearing alongside anonymous popular ballads, snippets of periodical essays, excerpts from novels, and a smattering of letters and speeches—varied content that projects an overall tilt toward diversity of matter, form, and authorial identity. Ours is not, however, the diversity promoted by the literary miscellany, that popular, eclectic, omnivorous genre so omnipresent in earlier periods. Twenty-first-century anthologies seek to represent a broad and varied spectrum of literary production, but they retain a defining feature of the anthology as it was consolidated at the end of the eighteenth century: organization by author in chronological sequence. Even with the addition of thematic sections, anthologized literature as we know it today remains fundamentally historical, and each selection implicitly functions as a representative specimen, an illustrative example standing in for a larger authorial corpus or class of work.

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(Thanks to Stephen Goranson who located the key citations dated 1925 and January 30, 1947. Barry Popik also pointed to the words of Kurt Tucholsky. Thanks to James Marx who pointed to the line spoken by Charlie Chaplin in “Monsieur Verdoux” and to the work by Beilby Porteus. Thanks to Alex Stroup who also pointed to “Monsieur Verdoux”. Thanks to Fred Shapiro’s “The Yale Book of Quotations” which included the Chaplin citation and the 1958 citation. Thanks to commenters Mary and Tucker Lieberman for pointing to Erich Maria Remarque.)

Lord, for to-morrow and its needs I do not pray;
Keep me, my God, from stain of sin, Just for to-day
Let me both diligently work And duly pray;
Let me be kind in word and deed, Just for to-day.
Let me be slow to do my will, Prompt to obey;
Help me to mortify my flesh, Just for to-day.
Let me no wrong or idle word Unthinking, say;
Set Thou a seal upon my lips, Just for to-day.
Let me in season, Lord, be grave, In season, gay;
Let me be faithful to Thy grace, Just for to-day,
And if to-day my tide of life Should ebb away,
Give me Thy sacraments divine, Sweet Lord, to-day.
In Purgatory’s cleansing fires Brief be my stay;
O bid me, if to-day I die, Go home to-day.
So, for to-morrow and its needs I do not pray;
But keep me, guide me, love me, Lord, Just for to-day
S. M. X

Maria edgeworth an essay on the noble science of self-justification

maria edgeworth an essay on the noble science of self-justification

Lord, for to-morrow and its needs I do not pray;
Keep me, my God, from stain of sin, Just for to-day
Let me both diligently work And duly pray;
Let me be kind in word and deed, Just for to-day.
Let me be slow to do my will, Prompt to obey;
Help me to mortify my flesh, Just for to-day.
Let me no wrong or idle word Unthinking, say;
Set Thou a seal upon my lips, Just for to-day.
Let me in season, Lord, be grave, In season, gay;
Let me be faithful to Thy grace, Just for to-day,
And if to-day my tide of life Should ebb away,
Give me Thy sacraments divine, Sweet Lord, to-day.
In Purgatory’s cleansing fires Brief be my stay;
O bid me, if to-day I die, Go home to-day.
So, for to-morrow and its needs I do not pray;
But keep me, guide me, love me, Lord, Just for to-day
S. M. X

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