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Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Another reason why this is an anonymous blog

Charles Wesley, who wrote thousands of hymns, penned the following:

"I beg leave to mention a thought which has been long upon my mind, and which I should long ago have inserted in the public papers, had I not been unwilling to stir up a nest of hornets. Many gentlemen have done my brother and me (though without naming us) the honor to reprint many of our hymns. Now they are perfectly welcome to do so, provided they print them just as they are. But I desire they would not attempt to mend them, for they are really not able. None of them is able to mend either the sense or the verse. Therefore, I must beg of them these two favors: either to let them stand just as they are, to take things for better or worse, or to add the true reading in the margin, or at the bottom of the page, that we may no longer be accountable for the nonsense or for the doggerel of other men."

So you see, if what I write turns out to be of enduring value, we had just better expect it to be reprinted without authorization or even attribution. But, in many cases, with emendation. So it is just as well, I suppose, that it start out without being tagged to any one author, and let it take on a life of its own should it will.

Some time later, it may emerge in such a twisted form that I will have to refute it myself, and all the better then, that it was never attributed to me.

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