A murmur, partly of gratification at Twenty Seven’s celestial state of mind, and partly of indignation against the Contractor who had given him any cause of complaint (a note of which was immediately made by Mr. Creakle), having subsided, Twenty Seven stood in the midst of us, as if he felt himself the principal object of merit in a highly meritorious museum.
There are no more uses of "meritorious" in the book.
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Despite numerous potentially meritorious grounds for appeal, Joe’s appointed appellate counsel filed an Anders brief—indicating his belief that there were no legitimate grounds for appeal and no credible basis to complain about the conviction or sentence—and was permitted to withdraw from representing Joe.
Bryan Stevenson -- Just Mercy
In point of meritorious character, the two things seemed about equal.