HOW TO LIVE ON THREE SHILLINGS A WEEK, OR THE POOR SURAT WEAVER’S LAMENT.
Hungry, weary and wan,
Useless the kettle and pan;
I applied for a pass,
To the sewing class,
To a kindly reputed man.
“What have you in earnings, now?”
Asked he, with a clouded brow.
I, with modesty meek,
Said, “Three shillings per week;”
He said “There’s no stitching for you.”
I replied, whereupon,
“My chemise are done;
My underclothes all worn to rags;
The dress I now wear,
You see is threadbare,
And the soles of my feet on the flags.
“Three muffins per day,
But no coffee or tea;
A penny for ‘tatoes at noon;
Three farthings for fuel,
A farthing for gruel,
Leaves nothing to pay for my room.
“My three shillings are gone,
I’ve no light but the sun;
Not a candle to see me to bed;
Not a penny for clothes,
Not a farthing for shoes,
No bonnet or cap for my head.
“No mutton or beef,
From such scale of relief,
Can th’ poor Surat weaver e’er taste;
No butter or grease,
Can e’er have a place,
On the table where she has to feast.
“This little support
Is to encourage work!
Good gracious how shuttles will fly!
What ribbons and lace
Will adorn my pale face,
Made rosy with pudding and pie!”