Exchange

A Personal View of a Public Question



"Exchange is now quoted at 1–5⅞"
C & M Gazette, December 17th.


I am a man of culture small
With seven mouths to fill,
And do not understand at all
Why money can't keep still;
Bi-metallism is to me
A grim unfathomed mystery.

Years back—ere Mrs Smith was fat
Or I an ardent lover,
The fraudulent Rupee stood at
Two 'bob' and something over.
I led her to the altar—then
It altered too, to one and ten.

Years passed, and children came with years
Demanding food and drink,
And raiment oft—we watched with tears
The vengeful token sink—
Sink with each new born innocent—
Nine, eight and seven—down it went!

We sent them overseas to flee
The fate that dogged their path,
And fed with all economy
Our babe-denuded hearth.
A fourth was born. Next day with pain
I read—'Exchange is down again.'

That was two weary years ago
No other child succeeding,
I hoped 'twould take the hint—but no,
Exchange dropped down unheeding,
To fractions past my counting—Yet
Another filled the bassinette.