Punch,  33 (1857), 220.

Mrs Threadneadle's Complaint



Poetry, Drollery


Medical Treatment, Commerce, Health, Disease

    A poem written from the perspective of the ailing 'old lady', the Bank of England, an institution much affected by the recent financial crisis in the City, resulting from the collapse of American banks following railway speculation. After expressing hope that 'The Doctors' will cure her, she describes her medical symptoms, which refer to periodic financial crises. For example, she notes that it is a 'sort of a contraction, with a tightness and a dizziness, / That won't allow a body for to go about her business' and 'comes on with a pressure, and a clutching and a clawing, / Then there's a running at the chest, a pulling, and a drawing, / And then there is an emptiness [...] With a kind of nervous shaking'. Feels that she is going to die but that she will be stronger if her 'stays' are cut. Claims that she is being plagued by her 'nephews' and 'nieces' pursuing 'some [commercial] delusion'.

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