Law of Happiness and Misery

In David Copperfield, Charles Dickens’s character Wilkins Micawber pronounced a now-famous law:
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen and six, result happiness.

Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.

My Wage – By Jessie Rittenhouse

I bargained with Life for a penny,
And Life would pay no more,
However I begged at evening
When I counted my scanty store;

For Life is a just employer,
He gives you what you ask,
But once you have set the wages,
Why, you must bear the task.

I worked for a menial’s hire,
Only to learn, dismayed,
That any wage I had asked of Life,
Life would have gladly paid!