They would have considered it money well spent to rid the community of an eyesore, but he was well satisfied to remain and to subsist miserably on the proceeds of a bale of cotton a year and the charity of his neighbors.
There are no more uses of "subsist" in the book.
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Many people in the world have to subsist on $1 a day.
Mr. Grote has returned from the woods empty-handed for the past three days, and we’re subsisting on eggs and potatoes.