Tips, opportunities to make money：Mobile phone online make money pocket moneySuch was the indifference now displayed by the directors, that the minutes of each successive meeting threatened to become mere repetitions of one another, trite records of unswerving, uniform approval; and so it became necessary to attribute scruples and remarks to sundry members of the board, to concoct indeed an entirely imaginary discussion, which nobody was surprised to find recorded, when, at the following meeting, the minutes were read over in all seriousness and duly signed.
Knowing the good and grand news that Hamelin had brought with him, Daigremont no sooner espied him than he rushed forward and heartily grasped his hands. 'Ah! my dear chairman,' said he, 'how glad I am to congratulate you!'
They all surrounded the engineer and welcomed him, including even Saccard, who behaved as though he had not seen him before; and when the meeting commenced, and Hamelin began to read the report which he was to present to the shareholders, they listened—a very unusual thing. The fine[Pg 262] results already obtained, the magnificent promises for the future, the ingenious system for increasing the capital, and at the same time releasing the old shares, all announcements were received with admiring nods of the head. And nobody had any thought of asking for explanations. It was perfect. Sédille having pointed out an error in a figure, it was even agreed not to insert his remarks in the minutes in order not to disturb the beautiful unanimity of the gathering; and then everyone signed in rapid succession, under the influence of enthusiasm, and without making any observation.
Tips, opportunities to make money：Is it true that DXS online make money?The meeting was already over; they were on their feet, laughing and joking, amid the resplendent gildings of the room. The Marquis de Bohain described an imperial shooting party at Fontainebleau; while Deputy Huret, who had lately been to Rome, related how he had received the blessing of the Pope. Kolb had just disappeared, running off to keep some appointment. And to the other directors, the supernumeraries, Saccard, in a low tone, gave them his instructions respecting the attitude which they were to take up at the approaching meeting. Daigremont, however, worried by the Viscount de Robin-Chagot's inordinate praise of Hamelin's report, caught hold of the manager's arm as he passed by to whisper in his ear: 'Not too fast, eh?'
Tips, opportunities to make money：What things can make money onlineSaccard stopped short and looked at him. He remembered how he had originally hesitated to bring Daigremont into the affair, knowing that he was not over reliable in financial matters. And in a loud voice, so that all might hear, he now replied: 'Oh! who loves me must follow me!'
Three days later, the specially summoned meeting of shareholders was held in the grand Salle des Fêtes at the H?tel du Louvre. They had not cared for that bare sorry-looking hall in the Rue Blanche for such a solemnity as this; they wanted the use of a gala gallery, still warm with life between some banquet and some wedding ball. According to the articles of association, it was necessary to hold at least twenty shares in order to be admitted; and the shareholders who attended were over twelve hundred in number, representing four thousand and odd votes. The formalities at the entrance,[Pg 263] the presentation of tickets and signing of names in a special register, occupied over two hours. A tumult of gay chatter filled the gallery, in which were to be seen all the directors and many of the principal employees of the Universal. Sabatani was there talking to a group of acquaintances about his country, the East, in a languishing, caressing voice, relating marvellous tales about it, as though the region were some Tom Tiddler's ground where one need but stoop in order to pick up gold, silver, and precious stones; and Maugendre, who in June had made up his mind to buy fifty shares at one thousand two hundred francs apiece, convinced as he was of a further rise, stood listening to the Levantine open-mouthed and well pleased with the keenness of his scent. Meantime Jantrou, who, since he had become rich had been leading an altogether depraved life, chuckled to himself, his mouth twisted into an ironical grimace, and his head heavy with his orgy of the previous night.
When Hamelin had taken the chair and opened the meeting, Lavignière, who had been re-elected auditor and was soon to be raised to a position on the board—his dream—was called upon to read a report on the financial situation of the Bank, such as it would be at the end of next December. In order to comply with the statutes, Saccard had devised this plan of controlling, as it were, the anticipatory balance-sheet which the meeting would have to deal with. Lavignière reminded the shareholders of the balance-sheet of the previous year, presented at the ordinary meeting in April—that magnificent balance-sheet which had shown a net profit of eleven millions and a half, and after allowing five per cent. for the shareholders, ten per cent. for the directors, and ten per cent. also for the reserve fund, had admitted of the further distribution of a dividend of thirty-three per cent. Then, with a deluge of figures, he established that the sum of thirty-six million francs given as the approximate profits of the current year, far from seeming to him exaggerated, fell short of the most modest hopes. Undoubtedly he was sincere, and had conscientiously examined the documents submitted for his verification; but, in order to study a set of accounts thoroughly,[Pg 264] it is necessary to draw up another set. Besides, the shareholders did not listen to him. Only a few devotees, Maugendre and others, petty holders who represented a vote or two, drank in his figures amid the persistent hum of conversation. For the others the auditors' report was not of the slightest consequence. It was only when Hamelin at last arose that a religious silence ensued. Not at once, however, for applause broke out even before he had opened his mouth, as a homage to the zeal and stubborn, brave genius of this man, who had gone so far in search of barrels of money to empty them upon Paris. After that came ever-increasing success, swelling into triumph. The audience hailed a fresh reminder of the balance-sheet of the previous year, which Lavignière had been unable to make them hear. But the estimates of the approaching balance-sheet especially excited their delight—millions for the Steam Navigation Company, millions for the Carmel silver-mine, millions for the Turkish National Bank; and the addition seemed endless, the thirty-six millions grouped themselves in an easy natural fashion, and then fell in a cascade with a ringing sound. But a further horizon was revealed, when the future operations were dealt with. The Oriental Railway Company appeared—at first the main line, the work in connection with which was about to begin; then the branch lines, the whole network of modern industry and enterprise thrown over Asia, humanity's triumphant return to its cradle, the resurrection of the old world. And in the far distance loomed up the mystery which they did not speak of, the crowning of the edifice which was to astonish the nations. When Hamelin at last came to the explanation of the resolutions which he intended to submit to the meeting there was perfect unanimity. A thunder of applause greeted the proposals to increase the capital and release the stock. Above all heads could be seen Maugendre's fat hands clapping vigorously. On the foremost benches, too, the directors and employees made a furious uproar, through which pierced the voice of Sabatani, who had risen to his feet and shouted 'Brava!' as though he had been at a theatre. All the resolutions were then adopted by acclamation.
Saccard, however, had planned an incident, which was introduced into the proceedings at this point. He was aware that he was accused of gambling, and wished to efface even the slightest suspicions from the minds of distrustful shareholders should there be any in the hall. Accordingly, Jantrou, whom he had coached, rose up, and addressing the chairman in his thick, husky voice, exclaimed: 'I believe, Mr. Chairman, that I am acting as the mouthpiece of many shareholders in inquiring if it is certain that the Bank possesses none of its own shares!'
Hamelin, who had not been forewarned, remained embarrassed for a moment. Then he instinctively turned towards Saccard, who had hitherto been hidden away in his seat, but who now suddenly rose, and, perched on tip-toe to increase his stature, replied in his strident voice: 'No, not one, Mr. Chairman!'
Bravoes, no one knew why, again burst forth at this announcement. Though Saccard really lied, it was nevertheless a fact that the Bank had not a single share standing in its own name, since Sabatani and the others covered it. And that was all; there was some further applause, and then they all made their exit amid gaiety and noise.
The report of this meeting, published in the newspapers, at once produced an enormous effect at the Bourse and all over Paris. For this moment Jantrou had kept in reserve a last shower of puffs, the loudest flourishes that had been blown for a long time on the trumpets of advertising. Moreover, he had at last just executed his grand stroke, the purchase of the C?te Financière, that substantial old journal which had twelve years of stainless honesty behind it. It had cost a great deal of money, but the serious customers, the trembling middle-class folks, the prudent people with huge fortunes, the mass of self-respecting men of money, had been gained by it. In a fortnight the figure of fifteen hundred francs was reached at the Bourse, and in the last days of August, by successive leaps, the shares rose to two thousand. The infatuation was still at fever-heat; the paroxysm became more and more intense each day. Folks bought and bought; even the most prudent went on[Pg 266] buying, convinced that the shares would rise higher yet, go up indeed for ever and ever. It was as though the mysterious caverns of the Arabian Nights were opening, as though the incalculable treasures of the Caliphs were being offered to the greed of Paris. Such was the public enchantment that all the dreams which for months past had been spoken of in whispers now appeared to be on the point of realisation: the cradle of humanity was being reoccupied, the old historic cities of the coast were being resuscitated from their sand. Damascus, then Bagdad, then India and China, would be exploited by the invading troop of French engineers. The conquest of the East, which Napoleon had been unable to accomplish with his sword, was to be realised by a financial company sending an army of pickaxes and wheelbarrows thither. Asia would be conquered by dint of millions, and billions would be derived from it in return. And especially was this the hour of triumph for the crusade undertaken by the women at their little five-o'clock gatherings, at their grand midnight receptions, at table and elsewhere. They had clearly foreseen it all. Constantinople was taken; they would soon have Broussa, Angora, and Aleppo; later they would secure Smyrna, Trebizond, all the cities to which the Universal laid siege, until the day came when they should conquer the last one, the holy city which they did not name, but which was, as it were, the Eucharistic promise of the expedition. Fathers, husbands, and lovers, compelled to it by the passionate ardour of the women, went to give their brokers orders to the repeated cry of 'Dieu le veut!' And at last came the dreadful crush of the small and humble, of the tramping crowd that follows large armies, passion descending from the drawing-room to the kitchen, from the merchant to the workman and the peasant, and sweeping along in this mad gallop of millions innumerable poor subscribers with but one share or three or four or ten shares apiece, door-portresses nearly ready to retire, old maids living with their cats, provincial pensioners with allowances of ten sous a day, country priests whom almsgiving had left almost penniless; in fact, the[Pg 267] whole emaciated hungry mass of infinitesimal capitalists, those whom a catastrophe at the Bourse sweeps away like an epidemic, and at one stroke stretches in paupers' graves.
And this exaltation of Universal shares, this ascension which carried them up as if on a divine wind, went on to the accompaniment of the yet louder and louder music that arose from the Tuileries and the Champ de Mars and of the endless festivities with which the Exhibition intoxicated Paris. The flags flapped more noisily in the oppressive atmosphere of the warm summer days; not an evening came but the burning city sparkled beneath the stars like a colossal palace in which debauchery went on until the dawn. The joy had spread from house to house; the streets were an intoxication; a cloud of yellow vapour—the steam of festivities, the sweat of revellers—travelled away to the horizon, rolling its coils over the house-roofs, wrapping Paris in the lurid night of Sodom, Babylon, and Nineveh.
Ever since May emperors and kings had been coming thither on pilgrimage from the four corners of the world—endless processions, well-nigh a hundred sovereigns, princes, and princesses. Paris was thoroughly satiated with Majesties and Highnesses; it had welcomed the Emperor of Russia and the Emperor of Austria, the Sultan of Turkey and the Viceroy of Egypt; and it had thrown itself under the wheels of carriages in order to get a nearer view of the King of Prussia, whom Count von Bismarck followed like a faithful dog. Salutes of honour were continually thundering from the Invalides, while the dense crowd at the Exhibition made a popular success of the huge, sombre Krupp guns, which Germany exhibited there. Almost every week the Opera was lighted up for some official festivity. Folks stifled in the little theatres and the restaurants, all crowded to excess, and the Boulevard footways were no longer wide enough for the overflowing torrent of frail women. Napoleon III. himself wished to distribute the awards to the sixty thousand exhibitors in a ceremony which surpassed all others in magnificence—a 'glory,' as it were, burning on the brow of Paris, the resplendency of the reign, when the Emperor, amid illusive[Pg 268] radiance, appeared as the master of Europe, speaking with the calmness of conscious strength and promising peace. Yet on the very morning of the ceremony, tidings of the frightful Mexican tragedy, the execution of Maximilian, had reached the Tuileries. French blood and treasure had been lavishly expended for naught; and the news was designedly concealed from the people in order that the festivities might not be saddened. Nevertheless it was the first stroke of the knell sounding solemnly already, albeit the reign had scarce passed its meridian, and dazzling sunlight still prevailed.
And amidst this glory it seemed as if Saccard's star rose higher still, attained also to yet greater brilliancy. At last, as had been his endeavour for so many years, he had made fortune a slave, a thing of his own, a thing one can dispose of, keep under lock and key, alive and real. So many times had falsehood dwelt in his coffers, so many millions had flowed through them, escaping by all sorts of unknown holes! But this was no longer the deceptive splendour of the fa?ade; it was real sovereignty substantially based upon full sacks of gold; and he did not exercise this sway like a Gundermann, after long years of economy on the part of a whole line of bankers, he laid the proud unction to his soul that he himself had acquired it like a soldier of fortune who conquers a kingdom at a stroke. In the days of his land speculations in the Quartier de l'Europe he had often risen very high; but never had he felt conquered Paris fawning so humbly at his feet as now. And he recalled the day when, breakfasting at Champeaux', ruined once more, and doubting his star, he had cast hungry glances at the Bourse, furiously eager for his revenge, feverishly longing to begin everything, reconquer everything again. Accordingly, now that he had become the master once more, great was his appetite for enjoyment! In the first place, as soon as he believed himself omnipotent he got rid of Huret, and instructed Jantrou to launch against Rougon an article in which the Minister, in the name of the Catholics of France, was openly accused of playing a double game in the Roman question. This was the definitive declaration of war between the two brothers. Since the convention[Pg 269] of September 15, 1864, and especially since Sadowa, the French clerical party had pretended to be deeply anxious about the Pope's position; and so now 'L'Espérance' resumed its old Ultramontane politics and violently attacked the liberal Empire, such as the decrees of January 19 had begun to make it. A remark of Saccard's circulated in the Chamber: he had said that, in spite of his profound affection for the Emperor, he would resign himself to Henry V., the Count de Chambord, rather than allow the revolutionary spirit to lead France into catastrophes. Then, his audacity increasing with his victories, he no longer concealed his plan of attacking the great Jew bankers in the person of Gundermann, whose billion he meant to breach and breach until the time came for assault and final capture. As the Universal had acquired such miraculous development, why should it not, a few years hence, with the support of entire Christendom, become the sovereign mistress of the Bourse? And Saccard, with warlike bluster, affected the demeanour of a rival, a neighbouring king of equal power, whilst Gundermann, very phlegmatic, without even indulging in a grimace of irony, continued watching and waiting—to all appearances simply interested by the continual rise of Universal stock—like a man who has placed his firm reliance in patience and logic.
His passions had thus elevated Saccard, and his passions were fated to ruin him. Gorged though he was, he would have liked to have found a sixth sense to satisfy. Madame Caroline, who had come to that point that she always smiled, even when her heart was bleeding, remained a friend to whom he would listen with a kind of conjugal deference. But the Baroness Sandorff, icily cold despite her ardent eyes, no longer had any attraction for him. Besides, he was too busy, too absorbed to indulge in a grande passion. All he wanted, all he cared about, was some woman whom he might parade as a token of wealth, just like another man might flaunt a huge diamond pin in his cravat. That pin with some would be an advertisement; and it was for advertisement's sake and[Pg 270] for the mere satisfaction of vanity that Saccard, on his side, wished to show himself to all Paris in the company of some woman of exceptional notoriety. When this idea came to him his choice at once fell upon Madame de Jeumont, at whose house he had dined on two or three occasions in Maxime's company. Although six and thirty, she was still handsome, with the regular, majestic beauty of a Juno, and she was particularly notorious, for she had attracted the attention of the Emperor, who had heaped gold upon her and had even created her husband a Knight of the Legion of Honour. It proved a costly whim for Saccard, but it keenly satisfied his vanity. One night a grand ball was given at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the reception-rooms, all ablaze with the light of the chandeliers, were crowded with bare shoulders and dress coats, when Saccard entered in triumph, having Madame de Jeumont on his arm, whilst her husband followed behind them. At sight of them, the groups of guests were suddenly broken up, and a broad passage was left for this scandalous exhibition of unbridled licence and mad prodigality. It was the culminating moment of Saccard's existence. Amid the all-prevalent, intoxicating odor di femina and the lulling music of the distant orchestra, folks smiled and whispered together as the trio passed. In one salon, however, another stream of inquisitive guests had gathered around a colossal individual, who stood there, dazzling and superb, in a white cuirassier uniform. It was Count von Bismarck, who, with his tall figure towering above all others, with big eyes, thick nose and powerful jaw, crossed by the moustaches of a conquering barbarian, was laughing broadly at some jocular remark. Since Sadowa he had given Germany to Prussia; the treaties of alliance against France, so long denied, had been signed for months; and war—which had nearly broken out in May à propos of the Luxemburg affair—had now become inevitable. When Saccard in his triumph crossed the room with Madame de Jeumont on his arm and the husband following behind, Count von Bismarck for a moment ceased laughing like a good-humoured, playful giant, and gazed at them inquisitively as they passed.
Once again Madame Caroline found herself alone. Hamelin had remained in Paris until the early days of November on account of the formalities connected with the final constitution of the company, with its capital of one hundred and fifty millions of francs; and he it was who by Saccard's desire went to Ma?tre Lelorrain's, in the Rue Sainte-Anne, to make the fresh declarations which the law required, alleging that all the shares had been subscribed and the capital paid in, which was not true. Then he started for Rome, where he was to spend a couple of months, having some important matters which he did not speak of to study there—doubtless that famous visionary scheme of installing the Pope at Jerusalem, as well as a more weighty and practical idea, that of transforming the Universal into a Catholic bank, based on the interests of all Christendom, a vast machine which would crush the Jew bankers and sweep them off the face of the earth. And from Rome he meant to betake himself to the East again, having to return thither to attend to the railway line from Broussa to Beyrout. He went off delighted with the rapid prosperity of the Universal, and feeling absolutely convinced that it was firmly established, though at the same time he experienced some secret anxiety at its amazing success. In a conversation which he had with his sister on the day before his departure he only laid stress upon one point, which was that she must resist the general infatuation and sell their shares should the quotations ever exceed two thousand two hundred francs; for he wished to protest personally against a higher rise, deeming it both foolish and dangerous.
As soon as she was alone again, Madame Caroline felt yet more disturbed by the burning atmosphere in which she lived. The shares reached the price of two thousand two hundred francs during the first week in November; and all around her she found rapture, thanksgiving, and unlimited hope. Dejoie was brimming over with gratitude, and the Beauvilliers ladies now treated her as an equal, for was she not the friend of the demigod who was about to restore their ancient house? A chorus of benedictions went up from the happy multitude of speculators both great and small, for daughters were at last supplied with dowries, the poor were suddenly enriched, ensured of incomes in their old age, whilst the wealthy burned with insatiable delight at becoming more wealthy still. 'Twas an unique moment that followed the close of that Exhibition in Paris, now so thoroughly intoxicated with pleasure and power, a moment of faith in happiness, of conviction in endless good luck. All stocks and shares had gone up in price, the most valueless found credulous purchasers; a plethora of equivocal concerns inflated the market, congested it to the point of apoplexy; whilst, underneath, all sounded hollow, revealed the real exhaustion of a régime which had indulged in much enjoyment, which had spent milliards upon great public works, and had fattened many huge financial institutions whose gaping coffers were discharging their contents in all directions. Amid such general vertigo a smash up was bound to follow at the first crack, and Madame Caroline doubtless had some such anxious presentiment when she felt her heart pain her at each fresh leap in the price of Universals. No bad rumour as yet circulated; you detected but a slight quivering among the astonished, subdued 'bears.' Still she was perfectly conscious of a feeling of uneasiness, of something which was already undermining the edifice. What it was could not be told, as nothing precise manifested itself, and so she was forced to wait, face to face with the splendour of the triumph which was still increasing despite those slight shocks, those signs of instability portending a catastrophe.