Random Quote #27 topic: zola-dictionary, A Zola Dictionary; the Characters of the Rougon-Macquart Novels of Emile Zola, Patterson, J. G
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GREGOIRE (LEON), great-grandson of Honore Gregoire. It was he who
profited at a stupefying rate of progress by the timid investment of his
ancestor. Those poor ten thousand francs grew and multiplied with the
company's prosperity. Since 1820 they had brought in cent for cent ten
thousand francs. In 1844 they had produced twenty thousand; in 1850,
forty. During two years the dividend had reached the prodigious figure
of fifty thousand francs; the value of the share, quoted at the Lille
Bourse at a million, had centrupled in a century. Six months later an
industrial crisis broke out; the share fell to six hundred thousand
francs. But Leon refused to be alarmed, for he maintained an obstinate
faith in the mine. When the great strike broke out he would not be
persuaded of its seriousness, and refused to admit any danger, until he
saw his daughter struck by a stone and savagely assaulted by the crowd.
Afterwards he desired to show the largeness of his views, and spoke of
forgetting and forgiving everything. With his wife and daughter Cecile
he went to carry assistance to the Maheus, a family who had suffered
sadly in the strike. Cecile was unfortunately left alone with old
Bonnemort, Maheu's father, who in a sudden frenzy attacked the girl
and strangled her. This terrible blow entirely shadowed the lives of
Gregoire and his wife. Germinal.



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