Random Quote #71 topic: zola-dictionary, A Zola Dictionary; the Characters of the Rougon-Macquart Novels of Emile Zola, Patterson, J. G
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HAMELIN (GEORGES), son of a Montpellier physician, a remarkable savant,
an enthusiastic Catholic, who had died poor. After his father's death
he came to Paris, along with his sister Caroline, and entered the
Polytechnic school. He became an engineer, and having received
an appointment in connection with the Suez Canal, went to Egypt.
Subsequently he went to Syria, where he remained some years, laying out
a carriage road from Beyrout to Damascus. He was an enthusiast, and
his portfolio was full of schemes of far-reaching magnitude. Having met
Saccard in Paris, he joined with him in the formation of the Universal
Bank, which was intended to furnish the means of carrying out some at
least of his schemes. Against his wish, Hamelin was made chairman of the
bank, and he thus became liable for the actions of the other directors,
though he was himself absent in the East forming the companies in which
the bank was interested. He was a man of high honour, and when the
gamble in the shares of the bank reached an excessive point, he did all
he could to restrain it, even selling his own shares. The money received
for these was subsequently used in relieving other shareholders who lost
their all. When the crash came, Hamelin was arrested along with Saccard,
and, after trial, was sentenced to five years' imprisonment and a fine
of three thousand francs. By a technicality of law they were allowed a
month to appeal, during which they were at liberty. With the connivance
of Eugene Rougon, they fled the country, Hamelin going to Rome, where he
secured a situation as an engineer. L'Argent.



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