'Every evening,' continued the mother, 'before you go to sleep in bed, you must join your hands like this, and say: "Pray, God, grant Monsieur Saccard a reward for all his kindness, and give him a long life and happiness." You hear, Madeleine; you promise me you will say it?'

'Yes, mother.'

During the following weeks Madame Caroline's mind was sorely troubled. She had no longer a clear opinion of Saccard. The story of Victor's birth and abandonment, of that poor creature Rosalie's sad affair, of the unpaid notes of hand, and of the fatherless child growing up in the midst of mire—all that lamentable past made her feel sick at heart. She brushed aside the visions of it that arose before her in the same way as she had refrained from provoking Maxime's indiscreet revelations. Plainly enough, there were certain old-time[Pg 170] mud stains in all this business, the thought of which frightened her, and the full knowledge of which would have brought her, she felt it, too much grief. And then how strange the contrast. There was that woman in tears, joining her little girl's hands, and teaching her to pray for that very same man. There, in this case, was Saccard worshipped as an incarnation of beneficent Providence; and verily he had given proof of true kindness of heart, had actually saved souls from perdition, by the passionate scheming activity which he evinced, raising himself to virtue whenever the task before him was a fine one. And thus Madame Caroline ended by refusing to judge him, and, like a learned woman who has read and thought too much, sought to quiet her conscience by saying that he, like all other men, was compounded of good and evil.

Three months slipped by, during which she went to see Victor twice every week; and at last, how it came about she hardly knew, she one day again found herself Saccard's mistress. Was it that this child Victor had become as it were a bond, a link, inevitably drawing her, his mother by chance and adoption, towards the father who had abandoned him? Yes, it is probable that in her case there was far less sensuality than a kind of sentimental perversion. In her great sorrow, at being childless herself, the charge of this man's son amid such poignant circumstances had certainly affected her to the point of annihilating her will. And, moreover, her self-surrender was explained by her craving for maternity. Then, too, she was a woman of clear good sense; she accepted the facts of life without wearing herself out in trying to explain their thousand complex causes. The unravelling of heart and brain, the minute splitting and analysing of hairs, was, to her mind, a pastime fit only for idle worldlings with no household to manage, no child to love, intellectual humbugs who ever seek excuses for their frailty in what they call the 'the science of the soul.'

She, with her vast erudition, who formerly had wasted her time in a burning desire to know the whole vast world and join in the disputes of philosophers, had emerged from this phase of her life with a feeling of great contempt for all such psychological[Pg 171] recreations, which threaten to supersede both the pianoforte and the embroidery frame, and of which she would laughingly remark that they had depraved far more women than they had reclaimed. And so, whenever she felt a gap within her, whenever her free will succumbed, she preferred to have the requisite courage to realise the fact and accept it, and relied upon the work of Life to efface the fault, to repair the evil, even as the ever-rising sap closes the gash in the heart of an oak tree, supplying in time fresh wood and bark.

Thus, if she was now Saccard's mistress, without having desired it, without feeling sure if she esteemed him, she did not experience any feeling of ignominy, but buoyed herself up by judging him to be not unworthy of her, attracted as she was by the qualities he showed as a man of action, by the energy to conquer that he evinced, by the belief that he was good and useful to others. In the need we all feel of purifying our errors, her first feeling of shame had passed away, and nothing now appeared more natural, more peaceful than their liaison. Reason, not passion, seemed to link them together; he was happy at having her with him of an evening when he did not go out; and she, with her keen intelligence and uprightness, showed herself almost maternal, evinced a calming affection. And for Saccard, that freebooter of the Parisian streets, whose roguery in all sorts of shady financial affairs had brought him many a scorching and drubbing, the affection of this adorable woman, who, her six and thirty years notwithstanding, was still so young and healthy under the snowy mass of her abundant white hair, who displayed such valiant good sense, such true wisdom in her faith in life, such as it is, and despite all the mud that its torrent rolls along—this affection was really an undeserved stroke of luck, a reward stolen like all others.

Months passed by, and it must be admitted that throughout all the difficult beginnings of the Universal Bank Madame Caroline found Saccard very energetic and very prudent. Indeed, her suspicions of shady transactions, her fears that he might compromise her brother and herself entirely disappeared when she saw him so obstinately, so incessantly struggling[Pg 172] with difficulties, expending his energy from morning till night in order to ensure the perfect working of this huge new machine, whose mechanism was grinding and grating and seemed likely to burst. And she felt grateful to him for it all, she admired him.

Tips, opportunities to make money:オンラインタオバオは賛美するのは本当ですか?
The Universal was not progressing as he had hoped it would, for it had against it the covert hostility of great financiers. Evil reports were spread abroad and obstacles were constantly cropping up, preventing the employment of its capital, frustrating all profitable endeavours on a large scale. Accordingly Saccard made a virtue of necessity—of the slow progress to which he was reduced—taking but one step forward at a time, and on solid ground, ever on the look-out for pitfalls, too much absorbed in striving to avoid a fall to dare to launch out into hazardous speculation. He impatiently champed the bit, stamping like a race-horse who is allowed a mere trot. However, never were the beginnings of a financial house more honourable or more correct, and the Bourse talked of it all in astonishment.

In this wise, then, they reached the date of the first general meeting of shareholders. April 25 had been chosen for this meeting, and on the 20th Hamelin, hastily recalled by Saccard, who was stifling in his narrow sphere, arrived from the East expressly to preside over it. He brought excellent news with him; the agreements for the formation of the United Steam Navigation Company were concluded, and he, moreover, had in his pocket the firmans granting the working of the Carmel silver mines to a French company; to say nothing of the National Turkish Bank, the foundations of which he had just laid at Constantinople, and which would become a branch of the Universal. As for the big question of the Asia Minor Railway, this was not yet ripe and must be kept in reserve. Besides, he meant to return to the East directly after the meeting, in order to continue his studies. Saccard, who was delighted, had a long conversation with him, at which Madame Caroline was present, and he easily persuaded them that an increase of capital would be absolutely necessary if they wished to provide for all these enterprises. The large[Pg 173] shareholders, Daigremont, Huret, Sédille, and Kolb, who had been consulted, had already approved of an increase, so that a couple of days sufficed to mature the suggestion and lay it before the board on the very eve of the meeting of shareholders.

Tips, opportunities to make money:インターネット上で最も信頼できるマネーソフトウェアは何ですか?
This special board-meeting was a solemn affair. All the directors attended in that large severe-looking room on the first floor, where the light acquired a greenish tinge through the proximity of the lofty trees in the garden of the Beauvilliers mansion. As a rule, there were two board-meetings every month: the petty, but more important meeting on or about the 15th, when only the real leaders, the true managers, of the enterprise would attend; and the full meeting on the 30th, when the silent and purely ornamental directors came to signify their approval of all that had been prearranged and to give the signatures required of them. On this occasion the Marquis de Bohain arrived one of the first, testifying with an aristocratic weary air to the approval of the entire French nobility. And the Viscount de Robin-Chagot, the penurious, gentle vice-chairman, who had been selected to school those of the directors to whom the position of affairs had not been communicated, drew them aside, and in a few words informed them of the orders of the general manager, the real master of one and all. It was an understood thing, and with a nod they all promised compliance.

Tips, opportunities to make money:どのように私は私の写真からお金を稼ぐことができますか?
At last the proceedings commenced. Hamelin acquainted the board with the report which he was to read at the shareholders' meeting. This was the big task on which Saccard had long been at work, and which he had at last drafted in a couple of days, supplementing it with information which Hamelin had furnished on his arrival. Yet, while the engineer read it aloud, he listened modestly, with an air of keen interest, as though he had not previously been acquainted with a single word of it.

The report began by recapitulating the business done by the Universal Bank since its foundation. Its transactions were good ones, but they were mainly little every-day matters in which money was promptly turned over—all the usual routine, in fact, of financial houses. Still, some rather large[Pg 174] profits had been made in the matter of the Mexican loan which had been floated during the preceding month, after the Emperor Maximilian's departure for Mexico. A queer affair was this, disgracefully mismanaged, with plenty of pickings in the way of premiums for enterprising speculators; and Saccard greatly regretted that lack of money had kept him from wading yet more deeply in these troubled waters. However, if the bank's transactions had simply been commonplace ones, at least it had managed to live. Since its foundation on October 5, until December 31, it had realised profits amounting to rather more than four hundred thousand francs. This had enabled the management to pay off one-fourth of the preliminary expenses, to give the shareholders five per cent., and to carry ten per cent. to a reserve fund. Moreover, the directors had received the ten per cent. guaranteed to them by the articles of association, and there remained about sixty-eight thousand francs, which it was proposed to carry forward until the next distribution of profits. Nothing could have been more strictly commonplace and honourable than all this. It was the same with regard to the price at which Universal shares were quoted at the Bourse; they had risen from five hundred to six hundred francs, not suddenly, but in a slow normal fashion, just like the shares of any respectable banking house. And for two months now the price had remained stationary, there being no reason for any increase, given the humdrum daily round in which the newly-born concern seemed to be falling asleep.