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would in England have been considered, if
an offence at all, one only to be visited by a
word of reproof; I have often been conscious,
and more ashamed, of speaking to droschky-
drivers, and waiters, and Ivan generally, in
a manner that, employed towards a cabby
or a coally in England, would have
infallibly brought on the punching of my
head, if not the knocking down of my body

Of Heyde's more anon; whether the
family vault bed-room did or did not contain
ghosts, and who the fat man was who was
smoking the cigarette in the balcony, and
answered not when I spoke to him.


CRÉDIT MOBILIER! What can those two
words, so strangely coupled, mean? Literally
translated, they signify nothing. Credit
Furniture, or Credit Moveables, are sheer
nonsense. Is Crédit Mobilier an American city,
state, or person; or a recently discovered
beast in a Bornean forest; or an antediluvian
predacious monster; or a new species of
gulf-weed drifting over the face of the ocean;
or a region of the Great Saharan Desert; or
a mountain composed of marvellously minute
molecules; or an ogre-character in a fairy
tale? Perhaps it partakes something of the
character of all these different entities. Let
us see.

Crédit Mobilier is a Company of a certain
class; that is, it is a Société Anonyme, and
not a Société en Commandite, which does not
much help us in denning its individuality. In
the present paper, you must make up your
mind to swallow, without chewing them,
sundry small morsels of slang of the Bourse;
otherwise each unhappy page would be sunk
up to the armpits in a small-type slough of
notes. Crédit Mobilier may be a King
Company, like that in Threadneedle Street, or a
Jeremy Diddler Company, like several we
have known to our cost in England. One
thing is clear, that it is a Harlequin Company,
with a dash of the Tyrant, or 'Ercles' vein, in
it, and is not likely to fall into a dull, moping,
hypochondriac way for want of natural
quicksilver, arrogance, and vivacity.

Crédit Mobilier's dynasty was founded by
decree of the eighteenth of November,
eighteen hundred and fifty-two; and its
official palace is situated at number twenty-
two, Place Vendôme, Paris. The Jupiter
from whose brain this Minerva leapt full-
armed, shortly after the revolution of July,
was Monsieur Émile Pereire (or Peyreire, as
he is now called), one of the most
distinguished members of the Saint-Simonian
school. M. E. Pereire rose from nothing; he
is gifted with the faculty that whatever he
touches turns to profit. His name sweeps
the crowd of the Bourse before it, as straws
before a hurricane. It is enough for him to
buy a few shares of anything, no matter what,
and the rest are instantly taken up without
a question being asked about them.

Crédit  Mobilier's first avatar, in eighteen
thirty, which took place in the Journal du
Commerce, was in the guise of a Compagnie
d'Assurances mutuelles pour l'escompte des
effets etc. In this form she urged her claim
to be worshipped as a divinity, on the Government
Commission, on all the principal bankers
and merchants of Paris, and on all the
members of the Chamber of Deputies. The
statutes of the Société du Crédit Mobilier are
essentially the same with the pretensions of
the new financial goddess, whose Olympic
parent presented her, at that epoch, as a
sample of the organising power of the Saint-
Simonian doctrine. Crédit Mobilier, the
second avatar of the same celestial heroine,
was at once acknowledged and idolised by the
arch high-priests of French finance, whom it
would be much too Homeric, and too tedious
to name. Isaac Pereire, Émile's brother, was
on the list, and is now a member of the
divinity's council. Sufficient that they forthwith
raised her up on an altar on high, and
incensed her with thickest stock-jobbing
smoke. While people were still askingas
they ask even yetwhat is the creed of the
new religion, what are its objects, its evidence,
its guarantees, and its mode of existence?—
while things were yet thus dim and crude,
its promesses d'actions were bought up at a
premium. In one instant they rose from five
hundred francs (on which two hundred only
were paid at first) to one thousand eight
hundred and seventy-five francs. They have
risen as high as two thousand. On the day
when this is written, the latest quotation is
fourteen hundred. What became of the clever
people who bought at two thousand and sold
at fourteen hundred? is one of the countless
episodes of the Romance of the Bourse. The
annual dividend on each share (originally
costing five hundred francs, or eight pounds)
may be roundly stated now as two hundred
francs, or twenty pounds sterling.

Crédit Mobilier is a financial lever of
extraordinary power, since it has the right of
circulating "obligations" to ten times the
amount of its capital as represented by
shares. In time of calm it will be sure
to divide large profits with its shareholders;
but let a crisis come, and there will be
such a break-up of the ice as was never
seen. Shares risen from five hundred
to fourteen hundred are not things to be
handled without a little hesitation; a
certain degree of caution may be permitted in
playing with toys so given to rise and fall.
The hazard of the die is enormous. Their
great attraction and their lucky sign have
been the names of their original creators,
who have hitherto pursued a career of
unchecked prosperity. The aim of Crédit
Mobilier is to deal in every species of
property quoted at the Bourse; to undertake
national and foreign railways, that is, to buy