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.
HAMELIN (FRANCOISE), sister of M. Hamelin, a farmer, who lived at Soulanges. She brought up Angelique Marie, who was handed over to her by the Foundling Hospital when only a few days old. Angelique remained with her until she went to Paris with Madame Franchomme, some years later. Le Reve.
HARDY, tax-collector at Cloyes. La Terre.
HARTMANN (BARON), Director of the Credit Immobilier, a concern which had large interests in property immediately adjoining “The Ladies’ Paradise.” The Baron had been a lover of Madame Desforges, and through her influence he agreed to give financial support to Octave Mouret, thereby enabling him to carry out the large schemes of extension to which he had long looked forward. Au Bonheur des Dames.
HAUCHECORNE, principal assistant in the draper’s shop known as Vieil Elbeuf. He married Desiree, the daughter of his employer, and succeeded to the business, which he ultimately handed over to Baudu, his own son-in-law. Au Bonheur des Dames.