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[161] people feel a keen enjoyment in a rapid rise, a lurid passion in a rapid fall. Their mouths are full of wondrous tales. Paupers of yesterday are rich men this evening; millionaires of last week are to be sold up on Monday next. Such passages of fortune make the drama of their lives.

Four times within a dozen years, a craze has come on San Francisco, like the phrenzy which consumes her now. Fortunes have been won and lost almost as rapidly as though they had been staked on a throw of dice. A man may have a hundred shares in the Belcher Mine, his only wealth. One day they sell at a dollar each,--the man is worth twenty pounds; another day they sell at five hundred dollars each — the man is worth ten thousand pounds. This record of an actual fact is but a sample of the thousand stories told you at the Union and Pacific Clubs. Two years ago, when prices shot up suddenly, shares in Crown Point advanced in a few weeks from ten shillings a share to ninety-two pounds. A man of my acquaintance in this city held a thousand of these shares. In March they would have brought him five hundred pounds, in October they were sold for ninety-two thousand

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