"Look!" shouted Syme suddenly. "Look over there!" "Look at what?" asked the Secretary savagely. "Look at the captive balloon!" said Syme, and pointed in a frenzy. "Why the blazes should I look at a captive balloon?" demanded the Secretary. "What is there queer about a captive balloon?" " Nothing ," said Syme, "except that it isn't captive!" Ch. XIV : The Six Philosophers
The first viable French company, the French East India Company, was launched by the Minister of Finance Jean Baptiste Colbert, with the support of Louis XIV, in 1664. After some false starts, the French company acquired Pondicherry (now Puducherry), 85 miles (137 km) south of Madras , from a local ruler in 1674...At first the French initiative suffered from the mixing of grandiose political and colonial schemes with those of trade, but under the care of Francoise Martin from 1674, the company turned increasingly to trade and began to prosper.