The fact is, he had indulged in the fallacious hope that his son, as soon as he left college, would enter at once some business-house, where he would earn enough to take care of himself.
He yielded at last, however, to the persistent entreaties of his wife, and the solicitations of his friends.
"Be it so," he said to Maxence: "you will study law. Only, as it cannot suit me that you should waste your days lounging in the billiard-rooms of the left bank, you shall at the same time work in an attorney's office. Next Saturday I shall arrange with my friend Chapelain."
Maxence had not bargained for such an arrangement; and he came near backing out at the prospect of a discipline which he foresaw must be as exacting as that of the college.
Still, as he could think of nothing better, he persevered. And, vacations over, he was duly entered at the law-school, and settled at a desk in M. Chapelain's office, which was then in the Rue St. Antoine.
The first year every thing went on tolerably. He enjoyed as much freedom as he cared to. His father did not allow him one centime for his pocket-money; but the attorney, in his capacity of an old friend of the family, did for him what he had never done before for an amateur clerk, and allowed him twenty francs a month. Mme. Favoral adding to this a few five-franc pieces, Maxence declared himself entirely satisfied.
Unfortunately, with his lively imagination and his impetuous temper, no one was less fit than himself for that peaceful existence, that steady toil, the same each day, without the stimulus of difficulties to overcome, or the satisfaction of results obtained.
Before long he became tired of it.