"Ah! why not have told me so?" he exclaimed, throwing his arms around his mother's neck. "Why have exposed me to the bitter regrets which I feel at this moment?"
By this sole word the poor woman found herself amply repaid. She admired the noblesse of her son's feelings and the kindness of his heart.
"Do you not understand," she told him, shedding tears of joy, "do you not see, that the labor which can promote her son's pleasure is a happiness for his mother?"
But he was dismayed at his discovery.
"No matter!" he said. "I swear that I shall no longer scatter to the winds, as I have been doing, the money that you give me.
For a few weeks, indeed, he was faithful to his pledge. But at fifteen resolutions are not very stanch. The impressions he had felt wore off. He became tired of the small privations which he had to impose upon himself.
He soon came to take to the letter what his mother had told him, and to prove to his own satisfaction that to deprive himself of a pleasure was to deprive her. He asked for ten francs one day, then ten francs another, and gradually resumed his old habits.
He was at this time about leaving school.