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Paris doesn't make Frederick any happier. It's August and the streets are empty.
He indulges in fantasies of being with Louise. She's charming, her father is wealthy—not a bad deal. He decides to buy her these two statues she has been wanting from Monsieur Arnoux's.
Mademoiselle Vatnaz shows up at his place one night; she has been sent by Rosanette to invite him to see her. She's now being kept by the wealthy Russian Prince Tzernoukoff.
Mademoiselle Vatnaz tells Frederick that she's in love with the actor Delmar and tries to get him to buy tickets to his performance.
Frederick rolls over to Rosanette's—it's been a while. She has a fancy new house with a man-servant in a red waistcoat. She's all decked out, too: "Round her wrists she wore an edging of lace, and on the body of her green dress lace embroidery, like a hussar. Her bonnet of black tulle, with borders hanging down, concealed her forehead a little. Her eyes shone underneath; an odour of patchouli escaped from her head-bands" (2.12.15).
He throws the money at her that she had requested in the letter. Why she needs the money isn't clear—until she confesses that it was just a way to get him to see her.
She invites him to go with her and her lover to the sea-baths—he can pretend he is her brother. He thinks the whole thing is humiliating (and kind of weird, right?), and he leaves.
One day, he runs into Madame Arnoux on the rue Vivienne. It's plenty awkward, so they exchange pleasantries and then head their separate ways.
Frederick goes to see Deslauriers, who's clearly surprised to see him. He confesses that he told Madame Arnoux that Frederick was getting married. Apparently that's not really a big deal.
He also announces that Sénécal has been discharged from prison, and Dussardier plans to throw a party for the occasion.
As usual, the guests talk about French politics, public scandals, corruption, authority, the imprisonment of writers, and other diminishing freedoms. Generally, there's just a lot of outrage.
Frederick talks trash about Pellerin. He's still angry at for the whole painting thing—although Pellerin had the notorious picture removed from the show-window.
Frederick pays for the awful painting and then just proceeds to insult it on every level.
He stops hanging out with the Dambreuses because he doesn't have the money for an investment that he promised he would make.
To get the statues for Louise, Frederick will have to go out to the Arnoux factory. There, he runs into Madame Arnoux, who's pretty ticked off that he is getting married. She also mentions Rosanette. Double whammy.
To "console" her, he takes her in his arms and kisses her eyelids—and just like that, she relents. He pours all sorts of love and flattery on her, which she finally accepts.
Now he visits her on a regular basis, but they never get to the sexy stuff—not even a peck.
They make an agreement that they should not belong to each other, but their relationship is super romantic and they fantasize about sharing a life together. So yeah, things are confusing.
Frederick is careful not to overdo it, but he tries to convince her that the affair is justified because Monsieur Arnoux is constantly carrying on with other women.
One day, her son, Eugène, becomes ill with the croup.
Still, he sets up a rendezvous with her, daring her to stroll in the street on his arm. He asks her to meet her for a little loving, and she agrees.
Meanwhile, his mother is on his case for not committing to Louise Roque.
He goes hustling about to find an apartment where he can take her in that area of town. He goes through all manner of arrangement to make it perfect for her—and then he waits and waits and waits.
She doesn't show.
What he doesn't know is that she's actually home with her ill son who looks like he may be dying. Frederick thinks he is being stood up.
Riots and revolution are going on all around him, so everything's pretty chaotic.
Home with her increasingly sick son, Madame Arnoux thinks the illness is punishment for her bad behavior and swears to break it off with Frederick.
The atmosphere is full of impending governmental overthrow. Frederick is frantic. He, too, is interpreting everything in a superstitious way.
He decides to go visit Rosanette, who has been ditched by the Prince, afraid he's about to get his head chopped off.
Chaos on the street indicates that a new reform government will soon be taking over.
Frederick takes Rosanette to the apartment he had secured for his rendezvous with Madame Arnoux.
He cries into his pillow and lies to Rosanette, telling her it's because he has been "too long yearning after" her. So that's depressing.