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Two months later, Frederick shows up in Paris to pay a visit to the Dambreuses on behalf of Roque.
Dambreuse has all sorts of connections in industry and aristocracy; plus, he has won medals for courage and all sorts of other cool stuff. Oh, and he has a hot young wife. Not too shabby.
Frederick notes all of the lovely bourgeois details as he enters there home, where he soon encounters Madame Dambreuse. They chat for a while, and then Frederick leaves.
He's enjoying a stroll, when all of a sudden he notices a plaque for the business of Jacques Arnoux (remember the guy on the boat with the cute wife?). Needless to say, he's stoked.
He goes into the shop and pretends to be interested in the drawings for sale. Clearly, he's hoping to see Mrs. Arnoux.
Frederick gets on a downer—"melancholy" as they called it back then. He doesn't want to hang out with his friend Baptiste Martinon, who only seems interested in studying for law school and enjoying the love of a simple woman. "What kind of happiness is that!" Frederick asks (1.3.33).
Now the Dambreuses are blowing him off. Bummer, too; he was hoping to enter society through their friendship.
He does a lot of aimless wandering, imagining that he sees Madame Arnoux in every woman's face. Sigh.
He goes back to law school for a while, and writes a novel called Sylvio, The Fisherman's Son. NBD.
On the urging of Deslauriers, he becomes friends with Sénécal, a math teacher and hard-core Republican.
Frederick just wants some love. He is hopeful, then sad, and he basically just mopes around.
One night, he spots Mr. Arnoux at the opera—with another woman. Gasp!
They run into each other in the lobby, and Frederick carefully asks about Madame Arnoux.
He's starting to lose hope about social advancement through the Dambreuses or a passionate affair with Madame Arnoux.