Other People's Money
To think of a profession, Maxence Favoral had not waited for the paternal
Modern schoolboys are precocious: they know the strong and the weak side of
life; and, when they take their degree, they already have but few illusions left.
And how could it be otherwise? In the interior of the colleges is fatally found the
echo of the thoughts, and the reflex of the manners, of the time. Neither walls nor
keepers can avail. At the same time, as the city mud that stains their boots, the
scholars bring back on their return from holidays their stock of observations and
And what have they seen during the day in their families, or among their friends?
Ardent cravings, insatiable appetites for luxuries, comforts, enjoyments,
pleasures, contempt for patient labor, scorn for austere convictions, eager
longing for money, the will to become rich at any cost, and the firm resolution to
ravish fortune on the first favorable occasion.
To be sure, they have dissembled in their presence; but their perceptions are
True, their father has told them in a grave tone, that there is nothing respectable
in this world except labor and honesty; but they have caught that same father
scarcely noticing a poor devil of an honest man, and bowing to the earth before
some clever rascal bearing the stigma of three judgments, but worth six millions.
Conclusion? Oh! they know very well how to conclude; for there are none such
as young people to be logical, and to deduce the utmost consequences of a fact.