Deslauriers tries to get Frédéric’s mind on something else, so he takes him to a dance hall called the Alhambra. There, Deslauriers, Hussonnet, Dussardier, and another friend named Cisy all dance with women. Frédéric, however, spots Arnoux with a woman named Mademoiselle Vatnaz. He sits with them and ignores his friends. On the way home with Deslauriers, Deslauriers claims he can go home with the first woman he sees—and he succeeds, leaving Frédéric to wander the streets in despair and loneliness.
One day, Frédéric receives two dinner invitations: one from Monsieur Dambreuse and one from Arnoux for Madame Arnoux’s name day. They are for the same day. Deslauriers convinces him to accept the one from Dambreuse. Frédéric still wants to get Madame Arnoux a gift for her name day, so he buys a parasol to replace the one he broke. He receives a letter canceling the dinner at the Dambreuses, so he attends the celebration for Madame Arnoux.
At the party, he gives Madame Arnoux the parasol and apologizes for breaking the other one, but she doesn’t understand what he is talking about. Arnoux quickly shuts him up. Later, Frédéric gets to talk to Madame Arnoux more intimately. Before he leaves, Arnoux presents Madame Arnoux with a bouquet of roses he picked and wrapped with a paper he pulled quickly from his pocket. Madame Arnoux reacts strangely to the flowers and tries to leave them behind when everyone leaves in the carriage, but Frédéric retrieves them. As they travel toward Paris, she throws them out the door. Only Frédéric sees her do it, and he sees her crying a little while later.
Frédéric determines to win Madame Arnoux. Even Deslauriers is stunned at his vehemence. He tries to visit Madame Arnoux, but she isn’t home. He goes to see a pantomime and runs into the Dambreuses, who chat with him.
Frédéric goes to visit his mother. She reveals that his inheritance is smaller than he had expected because she owed so much money to Monsieur Roque, who has now married his housekeeper.
Summary: Part One, Chapter 6
Frédéric laments his future now that he will not have a large inheritance. He is sure the Arnouxes will not want to speak to him anymore. He briefly comforts himself by claiming that poverty will enhance his creativity and actually attract Madame Arnoux. But when he tells his mother he is returning to Paris, she convinces him instead to take an office job, at which he fails miserably. Frédéric vows that the Arnouxes should forget him and that he’ll never go back to Paris.