Now that their parents are ruined, Jacques Eyssette and his younger brother Daniel, are driven to fend for themselves. Jacques becomes the secretary of a marquis who exploits him by making him work so hard that his health gets damaged. Daniel, on his part, is hired as a supervisor and Latin teacher in a school in the province. It soon happens that he is in a bad situation too as, after being subjected to repeated harassment, he ends up being fired. Daniel then decides to join Jacques in Paris, hoping to embark on a literary career. Unfortunately, Irma Borel, an actress, sets her sight on him and drags him into a life of vice.