Valery was one year older than Leautaud. At the age o f twenty-six he had already completed La Soiree avec Monsieur Teste. It was his habit, one that continued until the end o f his life, to rise at dawn and note his ideas in the still hours o f early morning before the bustle o f the day made reflection impossible. After which he reluctantly deserted his studies o f philosophy and mathematics for the War Ministry, where, on the advice o f Huysmans, he had embarked on a career as civil servant. For the rest o f the day he occupied himself punctiliously with the affairs o f the French artillery.