The Three Musketeers
How we cite our quotes:
"With a little more heart, he might have been contented with this new conquest; but the principal features of his character were ambition and pride." (33.110)
The love of Kitty does not soothe D’Artagnan’s ambitious soul – he must also have her mistress. Here ambition is presented as a major flaw.
"Now, what would you say to an ensign’s commission in my Guards, and a company after the campaign?"
"You accept it, do you not?"
"Monseigneur," replied D’Artagnan, with an embarrassed air.
"How? You refuse?" cried the cardinal, with astonishment. (40.32 – 40.36)
Despite D’Artagnan’s ambitious nature, he turns down the offer of being an ensign for the Cardinal. This shows that his qualities of loyal nature can be greater than his ambitious nature. Note the Cardinal’s incomprehension at D’Artagnan’s refusal. Clearly D’Artagnan is very different from the men the Cardinal typically deals with.
The Guards, under the command of M. Dessessart, took up their quartered at the Minimes; but, as we know, D’Artagnan, possessed with ambition to enter the musketeers, had formed but few friendships among his comrades, and he felt himself isolated and given up to his own reflections. (41.22)
Here we have evidence that D’Artagnan’s ambition can be greater than his desire for friendship.