The Three Musketeers
How we cite our quotes:
She should certainly return from her exile--she did not doubt that a single instant; but how long might this exile last? For an active, ambitious nature, like that of Milady, days not spent in climbing are inauspicious days. (56.6)
Milady’s ambitious nature explains why she is dissatisfied with the idea of simply going to the colonies and then working her way back to Paris – she can’t stand the idea of her ambition being thwarted for just that short length of time.
"Well," said he, "they likewise have refused me."
"That, dear friend, is because nobody is more worthy than yourself."
He took a quill, wrote the name of D’Artagnan in the commission, and returned it to him.
"I shall then have no more friends," said the young man. "Alas! nothing but bitter recollections." And he let his head sink upon his hands, while two large tears rolled down his cheeks. (67.125 – 67.129)
This passage demonstrates that D’Artagnan truly prizes friendship more than fulfilling ambition. He’s genuinely upset that he’s going to be parted from his friends, even though it comes with the benefit of a promotion.
Mousqueton had a magnificent livery, and enjoyed the satisfaction of which he had been ambitious all his life--that of standing behind a gilded carriage. (Epilogue.4)
Here is seems that lackeys have a very limited set of ambitions – Mousqueton does not dream, for example, of one day riding in that carriage. Such an example might reveal that class can limit ambition.