t Bravida, ex-captain (in the Army Clothing Factory), Tartarin was not happy: this life in a petty town weighed upon him and suffocated him.
The great man of Tarascon was bored in Tarascon.
The fact is, for a heroic temperament like his, a wild adventurous spirit which dreamt of nothing but battles, races across the pampas, mighty battues, desert sands, blizzards and typhoons, it was not enough to go out every Sunday to pop at a cap, and the rest of the time to ladle out casting-votes at the gunmaker's. Poor dear great man! If this existence were only prolonged, there would be sufficient tedium in it to kill him with consumption.
In vain did he surround himself with baobabs and other African trees, to widen his horizon, and some little to forget his club and the market-place; in vain did he pile weapon upon weapon, and Malay kreese upon Malay kreese; in vain did he cram with romances, endeavouring like the immortal Don Quixote to wrench himself by the vigour of his fancy out of the talons