Tartarin of Tarascon eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 105 pages of information about Tartarin of Tarascon.

We are afraid we must make a clean breast of it:  in our hero there were two very distinct characters.  Some Father of the Church has said:  “I feel there are two men in me.”  He would have spoken truly in saying this about Tartarin, who carried in his frame the soul of Don Quixote, the same chivalric impulses, heroic ideal, and crankiness for the grandiose and romantic; but, worse is the luck! he had not the body of the celebrated hidalgo, that thin and meagre apology for a body, on which material life failed to take a hold; one that could get through twenty nights without its breast-plate being unbuckled off, and forty-eight hours on a handful of rice.  On the contrary, Tartarin’s body was a stout honest bully of a body, very fat, very weighty, most sensual and fond of coddling, highly touchy, full of low-class appetite and homely requirements —­ the short, paunchy body on stumps of the immortal Sancho Panza.

Don Quixote and Sancho Panza in the one same man! you will readily comprehend what a cat-and-dog couple they made! what strife! what clapperclawing!  Oh, the fine dialogue for Lucian or Saint-Evremond to write, between the two Tartarins —­ Quixote-Tartarin and Sancho-Tartarin!  Quixote-Tartarin firing up on the stories of Gustave Aimard, and shouting:  “Up and at ’em!” and Sancho-Tartarin thinking only of the rheumatics ahead, and murmuring:  “I mean to stay at home.”


(Highly excited.)              (Quite calmly.)
Cover yourself with glory,     Tartarin, cover yourself
Tartarin.                      with flannel.
(Still more excitedly.) (Still more calmly.)
O for the terrible double- O for the thick knitted
barrelled rifle!  O for waistcoats! and warm
bowie-knives, lassoes, knee-caps!  O for the
and moccasins! welcome padded caps

                                                    with ear-flaps!

(Above all self-control.)     (Ringing up the maid.)
A battle-axe! fetch me a       Now, then, Jeannette, do
battle-axe!                    bring up that chocolate!

Whereupon Jeannette would appear with an unusually good cup of chocolate, just right in warmth, sweetly smelling, and with the play of light on watered silk upon its unctuous surface, and with succulent grilled steak flavoured with anise-seed, which would set Sancho-Tartarin off on the broad grin, and into a laugh that drowned the shouts of Quixote-Tartarin.

Thus it came about that Tartarin of Tarascon never had left Tarascon.

Tartarin —­ The Europeans at Shanghai —­ Commerce —­ The Tartars
—­ Can Tartarin of Tarascon be an Impostor? —­ The Mirage.

Under one conjunction of circumstances, Tartarin did, however, once almost start out upon a great voyage.

Project Gutenberg
Tartarin of Tarascon from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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