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Around the World in Eighty Days. Junior Deluxe Edition, Page 2

Jules Verne

  Chapter 1

  In Which Phileas Fogg and Passepartout Accept Each Other,the One as Master, the Other as Man

  Mr. Phileas Fogg lived, in 1872, at No.7, Saville Row, BurlingtonGardens. He was one of the most noticeable members of the ReformClub, though he seemed always to avoid attracting attention. ThisPhileas Fogg was a puzzling gentleman, about whom little wasknown, except that he was a polished man of the world. Peoplesaid that he resembled the poet Byron--at least that his headwas Byronic; but he was a bearded, peaceful Byron, who might liveon a thousand years without growing old.

  Certainly Phileas Fogg was an Englishman, but it was moredoubtful whether he was a Londoner. He was never seen on 'Change,nor at the Bank, nor in the counting-rooms of the "City"; noships ever came into London docks of which he was the owner; hehad no public employment; he had never been entered at any of theInns of Court, either at the Temple, or Lincoln's Inn, or Gray'sInn. Nor had he ever pleaded in the Court of Chancery, or in theExchequer, or the Queen's Bench, or the Ecclesiastical Courts. Hecertainly was not a manufacturer; nor was he a merchant or agentleman farmer. His name was strange to the scientific andlearned societies, and he never was known to take part in thesage deliberations of the Royal Institution or the LondonInstitution, the Artisan's Association, or the Institution ofArts and Sciences. He belonged, in fact, to none of the numeroussocieties which swarm in the English capital.

  Phileas Fogg was a member of the Reform, and that was all. Theway in which he got admission to this exclusive club was simpleenough.

  He was recommended by the Barings, with whom he had an opencredit. His checks were regularly paid at sight from his accountcurrent, which was always flush.

  Was Phileas Fogg rich? Undoubtedly. But those who knew him bestcould not imagine how he had made his fortune, and Mr. Fogg wasthe last person to whom to go for the information. He was notlavish, nor, on the contrary, avaricious; for, whenever he knewthat money was needed for a noble, useful, or benevolent purpose,he supplied it quietly and sometimes anonymously. He was, inshort, the least communicative of men. He talked very little, andseemed all the more mysterious for his taciturn manner. His dailyhabits were quite open to observation; but whatever he did was soexactly the same thing that he had always done before, that thewits of the curious were fairly puzzled.

  Had he traveled? It was likely, for no one seemed to know theworld more familiarly. There was no spot so secluded that he didnot appear to have an intimate acquaintance with it. He oftencorrected, with a few clear words, the thousand conjecturesadvanced by members of the club as to lost and unheard-oftravelers, pointing out the true probabilities, and seeming as ifgifted with a sort of second sight, so often did events justifyhis predictions. He must have traveled everywhere, at least inthe spirit.

  It was at least certain that Phileas Fogg had not been away fromLondon for many years. Those who were honored by a betteracquaintance with him than the rest, declared that nobody couldpretend to have ever seen him anywhere else. His sole pastimeswere reading the papers and playing whist. He often won at thisgame, which, as a quiet one, harmonized with his nature; but hiswinnings never went into his purse, being reserved as a fund forhis charities. Mr. Fogg played, not to win, but for the sake ofplaying. The game was in his eyes a contest, a struggle with adifficulty, yet a motionless, unwearying struggle, congenial tohis tastes.

  Phileas Fogg was not known to have either wife or children, whichmay happen to the most honest people; neither relatives nor nearfriends, which is certainly more unusual. He lived alone in hishouse in Saville Row, where none ever entered. A single servantsufficed to serve him. He breakfasted and dined at the club, athours mathematically fixed, in the same room, at the same table,never taking his meals with other members, much less bringing aguest with him. He went home at exactly midnight, only to retireat once to bed. He never used the cosy chambers which the Reformprovides for its favored members. He passed ten hours out of thetwenty-four in Saville Row, either in sleeping or making histoilet. When he chose to take a walk it was with a regular stepin the entrance hall with its mosaic flooring, or in the circulargallery with its dome supported by twenty red Ioniccolumns, and illumined by blue painted windows. When hebreakfasted or dined all the resources of the club--itskitchens and pantries, its buttery and dairy--aided to crowd histable with their most succulent foods. He was served by thegravest waiters, in dress coats, and shoes with swan-skin soles,who presented the viands in special porcelain, and on the finestlinen. Club decanters, of a lost mould, contained his sherry, hisport, and his cinnamon-spiced claret; while his beverages wererefreshingly cooled with ice, brought at great cost from theAmerican lakes.

  If to live in this style is to be eccentric, it must be confessedthat there is something good in eccentricity.

  The mansion in Saville Row, though not sumptuous, was exceedinglycomfortable. The habits of its occupant were such as to demandbut little from the sole servant, but Phileas Fogg required himto be almost superhumanly prompt and regular. On this very 2nd ofOctober he had dismissed James Forster, because that lucklessyouth had brought him shaving-water at eighty-four degreesFahrenheit instead of eighty-six; and he was awaiting his successor,who was due at the house between eleven and half-past eleven.

  Phileas Fogg was seated squarely in his armchair, his feet closetogether like those of a grenadier on parade, his hands restingon his knees, his body straight, his head erect. He was steadilywatching a complicated clock which indicated the hours, theminutes, the seconds, the days, the months and the years. Atexactly half-past eleven Mr. Fogg would, according to his dailyhabit, quit Saville Row, and go to the Reform.

  A rap at this moment sounded on the door of the cosy apartmentwhere Phileas Fogg was seated, and James Forster, the dismissedservant, appeared.

  "The new servant," said he.

  A young man of thirty advanced and bowed.

  "You are a Frenchman, I believe," asked Phileas Fogg, "and yourname is John?"

  "Jean, if monsieur pleases," replied the newcomer, "JeanPassepartout, a surname which has clung to me because I have anatural aptness for going out of one business into another. Ibelieve I'm honest, monsieur, but, to be outspoken, I've hadseveral trades. I've been an itinerant singer, a circus-rider,when I used to vault like Leotard, and dance on a rope likeBlondin. Then I got to be a professor of gymnastics, so as tomake better use of my talents; and then I was a sergeant firemanat Paris, and assisted at many a big fire. But I left France fiveyears ago, and, wishing to taste the sweets of domestic life,took service as a valet here in England. Finding myself out ofplace, and hearing that Monsieur Phileas Fogg was the most exactand settled gentleman in the United Kingdom, I have come tomonsieur in the hope of living with him a tranquil life, andforgetting even the name of Passepartout."

  "Passepartout suits me," responded Mr. Fogg. "You are wellrecommended to me. I hear a good report of you. You know myconditions?"

  "Yes, monsieur.

  "Good! What time is it?"

  "Twenty-two minutes after eleven," returned Passepartout,drawing an enormous silver watch from the depths of his pocket.

  "You are too slow," said Mr. Fogg.

  "Pardon me, monsieur, it is impossible--"

  "You are four minutes too slow. No matter. It's enough to mentionthe error. Now from this moment, twenty-nine minutes aftereleven, A.M., this Wednesday, the 2nd of October, you are in myservice."

  Phileas Fogg got up, took his hat in his left hand, put it on hishead with an automatic motion, and went off without a word.

  Passepartout heard the street door shut once. It was his newmaster going out. He heard it shut again. It was his predecessor,James Forster, departing in his turn. Passepartout remained alonein the house in Saville Row.