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Around the World in Eighty Days. Junior Deluxe Edition, Page 3

Jules Verne

  Chapter 2

  In Which Passepartout Is Convinced That He Hasat Last Found His Ideal

  "Faith," muttered Passepartout, somewhat flurried, "I've seenpeople at Madame Tussaud's as lively as my new master!"

  Madame Tussaud's "people," let it be said, are of wax, and aremuch visited in London. Speech is all that is wanting to makethem human.

  During his brief interview with Mr. Fogg, Passepartout had beencarefully observing him. He appeared to be a man about fortyyears of age, with fine, handsome features, and a tall,well-shaped figure. His hair and whiskers were light, hisforehead compact and unwrinkled, his face rather pale, his teethmagnificent. His countenance possessed in the highest degree whatphysiognomists call "repose in action," a quality of those whoact rather than talk. Calm and phlegmatic, with a clear eye, Mr.Fogg seemed a perfect type of that English composure whichAngelica Kauffmann has so skillfully represented on canvas. Seenin the various phases of his daily life, he gave the idea ofbeing perfectly well-balanced, as exactly regulated as a Leroychronometer. Phileas Fogg was, indeed, exactitude personified,and this was betrayed even in the expression of his very hands andfeet; for in men, as well as in animals, the limbs themselves areexpressive of the passions.

  He was so exact that he was never in a hurry, was always ready,and was economical alike of his steps and his motions. He nevertook one step too many, and always went to his destination by theshortest cut. He made no superfluous gestures, and was never seento be moved or agitated. He was the most deliberate person in theworld, yet always reached his destination at the exact moment.

  He lived alone, and, so to speak, outside of every socialrelation; and as he knew that in this world account must be takenof friction, and that friction retards, he never rubbed againstanybody.

  As for Passepartout, he was a true Parisian of Paris. Since hehad abandoned his own country for England, taking service as avalet, he had in vain searched for a master after his own heart.Passepartout was by no means one of those pert dunces depicted byMoliere, with a bold gaze and a nose held high in the air. Hewas an honest fellow, with a pleasant face, lips a trifleprotruding, soft-mannered and serviceable, with a good roundhead, such as one likes to see on the shoulders of a friend. Hiseyes were blue, his complexion rosy, his figure full andwell-built, his body muscular, and his physical powers fullydeveloped by the exercises of his younger days. His brown hairwas somewhat tumbled; for, while the ancient sculptors are saidto have known eighteen methods of arranging Minerva's tresses,Passepartout was familiar with but one way of fixing his own:three strokes of a large-tooth comb completed his toilet.

  It would be rash to predict how Passepartout's lively naturewould agree with Mr. Fogg. It was impossible to tell whether thenew servant would turn out as absolutely methodical as his masterrequired. Experience alone could solve the question. Passepartouthad been a sort of vagrant in his early years, and now yearnedfor repose; but so far he had failed to find it, though he hadalready served in ten English houses. But he could not take rootin any of these; with annoyance, he found his masters invariablywhimsical and irregular, constantly running about the country, oron the lookout for adventure. His last master, young LordLongferry, Member of Parliament, after passing his nights in theHaymarket taverns, was too often brought home in the morning onpolicemen's shoulders. Passepartout, desirous of respecting thegentleman whom he served, ventured a mild remark on such conduct;but when it was ill-received, he took his leave. Hearing that Mr.Phileas Fogg was looking for a servant, and that his life was oneof unbroken regularity, that he neither traveled nor stayed fromhome overnight, he felt sure that this would be the place he wasafter. He presented himself, and was accepted, as has been seen.

  At half-past eleven, then, Passepartout found himself alone inthe house in Saville Row. He began its inspection without delay,scouring it from cellar to garret. So clean, well-arranged,solemn a mansion pleased him. It seemed to him like a snail'sshell, lighted and warmed by gas, which sufficed for both thesepurposes. When Passepartout reached the second story herecognized at once the room which he was to inhabit, and he waswell satisfied with it. Electric bells and speaking-tubesafforded communication with the lower stories. On the mantelstood an electric clock, precisely like that in Mr. Fogg'sbedchamber, both beating the same second at the same instant."That's good, that'll do," said Passepartout to himself.

  He suddenly observed, hung over the clock, a card which, uponinspection, proved to be a program of the daily routine of thehouse. It comprised all that was required of the servant, fromeight in the morning, exactly at which hour Phileas Fogg rose,till half-past eleven, when he left the house for the ReformClub--all the details of service, the tea and toast at twenty-threeminutes past eight, the shaving-water at thirty-seven minutespast nine, and the toilet at twenty minutes before ten.Everything was regulated and foreseen that was to be done fromhalf-past eleven A.M. till midnight, the hour at which themethodical gentleman retired.

  Mr. Fogg's wardrobe was completely supplied and in the besttaste. Each pair of trousers, coat and vest bore a number,indicating the time of year and season at which they were in turnto be laid out for wearing. The same system was applied to themaster's shoes. In short, the house in Saville Row, which musthave been a very temple of disorder and unrest under theillustrious but dissipated Sheridan, was cosiness, comfort andmethod idealized. There was no study, nor were there books, whichwould have been quite useless to Mr. Fogg; for at the Reform Clubtwo libraries, one of general literature and the other of law andpolitics, were at his service. A moderate-sized safe stood in hisbedroom, constructed so as to defy fire as well as burglars; butPassepartout found neither arms nor hunting weapons anywhere.Everything betrayed the most tranquil and peaceful habits.

  Having examined the house from top to bottom, he rubbed hishands, a broad smile spread over his features, and he saidjoyfully, "This is just what I wanted! Ah, we shall get ontogether, Mr. Fogg and I! What a domestic and regular gentleman!A real machine. Well, I don't mind serving a machine."