muttered Passepartout, somewhat flurried, "I've seen people at Madame
Tussaud's as lively as my new master!"
Tussaud's "people," let it be said, are of wax, and are much visited in
London; speech is all that is wanting to make them human.
his brief interview with Mr. Fogg, Passepartout had been carefully observing
him. He appeared to be a man about forty years of age, with fine, handsome
features, and a tall, well-shaped figure; his hair and whiskers were light,
his forehead compact and unwrinkled, his face rather pale, his teeth magnificent.
His countenance possessed in the highest degree what physiognomists call
"repose in action," a quality of those who act rather than talk. Calm and
phlegmatic, with a clear eye, Mr. Fogg seemed a perfect type of that English
composure which Angelica Kauffmann has so skilfully represented on canvas.
Seen in the various phases of his daily life, he gave the idea of being
perfectly well-balanced, as exactly regulated as a Leroy chronometer. Phileas
Fogg was, indeed, exactitude personified, and this was betrayed even in
the expression of his very hands and feet; for in men, as well as in animals,
the limbs themselves are expressive of the passions.
so exact that he was never in a hurry, was always ready, and was economical
alike of his steps and his motions. He never took one step too many, and
always went to his destination by the shortest cut; he made no superfluous
gestures, and was never seen to be moved or agitated. He was the most deliberate
person in the world, yet always reached his destination at the exact moment.
alone, and, so to speak, outside of every social relation; and as he knew
that in this world account must be taken of friction, and that friction
retards, he never rubbed against anybody.
Passepartout, he was a true Parisian of Paris. Since he had abandoned his
own country for England, taking service as a valet, he had in vain searched
for a master after his own heart. Passepartout was by no means one of those
pert dunces depicted by Moliere with a bold gaze and a nose held high in
the air; he was an honest fellow, with a pleasant face, lips a trifle protruding,
soft-mannered and serviceable, with a good round head, such as one likes
to see on the shoulders of a friend. His eyes were blue, his complexion
rubicund, his figure almost portly and well-built, his body muscular, and
his physical powers fully developed by the exercises of his younger days.
His brown hair was somewhat tumbled; for, while the ancient sculptors are
said to have known eighteen methods of arranging Minerva's tresses, Passepartout
was familiar with but one of dressing his own: three strokes of a large-tooth
comb completed his toilet.
be rash to predict how Passepartout's lively nature would agree with Mr.
Fogg. It was impossible to tell whether the new servant would turn out
as absolutely methodical as his master required; experience alone could
solve the question. Passepartout had been a sort of vagrant in his early
years, and now yearned for repose; but so far he had failed to find it,
though he had already served in ten English houses. But he could not take
root in any of these; with chagrin, he found his masters invariably whimsical
and irregular, constantly running about the country, or on the look-out
for adventure. His last master, young Lord Longferry, Member of Parliament,
after passing his nights in the Haymarket taverns, was too often brought
home in the morning on policemen's shoulders. Passepartout, desirous of
respecting the gentleman whom he served, ventured a mild remonstrance on
such conduct; which, being ill-received, he took his leave. Hearing that
Mr. Phileas Fogg was looking for a servant, and that his life was one of
unbroken regularity, that he neither travelled nor stayed from home overnight,
he felt sure that this would be the place he was after. He presented himself,
and was accepted, as has been seen.
eleven, then, Passepartout found himself alone in the house in Saville
Row. He begun 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's shell, lighted and warmed by gas, which sufficed
for both these purposes. When Passepartout reached the second story he
recognised at once the room which he was to inhabit, and he was well satisfied
with it. Electric bells and speaking-tubes afforded communication with
the lower stories; while on the mantel stood an electric clock, precisely
like that in Mr. Fogg's bedchamber, both beating the same second at the
same instant. "That's good, that'll do," said Passepartout to himself.
observed, hung over the clock, a card which, upon inspection, proved to
be a programme of the daily routine of the house. It comprised all that
was required of the servant, from eight in the morning, exactly at which
hour Phileas Fogg rose, till half-past eleven, when he left the house for
the Reform Club--all the details of service, the tea and toast at twenty-three
minutes past eight, the shaving-water at thirty-seven minutes past nine,
and the toilet at twenty minutes before ten. Everything was regulated and
foreseen that was to be done from half-past eleven a.m. till midnight,
the hour at which the methodical gentleman retired.
wardrobe was amply supplied and in the best taste. Each pair of trousers,
coat, and vest bore a number, indicating the time of year and season at
which they were in turn to be laid out for wearing; and the same system
was applied to the master's shoes. In short, the house in Saville Row,
which must have been a very temple of disorder and unrest under the illustrious
but dissipated Sheridan, was cosiness, comfort, and method idealised. There
was no study, nor were there books, which would have been quite useless
to Mr. Fogg; for at the Reform two libraries, one of general literature
and the other of law and politics, were at his service. A moderate-sized
safe stood in his bedroom, constructed so as to defy fire as well as burglars;
but Passepartout found neither arms nor hunting weapons anywhere; everything
betrayed the most tranquil and peaceable habits.
scrutinised the house from top to bottom, he rubbed his hands, a broad
smile overspread his features, and he said joyfully, "This is just what
I wanted! Ah, we shall get on together, Mr. Fogg and I! What a domestic
and regular gentleman! A real machine; well, I don't mind serving a machine."