in an old
like a castle
who had retained
next morning poor, jaded, famished Passepartout said to himself that
he must get something to eat at all hazards, and the sooner he did so the
better. He might, indeed, sell his watch; but he would have starved first.
Now or never he must use the strong, if not melodious voice which nature
had bestowed upon him. He knew several French and English songs, and resolved
to try them upon the Japanese, who must be lovers of music, since they
were for ever pounding on their cymbals, tam-tams, and tambourines, and
could not but appreciate European talent.
perhaps, rather early in the morning to get up a concert, and the audience
prematurely aroused from their slumbers, might not possibly pay their entertainer
with coin bearing the Mikado's features. Passepartout therefore decided
to wait several hours; and, as he was sauntering along, it occurred to
him that he would seem rather too well dressed for a wandering artist.
The idea struck him to change his garments for clothes more in harmony
with his project; by which he might also get a little money to satisfy
the immediate cravings of hunger. The resolution taken, it remained to
carry it out.
only after a long search that Passepartout discovered a native dealer in
old clothes, to whom he applied for an exchange. The man liked the European
costume, and ere long Passepartout issued from his shop accoutred in an
old Japanese coat, and a sort of one-sided turban, faded with long use.
A few small pieces of silver, moreover, jingled in his pocket.
thought he. "I will imagine I am at the Carnival!"
care, after being thus "Japanesed," was to enter a tea-house of modest
appearance, and, upon half a bird and a little rice, to breakfast like
a man for whom dinner was as yet a problem to be solved.
thought he, when he had eaten heartily, "I mustn't lose my head. I can't
sell this costume again for one still more Japanese. I must consider how
to leave this country of the Sun, of which I shall not retain the most
delightful of memories, as quickly as possible."
to him to visit the steamers which were about to leave for America. He
would offer himself as a cook or servant, in payment of his passage and
meals. Once at San Francisco, he would find some means of going on. The
difficulty was, how to traverse the four thousand seven hundred miles of
the Pacific which lay between Japan and the New World.
was not the man to let an idea go begging, and directed his steps towards
the docks. But, as he approached them, his project, which at first had
seemed so simple, began to grow more and more formidable to his mind. What
need would they have of a cook or servant on an American steamer, and what
confidence would they put in him, dressed as he was? What references could
was reflecting in this wise, his eyes fell upon an immense placard which
a sort of clown was carrying through the streets. This placard, which was
in English, read as follows:
WILLIAM BATULCAR, PROPRIETOR,
TO THEIR DEPARTURE TO THE UNITED STATES,
THE DIRECT PATRONAGE OF THE GOD TINGOU!
States!" said Passepartout; "that's just what I want!"
the clown, and soon found himself once more in the Japanese quarter. A
quarter of an hour later he stopped before a large cabin, adorned with
several clusters of streamers, the exterior walls of which were designed
to represent, in violent colours and without perspective, a company of
the Honourable William Batulcar's establishment. That gentleman was a sort
of Barnum, the director of a troupe of mountebanks, jugglers, clowns, acrobats,
equilibrists, and gymnasts, who, according to the placard, was giving his
last performances before leaving the Empire of the Sun for the States of
entered and asked for Mr. Batulcar, who straightway appeared in person.
do you want?" said he to Passepartout, whom he at first took for a native.
you like a servant, sir?" asked Passepartout.
cried Mr. Batulcar, caressing the thick grey beard which hung from his
chin. "I already have two who are obedient and faithful, have never left
me, and serve me for their nourishment and here they are," added he, holding
out his two robust arms, furrowed with veins as large as the strings of
can be of no use to you?"
I should so like to cross the Pacific with you!"
said the Honourable Mr. Batulcar. "You are no more a Japanese than I am
a monkey! Who are you dressed up in that way?"
dresses as he can."
true. You are a Frenchman, aren't you?"
a Parisian of Paris."
you ought to know how to make grimaces?"
replied Passepartout, a little vexed that his nationality should cause
this question, "we Frenchmen know how to make grimaces, it is true but
not any better than the Americans do."
Well, if I can't take you as a servant, I can as a clown. You see, my friend,
in France they exhibit foreign clowns, and in foreign parts French clowns."
pretty strong, eh?"
after a good meal."
returned Passepartout, who had formerly been wont to sing in the streets.
you sing standing on your head, with a top spinning on your left foot,
and a sabre balanced on your right?"
I think so," replied Passepartout, recalling the exercises of his younger
that's enough," said the Honourable William Batulcar.
was concluded there and then.
had at last found something to do. He was engaged to act in the celebrated
Japanese troupe. It was not a very dignified position, but within a week
he would be on his way to San Francisco.
so noisily announced by the Honourable Mr. Batulcar, was to commence at
three o'clock, and soon the deafening instruments of a Japanese orchestra
resounded at the door. Passepartout, though he had not been able to study
or rehearse a part, was designated to lend the aid of his sturdy shoulders
in the great exhibition of the "human pyramid," executed by the Long Noses
of the god Tingou. This "great attraction" was to close the performance.
three o'clock the large shed was invaded by the spectators, comprising
Europeans and natives, Chinese and Japanese, men, women and children, who
precipitated themselves upon the narrow benches and into the boxes opposite
the stage. The musicians took up a position inside, and were vigorously
performing on their gongs, tam-tams, flutes, bones, tambourines, and immense
was much like all acrobatic displays; but it must be confessed that the
Japanese are the first equilibrists in the world.
a fan and some bits of paper, performed the graceful trick of the butterflies
and the flowers; another traced in the air, with the odorous smoke of his
pipe, a series of blue words, which composed a compliment to the audience;
while a third juggled with some lighted candles, which he extinguished
successively as they passed his lips, and relit again without interrupting
for an instant his juggling. Another reproduced the most singular combinations
with a spinning-top; in his hands the revolving tops seemed to be animated
with a life of their own in their interminable whirling; they ran over
pipe-stems, the edges of sabres, wires and even hairs stretched across
the stage; they turned around on the edges of large glasses, crossed bamboo
ladders, dispersed into all the corners, and produced strange musical effects
by the combination of their various pitches of tone. The jugglers tossed
them in the air, threw them like shuttlecocks with wooden battledores,
and yet they kept on spinning; they put them into their pockets, and took
them out still whirling as before.
useless to describe the astonishing performances of the acrobats and gymnasts.
The turning on ladders, poles, balls, barrels, &c., was executed with
principal attraction was the exhibition of the Long Noses, a show to which
Europe is as yet a stranger.
Noses form a peculiar company, under the direct patronage of the god Tingou.
Attired after the fashion of the Middle Ages, they bore upon their shoulders
a splendid pair of wings; but what especially distinguished them was the
long noses which were fastened to their faces, and the uses which they
made of them. These noses were made of bamboo, and were five, six, and
even ten feet long, some straight, others curved, some ribboned, and some
having imitation warts upon them. It was upon these appendages, fixed tightly
on their real noses, that they performed their gymnastic exercises. A dozen
of these sectaries of Tingou lay flat upon their backs, while others, dressed
to represent lightning-rods, came and frolicked on their noses, jumping
from one to another, and performing the most skilful leapings and somersaults.
As a last
scene, a "human pyramid" had been announced, in which fifty Long Noses
were to represent the Car of Juggernaut. But, instead of forming a pyramid
by mounting each other's shoulders, the artists were to group themselves
on top of the noses. It happened that the performer who had hitherto formed
the base of the Car had quitted the troupe, and as, to fill this part,
only strength and adroitness were necessary, Passepartout had been chosen
to take his place.
fellow really felt sad when—melancholy reminiscence of his youth!—he donned
his costume, adorned with vari-coloured wings, and fastened to his natural
feature a false nose six feet long. But he cheered up when he thought that
this nose was winning him something to eat.
upon the stage, and took his place beside the rest who were to compose
the base of the Car of Juggernaut. They all stretched themselves on the
floor, their noses pointing to the ceiling. A second group of artists disposed
themselves on these long appendages, then a third above these, then a fourth,
until a human monument reaching to the very cornices of the theatre soon
arose on top of the noses. This elicited loud applause, in the midst of
which the orchestra was just striking up a deafening air, when the pyramid
tottered, the balance was lost, one of the lower noses vanished from the
pyramid, and the human monument was shattered like a castle built of cards!
Passepartout's fault. Abandoning his position, clearing the footlights
without the aid of his wings, and, clambering up to the right-hand gallery,
he fell at the feet of one of the spectators, crying, "Ah, my master! my
well; then let us go to the steamer, young man!"
Aouda, and Passepartout passed through the lobby of the theatre to the
outside, where they encountered the Honourable Mr. Batulcar, furious with
rage. He demanded damages for the "breakage" of the pyramid; and Phileas
Fogg appeased him by giving him a handful of banknotes.
six, the very hour of departure, Mr. Fogg and Aouda, followed by Passepartout,
who in his hurry had retained his wings, and nose six feet long, stepped
upon the American steamer.