Not a member?     Existing members login below:

Around the World in 80 Days

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, Burlington Gardens, the house in
which Sheridan died in 1814. He was one of the most noticeable members of the Reform
Club, though he seemed always to avoid attracting attention; an enigmatical personage,
about whom little was known, except that he was a polished man of the world. People
said that he resembled Byron--at least that his head was Byronic; but he was a bearded,
tranquil Byron, who might live on a thousand years without growing old.
Certainly an Englishman, it was more doubtful whether Phileas Fogg was a Londoner. He
was never seen on 'Change, nor at the Bank, nor in the counting-rooms of the "City"; no
ships ever came into London docks of which he was the owner; he had no public
employment; he had never been entered at any of the Inns of Court, either at the Temple,
or Lincoln's Inn, or Gray's Inn; nor had his voice ever resounded in the Court of
Chancery, or in the Exchequer, or the Queen's Bench, or the Ecclesiastical Courts. He
certainly was not a manufacturer; nor was he a merchant or a gentleman farmer. His
name was strange to the scientific and learned societies, and he never was known to take
part in the sage deliberations of the Royal Institution or the London Institution, the
Artisan's Association, or the Institution of Arts and Sciences. He belonged, in fact, to
none of the numerous societies which swarm in the English capital, from the Harmonic to
that of the Entomologists, founded mainly for the purpose of abolishing pernicious
insects.
Phileas Fogg was a member of the Reform, and that was all.
The way in which he got admission to this exclusive club was simple enough.
He was recommended by the Barings, with whom he had an open credit. His cheques
were regularly paid at sight from his account current, which was always flush.
Was Phileas Fogg rich? Undoubtedly. But those who knew him best could not imagine
how he had made his fortune, and Mr. Fogg was the last person to whom to apply for the
information. He was not lavish, nor, on the contrary, avaricious; for, whenever he knew
that money was needed for a noble, useful, or benevolent purpose, he supplied it quietly
and sometimes anonymously. He was, in short, the least communicative of men. He
talked very little, and seemed all the more mysterious for his taciturn manner. His daily
habits were quite open to observation; but whatever he did was so exactly the same thing
that he had always done before, that the wits of the curious were fairly puzzled.
Had he travelled? It was likely, for no one seemed to know the world more familiarly;
there was no spot so secluded that he did not appear to have an intimate acquaintance
with it. He often corrected, with a few clear words, the thousand conjectures advanced by
 
Remove