During 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 countenance possessed in the highest degree "repose in action," a quality of those who act rather than talk. Seen in the various phases of his daily life, he gave the idea of being perfectly well balanced. Phileas Fogg’s immaculate appearance and efficient behavior is now described.
As for 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. He was unlike other servants and had a certain class despite his colorful past. The author continues with his third person narrative - " It would 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 himself is described as a man who had been a sort of vagrant in his early years, and who now yearned for repose. Passepartout was desirous of respecting the gentleman whom he served. Hearing that Mr. Phileas Fogg was looking for a servant, and that his life was one of unbroken regularity, he felt sure that this would be the place he was after.
When Passepartout found himself alone in the house in Saville Row, he inspected it, and found the neatness quite to his liking. He observed, hung over the clock, a card which, upon inspection, proved to be a program of the daily routine of the house. It comprised all that was required of the servant, from morning till night. In short, the house, which must have been a very temple of disorder and unrest under the illustrious but dissipated Sheridan, was comfort, and method idealized. Passepartout is very pleased with the state of things and looks forward to his service with his master, Mr. Fogg.
The second chapter concentrates on Passerpartout and his reactions to the new home that he has taken service in. Passepartout is happy that Mr. Fogg is even more stiff than the wax figures of Madame Tussaud’s at London. Calm and phlegmatic, with a clear eye, Mr. Fogg seemed a perfect type of that English composure. The description of Mr. Fogg that had started in the first chapter continues here too - " 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 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. He lived 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."
If the master is praised profusely by his creator - Jules Verne, so is the master’s servant - Passerpartout. The author writes, - " 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."
Passerpartout is made out to be as superior amongst his own class, as his master is in his respective class. The two seem to fit each other perfectly. Passerpartout’s history is outlined and it is emphasized that he could not take root in coarse soil and was only suited to a lofty master, such as Mr. Fogg. As Jules Verne writes about Passerpartout -
" 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." It is ironic to note here that while Passerpartout joins Mr. Fogg to escape a whirlwind lifestyle, he gets exactly that which he had tried to flee from. When Mr. Fogg undertakes his journey around the world, Passerpartout is dragged along as well.
While Passepartout is exploring the house, he reaches the second story and recognizes at once the room, which he was to inhabit, and he was well satisfied with it. The description of Mr. Fogg’s house’s details has us surprised and questioning - " 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.
We learn that Mr. Fogg follows a well-planned regimen at all times and it is imperative that the routine be followed strictly. Even Mr. Fogg’s wardrobe is described - It 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.
Having scrutinized the house from top to bottom, Passerpartout 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." The second chapter is devoted to Passerpartout and not without reason. He is to be in Mr. Fogg’s company and it is because of his carelessness at more than one occasion, that Mr. Fogg gets into trouble and obstacles in his hurried trip round the world. By the end of the second chapter, the reader understands the characters of both the master and the servant. Now, the reader waits to see the nature of the adventures that the two shall have together.
Staff, TheBestNotes. "TheBestNotes on Around the World in Eighty Days".
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