Chapter IV: In Which Phileas Fogg Astounds Passepartout, His Servant

Having won twenty guineas at whist, and taken leave of his friends, Phileas Fogg, at twenty-five minutes past seven, left the Reform Club.

Passepartout, who had conscientiously studied the programme of his duties, was more than surprised to see his master guilty of the inexactness of appearing at this unaccustomed hour; for, according to rule, he was not due in Saville Row until precisely midnight.

Mr. Fogg repaired to his bedroom, and called out, "Passepartout!"

Passepartout did not reply. It could not be he who was called; it was not the right hour.

"Passepartout!" repeated Mr. Fogg, without raising his voice.

Passepartout made his appearance.

"I've called you twice," observed his master.

"But it is not midnight," responded the other, showing his watch.

"I know it; I don't blame you. We start for Dover and Calais in ten minutes."

A puzzled grin overspread Passepartout's round face; clearly he had not comprehended his master.

"Monsieur is going to leave home?"

"Yes," returned Phileas Fogg. "We are going round the world."

Passepartout opened wide his eyes, raised his eyebrows, held up his hands, and seemed about to collapse, so overcome was he with stupefied astonishment.

"Round the world!" he murmured.

"In eighty days," responded Mr. Fogg. "So we haven't a moment to lose."

"But the trunks?" gasped Passepartout, unconsciously swaying his head from right to left.

"We'll have no trunks; only a carpet-bag, with two shirts and three pairs of stockings for me, and the same for you. We'll buy our clothes on the way. Bring down my mackintosh and traveling-cloak, and some stout shoes, though we shall do little walking. Make haste!"

Passepartout tried to reply, but could not. He went out, mounted to his own room, fell into a chair, and muttered: "That's good, that is! And I, who wanted to remain quiet!"

He mechanically set about making the preparations for departure. Around the world in eighty days! Was his master a fool? No. Was this a joke, then? They were going to Dover; good! To Calais; good again! After all, Passepartout, who had been away from France five years, would not be sorry to set foot on his native soil again. Perhaps they would go as far as Paris, and it would do his eyes good to see Paris once more. But surely a gentleman so chary of his steps would stop there; no doubt—but, then, it was none the less true that he was going away, this so domestic person hitherto!

By eight o'clock Passepartout had packed the modest carpet-bag, containing the wardrobes of his master and himself; then, still troubled in mind, he carefully shut the door of his room, and descended to Mr. Fogg.

Mr. Fogg was quite ready. Under his arm might have been observed a red-bound copy of Bradshaw's Continental Railway Steam Transit and General Guide, with its timetables showing the arrival and departure of steamers and railways. He took the carpet-bag, opened it, and slipped into it a goodly roll of Bank of England notes, which would pass wherever he might go.

"You have forgotten nothing?" asked he.

"Nothing, monsieur."

"My mackintosh and cloak?"

"Here they are."

"Good! Take this carpet-bag," handing it to Passepartout. "Take good care of it, for there are twenty thousand pounds in it."

Passepartout nearly dropped the bag, as if the twenty thousand pounds were in gold, and weighed him down.

Master and man then descended, the street-door was double-locked, and at the end of Saville Row they took a cab and drove rapidly to Charing Cross. The cab stopped before the railway station at twenty minutes past eight. Passepartout jumped off the box and followed his master, who, after paying the cabman, was about to enter the station, when a poor beggar-woman, with a child in her arms, her naked feet smeared with mud, her head covered with a wretched bonnet, from which hung a tattered feather, and her shoulders shrouded in a ragged shawl, approached, and mournfully asked for alms.

Mr. Fogg took out the twenty guineas he had just won at whist, and handed them to the beggar, saying, "Here, my good woman. I'm glad that I met you;" and passed on.

Passepartout had a moist sensation about the eyes; his master's action touched his susceptible heart.

Two first-class tickets for Paris having been speedily purchased, Mr. Fogg was crossing the station to the train, when he perceived his five friends of the Reform.

"Well, gentlemen," said he, "I'm off, you see; and, if you will examine my passport when I get back, you will be able to judge whether I have accomplished the journey agreed upon."

"Oh, that would be quite unnecessary, Mr. Fogg," said Ralph politely. "We will trust your word, as a gentleman of honour."

"You do not forget when you are due in London again?" asked Stuart.

"In eighty days; on Saturday, the 21st of December, 1872, at a quarter before nine p.m. Good-bye, gentlemen."

Phileas Fogg and his servant seated themselves in a first-class carriage at twenty minutes before nine; five minutes later the whistle screamed, and the train slowly glided out of the station.

The night was dark, and a fine, steady rain was falling. Phileas Fogg, snugly ensconced in his corner, did not open his lips. Passepartout, not yet recovered from his stupefaction, clung mechanically to the carpet-bag, with its enormous treasure.

Just as the train was whirling through Sydenham, Passepartout suddenly uttered a cry of despair.

"What's the matter?" asked Mr. Fogg.

"Alas! In my hurry—I—I forgot—"


"To turn off the gas in my room!"

"Very well, young man," returned Mr. Fogg, coolly; "it will burn—at your expense."


  1. adverb: up until the present time; up until the time under discussion,* i.e., something was one until the present time when it changed suddenly*

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  2. adjective: a person very fond of home comforts and a quiet home life

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  3. adjective: in an automatic, unthinking manner; as from habit without thinking or feeling

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  4. Have an uneventful, peaceful life working for a well-regulated gentleman who would give him no surprises.

    Verne uses the conflict between Passepartout's expectations from Fogg's habits and the actual turn of events to build irony and suspense.

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  5. As in slowly shaking his head "No," indicating his shock and consternation (disquieted feelings).

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  6. He gasped because he realized the enormity of the task of packing traveling trunks, which were used then instead of the suitcases we now use for travel, in so short a time.

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  7. The shock and surprise of this new turn of events seemed momentarily to be too much for Passepartout's nerves to bear and he seemed about to faint from shock and dismay.

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  8. Indicating Passepartout's incredulous disbelief at what he was hearing. Remember, Passepartout's goal was for a quiet, uneventful life after all the excitement and changeableness of his previous way of life.

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  9. Went to (to leave one place for the privacy of another place).

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  10. The journey from the Reform Club to Savillie Row took Fogg 30 minutes to execute since he habitually left the Reform at half past eleven (11:30).

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  11. Fogg's habitual, unvarying departure time is half past eleven at night. Fogg is revolutionizing his life by leaving four hours and five minutes early. This illustrates the extreme urgency and seriousness with which Fogg views his wager.

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  12. A gold coin currency in use in Britain from 1663 to 1816 and made of gold mined in Guinea in West Africa. Its value was equivalent to 1 British Pound, or 20 shillings. When the value of gold began increasing, meaning gold began to be more scarce, the value reached a high of 30 shillings until it was officially fixed at a value of 21 shillings, or 1 pound + 1 shilling.

    Verne's story is set 1872. The last guinea gold coin was struck by the British Treasury in 1816 for Duke Wellington's army. After the 1816 final minting of the guinea, it was replaced as currency by the pound and the sovereign. The term guinea continued in the language to mean 21 shillings until the 1970s.

    In 1872, Fogg's "twenty guineas" won at whist is 20 x 21 shillings, or 420 pounds, and a colloquial value rather than a group of guinea coins, which by 1872 were out of circulation.

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  13. Lighting in rooms of houses was then arranged by piping in natural gas that set up a jet of flame as long as the gas was turned on.

    Passepartout is lamenting that he did not turn the gas, thus the jet of gas and its flame will burn till their return. Fogg merely says the cost of the gas will be removed from Passepartout's wages: "it will burn--at your expense."

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  14. noun: the loss or absence of hope; complete hopelessness

    Passepartout was yearning for peace, quiet and repose and, quite ironically, he is being dragged off quite suddenly on an around-the-world journey to take 80 days.

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  15. A sector of South East London; a suburb of "greater London."

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  16. noun: a travel bag for clothing etc that is made of carpet thus is lightweight compared to travel trunks

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  17. noun: to be stupefied; to be shocked or surprised into a state of stupidity

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  18. Gentlemen are humble, not wishing to humiliate others, who rely on the honorable trustworthiness of other gentlemen to do and be what is right.

    Fogg's friends are telling him that he won't have to prove anything to them but that they will humbly believe his verbal report because they trust his honorable virtue and integrity.

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  19. adjective: being sensitive and readily influenced by feelings of emotions

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  20. noun: British monetary unit that is roughly the equivalent of one pound, which is comparable in meaning to "one dollar"

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  21. noun: a gift of money, food or goods given to poor people that has a long historical reference

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  22. Reference to Charing Cross Railway Station in Central London at the "junction of the Strand, Whitehall and Cockspur Street, just south of Trafalgar Square" (Wikipedia).

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  23. adjective: protective; cautious; reluctant to expend needlessly, i.e., recall Fogg's propensity for direct routes through the paths of least resistance [see Chapter II "economical alike of his steps and his motions"]

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  24. The soil of one's homeland, one's place of birth and one's ancestral roots.

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  25. verb: expressing disappointment or dissatisfaction in a low, barely audible tone (different from "murmur" in that "mutter" expresses negative feeling while "murmur" does not express negativity) [see above, Ch. VI "murmur"]

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  26. adjective (when applied to an object): thick and strong, i.e., Fogg wants thick soled, strongly constructed shoes for going adventuring

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  27. noun: full-length coat that is waterproof, first available in 1824, that is waterproofed by applying rubber to sturdy fabric

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  28. verb "to murmur" (also noun: a murmur was heard): to utter speech in an indistinct, low or soft tone

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  29. noun phrase: to be struck stupid by a great, overpowering surprise or shock

    stupefied, verb
    unable to think properly from shock or surprise

    astonishment, noun
    overpowering shock or surprise; great surprise

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  30. A major ferry port in the north of France accepting ferries from England that cross the English Channel.

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  31. A major ferry port in the south of England in Kent that opens the route to France across the English Channel, also known for its white chalk sea cliffs "the white cliffs of Dover."

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  32. noun phrase: refers to Passepartout's previous employer and to his longing for a habitually exact employer to work for so he might have some repose [see "yearned for repose" and "young Lord Longberry"]

    inexactness, noun
    the quality of not being precise, of not following a routine, of not adhering to planning

    — Karen P.L. Hardison
  33. adjective: working or acting with regard to what is right, dutiful and thorough

    — Karen P.L. Hardison