Chapter 1, Section 3

Passepartout begins work for Phileas Fogg as his servant

Phileas Fogg was seated squarely in his armchair, his feet close together like those of a grenadier on parade, his hands resting on his knees, his body straight, his head erect; he was steadily watching a complicated clock which indicated the hours, the minutes, the seconds, the days, the months, and the years. At exactly half-past eleven Mr. Fogg would, according to his daily habit, quit Saville Row, and repair to the Reform.

A rap at this moment sounded on the door of the cosy apartment where Phileas Fogg was seated, and James Forster, the dismissed servant, appeared.

“The new servant,” said he.

A young man of thirty advanced and bowed.

“You are a Frenchman, I believe,” asked Phileas Fogg, “and your name is John?”

“Jean, if monsieur pleases,” replied the newcomer, “Jean Passepartout, a surname which has clung to me because I have a natural aptness for going out of one business into another. I believe I’m honest, monsieur, but, to be outspoken, I’ve had several trades. I’ve been an itinerant singer, a circus-rider, when I used to vault like Leotard, and dance on a rope like Blondin. Then I got to be a professor of gymnastics, so as to make better use of my talents; and then I was a sergeant fireman at Paris, and assisted at many a big fire. But I quitted France five years ago, and, wishing to taste the sweets of domestic life, took service as a valet here in England. Finding myself out of place, and hearing that Monsieur Phileas Fogg was the most exact and settled gentleman in the United Kingdom, I have come to monsieur in the hope of living with him a tranquil life, and forgetting even the name of Passepartout.”

“Passepartout suits me,” responded Mr. Fogg. “You are well recommended to me; I hear a good report of you. You know my conditions?”

“Yes, monsieur.”

“Good! What time is it?”

“Twenty-two minutes after eleven,” returned Passepartout, drawing an enormous silver watch from the depths of his pocket.

“You are too slow,” said Mr. Fogg.

“Pardon me, monsieur, it is impossible–”

“You are four minutes too slow. No matter; it’s enough to mention the error. Now from this moment, twenty-nine minutes after eleven, a.m., this Wednesday, 2nd October, you are in my service.”

Phileas Fogg got up, took his hat in his left hand, put it on his head with an automatic motion, and went off without a word.

Passepartout heard the street door shut once; it was his new master going out. He heard it shut again; it was his predecessor, James Forster, departing in his turn. Passepartout remained alone in the house in Saville Row.

Direct Speech

A: "Passepartout suits me," responded Mr. Fogg. "You are well recommended to me; I hear a good report of you. You know my conditions?" B: "Yes, monsieur." C: "Good! What time is it?"

This example shows a conversation between Phileas Fogg and Passepartout. The speech is indicated by quotation marks (" “). There are a couple of things to remember when writing a conversation:

  • Start a new paragraph each time the speaker changes. Starting a new paragraph for each speaker allows us to keep track of who is speaking, even if it is not explicitly mentioned each time. Notice in the example that section B and C do not indicate who is speaking. Section A indicates it is Phileas Fogg speaking. Therefore, section B is Passepartout speaking, and section C is Phileas Fogg speaking again.
  • Put the relevant punctuation mark inside the quotation mark. Notice in the example that the comma, full stop, and question mark are all inside the quotation marks. Learn more about using quotation marks




Originally, a soldier who carried and threw grenades; afterward, one of a company attached to each regiment or battalion, taking post on the right of the line, and wearing a peculiar uniform. In modern times, a member of a special regiment or corps.
— 1913 Webster



a disposition to behave in a certain way.



One who travels from place to place, particularly a preacher; one who is unsettled.
— 1913 Webster


\Val"et\ (v[a^]l"[e^]t or v[a^]l"[asl])

A male waiting servant; a servant who attends on a gentleman’s person; a body servant.
— 1913 Webster



Quiet; calm; undisturbed; peaceful; not agitated.
— 1913 Webster



one who precedes you in time (as in holding a position or office).



move, travel, or proceed toward some place.