Chapter 1

Mr.PhileasFogglived,in1872,atNo.7,SavilleRow,BurlingtonGardens,thehouseinwhichSheridandiedin1814.HewasoneofthemostnoticeablemembersoftheReformClub,thoughheseemedalwaystoavoidattractingattention;anenigmaticalpersonage,aboutwhomlittlewasknown,exceptthathewasapolishedmanoftheworld.PeoplesaidthatheresembledByronatleastthathisheadwasByronic;buthewasabearded,tranquilByron,whomightliveonathousandyearswithoutgrowingold.

CertainlyanEnglishman,itwasmoredoubtfulwhetherPhileasFoggwasaLondoner.Hewasneverseenon‘Change,norattheBank,norinthecounting-roomsofthe“City”;noshipsevercameintoLondondocksofwhichhewastheowner;hehadnopublicemployment;hehadneverbeenenteredatanyoftheInnsofCourt,eitherattheTemple,orLincoln’sInn,orGray’sInn;norhadhisvoiceeverresoundedintheCourtofChancery,orintheExchequer,ortheQueen’sBench,ortheEcclesiasticalCourts.Hecertainlywasnotamanufacturer;norwasheamerchantoragentlemanfarmer.Hisnamewasstrangetothescientificandlearnedsocieties,andheneverwasknowntotakepartinthesagedeliberationsoftheRoyalInstitutionortheLondonInstitution,theArtisan’sAssociation,ortheInstitutionofArtsandSciences.Hebelonged,infact,tononeofthenumeroussocietieswhichswarmintheEnglishcapital,fromtheHarmonictothatoftheEntomologists,foundedmainlyforthepurposeofabolishingperniciousinsects.

PhileasFoggwasamemberoftheReform,andthatwasall.

Thewayinwhichhegotadmissiontothisexclusiveclubwassimpleenough.

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