BLTC Press Titles

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The Bhagavad Gita


The Count of Monte Cristo

Alexandre Dumas

Theory of Colours

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Through the Looking Glass

Lewis Carroll

Around the world in eighty days

by Jules Verne




The autographic sketch on the opposite page represents the " St. Michael," a little decked bark belonging to the author of " Around the World in Eighty Days."

The sketch, which Verne executed in the twinkling of an eye, on our own desk, without suspecting that it would receive the honours of publicity, is accompanied by the inscription, "Bourset Malais," which two words indicate the type of craft of which the " St. Michael" is an example. It is on this frail skiff that Jules Verne goes upon long voyages, and has already explored the English coast and ascended as far as Scotland.

Verne recently took a trip in her to Jersey, in the English Channel, accompanied by his factotum, Antonie Delon, a veritable sea-wolf, who loves danger because he has always overcome it.

These daring peregrinations gave the author of " Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea " the ideas and subjects of his remarkable works, which have been translated into many languages, and have found readers in two worlds.

Verne passes half of his existence on board the "St . Michael;" dividing the remainder of his time between Amiens, where his family resides, and Paris, where he attends the sessions of the Geographical Society, of which he is the most honoured member, and where he collects, in its museums and library, the numerous materials necessary to the scientific perfection of his works.

Verne receives letters, in which his correspondents give him their impressions and ideas, and sometimes foolish observations, from all parts of the world. Those who have read " Around the World in Eighty Days" recall, no doubt, that Phileas Fogg, its hero, undertook his journey after reading an article in the Daily Telegraph at the Reform Club. The other day Verne received a letter from a member of that famous club, in which he said, somewhat bluntly, that the political tone of the Daily Telegraph excluded that sheet from the Reform.

"It is as if you should say that M. de Belcastel subscribed for the Rfyublique Franqaise /" added this pert correspondent.

Verne laughed heartily at the illustration, and, as he is amiability itself, apprised the member of the club that in the next edition of the book he would substitute for the obnoxious sheet one admitted into the c'ub to which the famous Phileas Fogg belonged; and, as the editions are rapidly succeeding each other, the discontented gentleman will doubtless ere long be fully satisfied.

The author of our little sketch leads the laborious, regular, and sober life of a student. Wherever he may be, he works from five in the morning till one in the afternoon, passes the day visiting shops and factories, where he carefully studies the machinery, and goes to bed at seven o'clock. Extended on his bed, he devours all the scientific publications till midnight, and when they fail him he looks over books of travel and tourist adventures. He has no need, however, of borrowing ideas of travel or geography from others, for he has himself travelled much, and is quite familiar with Scotland, Ireland, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden.

He had an adventures in Sweden, with which I must enliven this brief biography.

Verne was stopping at a hotel in Stockholm. As he was


on the point of ascending the coast to the northern part of that picturesque country, he wished to pay his bill, and began searching in his pocket-book for the draft at sight, which he had procured of the Rothschilds before leaving Paris. But he searched for it in vain. There was no doubt about it—he had been robbed!

He found himself, as the Bohemians say, flat on his back. The landlord stared at him, and he thought he heard him mutter, "Adventurer!" Verne took his " Swedish Guide," which he was learning by heart, under his arm, and wandered about the city, calling on all the bankers to apprise them of his misfortune, and warn them lest the robber should forge his name.

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