This section is from the book "The Steward's Handbook And Guide To Party Catering", by Jessup Whitehead. Also available from Amazon: Larousse Gastronomique.
" I was dining with a friend at one of the most noted restaurants in London - not a hundred miles from Regent Street. We had a most attentive waiter, whose face seemed very familiar to me, and all through the dinner I was puzzling my brains as to where I had seen the man before. 'Fritz,' I said (all German waiters in London answer to the name of Fritz, and all English ones to that of George), 'your face is very familiar to me; where have I seen you before? Were you at the Criterion?' ' No, sir,' he answered very quietly, ' I met you in Berlin at dinner, when you and Mr. B - dined with Herr Engel.' It flashed across me in a moment who the man was. I said, 'Why, you're the Baron von G------.' ' The same,' he replied, half sedly, half comically, 'the same, minus the mustache.' I shook hands with him, and thought to put both of us more at our ease by adopting the same half facetious tone with which he had greeted me. So I remarked that I was glad to congratulate him upon the genius which he displayed in his new avocation, for, I added, * I might have known there was good blood in you, for I was never waited upon better in my life, and I am one of those" who believe that no one can do anything better than a gentleman if he really gives his mind to it.' The Baron was flattered, and said that no one who had not dined could properly know how to wait 'I,' said he, ' have so often noticed and sworn at the shortcomings of waiters that it is a strange thing if I did not know how to wait decently myself.' Every German who is down on his luck can trace the cause of his misfortunes to Bismarck, and my waiter friend was no exception to the rule.
He was one of seven sons (all barons, of course). Two had managed to get on tolerably well; one being colonel of a crack Prussian regiment, while the eldest looked after the ancestral acres. My waiter friend had been living on his wits for a good few years, the slender income from that source being eked out by an allowance of 1,000 marks (about £250) from the elder brother.
Finally the income of the landed proprietor became so curtailed on account of Bismarck (how I did not quite understand), that the younger baron's allowance had to be stopped. Now, it is very hard to maintain baronial dignity on £250 per annum; but when it comes to maintaining the said dignity upon nothing at all, the task is be yond even Teutonic shrewdness. So the baron turned waiter, and a brother of his (also a baron, of course) followed his example. Both came to England, as being the less likely to meet those who would recognize them".
"The Times correspondent at Vienna states that two waiters found themselves under the necessity of fighting a duel. The seconds seem to have been but little skilled in the use of firearms, for in loading the pistols one of them managed to fire his off, which carried away one of his fingers and wounded the other second in the face. The principals, having thus vicariously had some experience in the use of firearms, found their valor oozing out of their fingers' ends, and expressed themselves perfectly satisfied with this vindication of their honor; they hastened to shake hands and to convey their seconds to the hospital 1 Bob Acres could not have been more valiant"