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Captains Of Industry Or Men Of Business Who Did Something Besides Making Money - Marie-Antoine Careme

1. Preface

2. David Maydole

3. Ichabod Washburn

4. Elihu Burritt

5. Michael Reynolds

6. Major Robert Pike

7. George Graham

8. John Harrison

9. Peter Faneuil

10. Chauncey Jerome

11. Captain Pierre Laclede Liguest

12. Israel Putnam

13. George Flower

14. Edward Coles

15. Peter H. Burnett

16. Gerrit Smith

17. Peter Force

18. John Bromfield

19. Frederick Tudor

20. Myron Holley

21. The Founders Of Lowell

23. John Smedley

24. Richard Cobden

25. Henry Bessemer

26. John Bright

27. Thomas Edward

28. Robert Dick

29. John Duncan

30. James Lackington

31. Horace Greeley's Start

32. James Gordon Bennett

33. Three John Walters

34. George Hope

35. Sir Henry Cole

36. Charles Summers

37. William B. Astor

38. Peter Cooper

39. Paris Duverney

40. Sir Rowland Hill

41. Marie-Antoine Careme

42. Wonderful Walker

43. Sir Christopher Wren

44. Sir John Rennie

45. Sir Moses Montefiore

46. Marquis Of Worcester

47. An Old Dry-goods Merchant's Recollections



Domestic servants occupy in France a somewhat more elevated position in
the social scale than is accorded them in other countries. As a class,
too, they are more intelligent, better educated, and more skillful than
servants elsewhere. There are several works in the French language
designed expressly for their instruction, some of the best of which were
written, or professed to have been written, by servants. On the counter
of a French bookstore you will sometimes see such works as the
following: "The Perfect Coachman," "The Life of Jasmin, the Good
Laquey," "Rules for the Government of Shepherds and Shepherdesses, by
the Good Shepherd," "The Well-Regulated Household," "Duties of Servants
of both Sexes toward God and toward their Masters and Mistresses, by a
Servant," "How to Train a Good-Domestic."

Some books of this kind are of considerable antiquity and have assisted
in forming several generations of domestic servants. One of them, it is
said, entitled, "The Perfect Coachman," was written by a prince of the
reigning house of France. In France, as in most old countries, few
people expect to change their condition in life. Once a servant, always
a servant. It is common for parents in humble life to apprentice their
children to some branch of domestic service, satisfied if they become
excellent in their vocation, and win at length the distinctions and
promotions which belong to it.

Lady Morgan, who visited Paris several years ago, relates an anecdote or
two showing how intelligent some French servants are. She was walking
along the Quai Voltaire, followed by her French lackey, when he suddenly
came to her side and, pointing to a house, said:--

"There, madam, is a house consecrated to genius. There died Voltaire--in
that apartment with the shutters closed. There died the first of our
great men; perhaps also the last."

On another occasion the same man objected to a note which she had
written in the French language.

"Is it not good French, then?" asked the lady.

"Oh, yes, madam," replied he; "the French is very good, but the style is
too cold. You begin by saying, You _regret_ that you cannot have the
pleasure. You should say, I am _in despair_."

"Well, then," said Lady Morgan, "write it yourself."

"You may write it, if you please, my lady, at my dictation, for as to
reading and writing, they are branches of my education which were
totally neglected."

The lady remarks, however, that Paris servants can usually read very
well, and that hackmen, water-carriers, and porters may frequently be
seen reading a classical author while waiting for a customer.

A very remarkable case in point is Marie-Antoine Careme, whom a French
writer styles, "one of the princes of the culinary art." I suppose that
no country in the world but France could produce such a character. Of
this, however, the reader can judge when I have briefly told his story.

He was born in a Paris garret, in 1784, one of a family of fifteen
children, the offspring of a poor workman. As soon as he was old enough
to render a little service, his father placed him as a garcon in a cheap
and low restaurant, where he received nothing for his labor except his

This was an humble beginning for a "prince." But he improved his
disadvantages to such a degree that, at the age of twenty, he entered
the kitchen of Talleyrand. Now Prince Talleyrand, besides being himself
one of the daintiest men in Europe, had to entertain, as minister of
foreign affairs, the diplomatic corps, and a large number of other
persons accustomed from their youth up to artistic cookery. Careme
proved equal to the situation. Talleyrand's dinners were renowned
throughout Europe and America. But this cook of genius, not satisfied
with his attainments, took lessons in the art from Guipiere, the
renowned _chef_ of the Emperor Napoleon--he who followed Murat into the
wilds of Russia and perished with so many other cooks and heroes.

Careme appears to have succeeded Guipiere in the Imperial kitchen, but
he did not follow the Emperor to Elba. When the allied kings celebrated
their triumph in Paris at a grand banquet, it was Careme who, as the
French say, "executed the repast." His brilliant success on this
occasion was trumpeted over Europe, and after the final downfall of
Napoleon he was invited to take charge of the kitchen of the English
Prince Regent. At various times during his career he was cook to the
Emperor Alexander of Russia, to the Emperor of Austria, to the Prince of
Wurtemberg, and to the head of the house of Rothschild. In the service
of these illustrious eaters he gained large sums of money, which,
however, he was very far from hoarding.

In the maturity of his powers he devoted himself and his fortune to
historical investigations concerning the art of cookery. For several
years he was to be daily seen in the Imperial Library, studying the
cookery, so renowned, of the ancient Greeks and Romans, desiring
especially to know whether they possessed any secrets which had been
lost. His conclusion was, that the dishes served upon the tables of
Lucullus, Augustus Caesar, and others, were "utterly bad and atrociously
stupid." But he commended the decoration of their tables, the cups and
vases of gold, the beautiful pitchers, the chased silver, the candles of
white Spanish wax, the fabrics of silk whiter than the snow, and the
beautiful flowers with which their tables were covered. He published the
results of his labors in a large octavo volume, illustrated by a hundred
and twenty-eight engravings. He continued his studious labors, and
published at various periods "Ancient and Modern Cookery Compared," in
two volumes, octavo, "The Paris Cook, or the Art of Cooking in the
Nineteenth Century," and others. Toward the close of his life, he wrote
a magazine article upon Napoleon's way of eating at St. Helena.

He dedicated one of his works to his great instructor and master in the
art of cookery, Guipiere. To give the reader an idea of his way of
thinking and feeling I will translate a few sentences of this

"Rise, illustrious Shade! Hear the voice of the man who was your admirer
and your pupil! Your distinguished talents brought upon you hatred and
persecution. By cabal you were obliged to leave your beautiful native
land, and go into Italy to serve a prince (Murat) to whose enjoyment you
had once ministered in Paris. You followed your king into Russia. But
alas, by a deplorable fatality, you perished miserably, your feet and
body frozen by the frightful climate of the north. Arrived at Vilna,
your generous prince lavished gold to save you, but in vain. O great
Guipiere, receive the public homage of a faithful disciple. Regardless
of those who envied you, I wish to associate your name with my labors. I
bequeath to your memory my most beautiful work. It will convey to future
ages a knowledge of the elegance and splendor of the culinary art in the
nineteenth century; and if Vatel rendered himself illustrious by a point
of honor, dear to every man of merit, your unhappy end, O Guipiere,
renders you worthy of the same homage! It was that point of honor which
made you follow your prince into Russia, when your gray hairs seemed to
assure you a happier destiny in Paris. You shared the sad fate of our
old veterans, and the honor of our warriors perishing of hunger and

All this, the reader will admit, is very strange and very French. In the
same work, Careme chronicles the names of all the celebrated cooks who
perished in the retreat from Russia. This prince of the kitchen died in
1833, when he was scarcely fifty years of age. His works are still well
known in France, and some of them have passed through more than one
edition. It is an odd contradiction, that the name of this prince of the
kitchen should be the French word for the time of fasting. Careme means

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