SEPTEMBER I, I860.]
CORRESPONDENCE OF VANITY FAIR.
Our European Letter.
Brussels, Aug, 4th.
The meteor of July 20th, as seen in Great Britain, has been the
subject of much speculation in cultivated circles in England ; and
even in the salons of this "petit Paris." You would be amused
with the various explanations given; some of them almost as absurd as E. Meriam's. A Boston gentleman now here, who is a M.
A. S. S. (do you know what it means ?—does the M. stand for monstrous?) wrote on to Newport suggesting the two following as
equally probably theories. First, that the "meteor'' was Prof.
Lowe's balloon; which had been chartered by Ex. Gov. Wise, Hon.
Mr. Yancey, Gen. BicKLEY, and the K. G. C., to make an attack
on London, and punish the British for giving aid and comiort to
Second, that it was one of Barnum's or Vanity Fair's handbills; which had been sent up by a new kind of fire-works, invented by Mr. Paine (of water-gas memory); but which had gone further than was meant, and had gone beyond the earth's gravitation.
All the English here, however, and there are crowds of them
constantly, going to Waterloo, insist that Faraday and Brewster
have made it out to be an air-frigate, belonging to the Emperor
Napoleon, intended to invade London shortly, but now on a trial-
trip. Sic transit gloria Friday.
The reason why the two last Imperial and Royal conferences
have been fixed at Baden aud Toeplitz is also explained by our
savans. It is because the monarchs in question are so fond of getting themselves and other people into hot water! One place
has its baths at 150 ° , and the other at 120 ° Fahr.
I promised you some literary news. The greatest sensation is
produced by the new German translation of Tupper ! German and
Belgian literati, who are all good English scholars, have discovered wonderful brilliancy in the Solomon of blank verse. A Tupper-
club has been formed; whose members are bound, under a fine of
lager for the party, never to speak except in proverbs. The Bluestockings are divided into the Shakespeare and the Tupper parties.
The following English and American works are to eome out soon
in Tauchnitz editions.
" Water-spouts on the Atlantic coasts." By the Prince of Wales. *
" Mount Vernon Papers." By Sylvanus Everett, Jr.
u Wheatland ; A New Pastoral." By James Read Buchanan.
"The First Cousin Once Removed." By Mrs. P. A. R. A. D. I. S. E.
An astonishing book is announced as in preparation, by Prof.
Strapsse ; the first volume having been printed at Leipsic. It is a
History of German Civilization, in 24 volumes. The first 23 are
to contain the introduction ; which is to be upon the History of
Things in General. Vol. 1., which I have read, discusses the question, whether the world was created, or whether it grew. The latter view is advocated ; on the ground that, as Prof. Strapsse never
succeeded in creating anybody or anything, therefore creation is
out of the question. High authorities say that everything is to
be altered by this book.
A very funny sort of medical practice has just sprung up at Gottin-
gen. One Dr. Hoemboegke, rival in chemistry to Liebig of Giessen,
—has inventedpneumatherapy ; in short gas-pathy. It is founded on
the Hahnemannic principle, of " similia similibus curantur," or, as
Dick Blue-Nose, translated the Latin at the bar the other day, " a
smile invites a smile." The learned Doctor discovered that infinitesimal smells are very sanative; and nosology has consequently much
advanced. The worst smells are the most positively curative. He
has employed special agents, on this account at Cologne, Liverpool,
and New York. In the latter place, the contractors for cleaning
the streets are engaged ; so that now, it is likely, your streets will
Anything in had odor now grows useful. What a blessing! A
Presidential remonstrance will no doubt prove good for the hooping-
cough. A small section of a bill for a Japanese Ball will cure three
fits of the ague. But, the autograph of such a person as Shine or
Enright will save anybody from advanced consumption. A retired
physician will, hereafter, have to live in the sewer. Won't you be
In art, there is not a great deal to speak of. An old opera has
been revived at Berlin. It is Oleanor, by Herr Stuh ; who was of
an American family. The play turns principally on a remarkable j
dream of the heroine, of a residence in a palatial dwelling. It is
asserted that Bellini stole many of his best morceaux from this now
Rosa Bonheur has been in England, to paint Prince Albert's
favorite Berkshire boar. It turned out, very strangely, to have a '
singular likeness to Lord Brougham ! This fact was mentioned at
the statistical congress.
But, all art-critics and sesthetical amateurs are now on the qui vive,
about tbe just issued Supplement to Ruskin's book. He advocates
therein a still more advanced theory than in the work itself ; illustrating it by the paintings of a pupil of Turner's, hardly yet
known. You will of course read it; I can only give you an idea
of it. This is, that to depict forms and objects is below the dignity
The great sensation Turneresque picture.
of high Art; which takes most delight in harmony of shades,
lights and colors, out of which the imagination ehould make its
own forms. This will be called the Preadamite school of art. The
artist whose works illustrate this theory is, at present, resident in
an insane asylum ; his enthusiasm after studying Turner's latest
pictures at Marlborough House, having required restraint.
Fred mortified me very much yesterday. A cousin of M.
Alphonse De L e was here on a mission concerning the latter.
It appears that the ex-poet and ex-statesman had corns; the said
eorns have caused very rapid consumption of shoes ; and the latter
shoes bave run up a bill, with a Paris bottler, of 3000 fr. Not being
able to pay it, his cousin offered the privilege of doing so to his
numerous continental admirers. "Ah! ce grand homme! EsVce
qu'on nepayepas pour ses boties ?v While he was saying this, and
other things, Fred sent a garcon up stair for a pair of old shoes ;
and horrified me by dropping ihem into M. de L 's open bag,
just relieved of his subscription book !
I have not recovered from it yet; and therefore must close abruptly. Your, Prime..
P. 8. Did you know that the Koh-i-noor Diamond has just heen
stolen from the Tower of London, by a man who chloroformed the
woman who showed it, and substituted apaste one in its place ?
The World newspaper which refuses, on moral ground*, to print
theatrical advertisements, seems to think, also, that it would be
very wicked to admit even so much as the name of a popular theatre in its columns. In its notice of the Wizard Anderson's
Tsychomanteum' or whatever it is, the World taken a deal of trouble
to avoid calling a spade a spade. Voila!--
tc A large audience assembled last evening in the public Hall in Broadway opposite Bond street, to witness the first of Prof. Anderson's really curious and interesting entertainments.
So the readers of our precious contemporary are spared the
shocking intelligence that there is such a thing as the Winter Garden Theatre in existence. What a dear, good old World it is, to be
None of that, you know!
The Times, in an enumeration of the results of the Japanese
visit, says that ihe No-Kamis :
1 * have a lasting fondness for champaign—and may be expected to infuse a taste
for that pleasant beverage into the minds of their higher and wealthier classes of
their countrymen. Unfortunately, however, this is not as yet an American
"Champaign not an American product!" Isn't it though?
Perhaps the Times man thinks to make us believe that he has never
loitered through the sunny vineyards of N. Y., nor plucked the
glistening apple from the vines that skirt the Camden and 4-Hiboy!
Go to, Times man !