The last number of the Home Journal, hat the following letter, dated "Highland Terrace," from one of its editors, N. P. Willis, to his associate) G. P. Morris. It will be read with interest by all Mr. D.'s friends:

Dear Morris: I was not well enough to drive over to the sale of Mr. Downing's house and grounds, though I intended to have done so, and to have written to you of an event so full of melancholy interest. It brought together a large assemblage of persons of taste and refinement, I am told - more like a gathering to exchange regrets, however, as most of those present were already provided with such a home as was there to be disposed of. A leisurely sale, giving time for the chance want to arrive which it was best fitted to supply, would have been better timed, perhaps. The property sold for eighteen thousand dollars, considerably less than the estimate commonly put upon it. It was bought by Messrs. Ramsdell and Betts, two liberal and wealthy gentlemen of the neigh, borhood, who, I understand, propose to hold it till they can dispose of it to better advantage for the widow of their deceased friend. It is a kind world we live in, after all; and sweet the inheritance of good will which some men leave behind them unaware!

Full of enlarged love of the beautiful as was Downing's mind, he was by no means visionary. It was. on the contrary, quite a passion with him, for the last two or three years, to contrive such economies and combinations, in architecture and modes of living, as should bring taste and refined comfort within reach of moderate means. He thought the millionaire sufficiently cared for. To embellish and dignify, at little cost, the homes of The Many, was the more re cent study from which we should have heard most instructively had he lived. The various simple substitutes he had invented for such ornament as is necessary to taste in building, yet usually too expensive, are doubtless in the possession of his able professional partner. Mr. Vaux, and to him may well be referred those interested to know more of them. Of two only of bis practical ideas - subjects of my own last conversation with him - I will endeavor to give some outline, hoping that there are those whom it will serve, though I succeed in recording but a hint of what he intended to convey.

We were speaking of the new facility which railroads afforded for living, the year round, in the country, and of the difference of hospitality, in the city or out of it - the latter being a reception of friends for a longer time and with the addition of a bed. To have a bouse large enough for the friends one wishes to entertain for three months of the year, is to have a house which, for nine months of the year, is much too large. Housewives complain of too many carpets and curtains, and (expense and trouble quite aside) rooms dismantled and uninhabited in the winter, are dismal to children and servants. A family should fill a house, as a man's frame should fill his coat - the spare pocket or spare bed not interfering with the general fit- Downing thought it was not sufficiently remembered how completely the country summer rendered most city luxuries superfluous. In the smallest cottage there is room enough to dine, and the remaining hospitality which the city guest comes to the country to enjoy, is dispensed upon portico and lawn, in grove and and garden. Grass is the carpet, sunset the curtains, starlight the frescoed ceiling, he will most admire. With his luxuries thus out of doors, his in-door comforts may be put into very small compass.

A room large enough for a bed, a chair and a wash-stand, is, with its open window, as good as the state-chamber of a palace. A dozen such sleeping-rooms may be built at very little expense, and added to the house or grounds like a rear wing, or a bowling alley - the whole structure closed in the winter, and forming no apparent enlargement of the general scale of the building. A dozen friends might thus be entertained without interfering with the usual accommodations of the family, and the hospitality of "a cottage" might thus be quite as bounteous and agreeable as that of "a mansion." Downing, I believe, had some definite plan by which this slightly built addition to the house should be (architecturally) disposed of, but I cannot dis-tincly recall it. and perhaps the hint is enough.

The other idea, which seemed to me very apt and practicable, was the supplying, at small expense, permanent city lodgings for the occasional use of residents in the country. The frequent errands to town, for shopping, for pleasure, for business, or change of scene, require some better certainty of accommodation than the risk of crowded hotels, as well as more privacy and repose. It is inconvenient, also, to carry wardrobe and baggage to and fro, packing and unpacking, adding very materially to the laboriousness of the visit. The known home being in the country, this occasional city resort might be in any convenient yet unostentatious neighbourhood, and a large number might be accommodated under one roof. Downing thought that a dozen or twenty families might combine to take a house, install a housekeeper in it, and furnish their separate lodgings I - a housekeeper being also a cook, who could supply them with such simple meals as they might require. The house would thus be like a French lodging hotel, and the yearly expense to each tenant, of one or more rooms, would be less than is incurred by occasional visits to the hotels.

The idea seemed to me to combine economy, utility and comfort, and to be, moreover, a very timely one, with the present increasing taste for permanent homes in the country.

I will conclude my letter with the hope that some one will give us a memoir of Downing, to be published with his collected works, and to convey a reflex of the beautiful life he led, and the hand-in-hand progress of his taste and his common sense. They were well balanced, and they kept pace and enlarged and brightened, to his dying day. Yours, etc., N. P. W.