BECKFORD's celebrated house and park, Fonthill, England, is now in complete ruins. The publication of his life has just brought out some recollections of the man and the place, which are interesting. The grounds of that once celebrated spot are now a tangled mass of overgrown woods, bound and clamped with brambles. The nine miles of drive, along which his four gray ponies used to pad and trot, are now chopped up into three estates. The great abbey, the country neighbors think, cost a million of pounds; it rose like an exhalation, and passed away like a summer cloud. One turret gallery alone stands as a place for picnics, and the roads are rutted deep with wagons carrying stones. The agate cups, gold lamps, proof engravings and fine pictures, and all such rarities, are scattered to the four winds, just like his old rival Horace Walpole's; and now the bleak wind, whistling from the broad, crop-eared Wiltshire downs, keeps rumbling and muttering in every blast, "vanity of vanities: all is vanity and vexation of spirit".

Contrast this idiot's vain expense with the following pretty little cabinet picture from the autobiography of Mary Anne Schimmelpenninck, lately republished in America:

"In this happy valley, Richard Reynolds occupied the principal mansion. My cousin Priscilla was on terms of intimate friendship with him and his wife, and they gladly made an arrangement to receive her at their house as her future home, (for a lifetime). She had her sitting-room and bedroom, and one adjoining for her little maid Joan, - a stable for her horse 'serena,' and her open carriage, in which she so often used to drive about to visit the poor and enjoy the country. Besides this, Richard Reynolds and his wife formed for her what catholics would call a solitude, a walk through a thick grove which terminated in a verdant, open space, where was a rill and cascade falling through the rocks into the river below; here was a sort of open summer-house, and behind it were two more substantial rooms, one of which was furnished with books, writing materials, and everything suitable for contemplation and solitary employment The other was a little apartment in which Joan was ensconced with her book and her needle, when her presence was not needed by her mistress.

Such was the principal home of my cousin, Priscilla Gumey".

The same author, on her first visit to Liverpool, remarks: "I was amazed to see the sumptuous drawing-rooms, rich with satin and silk, in houses where there was no library, and at the large assembly of gaily-dressed and jewelled visitors, many of whom seemed to think that books were as much a superfluity as the great Pascal esteemed brooms and towels".

We do not ask our readers which is preferable, - the gorgeous hangings and mirrors, or a library reflecting like mirrors the greatest minds. The mistake which many Americans commit in thinking that money without mental cultivation confers happiness, is a fatal one. "Enough is plenty," and with this fully believed in, how many that desire "more" might have been saved from want. The prizes of life are in general not worth the sacrifices paid for them. A man; spends all his best days in the uncertain pursuit of riches, or mayhap in the bustle of politics; he wriggles his way to the best places in the State, it may be to the Senate, or a Governor's seat; or he becomes a commercial millionaire: well, he goes into retirement at sixty, but it is a fact that the cultivated resident of the country understands better the meanings of spring, summer, autumn, and winter, than such a man; and nothing that wealth can bring can counterpoise such a source of enjoyment. "Thus you can understand," says a favorite writer, "how I can afford to pity the man on the woolsack, while the May-fly is on the waters." Were the sacrifice of nature made for some everlasting good, there would be some sense in it; for temporal and temporary advantages to make it, is consummate folly.

Those who do not live with nature through this present June, will never see another like it; for they will be older next year, and the sight and smell of the lilac and rose, and the song of the wren and blue bird, will have lost some bloom and freshness, and suffered for them a little, however inappreciable, diminution in richness and melody.