Rural neighborhoods ought to be very much indebted to Mr. Willis for this sprightly and enlivening book, consisting of the letters published originally in the Home Journal. The author possesses more than the average knowledge of the duties of a country villa, for he has once before resided on the Susquehanna. But we may as well say at once, that the horticulturist will learn very little from the city editor and poet, in the way of either planting or raising fruit; but he may become more genial in his feelings, and have a keener relish for the society of trees, and water, and scenery, and the numerous etceteras of changing landscapes; he will love nature better, and perhaps solitude more. Are not these great attainments? The failures that are so often experienced by citizens retiring to the country, may be attributed to a lack of that natural education which can extract from a changing cloud, the ever-varying aspect of rural scenes, and especially from rural work, the means of employment of the mind and hand. Something to do is too often felt to be absent. An observer of the new comer to the country too frequently sees a resort to occupations for which the country was never fitted.

Where preparations for a country life has not been made by a study of its enjoyments and pursuits, how often do we find the experiment of removing from Broadway and Wall street an utter failure, and return inevitable. Good excuses are soon found - the children cannot be educated, or it is too lone-$ome ! Let no one attempt rural life till these and other considerations have been fully weighed. Life itself is but a rainbow of fitful changes, to which it is vain to attempt to give permanence; but the man who does not enjoy the growth and the results of a kitchen garden or grapery, who has no pleasure in the study of the habits of insects, and who can not enjoy the frolics of a favorite dog and the attachment which should grow up between himself and his domestic animals, had better stay nearer to the theatre and the bank.

These reflections are elicited by the privilege our author has indulged us with, of an intimate acquaintance with his out-door doings at his seat near to the residence of our late friend Downing on the Hudson. The description of his demesne is highly graphic and charming; the capabilities of his farm must be every way such as would delight the improver and the lover of landscape. The mind to enjoy, and the rarer talent to describe, the love of country scenes are happily combined in the sketcher; and we are free to say that a more agreeable volume of its kind has not for many a day been laid on our table. Take the following and study it, all ye pent up denizens of a crowded city:

April, 1858

We are not particular about the coming of spring, at Idlewild. It is impatiently waited for among shrubberies and fruit trees, and on gravel walks only shaded in summer. Bat, lose yourself (as you may) in our waterfall wilderness, and you would not know April from June. It is a little seventy-acre world of rocks, foam, rapids, and pathless woods, the ground carpeted with interchanging mosses and ferns, and the thousands of evergreen trees- Hemlocks and Cedars, White Pinea and Yellow Pines, Balaam Firs, laurels and Cypresses - in such majority that falling leaves are scarce missed. What with this, and a labyrinth of glen-depths, where the windy gusts never reach, we only know winter by the snow - late autumn and early spring differing little from summer, or mainly in temperature more inspiriting. * * * The eye needs its medicine. Surrounded by evergreen woods, we look out upon perpetual summer, as to foliage. * * * live but near a sheltered Fir-grove, where the sun draws the perfume from the resinous bark, and the air is unreached by the wind, and, though a delicate invalid, you may pass half your January hours out of doors. Yet most persons choose exposed situations for country residences, and surround the house with Elms, Oaks, and Maples, - trees naked half the year.

With a latitude of too many wintery months, but with a capricious climate, whose summer days, departed by the almanac, may be, any morning; back at our door, it is surely best; if possible, to be ready, at short notice, to realise them - to let it look as well as feel like summer-to see verdure and breathe perfume, as well as glow with the warm air that commonly keeps perfume and verdure company".

To have such scenes, many of us will have to wait a little, and call in the aid of evergreen shrubbery.

But to our book. How happy is the following little bit of word-painting, speaking to the mind:

"Spring is a beautiful piece of work, and not to be in the country to see it done, is the not realizing what glorious masters we are, and how cheerfully, minutely, and unflaggingly, the fair fingers of the season broider the world for us. Each April morning, to drop the reins upon the neck of your horse, and look, charmed, around, seeing that nature did not go to bed, used up and tired, the night before, as you did, but has been industriously busy upon the leaves and blossoms while you were asleep - so much more advancedly lovely than yesterday - is somehow a feeling that has in it the bliss of ownership. The morning seems made for you; the fields and sky seem your roof and grounds; the sir and sunshine, fresh colors and changing light - all new and not a second-hand thing to be seen - nothing to be cupboarded and kept over for to-morrow, or for another guest - gives a delicious consciousness of being the first to be waited on, the one it was all made and meant for. A city April, in comparison, is a thing potted and pickled, and retailed to other customers as well"

This, if we are cot greatly mistaken, was never half so well said before, and bespeaks a mind capable of the highest enjoyment of nature's beauty. His description of the Hemlock is poetry concentrated into prose. Observe - "the child-blossom and its predecessor are heightening graces, each to the other - neither so beautiful alone, and both finding room enough, and enjoying the same summer together. Parent and child are one glory"

May, 1858

With this fertilizing May - the best mixed succession of rain and sunshine for many a year - the deciduous trees so jumped into leaf, and were, all of a sudden, so prodigaly massive and shady, that I began to think I had over-valued our wilderness of Firs, declaring Idle-wild, as I did, to be independent of changing foliage in the preponderance of its woods of evergreen. The Maples and Chestnuts, Oaks, Dogwoods, and Willows, quite smothered us with their spring-burst, I must own. But June, with its new dress for my slighted Hemlocks, has brought me round again, and (till taken again by surprise, at least) I shall be inconstant no more. Hemlocks are our pride at Idlewild. How wonderfully beautiful they are now - every fingertip of their outspread palms thimbled with gold, and every tree looking as if all the sunsets that bad ever been steeped into its top were oozing out of it in drops. Of all Nature's renewals, I think this is the fairest The old foliage forms such an effective contrast for the new. The child-blossom and his predecessor are heightening graces, each to the other - neither so beautiful alone and both finding room enough and enjoying the same summer together. Parent and child are one glory.

The home tree was not stripped and deserted for the new-comer. Of that most precious of our wayside religions - the homestead-hallowing - it seems to me, that the Hemlock should be the chosen emblem".

It would be easy to quote page after page of this pleasant volume, which will be the more popular because not overloaded with science, and shall we say information? It is poetical farming, it is true, but none the less attractive reading because there is no farming in it; we mean attractive to the masees. It has humor, too; and with a specimen of this rarer talent in home farming, we conclude our notice with the mistakes of a goose, which may excuse the query of "Why does a goose stoop its head when it goes under a barndoor?" "Because it is a goose," to be sure:

"But I had a laugh at a goose, yesterday - with a lesion in it, too. Coming home towards evening, with my wagonful of children, the air overhead was suddenly darkened by the wings of a very big bird - my neighbor's fattest waddler - who, chased by a dog, had concluded to up feathers, fly over the barn, and take refuge in the ever-reliable and long-tried bosom of the river. But it was the day after the first sharp frost, and the stream, though as clear as a crystal, was of icy smoothness, and as impenetrable as a rock. Down came the goose, with full faith in it for long-tried water, and the way she slid over, and brought up on the frozen bonk opposite, after that heavy bump upon her astonished egg-basket, was boundlessly delightful to the children. Besides the instruction in it, as to a winter trial of summer friends, it was a comfort, with a pleasant spite in it, to have one good laugh at a goose that waddles and screams after me every time I trot past my neighbor's barnyard".

We have said enough to recommend this work to our readers; no one, who can pardon certain lapses of good taste, less conspicuous, however, in it, than in other works by the same writer, but may be benefited by its perusal. Horticola.