15 JUNE 1867, Page 21

A History of Architecture. By James Fergusson. VoL II. (Murray.)

—In the second volume of his elaborate and masterly work, Mr. Fer- gusson traces the course of Christian architecture in England, Spain, and Italy, and describes the Pagan architecture (as he calla it) of the Saracens and the Mahomotans of Persia, India, and China. The native severity of history is tempered by the copious illustrations which attend the text, and the delicacy of which often loads us astray to admire when we ought to study. Much the same is Mr. Fergusson's own experience of St. Mark's at Venice, where he says the critic is forced to worship when his reason tells him he ought to blame. But it is evident that the learner's part is made much easier by the constant power of reference. If he differs from his teacher, as learners sometimes will, he can at once mark the point of divergence, instead of going on in a state of half- acquiescence, and not 'expressing dissent till the conclusion. Wo (meaning thereby the Spectator) have already stated our points of dis- agreement with Mr. Fergusson, and have now only to add that his book is indispensable to all students of architecture, and delightful to all its admirers.