21 NOVEMBER 1891, Page 9

THE PICTURESQUE MEDITERRANEAN.* THIS second volume of The Picturesque Mediterranean

is a worthy successor of that which we noticed about this time last year. Its contents are not, indeed, so varied. Of its fourteen chapters, ten are given to Italy, if under that " geo- graphical expression" we are to include all that either has belonged to it, or, as some Italians would say, ought to belong. The exceptions are Malaga, the Ionian Islands, Algiers, and the Dardanelles,—all interesting subjects, as, indeed, the Mediter- ranean, so rich in historical associations, is bound everywhere to be. It is difficult in noticing a volume with contents so varied, to know where to begin ; but perhaps the Dardanelles, where first, Palestine only excepted, legend passes into history, may be allowed the priority. The chapter is written by Miss Garnett, and illustrated by Mr. William Simpson. The " Plains of Troy" are represented in a fine landscape, not taken, however, as one would, for some reasons, have wished to have it, from the hill of Hissarlik. There is also a fine little piece of coast scenery from Tenedos ; one can easily believe from the look of these frowning rocks that it was statio malefida carinis. Ida is twice figured, once from the Gulf of Adramytti, once from inland. Sicily has perhaps as good a right to the second place as any. Mr. Train's chapter is one of the best in the volume, and Mr. MacWhirter's illus- trations, if we have to make a choice where there is so much that is good, are perhaps the most distinctive and charac- teristic. The artist has been helped by the remarkable picturesqueness of the Sicilian scenery, which his pencil has reproduced with singular felicity. The " Rocks of the Cyclops " are a wild bit of coast, showing in the foreground the very stones, so the legend will have it, which the blinded monster hurled with so perilously good an aim at the retreating ship of Ulysses. A singularly picturesque little view is the " Theatre of Syracuse," seen through an arch of rock. We may also mention a fine view of Etna, with the ruins of the Greek theatre of Taormina in the foreground, and a landscape which gives us a view of Girgenti. We venture to suggest that the flutings of the columns at Selinus have not been worn "nearly smooth by time and weather." It is supposed that all but a few were never fluted at all. And are not the cliffs of Monte Pellegrino, which Mr. Traill describes as " volcanic-looking," really limestone ? Professor Bonney con- tributes two papers on " The Upper Sea,"—" The Western Adriatic : Ravenna to Brindisi," illustrated by Mr. W. T. Boot, and " The Northern Adriatic," with drawings by Mr. John Falleylove. In the former of these, the most interesting illustrations are, perhaps, the architectural. It would be difficult to find a city where the buildings so completely link the past with the present. What are ruins elsewhere, here are still used by the living. As Professor Bonney puts it, " we can see in Ravenna, still but little changed, the churches in which the contem- poraries of Gregory and of Augustine worshipped, which had long ceased to be new in the days of Bede the Venerable and Theodore of Canterbury. Their remains bring before our eyes the dress and the dwellings of the men of those ages." The Church of St. Apollinare Nuova was built by Theodoric, and the Mausoleum of Gallo. Placidia covers the ashes of the daughter of Honorius. The Church of St. Vitali is but little later in date, for it was began in the year after the death of Theodoric, and probably represents as well as any building still standing in its entirety the Roman architecture of the sixth century. And it is at Ravenna, to pass over some eight centuries, that we see the tomb of Dante. Rimini, Ancona, Brindisi, furnish subjects scarcely less interesting in their way to pen and pencil. And when we pass to Professor Bonney's other paper, we have Venice. One of the most brilliantly written chapters is Mr. Charles Edwardes's "Calabria," not exactly the Calabri of classical geography, for it was not within its borders, but at Tarentum, that Virgil died. Mr. Edwardes's account of the Calabrian people is singularly picturesque, and his pen has been not unworthily seconded by the pencil of Mr. C. W. Wyllie. We must not omit to mention the chapter on " Malta," also illustrated by Mr. Wyllie, and written by Mr. Robert Brown. An English possession where the people still talk Phoenician, is indeed an interesting combination.

• The Picturesque Mediterranean. Vol. IL London: Cavell and Co. 1891.