29 JUNE 1912, Page 12


Through Greece and Dalmatia. By Mrs. Russell Barrington. (A. and C. Black. 7s. 6d. net.)—Mrs. Barrington's diary, with its excellent illustrations, is likely to attract many travellers to that little-known corner of Europe which it describes. The first half of her book, however, is concerned with the more familiar beauties of Greece. Even here the writer's cultivated powers of observa- tion give freshness to her narrative, but it is in Dalmatia, with its splendid scenery and its noble architectural remains, that Mrs. Barrington's descriptions are at their best. We scarcely hear enough, perhaps, of the ruins of the palace at Spoleto, to which the emperor Diocletian retired after his abdication, and of which Gibbon gives a long account in the thirteenth chapter of his history. But we gather that little remains of the Roman building in its original shape. Gibbon himself, indeed, tolls us as much : "The village of Aspakthus and, long afterwards, the provincial town of Spoleto have grown out of its ruins. The Golden Gate now opens into the market-place. St. John the Baptist has usurped the honours of 2Esculapius ; and the temple of Jupiter, under the protection of the Virgin, is converted into the cathedral church." Mrs. Barrington's pictures show that the Venetian Gothic architecture, which has risen out of the classic ruins, is beautiful enough to prevent us from regretting their loss for very long.