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in competitions which almost invariably end
in so unsatisfactory a manner. The same
thing occurred, and may be answered in the
same way, with regard to the hundred and
sixty or seventy Plans sent in for the Drainage
of London. Our most eminent civil engineers
stood aloof. A few very able men, it is true,
entered into the contest with enthusiasm, at
great expense of time, labour, and money, (one
of them, Mr. J. B. M'Clean, spent nearly £500.
in surveys, &c.) but very few of them will
ever do this again. Out of the two hundred
and forty-five competitors who have sent
designs and plans, in reply to the equally
vague and formal invitation of the
Commissioners of the Exhibition of 1851, not a
single name of the hundred and sixty or
seventy engineers, surveyors, architects,
builders, &c., who sent in designs for the
Drainage of London, is to be found either in
List A, or List B, of those whom the
Commissioners of the Exhibition have mentioned
as entitled to honorary distinction. They
were, no doubt, very thoroughly sickened by
the previous affair.

We have said that, at the very least, those
who have sent in excellent designs should
receive honourable mention. This is liberally
bestowed by the Commissioners of the
Exhibition on eighteen individuals; but that is
not sufficient. Neither is the longer list of
names, thus honoured, perfectly just, inasmuch
as it excludes many whose plans display
very great merit. As for the Commissioners
of Sewers, the report they issued concerning
the plans sent to them, was meagre and mean
to the last degree. Its timidity at a just and
decent compliment, absolutely amounted to
the ludicrous. If they thanked anybody at
all, the thanks seemed warily pushed towards
the parties by the Solicitor of the Commission
at the end of a long pole. They had not
even a word of commendation to offer to two
or three men who had sent in designs of the
most comprehensive and original character,—
designs which were, at least, as practicable as
any of the "tunnel schemes," or others which
they ventured, in their caustic way, to applaud.
We would more especially mention the plans
of Mr. Richard Dover, Mr. John Martin, Mr.
John Sutton (The Margin Sewer), Mr. Jasper
Rogers, Mr. William H. Smith (Second Series),
and the one signed "Nunc aut Nunquam,"
which latter, for grandeur of conception,
equals the very greatest works of ancient and
modern times. Placed beside such unmannerly
treatment as this, and comparing the
two reports, that of the Commissioners of
the Exhibition reads like the production of
gentlemen and scholars, beside the penurious
reservations and dryness of the
Commissioners of Sewers.

With regard, however, to the great
superiority of foreign artists over our own in the
present matter of competition, and our utter
defeat in the first trial of the respective
strength of Nations, some very excellent
remarks have been put forth by the
"Athenæum." "Let us see," says the writer, "if
the men who did come up to this architectural
battle have been fairly dealt with. It is
essential to the integrity of a combat that it
should be fought with the weapon prescribed.
If one of two combatants bring a sword double
the length of his adversary's, or a rifle to his
rival's pistol, we should scarcely hold that the
defeat of the latter is proof that he is inferior
in fence or in aim." This is closely and fairly
put. The answer must be, that our artists
have not been fairly beaten. The advertisement
of the Committee requested "information
and suggestions" on the general form
of the building in plan, &c., and they laid
down rules and regulations to which "they
earnestly requested the contributors to
conform," declaring that they would not recognise
any plans which were "sent in a form
inconsistent with these rules." They were
clearly defined. For instancethey directed
that the communications must consist of a
single sheet of paper of given dimensions;
that the drawing should be a simple ground-
plan, also of limited dimensions; and that it
should only contain "such elevations and
sections of the building, on the same sheet,
as might be necessary to elucidate the system
proposed." Surely all this is clear enough.

Let us now see how some of the most
successful of the competitors have attended
to these conditions on which they were to
enter the arena.

What extensive pleasure-grounds are those?
and adorned with such architectural
displays? They are the work of Monsieur Cailloux.
But, a little further on, we behold
pleasure-grounds and architectural structures
yet more ornate and refined. They are from
the hand of Monsieur Charpentier. Further
on, another, by Monsieur Cleemputte; and
another by Monsieur Gaullea complicated
work of thoughtful elaboration. Yet even
these are destined to be surpassed by the
luxurious fancies of other artists.

So far from denying or doubting that many
of these designs are beautiful, we close our
eyes, and see in imagination the exquisite
magnificence of the structures, into which no
coarse and profane hands should dare to
wheel or carry rude raw materials of any
kind; there, everything must be finished to
the highest degree of polished art and refined
taste. Also, no lumbering pieces of machinery
or mechanism must risk doing injury to the
walls, and pillars, and profusion of glassno
uncouth agricultural implements, or other
tools of horny-handed Industry. Hither, let
no enthusiasts in smoke-jacks, patent
capstans, door-hinges, dock-gates, double-barred
gridirons, humane chimney-sweeping
apparatuses, peat-charcoal, bachelor's broilers, fire-
annihilators, patent filters, portable kitchens, or
electric telegraphs, dare to send their uncouth
machinery and compounds; but only such
things as are delicate of texture, rainbow-