Viscount Gladstone, 73, lively son of the late famed Liberal Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone, continued last week to make unbridled use of the adjective "foul," as the libel suit brought against him by Captain Peter Wright (TIME, Feb. 7) continued. Originally Viscount Gladstone merely declared: "Captain Wright is a foul fellow!" referring to aspersions cast upon Prime Minister Gladstone in Captain Wright's book: Portraits and Criticisms (TIME, July 26). But last week, when Viscount Gladstone took the stand, he delivered himself as follows: "Captain Wright made a foul and loathsome charge against my father.† It was a revolting charge, which of course made me angry almost to an ungovernable extent. It was a charge which made my father out to be a foul sensualist and a foul hypocrite, and the charge was therefore a foul one! It was a deadly insult to every member of my family. A charge so foul and loathsome could only have been made by a foul-minded man, and I repeat that because of that he is a FOUL FELLOW! . . . That is my last word."
The trial, which had long since become a legal farce, drew to a close without any real evidence against the character of Mr. Gladstone having been adduced. Viscount Gladstone admitted that Mr. Gladstone often spoke to fallen women on the street, but explained away all taint of scandal as follows: "My father founded the Newport Market Refuge for Women, and helped to found St. Mary Magdalene Home as a refuge for fallen women. I remember going to these places with him as a boy. My mother went too. The main social work in which my father and mother were interested took the form of such rescue efforts."
Viscount Gladstone's attorney interrupted at this point to read from the works of Viscount Morley concerning Mr. Gladstone: "In these humane efforts at reclamation among fallen women! he persevered all through his life, fearless of misconstruction, fearless of the levity or baseness of men's tongues."
"My father," concluded Viscount Gladstone, "kept to his resolution in this matter with an iron tenacity."
Verdict. The jury, after a brief absence, returned the verdict that it was not libelous for Viscount Gladstone to have referred to Captain Wright as "a foul fellow . . . a liar ... a coward . . . and a fool." Having thus squelched the Captain, the foreman of the jury addressed the presiding justice as follows: "My lord, the jury wish to add that it is our unanimous opinion that the evidence placed before us has completely vindicated the hieh moral character of the late Mr. William Ewart Glad-stone."
Irate Lillie. During the trial Captain Wright referred to one-time famed actress Lillie Langtry as " 'The Jersey Lily' . . . well-known in the U. S. to have been Mr. Gladstone's mistress" (TIME, Feb. 7).