GLADSTONE (482 pp.)Philip Magnus Dutton ($6.75).
"This half-crazy and . . . ridiculous old man." "That half-mad firebrand who would soon ruin everything, and be a Dictator." Thus, on two occasions, did Queen Victoria fulminate against her pet hate, Liberal William Ewart Gladstone. In ferocious agreement with the Queen were the House of Lords, the City magnates and all good Toriesdown to the anonymous songster who bellowed from the music-hall boards that Gladstone
. . . when his life ebbs out,
Will ride in a fiery chariot,
And sit in state
On a red-hot plate...