30 DECEMBER 1882, Page 2

The " Belt Case," the suit of Mr. Belt, sculptor,

against Vanity Fair, for saying he was an impostor who traded on the work of other men, ended on Thursday in a verdict for the- plaintiff, with £5,000 damages. This is a most unusual sum, but the whole case has been unusual. It has taken up the whole time of a Court for forty-three days, has interested. " Society " and the Judge (Baron Huddleston) to an unintel- ligible degree, and has compelled a large section of the Royal Academicians to subject themselves to cross examination a a• to their capacity for artistic criticism. The verdict is re- pudiated by artists, but it was in accordance with the evidence in Court, and was accepted with delight by the crowds who have constantly attended the trial. The charge of the Judge, which seems to us to have been able, but too visibly penetrated with conviction, has given rise to much hostile com- ment, and the defendant's lawyers announce that they intend to make it the basis of an appeal for a new trial. What is quite certain is, that the bias of the audience was allowed to express itself with a freedom, which in a political trial would interfere with justice.