veneration. The following day, Sunday, he went to the early celebration of the holy eucharist, and received, kneeling beside his wife. After breakfast he returned to the church, cheerful and seeming unusually well, for the morning prayer, and sat in Gladstone's place. While the absolution was being pronounced he died, by a sudden failure of the heart. The body was conveyed on the 14th to Canterbury, where it lay in the 'crown' of the cathedral, visited by multitudes of mourners. The funeral took place on Friday the 16th, in the presence of the Duke of York and a vast congregation. He was the first archbishop buried in his own cathedral since Pole.
The archbishop was survived by his wife, by three sons (Mr. Arthur Christopher Benson of Eton College, Mr. Edward Frederic Benson the novelist, and Mr. Robert Hugh Benson) and by one daughter, Margaret.
Most men engaged in such arduous and multifarious work as Archbishop Benson would have given up all hope of consecutive study. Benson clung to his reading with indomitable perseverance. His hours of sleep were reduced to a minimum. Every day before breakfast, which was an early meal in his household, he secured time for earnest study of his New Testament. For some years before his death he took as the topic for this study the Revelation of St. John. One result is the suggestive and stimulating volume upon that book published since his death ('The Apocalypse,' 1900). Besides this, from his Wellington days onwards, he worked hard whenever opportunity came, and chiefly at midnight, upon Cyprian. He undertook the work mainly as a corrective to the desultory habit of mind likely to be produced by such a mixture of external duties, and as a relief from care. He went with extraordinary thoroughness into the minutiae. He used half playfully to persuade himself that the 'Cyprian' was his only serious life-work, and that all else was only so much interruption. Few things ever gave him such pleasure as a visit in 1892 to Carthage and the scenes with which his mind had so long been familiar. The history lived for him with a wonderful vividness and freshness, and continually threw light for him upon the daily problems from which he had turned to it as a refuge. He lived to complete his task, all but for a few verifications, and the book was published in 1897, a few months after his death. It would have been a great book if written by a man of leisure ; for one in a position like his it is nothing short of marvellous.
Archbishop Benson's was a personality of very large and varied gifts. He had the temperament of a poet and a dramatist, with swift insight and emotions at once profound and soon stirred. He was naturally sanguine, though, like other sanguine persons, liable to great depression. His was the very opposite temper to that which made Butler refuse the primacy of a 'falling church.' Benson showed 'no alacrity at sinking,' said a leader-writer in the 'Times,' looking back at the difficulties which would have drowned a weaker man in the first days at Wellington. He was a masterful ruler, and was determined to carry through whatever he felt to be right. Yet, reliant as he was upon his own judgment (under God), no man was ever more careful to consult every one concerned, or more loyal to those whom he consulted. By nature passionate, he learned to control his temper without losing the force which lies behind it. His industry knew no bounds. 'The first off-day since this time last year,' he wrote towards the end of a so-called holiday abroad. Three secretaries as well as himself were incessantly engaged upon his letters. 'The penny post,' he said, 'is one of those ordinances of man to which we have to submit for the Lord's sake.' The business of the see of Canterbury rose in his time to an unprecedented amount, so that he used to say that he needed a college of cardinals to do it. He did nothing in slovenly fashion, but went to the bottom of everything. His curious literary style was due to his determination to get behind the commonplace and conventional. Details fascinated him; he seemed wholly absorbed in them. His position made him a trustee of the British Museum, and his mind would be on fire for days with the thought of some ornament lately brought from Egypt or Ægina. He would expatiate at length upon the way to choose oats or to fold a rochet. He was devoted to animals, always wondering 'what they were.' In social life he was notable for genial freedom and courtliness. With all his gentleness and his rich store of affection, he had an almost unique dignity of bearing.None of the painted pictures of Archbishop Benson are wholly satisfactory as portraits. The two principal pictures are one by Laurence, in the possession of Mrs. Benson, painted at the time of his leaving Wellington; and one by Herkomer at Lambeth. The portrait in the hall at Trinity College, Cambridge, was painted after his death. His fine features seemed, in spite of the rapid changes of expression, which made him look almost a different man at different moments,