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He afterwards overtaxed his heart by exertion to catch a train, which, among other effects, brought on a considerable degree of blindness, and made him in many respects invalided before the age of eighty. But his mind was apparently in full vigour, and his interests were most keen. Few persons had a more courtly demeanour. I was fated never to know him as a father-in-law. When I reached the Deanery from London, in order to be formally accepted into the family, I found the blinds drawn, and learnt that the Dean had died suddenly at luncheon. There had been some discussion in the morning about Cathedral matters in the Chapter House, and the excitement told fatally upon him, as it was always feared that any exceptional emotion might do. I was taken upstairs to look upon his dead face.
The Dean was father of an exceptionally gifted family. All of his four sons distinguished themselves highly at the Universities. The youngest was the Senior Classic of his year, subsequently Headmaster of Harrow, as his father had been before him, then for a brief time Dean of Gloucester, now and for many past years Master of Trinity College, Cambridge.
The same gifts of nature have descended in large measure to the grandchildren. Out of the eighteen grandsons of Dr. George Butler, Dean of Pcter1wrotig
,,h, t 1611 half have already shown exceptional ability. Five have won a U diversity Scholarship or prize, two others have given promise of high administrative power in India, one of whom now occupies the important post of Foreign Secretary to the Indian Government. Out of the five