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He preferred, "Come, ye sinners, poor and needy," to what he called the "ungodly music" which would take possession of some of our sanctuaries. His work was done so easily that he seemed to have power in reserve, and made the impression that he was banking on large resources and nowise pressed by the occasion. Having great facility of thought and expression he largely relied on this power, which was at once his advantage and his danger. The consciousness of these rare gifts did not stimulate to hard study, but led him to leave to the moment what men less facile, and less sure of themselves, must have put careful preparation upon. Although his mind was active and fertile, he put little on paper. Writing was seldom absolutely necessary to him, because he could carry what he needed in his mind; and finding the drudgery of the pen irksome he wrote only when it was necessary.
Stirring activity suited him. The throne of his power was set in public; his rule was that of presence; his scepter, personal touch. By face-to-face word he won, and conquered by direct contact. There was that in him which was hard to resist. Able to do with men what few would dare, and fewer successfully attempt, he could ride in upon them with a dash in such courteous manner that there was no rudeness; before they had time to lift drawbridge or let portcullis fall he was prancing in the castle's court without asking leave, at ease in his saddle, at home with his surroundings, and gracious. If he saw fit to come ashore no reserve could keep him off, even when suspicion stationed its sentinels and hostility mounted its guns. He knew how to run the blockade, elude the guards, and land his troops with stores and ammunition to occupy the town. A genial spirit, with courtly suavity of manner, made him agreeable. Keen penetration gave him the art of quick inference and thorough tact. He knew like a skilled anatomist where the heart was located, could touch it at will, and tell as by a stethoscopic sense how it was beating. The ideal and active well blended, an ardent poetic temperament, and practical executive sense, with experience of affairs, made him an adroit manager and an inspiring leader. He saw the bright side of things, kindled others with his courageous faith, shed a glow about him which melted indifference, inspired timidity with confidence, and disarmed opposition. With a masculine con
tempt for shams and nonsense, hating cant and hypocrisy, he neither hid what he was, nor pretended to be what he was not. Heart, home, sorrows, ambitions, and all his affairs were open. Concealment was unnatural to him; indeed, he erred in the opposite extreme. In his private business affairs he was unsuccessful, easily beguiled, and by believing every body suffered loss.
He was warm-blooded, humane, lavish in his friendships, magnanimous to rivals, and forgiving to enemies, saying often, "Life is too short to carry bitterness in our hearts. Keep the wheat, and let the chaff go; cherish the good, and forget the evil." Strength, time, and substance were poured out for his brethren as if there were no limit to his resources. There was no stint in his willingness to help every body, and little caution in his promising. The impulse of ready consent, meeting every appeal for aid, did not stop to calculate coolly the limits of possibility; and thus, through over-generosity, undertaking more than circumstances finally permitted, he sometimes failed to make all connections. A distinguished judge writes: "He had more warm friends than any man I ever knew, and was as true as steel, never failing to do his utmost for a friend when opportunity offered." When, on his sick-bed, the account of Chancellor Runyon's re-appointment and confirmation was read to him, he joyously cried "Halleluiah."
He found ready access to men of the world, and turned many of them to Christ. The matters which he touched influentially are known to be various. Without turning aside to politics, he wielded, silently, considerable political control through personal influence with. those who ruled civil affairs. Men in power consulted his sagacious judgment, and some owed official position to his influence. A secular paper, politically opposed to him, said: "Dr. Dashiell was not a person of ordinary mold; he did not walk after a set fashion or talk by line and plummet. He would have made his mark in any station of life; and where he did make it, it is indelible. He was a perfect example of restless, impulsive American energy; of that tireless power which transforms wildernesses, builds cities, and keeps the human heart on fire. He was more than a preacher, every-where sought for and admired; he had more statesmanlike qualities than nine-tenths of the men who make statesmanship a profession. He took a living interest in all that
belonged to his country, its material, political, and moral progress. A thorough, comprehensive, large-souled, educated, common-sense man of the times was Dr. Dashiell."
In October, 1861, Gilbert Haven left his army chaplaincy and took charge of Clinton-street Church, Newark. Soon after, in a letter to a friend, he wrote: "A fine Gothic church is close beside mine, with a popular preacher who draws on this greatly. I shall be thankful if I keep my folks at home."
This popular preacher was Dashiell, who hospitably took the wifeless, homeless Haven to his heart and home, a weekly guest at his table. The inflexible abolitionist and the Maryland democrat, disputing and fraternizing with belligerent good-will, were ever after close friends, the heat and blows of debate only welding intimacy. Ardent and genial, as much alike in nature as different in opinions, they disagreed sharply without animosity. Familiar as boys, Dashiell would take him by the arm and say, "Come, old Gilt-edge, you must go home with me." The Yankee chaplain at Dashiell's table had to contend also with his Southern hostess, with whom he would insist on discussing such matters as John Brown's raid at Harper's Ferry. Twenty years after, on the day of Haven's funeral, Dashiell, on his bed of suffering, said: "Haven and my wife used to quarrel dreadfully, and they quarreled until they became warm friends." The last vote of this out-spoken democrat was straight Republican. The democracy of Newark had bought the German vote by pledging itself for an open Sunday of saloons and carousing. As he went to the polls his democratic friends held out their party ballot. He said, "No, I thank you! You have sold me out, but you cannot deliver me."
Dr. Dashiell was a right royal lover of his wife and children. Home was the dear center of the world. To it his thoughts turned, of it he always talked, no matter how far away duty led him. The story of his family life, most cheery, considerate, unselfish, and affectionate, is not for these pages. One of the inmates of his home was "Mammy," his negro nurse, who, as she was proud of saying, "taught him to walk." In his infancy Hetty had been hired of her mistress by his mother. Long after, when he was in the ministry, he paid, at her entreaty and with the sanction of Bishop Ames, five hundred dollars to save her from being sold away. From
FOURTH SERIES, VOL. XXXV.-28
that time she lived in his family and bore herself as if she owned it. Toward her he showed gentle consideration, never going away without calling "Good-bye, Hetty," and waiting to shake hands. Her boast to his children was, "Your father never give me a unrespectful word in his life." In dealing with this crotchety character much patience and tact were required. When the children gave her offense she would loftily repel all overtures until her idolized "Friend" came in to restore peace. Haven once, in his Episcopal days, in taking leave of the family, extended his hand first to old Mammy, who drew back with great dignity and said, in a tone of reproof, "Mrs. Dashiell first, Bishop." Dashiell's laugh at the repulsed dignitary rang through the house. Hetty was heart-broken over the sufferings which ended her friend's life, and would not witness his dying. As soon as he was gone she came into the room, extended her hands above his body, and said, with a choking voice, "Farewell, Doctor! You've been a good friend to me. I'll meet you before the throne." Being told of a sermon in which the minister had said, "God never calls one of his children from earth unless he has work for him elsewhere," she broke out, indignantly, "Humph! If dat's de way, Miss Mary, I don't think much of it. If de Doctor, after all de runnin' and wearin' out his poor body he done here, aint got no rest now, I don't think much of it." She had her own notion of what use "de Lord" might properly make of "de Doctor;" it was her opinion that he would be "de strong-lunged angel to stand wid one foot on de land and de other on de sea to blow de trumpet." She survived him less than a year. Her name is cut upon his monument. Her body lies at his feet on the bank of the Passaic.
Dr. Dashiell's last public utterance in the East was in Newark at the funeral of his friend, Cornelius Walsh. That night, pale and worn with two weeks of illness, he started for the Northwest. His route was almost the same as the last trip of his colleague, Dr. Eddy. In fourteen days he traveled three thousand miles, delivered fourteen sermons and addresses, and was shaken up in a railroad collision. His last sermon was at Lincoln, Nebraska. He reached home sick, October 9, and went through his duties with the General Missionary Committee, in its annual meeting, with pallid, pain-stricken face and
He was seen
tremulous hands, yet alert and vigilant as ever. at the front of action until the ambulance carried him off the field. Near the close of that annual meeting some statement sprung him, and he flashed into a burning, brilliant speech of ten minutes, the last blaze of dying fires in a man who had no chance for life. The meeting over, he, as well as Bishop Haventwo brave, brotherly men-went home to die of rankling disease. The week after the adjournment of the committee, Dashiell went on Monday to the Presbyterian Hospital for a surgical examination. It was made in the afternoon, revealed intestinal cancer, and indicated that disease had gone too far for removal by an operation; but, in the absence of Dr. Van Buren, it was necessary to remain till next day for his opinion. The night of suspense was horrible. With doom half-pronounced he must wait till the morrow for sentence to be made decisive and complete. Left to themselves in strange and ghastly surroundings, that hospital, as night settled down, was to him and his wife a very Golgotha. About eight in the evening the door opened, and, to their grateful surprise, there stood Bishop Haven, his broad form filling the door-way as he tossed in his friendly greeting, "Well, old fellow, they have you where they want to get me," meaning in the surgeons' hands. "I had an hour be fore leaving for Boston and wanted to spend it with you." When his time had elapsed, Haven said "Good-bye," and was apparently going, when suddenly he dropped on his knees and prayed for ten minutes, pouring out his soul for his friend. Dashiell was greatly affected. The bright Bishop hastened away, in pain and weakness, to lay himself on his own death-bed and find the gates of heaven two months before his friend. The only reading Dashiell did during his illness was George Lansing Taylor's elegy on Haven. "The warrior is at rest. I wonder how long I must wait," said the slowly dying Missionary Secretary when he learned that his heroic brother had gone before him. Very soon the comrades greeted beyond the battle-fields, hanging their dinted shields upon the temple walls where the holy light of victory falls for evermore.
Dr. Dashiell astonished his friends by his fortitude in suffering. He endured the trying operation of colotomy, which, however, availed little. When he laid himself on the table, the surgeon said, as he administered the anaesthetic, "Now,