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Chapter 28: closing period

  • Opposes Bryan for president
  • -- Democratic party must give up its heresies -- Supports McKinley -- Dana's substantial victory over public corruption -- loss of friends -- Dana's ample fortune -- travels beyond sea -- visits Mexico and Cuba -- Supports Cuban rebellion -- tribute to Jose Marti -- Dana's scholarship -- class in literature -- his inner life -- skill as horseman -- appreciation of art -- home at Sixtieth Street and Madison Avenue -- paintings, tapestry, and ceramics -- Dana's personality and home life -- love of children -- the art of newspaper making

The end of Cleveland's second administration marked the close of the Sun's co-operation with the Democratic party. It had pointed out with persistency the failure of that party in Congress to live up to the pledges contained in its platform, especially in reference to the tariff; and when it cast aside at Chicago its “essential ideas and best traditions,” and converted itself into a Socialistic-Populist party, with William J. Bryan as its candidate for president, on a platform containing doctrines “which were for the most part hostile” to those it had held in the past, Dana, in response to many letters calling for his individual opinions, gave them in the Sun of August 6, 1896. They are characterized by independence of judgment and lucidity of statement, and, although the crisis which called them forth is happily long since past, they are given in part as follows:

... The Chicago platform invites us to establish a currency which will enable a man to pay his debts with half as [491] much property as he would have to use in order to pay them now. This proposition is dishonest. I do not say that all the advocates of the free coinage of silver are dishonest. Thousands of them, millions, if there be so many, are doubtless honest in intention. But I am unable to reconcile with any ideal of integrity a change in the law which will permit a man who has borrowed a hundred dollars to pay his debt with a hundred dollars each one of which is worth only half as much as each dollar he received from the lender.

The Chicago platform sanctions the use of the appointing power of the President in such a way as to control the federal judiciary in deciding questions of constitutional law. It contemplates a change in the personnel of the Supreme Court of the United States to the end that the recent decision declaring the income tax unconstitutional may be reversed. Strange times, indeed, are these, when a man is told that in order to be a Democrat he must favor the imposition of an income tax and the destruction of the independence of the judiciary!

Still more alarming is the clearly implied approval of lawless violence contained in the denunciation of what is denominated in the platform “government by injunction.” Veiled in the language of moderation, the wild light of anarchy shines through.

In my opinion, without reviewing the Chicago platform further, the declarations in regard to the currency, the Supreme Court, and the income tax, and the repression of forcible lawlessness by the aid of injunctions, are enough to demand its rejection by all good citizens, and the defeat of the candidates who stand upon it.

I regret exceedingly to find a disposition quite prevalent to array the West against the East in the discussion of these matters. I see no occasion for making our differences sectional. Here there is no political hostility towards the West, such as is expressed towards the East by some Western newspapers and public speakers. Good citizens can perhaps best aid the cause of honest money and law and order by devoting more time to rational argument and less to inefficient abuse. [492]

All questions relating to the tariff have become insignificant for the time being, in view of the possibility, however slight, that the abhorrent principles of the Chicago platform may prevail. The duty and the necessity to compass the final overthrow of that platform by assisting in the defeat of William J. Bryan are most imperative and solemn. This may most certainly be accomplished by voting for the electors pledged to the support of William McKinley; but I have no quarrel with any Democrat who adopts any other course which seems to him equally well adapted or better adapted to the same end.

These views, having been fully foreshadowed in the Sun, were now widely accepted by conservative Democrats, who either came out squarely with Dana in support of McKinley, on a platform pledged to gold as the national standard of value, or in support of an independent ticket composed of Democrats, about whose position and the platform on which they stood there could be no doubt whatever. While these men differed as to the practical measures to be adopted, they stood together in the belief that the time had come when

... the Democracy must purge and recreate itself. It must make itself again known and accepted as the party of equal rights, of party government, of republican ideas, and of political stability, or all that Jefferson labored for, and all that his successors have achieved in the Democratic name, will be lost, or credited to other parties. And by just so long as the need of this regeneration fails to be recognized, the beginning of Democratic restoration will be delayed. ...

These words, written before the election, were prophetic. They show no change in Dana's principles. They indicate no abasement of his ideals, no faltering in his purposes, but, taken in connection with the opinions already given, they show that he intended to waste neither time nor [493] effort in supporting men who were destined from the start to defeat. While he did not value McKinley highly as an original thinker, or as a statesman of the first rank, he acknowledged his good sense, and felt sure that, surrounded as he would be by a large group of the ablest men in his party, he would give the country a safe and conservative administration in substantial accord with the platform on which it had been chosen. Firm in this conviction, the Sun at once became an active advocate of the Republican candidates. As it had always been, it was independent and in no sense a time-serving partisan, but for this reason its influence was perhaps greater than ever before. McKinley received a larger plurality of votes than had ever been given to any candidate for president except General Grant.

As before stated, Dana had won a substantial victory in his efforts to purify the administration of the government as carried on by the Republicans, and to give it a vigorous and American tone as carried on by the Democrats. Jobbery and scandal had entirely disappeared from the management of the great departments at Washington. Landaulets and family coaches were no longer bought by members of the cabinet and paid for with public money. The building lots of government officials were no longer graded at the cost of the city. Post-traderships had ceased to pay tribute for the benefit of those in power. Speculation in Star Route contracts and fraudulent claims against the government, as well as in naval materials and discarded arms, had come to an end. Safe-burglary conspiracies and bonded-warehouse frauds had been suppressed. The Black Friday combination and the Whiskey Ring had been broken up. The revenues were honestly collected and accounted for. Log-rolling legislation had been reduced to a minimum. Municipal government in Washington and New York had been greatly improved, while the management of both State and national affairs [494] had been cleansed and lifted to a higher plane. In bringing about these results, Dana had taken the lead and done more than his full share. His newspaper had come everywhere to be regarded as the fearless leader of popular opinion against bribery, peculation, and wastefulness in public office, and as the outspoken advocate of personal and official virtue. The boldness of its denunciation and the certainty of its exposure had filled the heart of the wrongdoer with fear, whatever might be his rank or station. It had occasionally made mistakes in judgment, but rarely in principle. While it had maintained the right of free speech and free comment at great trouble and expense, it had thereby made it safe in all parts of the country for the newspaper to stand fearlessly for the public interests. It had made “personal journalism,” as practised at that time, not only fashionable, but respectable. It had brought both presidents and members of the cabinet, as well as senators and members of the House of Representatives, within the range of its influence, and had created policies which everybody in public life was compelled to respect.

To all this Dana had given his best thought and most untiring industry. His boldness and his aggressiveness had cost him some friends and much money, but never a tremor nor a doubt. He had pursued the course he thought best in every case, and, so far as can be seen, he never shrank from the heat and burden of the conflict. Notwithstanding the cost and the loss of battle, he seems to have borne himself cheerfully and bravely throughout life, and to have carried a bold and joyous front in every encounter. That he was fiercely criticised and bitterly denounced in turn was but natural, but as it became certain that he could neither be tempted nor frightened from the path of duty, new friends gathered about him, and his fame as a champion of public virtue and public interests was established on an enduring foundation. [495]

The Sun, to the making of which he had given his constant thought and his best work, had become not only the most powerful, but one of the most profitable newspapers of the day. It had made him rich, and surrounded him with comfort and luxury, and with these, as the fierceness of the struggle abated, came the desire and the determination to travel beyond sea. So long as he was on duty at his task of making a daily newspaper, it was as natural for him to do the work of writer and editor as it was for the mechanic to ply the art by which he made his living. With the regularity of the clock, day in and day out, week in and week out, year in and year out, he devoted himself to his task, till the time came for him to play, and then he played with just as much earnestness and joy as he had worked. Always a student of languages, literature, art, and philosophy, he gave them every day of his life such a part of his time as he could spare from actual work. And in this no Chinese scholar who works throughout life and never finishes his education could have been more avaricious of his time or more methodical in the use he made of it.

As will be remembered, Dana made his first visit to Europe to observe and report upon the revolutionary movements of 1848 and 1849. He made his second visit in 1879, and his third in 1882. During the next decade he went many times, his travels lasting three or four months and taking him in turn to England, Ireland, France, Germany, Spain, and Italy. While he manifested but little curiosity to see the rulers or the courts, or to mingle with the official classes, he studied the people closely and gave much time to art of every kind. On one of his visits to Rome he had a private audience of the pope, during which they discussed Dante and quoted from the “Divine Comedy,” to their mutual gratification. On another he crossed the Black Sea, and, after visiting Tiflis, went north through the Caucasus to Nijni-Novgorod, Moscow, St. Petersburg, [496] and Warsaw. On still another he took in Constantinople, Brusa, the Levant, and Jerusalem. After his return from these Eastern journeys, he wrote several letters for the Sun, in which he gave an account of his travels and observations. These having been somewhat out of the usual, were subsequently collected and published in a small but interesting volume which is still on sale.1

On one and another of his outings abroad he extended his travels beyond the beaten routes, and visited Denmark and Sweden, where the scenery, as well as the people, afforded him constant pleasure. His familiarity with most of the European languages and the Scandinavian dialects made it not only easy but highly interesting for him to talk with the natives, wherever he went, and it is noticeable that he always seemed to have a special interest in the Northern races.

During his earlier trips abroad he left the Sun in editorial charge of the late John Swinton: but a few years after his son Paul had taken his place as an assistant editor, the latter was left in charge during his father's absence. It is to be noted that the editor-in-chief never gave any formal instructions, but left his lieutenant with full discretion as to the course he should pursue upon any occasion that might arise. It was no part of his system to hamper his representative with directions that might not be applicable to the situations arising in his absence. It was in accordance with his instinct and his philosophy to trust in the good sense and good faith of his associates, none of whom ever lived under suspicion. His experience in the editorial rooms, as well as in the army, had taught him that too many instructions rarely ever produce the best results. [497]

In 1883 Dana visited Mexico with a small party of intimate friends, and not only saw much of the country, but made the acquaintance of the president, Gonzales, and many leading men. Later he travelled extensively in Cuba, and, having become proficient in the Spanish language in early life, it was easy for him to acquire an exact and extensive knowledge of Cuban history, resources, literature, and system of government, and to express his sympathy with the political hopes and aspirations of the Cuban people. Many of his best friends were Cubans, and throughout both of their revolutions against the mother-country — that of 1868-74, as well as that of 1895-he was the firm and devoted friend and advocate of Cuban independence.

At the very outbreak of the last revolt against Spanish misrule, he gave his hearty encouragement through the columns of the Sun:

To the brave men in arms for the independence and the liberties of Cuba, to the patriots who would give their country a Democratic-Republican government in the place of royalty, to the liberators who defy the power of Spain upon the battle-field, we send greetings!

The American Republic watches them in hope and sympathizes with them. The seventeen republics of the three Americas desire their success.

Let foreign domination upon this side of the Atlantic be brought to an end forever. America for Americans!

And thus it was ever with this patriotic editor. He was the friend and supporter of the oppressed and downtrodden of every race and country. The misgoverned and overtaxed colonists, not less than those who suffered wrong at home, counted with absolute certainty upon Dana's sympathy and support. He had been the friend of Kossuth, of Mazzini, and of Garibaldi. He had pleaded in [498] turn for a Democratic republic in France, for a free and united Germany, for the independence of Hungary, for home rule in Ireland, and for the consolidation and enfranchisement of Italy, and naturally, when he sent greetings to the Cubans, they hailed him as a friend who would stand with them to the last. They looked confidently to him for guidance and assistance, as well as for the creation of a sentiment in their behalf throughout the United States, without which they could not hope to win. Such of their leaders and agents as came to this country hastened to make his acquaintance and to invoke his counsel and advice, which never failed them. One of the first and most admirable of their number to lay down his life for the independence of Cuba was Jose Marti, and the news of his death aroused in no one greater regret than it did in Dana. It called from his pen a noble and touching tribute of admiration and respect, which will be found in the Sun of May 23, 1895. It runs as follows:

We learn with poignant sorrow of the death in battle of Jose Marti, the well-known leader of the Cuban revolutionists. We knew him long and well and esteemed him profoundly. For a protracted period, beginning twenty-odd years ago, he was employed as a contributor to the Sun, writing on subjects and questions of the fine arts. In these things his learning was solid and extensive, and his ideas and conclusions were original and brilliant. He was a man of genius, of imagination, of hope, and of courage, one of those descendants of the Spanish race whose American birth and instincts seem to have added to the revolutionary tincture which all modern Spaniards inherit. His heart was warm and affectionate, his opinions ardent and aspiring, and he died as such a man might wish to die, battling for liberty and democracy. Of such heroes there are not too many in the world, and his warlike grave testifies that even in a positive and material age there are spirits that can give [499] all for their principles without thinking of any selfish return for themselves.

Honor to the memory of Jose Marti, and peace to his manly and generous soul!

And when a man who could write thus of a fallen hero at the beginning of a struggle, before victory had come to hallow his name, should himself pass away, little wonder is it that the Cuban leaders in the persons of Palma, Quesada, and others should be the first to lay a wreath upon his tomb, and to testify the gratitude of a struggling people for his unselfish and sympathetic devotion to their cause.

While giving to his profession always his first and most faithful attention, he had a wide range of talents and interests outside of his daily occupation. It has been mentioned more than once that he had a great gift for language, which he rightly regarded as the depository of man's inner and spiritual history. In studying words, he followed them through all their forms and mutations to their ultimate meaning, and in this found never-ending pleasure and instruction. One of his learned contemporaries having read him a lecture for using the word “scrimmage” instead of “skirmish” in the columns of the Sun, he overwhelmed his would-be teacher by a witty paragraph in which he set forth a few of the many transmutations through which the word had gone from the Middle Ages to the present time. He showed beyond question that “scrimmage” was not only well established by immemorial usage, but was one of the breeziest and most suggestive forms ever used to convey a meaning perfectly at home in every modern European tongue.

The fact is that there were few men of his time not wholly devoted to the higher branches of study who better deserved to be called scholarly than Dana. He was always [500] a most industrious and methodical student, with an unusual gift for language. It was doubtless to this gift, which he showed as a clerk in the dry-goods store at Buffalo, while acquiring a working knowledge of the Seneca Indian dialect, as well as of Latin, Greek, French, and Spanish, that he was indebted for his admission into Harvard College without a “condition.” When it is recalled that he had not attended school at all for eight years, during which he had no time he could call his own except Sundays and evenings, it becomes evident that he must have had very unusual application, as well as very unusual talents and ambition. It is also evident that he had a genuine thirst for knowledge, which, together with his aptitudes and tastes, gave special direction to his life-work and his career. Blessed with an extraordinary memory, his wide reading gave him at an early age an encyclopedic knowledge of both ancient and modern literature. He was not only familiar with the classics, but with all the great works of the German, French, Spanish, and Italian authors. For a time, at least, poetry was his special delight, and he knew the songs of Provence and the Romance tongues, as well as the Sagas, Low German, Scandinavian, and the plays of Ibsen.

For years Dana's chief form of intellectual entertainment was to gather a half-dozen friends-generally young and uninstructed, but occasionally a matured student, who could help on the rest — about him once or twice a week, and read with them some important book in a foreign tongue. He began this practice in Chicago with Dante, and continued it with other classics almost without intermission to the end of his life. As his eyes never recovered sufficiently from the injury done them at Harvard to permit him to use them with comfort in artificial light, the practice was for each member of the class to real eight or ten lines, so as to bring the passage fully and freshly to mind, when the reader would [501] translate and the master would correct and expound as circumstance required. In this way they read the “Divine Comedy” several times, and followed it with the “Nibelungenlied,” the “Sagas,” and many minor poems, to the great instruction and happiness of those who were fortunate enough to be included within his charmed and delighted circle. Elihu Root, Willard Bartlett, John Nicholson, and occasionally others, now counted among the distinguished men of the country, were admitted to his companionship and his instruction. While those happy nights may have left but few memories laden with specific facts and details, they did much to develop the taste, broaden the sympathies, elevate the ideals, stimulate the affections and the friendship, and expand the understanding of those who took part in them.

Dana's own preparation for the readings was always made in the morning before going to his office, with such scrupulous fidelity as to compel every word to give up its exact and perfect meaning. In fact, all his work on the Sun, in addition to his great and varied reading for by far the greater period of his life, was done solely by daylight. From the time of his studentship, throughout his connection with the Tribune, the Cyclopaedia, the Household Book of Poetry, and the War Department, he rarely if at all taxed them at night, unless absolutely necessary, and then for the shortest possible period. Those who were closest to him believe that in later life he hardly ever opened any book, except a dictionary or a book of reference, for the direct purpose of accumulating knowledge, but always for the interest he found in the idea or the art which it contained. With his extraordinary powers of concentration, aided by his capacity to take in a column or a page almost at a glance, he could absorb from what he read all that it contained of value in an incredibly short time. [502]

From the foregoing it may be fairly inferred that the outside public knew but little of Dana's inner life. He rarely ever showed himself in public, except at the theatre or the circus, in both of which he took a lively and appreciative interest. In the earlier days of the bicycle he became an expert rider, and for several years got a great part of his exercise from its use. He spent by far the greater number of his evenings at home. With a strong, vigorous constitution, and an excellent digestion, he early became a gastronome and gourmet of excellent taste, and one of his chief delights was to gather his friends about his dinner-table, where he entertained them with dishes and wines which were famous for their rarity and excellence. Upon such occasions his wit was genial and kindly, as well as free from connection with current controversies, and never failed to stimulate that of his guests.

In view of the aggressive and uncompromising tone of the Sun in the discussion of public men and public questions, it was widely believed that Dana was a man of violent temper and of harsh and abusive language, but nothing could be further from the truth. No man of his time had a more even temper or one under better control. He was not only calm and deliberate in all his actions, but clean, modest, and temperate in speech, as well as behavior. Widely as he differed in his views and convictions from many of the public men of the day, he always spoke of them personally, if he spoke of them at all, in terms of moderation and charity, if not of respect. So far as his closest friends knew, he never mentioned even his bitterest enemy with heat or passion, or with unqualified disapproval. If he could find an excuse for conduct he could not approve, it was sure to be a charitable one. He harbored no animosity, and always strove to separate private character and motives from official conduct, and, in condemning the latter, to reflect as little as possible on the [503] former. In this he seemed to be a true philosopher, who regarded human actions as the direct consequences of influences and conditions over which the individual had but little control. And nobody seemed to realize more fully than he that in our public affairs philosophy and the higher education play but an inferior part in comparison with the primal instincts and interests of every-day life. He hoped and worked for the higher ideals and the nobler virtues of human nature, but recognized the fact that they were not always nor often the controlling influence in human affairs. He was always found on their side, and yet never quite overwhelmed because they were sometimes forced to give place to baser considerations.

Dana's appreciation of the higher phases of art in other directions than literature was peculiarly quick and sure. Music at his home, of which there was much for many years, was mainly classical, but this did not exclude a liberal and appreciative sympathy for what was beautiful in other schools. His taste in music was much the same as in poetry. This was well shown by the monument erected, perhaps unconsciously on his part, to his own insight and appreciation of the poetical in English literature, as set forth in the Household Book of Poetry. That compilation has been already mentioned as the model and precursor of many others intended like it to embody and illustrate the breadth and elevation of the poetic sentiment of the English-speaking people, and nothing could bear better testimony to the originality, the literary skill, and the thorough acquaintance of Dana with the poetry of our language than the contents and arrangement of that book. The selection, the classification, and the merit of the poems are not only admirable, but show an appreciation of art in poetry that no other compiler has ever attained.

For the artistic expression of imagination as found in [504] painting, Dana had the most intense admiration. In 18SO he built a large and commodious residence at the corner of Madison Avenue and Sixtieth Street, and his first care was to decorate and embellish it with paintings, tapestries, and porcelains.

But the form of art to which Dana gave the greatest attention was Chinese porcelain. To this, from the day it first attracted his notice, he devoted much of his spare time, and continued to do so with unabated interest throughout life. When it is considered that there were but few amateurs of similar predilection, and only one important collection in the United States--that of Mr. Walters, of Baltimore-before Dana began making his, it will be seen that his taste for this fascinating branch of ceramics was based upon an inbred artistic sense, and not upon a factitious or transitory fancy. His collection gradually developed into one of great brilliancy and interest, and contained many perfect examples of the potter's art as practised in the Far East from its earliest days to the period of its decadence. It contained several of the most noted specimens of peachblow, a large number of sang de boeuf and other rare and beautiful monochromes, and a bewildering assortment of decorated pieces of every shade and combination and of every classic form and every quality of paste, from the archaic celadon to the more modern and more beautiful blue and white, from the tiny snuff-bottle to the stately hawthorn vase, from the delicate egg-shell cup to the radiant ginger-pot of bleu de ciel. It was a harmonious assortment of decorative colors and graceful forms, which appealed to the owner's sense of proportion and of beauty, and blessed his leisure hours with ever-varying combinations to the end of his life.

In addition to many Chinese pieces, it contained a .smaller number of early Korean, Japanese, Persian, and Moorish pieces, combined to illustrate the evolution of [505] the ceramic art. A connoisseur writing about the collection before it was scattered, after contrasting it with those of England, France, and Germany, expressed surprise that the best collection of all from the historical side should be in the hands of a New York amateur. Declaring that no other collection would furnish essential examples and illustrations as fully as Dana's, he added:

... They are not in the British Museum; they are not in the Louvre; and they are conspicuously absent at Dresden. Let me suppose that I have to tell my hearers about the earliest dispersion of the porcelain of China to other countries, I should be able to show them some of it; and then the nature of the object itself, coupled with the locality in which it was found, should serve for scholarly conviction and a powerful aid to memory. Marco Polo and Ibn Batuta learned a great deal from their travels; but if we only had a few of the actual objects that they tell us of, how infinitely would our knowledge of those objects be increased? Therefore, when we trace the first developments of trade and make old documents disclose that the Arabs many centuries ago invaded the remoter Eastern seas and carried back to the shores of India, to the Red Sea, and to the African coast, and to all the islands and continents that lie between, the products of China, it is mighty interesting to be able to put your hand on a piece of Chinese porcelain that somebody has dug up in Madagascar, or in Ceylon, or on the coast of Malabar, or on a Spice Island away down in the Malay Archipelago. That is precisely what I can do in the Dana Collection. There are specimens there of porcelain from all the places I have mentioned. Most of them were found by excavating graves and sites of former dwellings; and perhaps the most interesting thing in the study of porcelain is the identification of these pieces with those described in the various literature of China which deals with the remote history and manufacture of porcelain. Since Dr. Hirth, of Leipsic, and Dr. Bushell, of Peking, have taught us to translate Chinese better than [506] the older scholars did, a new field of surer progress to knowledge has been opened before us, and the ancient porcelains of assured provenance have now an importance they did not possess before. For this reason I was, in my narrow way, quite carried away by my researches in New York; and I am persuaded that Mr. Dana must have had a most profound instinct in relation to the whole subject. Otherwise, how could he have sought, with such method and persistency, to acquire objects with which the ordinary amateur of porcelain does not concern himself at all, but which, from the scholar's point of view, are the most interesting objects there are? The whole range of the celadon that he gathered leaves no room to doubt the soundness of his belief. In all the other collections that I have seen, it is not so wide. So that I hold that if one would learn Martabani, and it is the foundation of the whole history of porcelain, he must go to New York.

And it is not alone in respect of celadon that this is true Grandidier points with pardonable exultation to his clair de lunes, his gray and blue Sung bowls and jars. He has never seen Mr. Dana's.

And here it may be said that the owner loved to play with these beautiful things, to rearrange them, to make new combinations and color schemes, and to discover new beauties and unsuspected harmonies, as a happy child loves to play with flowers; and no person could see him in the bright morning light handling and caressing his treasures without becoming interested in them as well as in their fascinated owner, or leave them without the conviction that his love for them was as simple and unaffected as it was deep and abiding. The collection, numbering something over four hundred pieces, large and small, was sold after his death for nearly two hundred thousand dollars. The sale attracted the connoisseurs from all parts of the country, and, as they represented collectors from nearly all parts of the world, the bidding and the prices paid made the event a genuine sensation. No collection [507] up to that time had ever been sold in New York that equalled it in the quality and importance of the pieces which composed it, or in the prices which they brought. It is to be regretted that instead of being widely scattered they were not bought as a collection, and placed in a museum for the enjoyment and education of the public.

In 1873 Dana bought Dosoris, one of two small islands, the area of which is about forty acres. It is situated near Glen Cove, on the north shore of Long Island, with which it is connected by a causeway and bridge. It contains a large, old-fashioned frame house, in which he made his country home, and around which he created a fairyland of trees and flowers. The natural beauties of the place were heightened by all the devices of the gardener and the arboriculturist. In these arts Dana showed the same aesthetic sense that had been his guide in poetry, music, painting, and ceramics. Every morning, evening, and Sunday, during spring, summer, and autumn, and frequently in the winter, he directed his men in laying out the grounds, constructing paths, roads, and flower-beds, and in transplanting trees and arranging new combinations and effects. To this end he brought rare trees from all parts of America and Europe. Through the thoughtfulness of a friend, who fetched him acorns from the tomb of Confucius, he soon had flourishing Chinese oaks to add to the native trees which made his grounds so attractive. Many of his trees were noted for their perfection of form and foliage, which, added to the variety of the species found there, made Dosoris a place at which arboriculturists from all parts of America were welcome, and to which many came to study as well as to admire. For many years it is believed that no private place in the country afforded the journals devoted to such matters so many interesting subjects for illustration and discussion. As there was nothing churlish or exclusive in Dana's nature, he took [508] as much pleasure in showing his trees and flowers to his friends and neighbors as he did in looking at them himself. As can well be understood, the place was a joy and a delight to those who visited it, and this was due quite as much to the geniality and intelligence of the owner, as to the beauties of nature and art which it gave him so much pleasure to exhibit and to describe.

It follows almost, of course, that a man of such diversified tastes and accomplishments, of such sane and enlightened occupations, must have been a man of rare personality, and such was the case. His love of finding interest for the mind in everything he did made the world a joy and a delight to him in all its parts. His body was as vigorous and healthy as his mind. It was in harmony with all its surroundings. He was a strong and sturdy walker, an excellent swimmer, a fair boatman, and an admirable horseman, skilled in all the arts of the “high school.” He doubtless rode in boyhood, but he first began to ride for exercise when his intimate friend Frederick Law Olmsted was making Central Park. In this art as in the others the ordinary and commonplace did not satisfy him. He wanted to be a master of it, and was fortunate in finding an old Spanish gentleman who was an accomplished horseman, and under whose instruction he worked as hard at both riding and training horses as he did at his other occupations. With the close and intelligent application he gave to his daily lessons, he not only learned how to sit and handle a horse in motion with ease and satisfaction, but how to give him all the accomplishments necessary to fit him for the saddle. With the skill he acquired in breaking and training, he soon became an excellent judge of saddle-horses, and so long as he used them, generally had an exceedingly good one in his own stable.

From what has been said, it should be inferred that Dana had practically perfect health throughout life. Even [509] such a thing as a headache or a rheumatic pain was unknown to him, and notwithstanding his exposure at times during the Civil War, he never had what could be called an ailing moment. Temperate and simple in his tastes and habits, he made no complaint of cold, hunger, or privation. He was by nature disposed to make the best of what life brought to him, and to look not only calmly but confidently to the future. He claimed but little for himself, but instinctively credited his fellow-men with good rather than bad motives. Suspicion was foreign to his nature, and although he was a man of high passion, strong enthusiasm, and vivid imagination, it would have been difficult to find among his contemporaries one whose habit of thought and philosophy of life were marked by greater sanity or more evenly balanced judgment. He did nothing from temper or passion, and adopted no course, either personal or official, unless it was approved by reason and reflection. With a keen sense of humor and a disposition of unfailing cheerfulness, he was disposed to find fun in everything, and these qualities made him a delightful companion alike to young and old, and gave a special tone to his newspaper. They were ever present in his home life, where they made him the most intimate friend of his children and their companions. Indeed, it was one of his most perfect gifts that he could adapt himself to the understanding and gain the confidence of the young as fully as of the old. Few parents ever lived in more perfect harmony with their children, and few children ever grew up in more perfect enjoyment and admiration of their father than was the case in Dana's household. He played and worked with his son and daughters from their earliest days, not only helping them in their studies, but constantly supplementing and enlivening them with bits of information and learning, which they could not have gathered otherwise till later in life. [510]

A favorite entertainment with him was to have his children read aloud German fairy tales and folk songs, or short poems from the French in the original, and then, without previous preparation, translate them with his help into English. In this way they absorbed much that was charming at the time, and valuable thereafter, without effort, and without interfering with their regular study hours. No matter what might be the pressure upon him, he was always ready to help a child in its tasks. The evenness of his temper, his great capacity for work, and the extraordinary efficiency of his faculties, made it impossible to hurry or disturb him either at home or at his desk. These qualities gave to his character a balance and steadiness that shed a pleasant influence upon all who came within their reach.

It is the testimony of those who had an opportunity to know, that no office of any kind was ever more quiet, happy, harmonious, and well-governed than was the Sun office under Dana. Every man in it fell unconsciously under the sway of his chief's personality, and from the first regarded himself as the respected and trusted servant of a master whose eye for what was praiseworthy was never shut, and whose quick and generous impulse was to recognize and reward merit and ability wherever he found them. No newspaper at that time paid better salaries than the Sun, and no better school of journalism ever existed in this country. While the principal instruction was given by the blue pencil, it was so thorough and so effective that those who were fortunate enough to receive it soon came to be known to the press at large as “the clever young men of the Sun,” and many of them now hold high and lucrative positions in journalism.

His originality and success have been widely recognized throughout the United States, and it is but just to add that he has been imitated as much in the make — up of [511] the newspaper as in the style of his own writing, or in that which he impressed upon his assistants and contributors. It was as natural for him to run his pencil through words and phrases, to substitute other words, and to transpose paragraphs and expressions in the contributions of others as in his own. His constant effort was to clarify, to strengthen, and to condense for the purpose of bringing out the meaning of the writer, saving the time, and finding the line of least resistance to the understanding of the reader. In all that was necessary to those ends he was an adept of transcendent ability, and yet much of what he did seems to have been done quite unconsciously. When asked how he did it, he replied, “When a man knows it he goes and does it.”

As his fame spread throughout the country, he was frequently called upon to deliver lectures, especially on the subject of journalism, and quite frequently accepted, but it is not known that he ever wrote out beforehand what he intended to say. Without being an orator, he was evidently able to think rapidly and clearly on his feet. His delivery was not only deliberate, orderly, and consecutive, but unusually pleasing, if not eloquent. He was happy as a raconteur, and as his mind was stored with poetry, history, and anecdote, his most informal talks were always cheerful and interesting.

While it is by no means certain that he had in the earlier stages of his editorial career any established canons for the profession of journalism or the art of newspapermak-ing, it is evident that the true principles to be observed slowly framed themselves in his mind, and ultimately received definite form and consistency. This was doubtless due in part to the fact that the Sun was printed for many years as a single folio, given up almost entirely to editorials and the briefest statement of the news. The science of journalism as developed on that paper by Dana is set [512] forth in three lectures, the first on “The modern American newspaper,” delivered before the Wisconsin Editorial Association at Milwaukee, on Tuesday, July 24, 1888; the second on “The profession of journalism,” delivered to the students of Union College, on Friday, October 13, 1893; and the third on “The making of a newspaper man,” delivered at Cornell University, on Founder's Day, January 11, 1894. As these have been collected into a handy volume which is still on sale,2 no effort is made in this narrative to epitomize them. They give succinctly, but somewhat informally, the results of his experience and reflection, and conclude with a few important maxims on which he evidently thought the whole art, so far as it could be formulated, is founded.

1 Eastern Journeys-Notes of Travel, etc. pp. 114. By Charles A. Dana. D. Appleton & Co., New York, 1898.

2 The Art of Newspaper Making. By Charles A. Dana. pp. 114, D. Appleton & Co., New York, 1900.

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