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Carter White
Carter White

Stan Seba Suddenly House


Being of a roving temper Charles Browne soon left Boston, and,after traveling as a journeyman printer over much of New York andMassachusetts, he turned up in the town of Tiffin, Seneca County,Ohio, where he became reporter and compositor at four dollars perweek. After making many friends among the good citizens ofTiffin, by whom he is remembered as a patron of side shows andtraveling circuses, our hero suddenly set out for Toledo, on thelake, where he immediately made a reputation as a writer ofsarcastic paragraphs in the columns of the Toledo"Commercial." He waged a vigorous newspaper war with thereporters of the Toledo "Blade," but while the "Blade" indulged inviolent vituperation, "Artemus" was good-natured and full ofhumor. His column soon gained a local fame and everybody readit. His fame even traveled away to Cleveland, where, in 1858, whenMr. Browne was twenty-four years of age, Mr. J.W. Gray of theCleveland "Plaindealer" secured him as local reporter, at a salaryof twelve-dollars per week. Here his reputation first beganto assume a national character and it was here that they called hima "fool" when he mentioned the idea of taking the field as alecturer. Speaking of this circumstance while traveling downthe Mississippi with the writer, in 1865, Mr. Browne musinglyrepeated this colloquy:




Stan Seba Suddenly House



I started for the meetin house, and I'm afraid I tried to walktoo strate, for I cum very near fallin over backards; and inattemptin to recover myself, my sword got mixed up with my legs,and I fell in among a choice collection of young ladies, who wasstandin near the church door a-seein the sojer boys come up. My cockt hat fell off, and sumhow my coat tales got twisted roundmy neck. The young ladies put their handkerchers to theirmouths and remarked: "Te he," while my ancient female singlefriend, Sary Peasley, bust out in a loud larf. She exercisedher mouth so vilently that her new false teeth fell out onto theground.


The fighting now ceased, the opposing forces were properlyarranged, and Cornwallis, dismounting, prepared to present hissword to Washington according to programme. As he walkedslowly towards the Father of His Country he rehearsed the littlespeech he had committed for the occasion, while the illustriousbeing who was to hear it was making desperate efforts to keep inhis saddle. Now he would wildly brandish his sword andnarrowly escape cutting off his horse's ears, and then he wouldfall suddenly forward on to the steed's neck, grasping the mane asdrowning men seize hold of straws. He was giving aninimitable representation of Toodles on horseback. All ideaof the magnitude of the occasion had left him, and when he sawCornwallis approaching, with slow and stately step, and sword-hiltextended toward him, he inquired,


I lecture in the theatre at Carson, which opens out of adrinking and gambling house. On each side of the door wheremy ticket-taker stands there are monte-boards and sweat-cloths, butthey are deserted to-night, the gamblers being evidently of aliterary turn of mind.


Five years ago there was only a pony-path over the precipitoushills on which now stands the marvelous city of Virginia, with itspopulation of twelve thousand persons, and perhaps more. Virginia, with its stately warehouses and gay shops; its splendidstreets, paved with silver ore; its banking houses and faro-banks;its attractive coffee-houses and elegant theatre, its music hallsand its three daily newspapers.


"It's a umbug," said the lan'lord; to which I replied that we'dbest go and see, and we went. We was late, on account of thelan'lord's extensiv acquaintans with the public house keepers alongthe road, and the hall was some two miles distant, but we got thereat last. The hall was about half full, and the Mejim was justthen assumin' to be Benjamin Franklin, who was speakin about theAtlantic Cable.


Now this is rough on Shaun. His wife accoosed of theft,the circumstances bein very much agin her, and also accoosed ofhavin a hansum young man hid in her house. But does this boldyoung Hibernian forsake her? Not much, he dont. But hetakes it all on himself, sez he is the guilty wretch, and is marchtoff to prison. 041b061a72


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