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Susan Warner

The Gold of Chickaree

It is said to criticise The Gold of Chickaree, or stories like it, without making use of such violent methods as excite the scorn of those who criticise the critics. They say mere denunciation is of no service and should never be employed; as if there were not too many books already without truth or beauty, which cry aloud for some one to point out in print, as every one does in conversation, their utter worthlessness. The Gold of Chickaree is a continuation of Wych Hazel, and the two stories are as much alike as two halves of a slate pencil. Wych Hazel herself is rich and insufferably pert; her lover, Rollo, Dane, Duke, or Olaf, as he is called indifferently, is rich and in his ways 'masterful.' The earlier novel ends with the engagement of these two, and here is described their sudden marriage, which they forebore announcing even to their guests at dinner, who were unexpectedly delighted by witnessing this wedding later in the evening. This is a capital notion for entertaining company, and far superior to music, singing, or charades. The other incidents of the novel are of the flimsiest sort; round dancing and the theatre come in for intolerant abuse. All the poor people get Christmas presents, and one son of Belial, who is anxious to run away with his neighbors wife, is bought off for thirty thousand dollars, a mere bagatelle in this moral Monte Christo. For the same sum of money it might have been possible to close a theatre for a winter or to bribe penniless young men to give up dancing a dozen Germans. Besides their lavish extravagance, the most noteworthy thing about the people is their morbid self-consciousness; they are never at their ease; they are forever trying to impress one another with their own brilliant wit. It is a poor story.
403 printed pages

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