The Trials of Margaret Lindsay. The Foresters . . .

THE FORESTERS, by Prof. WILSON. For sale by Wm. H. Graham, New-York.

  WE turn over with pleasant recollections these leaves. The mind of Wilson was a shining and still more a burning light for us for so long a period, that a pleasant glow still rises on the thought of him. His best genius, indeed, was for his own time, plentiful, ready, sweet rather than exquisite or profound, it adorned and filled the day. We thank him for easy tears and careless laughter. His view of human nature, either in literature or in life, is not searching, and neither his humor nor pathos sufficiently deep-rooted to be of great permanent value. His characters want individuality. Great geniuses have the godlike power of showing in the forms they create what is general and what is specific, combined in harmony. Lesser minds, like Wilson, show one to the exclusion of the other. His forms have a general human interest, but lack individuality.

  He has a healthy moral sense, though he shows a lenity to vice and crime little understood by those who think themselves most moral. It is because he feels that where the heart, though it runs astray, is not corrupted at the centre, hope should be steadfast, patience boundless. He venerates those instincts of tenderness, mercy and faith which show themselves in Woman on such occasions, and which, if they often fail, have sometimes a success that outweighs a thousand failures—the success of an angelic ministry.

  We love in this writer his large and loving heart. It is childlike; it feels no need of economy or exclusion; the more fair and kindly human shapes there are to feel for, the more feeling he has for them. He has an apprehension of almost all kinds of excellence, and where it is not deep it is lively and tender. He is capable of great fulness of emotion, but without any morbidness: he walks like a shepherd amid the open fields, and the flow of the free air, and clear eyes of the blue heavens have purified while they have strengthened his frame. It is this feeling of the open fields and of common humanity that makes his prose, and still more his poetry, acceptable to us, when it has little excellence in any other way. Even his diffuseness is pardonable, for it is the overflow of a full nature which had time enough and strength enough to observe and express all it could. We do not expect from him selection or compression; these merits belong to minds of another class.*

“The Trials of Margaret Lindsay. The Foresters . . .” New-York Daily Tribune, 3 July 1845, p. 1.