The digressions are indeed constant, and sometimes have the appearance of being absolutely wilful.
But generally the essay-character - that is to say, the discussion of a special point, it may be with wide digressions and divergences - displays itself.
It is immensely diffuse and pretentious, loaded with digressions, its argument buried under masses of fantastic, uncritical learning, the work of a vigorous but quite unoriginal mind.
Hence, probably, the wide popularity which his works enjoyed in the 18th century; and hence the agreeable feeling with which, notwithstanding all their false taste and their tiresome digressions, they impress the modern reader.
Nevertheless, the book exhibits a relative unity; for, whatever digressions occur in the development of its theme, the main object of the writer is never lost sight of.