It is desultory to a degree; it is a base libel on religion and history; it differs from its model Ariosto in being, not, as Ariosto is, a mixture of romance and burlesque, but a sometimes tedious tissue of burlesque pure and simple; and it is exposed to the objection - often and justly urged - that much of its fun depends simply on the fact that there were and are many people who believe enough in Christianity to make its jokes give pain to them and to make their disgust at such jokes piquant to others.
At the age of twenty he was received advocate, and about the same time he gained some reputation as a writer of piquant and delicate poems. In 1810 he received from Napoleon I.
At the same time it is unmistakably inspired by a sense of beauty different from the Italian - more piquant and pointed, less languorous, more mannered perhaps, but with less of empty rhythmical effect.
To the study of Scottish history Mr Lang brought a scholarly care for detail, a piquant literary style, and a gift for disentangling complicated questions.
But his own style was an individual one, marked by lightness and facility, sparkling vivacity, grace and elegance, clear and piquant melody - characteristically French.