The new essays in this volume were mostly critical, but one of them, in which perhaps his guessing talent is seen at its best, "The Divisions of the Irish Family," is an elaborate discussion of a problem which has long puzzled both Celtic scholars and jurists; and in another, "On the Classificatory System of Relationship," he propounded a new explanation of a series of facts which, he thought, might throw light upon the early history of society, at the same time putting to the test of those facts the theories he had set forth in Primitive Marriage.
She almost equalled her husband in knowledge, and infinitely excelled him in talent and in tact.
In the early autumn of 1751 La Mettrie, one of the king's parasites, and a man of much more talent than is generally allowed, horrified Voltaire by telling him that Frederick had in conversation applied to him (Voltaire) a proverb about "sucking the orange and flinging away its skin," and about the same time the dispute with Maupertuis, which had more than anything else to do with his exclusion from Prussia, came to a head.
Slight as these sketches are, they show considerable dramatic talent and an Aristophanic wit.
Herculano had greater book learning than Scott, but lacked descriptive talent and skill in dialogue.