A charming style, a vivid fancy, exhaustive research, were not to be expected from a hard-worked barrister; but he must certainly be held responsible for the frequent plagiarisms, the still more frequent inaccuracies of detail, the colossal vanity which obtrudes on almost every page,'the hasty insinuations against the memory of the great departed who were to him as giants, and the petty sneers which he condescends to print against his own contemporaries, with whom he was living from day to day on terms of apparently sincere friendship.
Castil-Blaze has accused Rousseau of extensive plagiarisms (or worse) in Le Devin du village and Pygmalion, but apparently without sufficient cause.
Dr Ferriar, in his Illustrations of Sterne (published in 1798), pointed out several unacknowledged plagiarisms from Rabelais, Burton and others; but it is only fair to the critic to say that he was fully aware that they were only plagiarisms of material, and do not detract in the slightest from Sterne's reputation as one of the greatest of literary artists.
His own plagiarisms were doubtless facilitated by the physiological effects of opium.
Bonacci's Saggio sulla Storia civile del Giannone (Florence, 1903) is a bitter attack on Giannone, and although the writer's remarks' on the plagiarisms in the Storia civile are justified, the charge of servility is greatly exaggerated.