The brief chapters of his work have been justly compared to the laisses or tirades of a chanson in what may be called the vignetting of the subject of each, in the absence of any attempt to run on the narrative, in the stock forms, and in the poetical rather than prosaic word-order of the sentences.
Many stories are told of the vivacity and enthusiasm with which he lectured, of the absent-mindedness which sometimes led him, forgetting that his pupils could not hear what he was saying, to continue his explanations while he was out of the classroom looking for some piece of apparatus, and of the vigorous tirades, generally culminating in the epithet "plagiaire," in which he used to indulge against men with whom he disagreed (Hofer, Hist.
To this piecemeal method of composition, in which narrative alternated with tirades on political and social questions, was added the further disadvantage of the lack of exact information, which, owing to the dearth of documents, could only have been gained by personal investigation.
The irritation of the disfranchised proletariat was moreover increased by the appalling dearness of bread and food generally, which the suspicious temper of the timesfomented by the tirades of Marat in the A mi du peupleascribed to English intrigues in revenge for the aid given by France to the American colonies, and to the treachery in high places that made these intrigues successful.
Many of its members were sons of the bourgeoisie, men who having been educated at college, thanks to some charitablt, agency, in the pride of learning, and raised above their original station, were ready for anything but had achieved nothing They bad plenty of talent at c0mmand, were full of classical tirades against tyranny, and, though sensitive enough in their private life, were bloodthirsty butchers in their public relations.