Some fair complaints by the epitomizer William Enfield, The History of Philosophy, from the earliest times to the beginning of the present century; drawn up from Brucker’s Historia Critica Philosophiæ, 2 vols. (Dublin, 1792), volume 1, page 305.
No writer ever afforded more frequent examples of the maxim, Brevis esse laboro, obscurus fio. (I strive to be concise; I prove obscure.–Horace) He affects close periods and a concise diction. He often supposes things to be known which have either not been before explained or may easily have escaped the reader’s memory. Sometimes he makes use of different terms to express the same idea and at other times annexes different ideas to the same term. It is not an uncommon practice with him to use new words in an artificial and technical sense which nevertheless he does not clearly define. His transitions are frequently so abrupt, or his progress from his premises to his conclusions so rapid, that it is extremely difficult for the reader to perceive the train of his reasoning. Through artifice, negligence, or a change of opinion, many contradictions occur, which the ingenuity of criticism has never yet been able to reconcile. His general propositions are frequently obscure for want of examples; and even his examples themselves, when he condescends to introduce them, are often as incomprehensible as the doctrines they are intended to elucidate. Mathematical ideas, with which he was exceedingly conversant, he sometimes applies to subjects to which they have no natural relation, and thus encumbers, with artificial difficulties, disquisitions which are in themselves sufficiently obscure. Lastly, in quoting the opinions of former philosophers, whether to examine, confirm, or confute them, he takes so little care to mark the transition from their words to his own, that the reader is frequently at a loss to determine, whether Aristotle is giving his own opinion, or reporting that of some other philosopher.