Rather less inviting to readers is Fried's adoption of a digressionary
style within the roughly chronologically arranged chapters, which encourages abrupt, sometimes even disorienting, shifts in time, location, and topic.
The topic of the variable shapes of the Walsingham urns, the discovery of which provides the occasion for Browne's generically enriched archaeological essay, Urne Buriall, and the materials and methods by which they were made, launches Browne's narrator into a digressionary
sequence beginning with Pliny's instructions that bricks and tiles used to make the urns should be "of two years old" and that all funerary urns should be made in the spring (111).
Although no return address is included, Gabriel composes digressionary
replies anyway, noting in his first that "we read handwriting as we do faces, and yours--your handwriting, I mean--had changed little [...].