chapter  10
MUDFORD on the ‘moral utility’ of the Rambler, 1802
Pages 7

A free and candid enquiry into his literary character still remains in some measure open. It still remains to consider the nature and tendency of his writings; as ethical how far adapted to common life and domestic purposes; how far they may be considered as just; and where they exhibit marks of prejudice and misanthropy. It still remains undecided how far our language is indebted to him for its present elegance, perspicuity, and energy; or to what degree of refinement he has advanced it. These are topics which have hitherto been neglected, or at least but faintly discussed, though of acknowledged importance. But they would require the hand of a master; and the following observations will be confined to a few strictures on his moral writings, with, perhaps, some occasional remarks on the preceding hints.