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Origin Of The Edinburgh Review

The Edinburgh Review was first published in 1802. The plan was
suggested by Sydney Smith, at a meeting of literati, in the fourth or
fifth flat or story, in Buccleugh-place, Edinburgh, then the elevated
lodging of Jeffrey. The motto humorously proposed for the new review
by its projector was, "Tenui musam meditamur avena,"--i.e., "We
cultivate literature upon a little oatmeal;" but this being too nearly
the truth to be publicly acknowledged, the more grave dictum of "Judex
damnatur cum nocens absolvitur" was adopted from Publius Syrus, of
whom, Sydney Smith affirms, "None of us, I am sure, ever read a single
line!" Lord Byron, in his fifth edition of English Bards and Scotch
Reviewers, refers to the reviewers as an "oat-fed phalanx."

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