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Tincture of adulation

Posted by Smokey Stover on October 05, 2008 at 04:03

In Reply to: Tincture of adulation posted by RRC on October 04, 2008 at 21:18:

: : Where does the term "tincture of adulation" come from and what does it mean? e.g. "Without the slightest tincture of adulation, he was easy, courteous and affable." as found in "The Port Folio" By Joseph Dennie, John Elihu Hall.

: A tincture is an extract of the essence of something using alcohol. Since the pure essence is diluted with alcohol, metaphorically, it means a hint or trace of something.
: Adulation is excessive praise or flattery, so
: "Without a hint of excessive praise,..." He was nice without being obsequious, fawning, overly flattering, ingratiating, etc.

I was intrigued bythe old-fashioned language in the phrase quoted by Kate, and decided to find out from what era it came. (I enjoyed the language used by RRC as well, in his excellent explanation.)

The Port Folio was America's first "politico-literary" magazine, founded in 1801 by Joseph Dennie as a Federalist answer and antidote to Jeffersonia ideas and actions. It included contributions by others as well as Dennie, but died in 1812 when Dennie did. Interest in this periodical was stirred by the publication of a slim volume by William Dowling, "Literary Federalism in the Age of Jefferson; Joseph Dennie and the Port Folio" (Columiba: Univ. of South Carolina Press, 1999). The reviews offer comments on both Dowling and Dennie, and one compares Dennie to Joseph Addison, co-founder, with Richard Steele, of The Spectator, in 1711, although I can't say on what grouds the comparison is made. The Port Folio includes attacks on Jefferson so virulent that Dennie was sued for libel, unsuccessfully.