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Films >> Jefferson in Paris (1995) >>

0:15:30 James wants to get paid
James: I was wanting to say, master . . .
Jefferson: Wanting to say what, James? I like finished sentences.
James: Yes master . . . and what it is I've been wanting to finish is . . . I wants to get paid. Master, I wants money.
Jefferson: In present circumstances your request is not unreasonable. I shall tell Monsieur Petit that on the first of each month, you are to receive 24 francs by the way of salary.
Jefferson: You realize that this arrangement only holds good in Paris, and that at Monticello we shall revert to our own system.
James: Yes, master. Thank you. I sure enough realize 24 francs.
Jefferson: You understand, James?
James: Yes sir.
Jefferson: Very well.
0:22:29 Jefferson questioned about equality
Translator: Or should this [the Declaration of Independence] read all white men are created equal?
Jefferson: We allowed for certain differences that are not caused by the laws of men but by those of nature. And though the Negro may, may not be inferior, his status in no way alters the wrongness of slavery -- it is evil.
. . . .
Translator: Your revolution, Mr, Jefferson, appears to be incomplete.
0:29:10 The Head and Hearts Game
Richard Cosway [directed at Maria and Jefferson]: He's lost his head, and she's lost her heart.
0:30:15 Jefferson opens up
Maria: I tell you freely about myself and my life, but about yourself you keep everything hidden and closed.
Jefferson: When my wife died, I destroyed every letter that had ever passed between us. I wanted no one to find the least trace of our happiness. It was hers and mine. And then only mine, to be shared with no one.
0:33:20 Patsy v. Maria
Patsy Jefferson: Madame Cosway plays quite well.
0:46:28 The opera lover
Richard: Look! Look who it is!
Maria: We are so glad to see you, Mr. Jefferson.
Richard: We're enchanted to see you. We though you'd completely forgotten us.
Jefferson: I arrived from my travels only one hour ago.
Richard: Come on up. Come on, come on.
0:47:03 Friends over music
Richard: Ah Mr. Jefferson…You're so attached to the opera that you would not waste a moment to come up here.
Jefferson: Say rather so attached to my friends whom I hoped to find here. (kisses Mrs. Cosway's hand)
Richard: Well, sir, you have found us. But it is by no means certain that my wife is any longer your friend. See how angry you neglect has made her.
Maria: Why would I be angry?
Jefferson: Alas, my duties were official, or I would have returned weeks ago.
Richard: Women will never believe any business could take precedence over our business with them. (slight pause) Mr. Jefferson, take your bow.
0:49:25 "I hoped to interest you"
Jefferson: I came back as soon as I could. I was restless for Paris.
Maria: I can't imagine you restless, or even thinking of anyone or anything except -- what do call it? -- the business at hand.
Jefferson: I though of you constantly. I wrote you constantly.
Maria: Yes, about smoked bacon and hogs. (laugh) What an extraordinary person you are.
Jefferson: I hoped to interest you in what interested me.
0:49:58 The head always wins
Jefferson: I missed you. I missed you immensely… I kept having a debate between my head and my heart.
Maria: Which, in your case, the head always wins.
Jefferson: Not this time. My poor head was simply whirled around by my unruly heart.
Maria: Oh, your heart.
Jefferson: It kept telling me "I love the lady, and will to continue to love her forever… If she were on one side of the globe and I on the other, I would pierce through the whole mass of the world to reach her."
0:53:45 Come to Monticello
[After Jefferson suggesting Maria come to Monticello with him]
Maria: Leave everything, leave everything here, leave my husband? [sigh] I've thought of it sometimes. Mr. Cosway and I have even spoken of it. We are good friends, although he does not…he cannot love the way a man loves a woman. You must have guessed that.
Jefferson: What I guessed from the beginning was that you needed me as I need you.
[Jefferson kisses Maria's hand]
0:54:55 The kiss
Jefferson: I can't deny that all my wishes end, where I hope my days will end, at Monticello. But to leave you. To leave you behind, with all the ocean between us, and no way, no hope of ever seeing you again.
[Jefferson and Maria have their first passionate kiss]
Maria: But even if I have no vows to break, but what about yours? Hm? Your vow, to your wife?
Jefferson: You and I are alive, and the earth belongs to us, to the living. Would you dare?
Maria: Would you?
Jefferson: Yes, yes. For you, for you, I would dare anything.
1:05:10 Patsy will be everything
Patsy: You shall always, always above anything be first in my life; I vow to you now as you vowed to momma.
Jefferson: No one shall ever come between us.
Patsy: I will be her nurse, and her mother, and her sister, and her everything and your everything dearest Papa.
1:07:05 "Ain't no use in askin'"
Madison Hemings: "Mr. Wayles was a father of Mrs. Thomas Jefferson. He was also the father of my mother, Sally Hemings, and her brother, James Hemings, and four other offspring that he had with my grandmother, whom he took as concubine."
Reporter: "So Mrs. Thomas Jefferson, and Sally Hemings…were half-sisters?"
Madison Hemings's wife: "Ain't no use in askin' who is sister with who and who the father and who the brother...they don't speak of it now and didn't speak of it then."
Madison Hemings: "No matter whose blood flows in your veins, you're either master or slave….you're white, or you're black. There's no in between."
1:14:14 James overhears
Jefferson: While it is true that under French law slavery is considered illegal, I don't think that American citizens need to be too concerned. My advice to you would be to keep your boy here and say nothing about him.
[James Hemings enters the room to deliver a message]
Mr. Byrd: If slavery's illegal in France, the boy could claim he was free and refuse to go back home with us.
[Jefferson talks to James then goes back to the conversation with the Byrd's]
Jefferson: Strictly speaking, the answer to your questions is "yes," but I don't think your boy would know enough to claim that right.
[James walking into the conversation to clear the dishes]
Mr. Byrd: Didn't you yourself, Mr. Jefferson, bring over two of your servants from Virginia? A male and a female I believe.
[Jefferson signals the Byrd's to leave the room]
1:35.52 Patsy slaps Sally
Patsy: That's to teach you respect for your mistress.
1:46:50 I hate them
Patsy: And has he told you about our Negroes and how they live?
Maria: I'm sure he's very good to them.
Patsy: He's the best master in all of Virginia. But he is the master, and they are the servants. Slaves. And I'm certain that they hate us. Yes, I know they do. I can see it in their faces even when they smile and say, "Yes, master." And they're always there, watching everything we do and listening to everything we say and hating us. And I hate them. And yet I pity them for the misery of their lives and I wish from the bottom of my heart that all the Negroes could be free forever. But they have us and we have them.
1:48:29 The Unspeakable
Patsy: I can't speak, Mrs. Cosway. I can't speak because...
Maria: Because?
Patsy: Because it's unspeakable.
1:51:19 Going Home
Maria: You sound homesick Mr. Jefferson
Jefferson: It is hard to leave, I will miss my friends . . . and so much else.
. . . . .
Maria: I too shall have to return soon, I have overstayed both my leave from London and my welcome in Paris.
Jefferson: Your welcome from whom?
Maria: From you, sir.
1:52:05 The perfect diplomat
Jefferson: My affections have not altered. There has been no change in the friendship that has been between us from the first moment.
Maria: You are becoming the perfect diplomat: courteous and amiable always and always on you guard.
Jefferson: I confess I fear unguarded moments.
Maria: As when you fell and hurt your wrist. I do feel most horribly responsible for that, as though it were I who led you into recklessness.
Jefferson: No, no, no. It was my own middle-aged vanity that made me attempt what only a youth can do.
Jefferson: If I have erred in some way; if I have offended you; I beg you to be a frank with me as I have always tried to be with you.
Maria: On all subjects? Or are there some that are best left unexplained.
1:52:59 They just love our corn
Sally: It's like wit all yo French guests masta when we cook it for em.
Jefferson: (Laughs) They love our corn!
Sally: Mmm they loves it when ya lookin' at em. But when you ain't they just spits it out.
Jefferson: (laughs) Nonsense, Sally, that's nonsense!
Sally: I seen it wit my own eyes! (spits) They jus' spit!
Jefferson: (continues laughing and Maria exits)
1:53:38 The Unexplainable
Jefferson: I beg you to be as frank with me as I've always tried to be with you.
Maria: On all subjects or are some best left unexplained?
1:55 Consummation
Jefferson: "Are you still scared of me, Sally?"
Sally: "I ain't scared of you, Massa."
2:00:54 Staying at home
Jefferson: You know my feelings about public office: I'd rather eat my soup at home with you and Polly then have all the honors and position my country can heap on me.
2:01:58 Mistress of Monticello
Jefferson: Who can be the mistress of Monticello but you? Don't you want to be that?
Patsy: More than anything in the world. . . . If only it could be.
2:02:25 True love
Jefferson: You are my true life and my true love, and everything that is best in me belongs to you.
2:03 James lectures Sally
James: You's glad, you's glad to breed more little niggers to work in your master's fields
Sally: It won't be no field nigger if it's his own child I's carryin'.
James: Oh, yeah. He'll let it sit in his parlor drinkin' his port like my white father and yours done for us.

James: It's lucky for us I got more sense in my little toe than you has in your entire body.

James: Home? What home? Your little old slave cabin where they keeps you like the animals they breeds? God Almighty never meant for human beings to be like animals. We has a soul, and a head, and a mind. We ain't like a dog or a horse.

James: Now, you listen to me. You do what I says and you and me is free. And that little one in there -- free.
2:04:33 Breeding little niggers
James: You's glad to breed more little niggers to work in your master's fields.
2:05:15 The reality of selling
James: Who are all these bright niggers runnin' around my house? That don't look good. You go sell ‘em someplace else.
2:05:38 White promises
Sally: Yeah, well, they keep ‘em when they make ‘em to other white folk.
2:07 The negotiations
James: Master, we stayin' in Paris. Sally and I are stayin'.
Jefferson: You consider yourself free, then, to go or stay as you please?
James: We is free here, Master. Ain't nobody is a slave in France.
Jefferson: Does your sister also wish to follow the law prevailing here rather than the American law under which she was born?
James: She don't understand nothing. She do what I say.
Jefferson: With no regard for what I say?
James: She be wantin' her freedom, master. For her own self and the little one what's comin'.
Jefferson: So you, James, will provide for Sally and her child?... And remember, once I have left and you are here on your own, there's nothin' more I shall be able to do for you. You will be livin' among strangers in a strange land of which you do not even know the language.
James: I know some. More than you master.
Jefferson: Yes, well, that is true. But if James . . . If I say "Come home to Virginia and I shall give you your freedom"?
James: You'd give me my freedom?
Jefferson: That is what I'm proposing . . . Everything that is legally required to release you from my ownership.
James: And her [Sally] and the little one?
Jefferson: What do you say, Sally? Now think very carefully. You and your child will be free to leave Monticello and earn your living elsewhere as a free woman.
Sally: Where's I goin'?
Jefferson: Wherever you wish.
Sally: [crying] Where do I go?
Jefferson: Let me make another proposal. While you, James, may claim your freedom whenever you wish after our return home, Sally and her child will remain at Monticello under my care, but upon my death to be given her freedom.
James: How will we know it'll happen like that when we get back to Monticello?
Jefferson: You have my word.
[James gets the Holy Bible for Jefferson to swear on]
Jefferson: You wish me to swear an oath on the Bible?
[Jefferson calls in Patsy to witness and to promise that she will fulfill the oath if something were to happen to Jefferson]
Jefferson: "Now here's a strange to-do, Patsy. I am about to swear an oath that on our return to Virginia, James should have his freedom. But should anything happen to me, Patsy, it would be you who will have to fulfill that promise. Do you understand me?"
[Patsy nods]
Jefferson: "And further, as an oath to Sally, that she too upon my death shall be free."
James: "Her AND the little one."
Jefferson: "Yes, Sally and the child she is expecting... and all other children that shall be born to her in the future."
[Patsy solemnly nods]
Jefferson: I swear by Almighty God that upon my return to the state of Virginia I shall, within a period of not more than two years, give his freedom to James Hemings. [aside from the oath] Since, however, James was brought to Paris, at great expense to me, for the purpose of learning the art of French cookery, he shall continue to reside at Monticello, in my service, until he shall have taught the same art to such persons as I shall place under him. Do you swear? [James swears] I also hereby promise and declare that Sally Hemings, sister of James, shall be freed upon my death. Likewise, all children born to her shall be freed from my ownership, or that of my heirs, upon reaching the age of 21.