Thomas Jefferson Essay Research Paper That auspicious

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Thomas Jefferson Essay, Research Paper That auspicious autumn in 1786 was Thomas Jefferson’s third in Paris and his fifth as a widower. Still vigorous at forty-three, Jefferson lead an active and inquisitive life, walking and riding daily. One afternoon in August he and his friend John Trumbull, the painter, went to view an architectural dome whose design he might use back in Virginia. There he met Maria Cosway, then twenty-seven years old, who was visiting from England with her husband. Trumbull later wrote in his autobiography that “a generally philosophical gentleman, hungrier for beauty and a woman than he realized, was quite swept off his supposedly well-planted feet.” Biographer Fawn Brodie describes Maria Louisa Catherina Cecilia Cosway as a small, exquisite,

fragile, and languorously feminine woman with luminous blue eyes, exquisite skin, and a halo of golden curls, who must have seemed to Jefferson exotic in a way that most Englishwomen were not. Born and raised in Florence, of English parents, Maria spoke with a appealing Italian accent. She sang, played the harp and pianoforte, composed music for songs, and was an accomplished artist. At age twenty-two, Maria had married out of financial necessity, but it had been an unhappy liaison. Dumas Malone, one of Jefferson’s most ardent biographers, described their meeting: “Such a battery of charms Jefferson was peculiarly unfitted to withstand. Feeling deliciously at home in such company, this normally punctilious man conspired with the others so that they might spend the rest of the

day together, even though this involved the shattering of engagements on all hands. In the month that followed he saw or heard something beautiful with her almost every day. “There can be no doubt that he fell deeply in love during that golden September, and there is no reason to suppose that the lady was displeased. Her eyes were said to have been blue as violets; her mouth as she herself painted it was rather pouting, but any normal man would pronounce it kissable. He found her a lovely, talented, capricious creature half woman and half child.” During a walk with Maria along the Seine on September 18, Jefferson attempted to jump a fence and seriously dislocated his wrist. The injury was to plague him for the rest of his life, but it didn’t stop him from laboriously

writing this remarkable letter 4,400 words with his left hand to Maria on that October day that she returned to England. ——————————————————————————– Paris, October 12, 1786 My Dear Madam: Having performed the last and sad office of handing you into your carriage at the Pavilion de St. Denis, and seen the wheels get actually into motion, I turned on my heel and walked, more dead than alive, to the opposite door, where my own was awaiting me. . . I was carried home. Seated by my fireside, solitary and sad, the following dialogue took place between my Head and my Heart: Head. Well, friend, you seem to be in a pretty trim. Heart. I am indeed the most wretched of all earthly beings. Overwhelmed with grief, every fibre of my frame

distended beyond its natural powers to bear, I would willingly meet whatever catastrophe should leave me no more to feel or to fear. Head. These are the eternal consequences of your warmth and precipitation. This is one of the scrapes into which you are ever leading us. You confess your follies indeed: but still you hug and cherish them, and no reformation can be hoped, where there is no repentance. Heart. Oh my friend! This is no moment to upbraid my foibles. I am rent into fragments by the force of my grief! If you have any balm, pour it into my wounds: if none, do not harrow them by new torrents. Spare me in this awful moment! At any other I will attend with patience to your admonitions. Head. On the contrary I never found that the moment of triumph with you was the moment of