John Davinier
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Quotes for
John Davinier (Character)
from Dido Belle (2006)

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Belle (2013)
Lord Mansfield: Mr. Davinier, what is the purpose of the law in your eyes?
John Davinier: To provide certainty where otherwise there might be none.

Dido Elizabeth Belle: I remember my father's eyes. They were kind, gentle, a little like yours.
John Davinier: Mine?
Dido Elizabeth Belle: I mean in colour.

John Davinier: Yes, I love her! I love her with every breath I breathe.

John Davinier: M'lord! If you find for the traders, you will be formalizing in law the concept of insuring human cargo.
Lord Mansfield: That's correct.
[to carriage-handler]
Lord Mansfield: Drive.
John Davinier: Then know that when you are gone, your legacy will be to have left Miss Lindsay in a world where she may be worth more dead than alive.
Lord Mansfield: Miss Lindsay is not a slave.
John Davinier: By the very grace of God!
Lord Mansfield: [thumping on carriage's roof to signal driver to stop] This is not about Miss Lindsay.
John Davinier: Of course it is. It's about all of us. It's about everything... everything that's important.
Lord Mansfield: [pause] Mr Davinier, the world is a devastating place. You must learn to protect your emotions, if you wish to prevent matters both of law... and love, from devastating you.

John Davinier: Should not any lady be flattered to be such a subject?
Dido Elizabeth Belle: How should any male know the ways of a lady when he has not even mastered the ways of a gentlemen?
John Davinier: Quite. Though one should be forgiven for thinking he is in the presence of a lady, when she is in fact still a juvenile.

John Davinier: Permit me to ask, why do you not dine with your family ever?
Dido Elizabeth Belle: That is not correct.
John Davinier: Forgive me, but twice now I have seen you separated from the gathering. I am confounded.
Dido Elizabeth Belle: And well you might be when the son of clergy is permitted to the table before a lady of the house.
John Davinier: Is that a reminder of my place?
Dido Elizabeth Belle: No. It's a statement of mine.

John Davinier: 'Tis pitiful. Such inability to simply know what value to put on another's life.
Dido Elizabeth Belle: What price a worthless negro?
John Davinier: You utterly misunderstand me. I am saying that no man may have the value of cargo. Human beings cannot be priced since we are priceless - free men and slaves alike. I am with others here. All students in law, applying pressure on the insurance companies to refuse from hereon to insure slaves on any ship.
Dido Elizabeth Belle: But that would require a change in law.
John Davinier: How can we expect to be civilized when we live in such a barbaric world? It is the utter injustice.
Dido Elizabeth Belle: It is more than that. It is the shame of a law that would uphold a financial transaction upon that atrocity.

Dido Elizabeth Belle: Must not a lady marry, even if she is financially secure? For who is she without a husband of consequence? It seems silly - like a free negro who begs for a master.
John Davinier: Well, unless she marries her equal. Her true equal. A man who respects her.

Dido Elizabeth Belle: The alternative is to replace Lady Mary in her responsibilities at Kenwood.
John Davinier: But, she's a spinster.
Dido Elizabeth Belle: Papa did not trust I could achieve a match that would raise my rank or even equal it.
John Davinier: You are above reducing yourself for the sake of rank. I pray he would marry you without a penny to your name, for that is a man who would truly treasure you.

Lord Mansfield: [confronting them] This man's ambition includes you. You will endure shame and risk your position for a man without name, who will sully yours and drag your reputation into the gutter.
John Davinier: I take great offense at your summation of my character without ever even taking a moment to know me. Where is your right?
Lord Mansfield: Right? I have every right!
John Davinier: That you will never have. Not until you cease from judging the entire world as those above and those below, and begin to see people as people. Human beings who think and feel no more or less than you do.
Lord Mansfield: I know there is a lady in Belsize who is waiting to be your wife.
John Davinier: No, I have an ambitious aunt in Belsize, who like you, assume that wealth and reputation are all that life depends on, and despises love as though it were the devil's own creation!
Lord Mansfield: Love? You claim love?
Dido Elizabeth Belle: Stop!
John Davinier: Yes! Yes! I love her! I love her with every breath I breathe!
Dido Elizabeth Belle: Go, John. You do not deserve this.
John Davinier: [bounds out the door]
Dido Elizabeth Belle: Captain Sir John Lindsay would never have behaved like this.
Lord Mansfield: Captain Sir John Lindsay would never have behaved like this, because Captain Sir John Lindsay was never here.

John Davinier: Religion cannot be the only guardian of our morality. Of course not. There is self-responsibility. And failing that, does the law not have a duty? Does the bench and parliament not have a duty to uphold and create the laws that progress our morality, not... not retard it, if not to protect us from others, then to protect us from ourselves? Laws that allow us to diminish the humanity of anybody are not laws. They are frameworks for crime. And, quite frankly, I really do not care if you, as an individual, are without character or conscience, but a land whose laws sanction, not control, the barbarous among its citizens, that is a country whose hope is lost.

[last lines]
John Davinier: Can it be true?
Dido Elizabeth Belle: Of course, he sees what I see. His words are as clear as...
John Davinier: No. No, that your feelings for me are so? That you would be my wife? Because - because I cannot conceive of a life without you.
Dido Elizabeth Belle: I love you. For all that you are, and with all, all that I am.
[they kiss]

John Davinier: With due respect, I should question whether human life should be insurable as cargo at all.