Front Page Titles (by Subject) 42.: Letter to Félix Coudroy - The Collected Works of Frédéric Bastiat. Vol. 1: The Man and the Statesman: The Correspondence and Articles on Politics
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42.: Letter to Félix Coudroy - Frédéric Bastiat, The Collected Works of Frédéric Bastiat. Vol. 1: The Man and the Statesman: The Correspondence and Articles on Politics 
The Collected Works of Frédéric Bastiat. Vol. 1: The Man and the Statesman: The Correspondence and Articles on Politics, translated from the French by Jane and Michel Willems, with an introduction by Jacques de Guenin and Jean-Claude Paul-Dejean. Annotations and Glossaries by Jacques de Guenin, Jean-Claude Paul-Dejean, and David M. Hart. Translation editor Dennis O’Keeffe (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2011).
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Letter to Félix Coudroy
Paris, 3 July 1845 (eleven o’clock in the evening)
[vol. 1, p. 60]
. . . Like you, my dear Félix, I envisage the future with terror. Leaving my aunt, separating myself from those I love, leaving you alone in Mugron, without your friend, without books, is dreadful. And for my own part, I do not know whether solitary work, meditated on at leisure and discussed with you, would not be better. On the other hand, it is certain that there is a position here to be attained, the only one for which I have an ambition and the only one which suits me and for which I am suitable. It is now certain that I can have the manager’s position at the journal and I do not doubt that I will be given six francs per subscription. There are five hundred subscribers, which makes three thousand francs. This is absolutely nothing, financially speaking, but we need to believe that strong management stamped on the journal will increase its membership and if we achieved a figure of one thousand, I would be satisfied. Then there is the prospect of a course of lectures; I do not know whether I told you that at our last dinner, we decided that an approach would be made to the government to found chairs of political economy89 at the university. MM Guizot, Salvandy, and Duchâtel expressed approval of this project. M. Guizot said: “I am so well disposed to this that it was I who founded the chair that M. Chevalier occupies. Obviously, we are going down the wrong road and it is essential to disseminate healthy economic doctrines. However the major difficulty is to choose the right people.” At this reply, MM Say, Dussard, Daire, and a few others assured me that, if they were consulted, they would designate me. M. Dunoyer would certainly be in favor of me. I have found out that the minister of finance was impressed with my introduction and he himself asked me for a copy of the work. I would thus have a good chance, if not of being called to the university, at least if Blanqui, Rossi, or Chevalier were nominated, of replacing one of these men at the Collège de France or the Conservatoire.90 One way or another, I would be launched with an assured existence, and that is all I need.
But having to leave Mugron! Having to leave my aunt! What about my chest! What about the limited circle of my acquaintances! In sum, the long chapter of objections . . . Oh, why am I not ten years younger and in good health! Moreover, you will understand that this prospect is still distant but that the management of the journal would put a great deal of opportunity on my side. Therefore, instead of producing two sophisms, selected from those that are popular and anecdotal, in the next issue, I sense an opportunity to develop my ideas, and I am going to devote tomorrow to rewriting two or three of the most important. This is why I cannot write to you at length as I would like and am forced to speak about myself instead of replying to your affectionate letters.
M. Say wants to entrust to me all his father’s papers; there are some curious things in them. What is more, it is an expression of confidence that touches me. Hippolyte Comte, the son of Charles, will also be letting me go through the notes of our favorite author, who is totally unknown right here. . . . But I do not want to fail in what I owe to the men who are showering me with proofs of their friendship.
You see, dear Félix, that there are so many reasons for and against; I really must decide soon. Oh! I really need your advice, and above all for you to tell me what my poor aunt thinks.
Although I scarcely answer your letters, I nevertheless must tell you that the work of Simon is very rare and extremely expensive. There are only four copies, of which two are in the public libraries. Bossuet had the entire edition destroyed.
Farewell, my dear Félix; excuse the haste with which I write.
[89 ]Apart from conferences and private education, political economy was taught only in the Conservatoire national des arts et métiers, by Auguste Blanqui, and at the Collège de France, by Michel Chevalier.
[90 ]Conservatoire national des arts et métiers.