Front Page Titles (by Subject) 43.: 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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43.: 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
London, July 1845
[vol. 1, p. 62]
My dear Félix, I arrived here yesterday evening. Knowing how much you are interested in our cause and in the role that chance has given me, I will tell you everything that happens, especially since I have no time to take notes and, this being so, my letters will be useful later in reminding me of my memories so that I can give you more details face to face.
After I settled in at the hotel (at ten shillings a day), I started to write six letters to Cobden, Bright, Fox, Thompson, Wilson, and the secretary who sends me the League. Then I wrote six dedications in six of my books and went to bed. This morning, I took my six copies to the League’s office with the request that they be given to the people concerned. Someone told me that Cobden was leaving the same day for Manchester and that probably I would find him in the throes of making his preparations (preparations for an Englishman consist in swallowing a steak and stuffing two shirts into a bag). I ran to Cobden’s; I did in fact meet him and we chatted for two hours. He understands French well and speaks it a little and anyway I understand his English. I described to him the state of opinion in France, the effect I expect this book to have, etc., etc. He told me how sorry he was to be leaving London and I saw that he was on the point of canceling his trip. He then told me, “The League is like a Masonic lodge, except for the fact that everything is public. Here is a house that we have rented to receive our friends during the Bazaar. It is now empty, so you must move in.” I demurred, to which he replied, “This may not be convenient to you, but it is useful for the cause since Messrs. Bright, Moore, and other members of the League spend their evenings there and you must always be in their midst.” However, because it was subsequently decided that I would go to join him in Manchester the day after tomorrow, I did not think it necessary to move for two days. He then took me to the Reform Club, a magnificent establishment, and left me in the library while he took a bath. After this, he wrote two letters to Bright and Moore and I accompanied him to the station. In the evening, I went to see Bright, still at the same hotel, although these people do not live there; his welcome was not quite as cordial. I noticed that he did not approve of my including Cobden’s name in the title of my book. In addition, he appeared surprised that I had translated nothing by M. Villiers. His own contribution in the book is small, although he deserves greater recognition as he has the gift of an attractive eloquence. However, all this was sorted out during the conversation. As I was obliged to speak slowly to make myself understood and was discussing subjects with which I was familiar with men of exactly the same mind, I was certainly in the most favorable of circumstances. He took me to Parliament, where I have remained up to now, since they were discussing a question which included education and religion. I left at eleven o’clock and then started to write to you. Tomorrow I have an appointment with him, and the day after tomorrow I am going to see Manchester and meet my friend Cobden again. He is to arrange my accommodation and leave me in the hands of Mr. Ashworth, the rich manufacturer who put across such a good argument to demonstrate to farmers that the export of manufactured objects implied the export of the things included in them and that, consequently, restrictions on trade would hit them in the face. This brusque departure, I fear, will prevent me from seeing Fox and Thompson before my return, as well as Mill and Senior, for whom I have letters.
This is a short account of my first day. I will thus enter Manchester and Liverpool in circumstances which few Frenchmen could hope to enjoy. I will be there on a Sunday. Cobden will take me to the Quakers and the Wesleyans. We will at last know something, and as for factories, nothing will be hidden from me. What is more, all the operations of the League will be unveiled to me. There was a vague suggestion of a second edition of my book on a wider scale. We will see.
Let us not forget Paris. Before leaving, I spent an hour with Hippolyte, the son of Charles Comte, who showed me all of his father’s papers. There are two or three courses of lectures given in Geneva, London, and Paris, all of which doubtless supplied material for the Treatise on Legislation, but what a gold mine to open up!
Farewell, I must leave you. I still have three letters to write to Paris and it is already tomorrow, since it is past midnight.