Front Page Titles (by Subject) 53.: 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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53.: 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
Bordeaux, 19 February 1846
[vol. 1, p. 65]
My dear Félix, I had promised to write to you about the events in Bordeaux. I have been so interrupted by visits, meetings, and other annoying incidents that the time for postal collections always arrives before I have been able to honor my promise; what is more, there is not much to tell you. Things are happening very slowly. We floundered about a great deal while settling the first stages of a constitution. Finally a makeshift version emerged from the discussion, and today it is being offered for the approval of seventy to eighty founding members. The final board will be installed with the mayor120 at its head as president, and in two or three days a grand meeting will take place to open the subscription list. It is thought that Bordeaux will raise one hundred thousand francs.121 I am longing to see it. You understand that it is only from today, when the board has been installed, that attention can be paid to a plan, since it is the board that should take this initiative. What will the plan be like? I do not know.
As for my personal contribution, it is limited to being present at the sessions, writing a few articles for newspapers,122 paying and receiving visits, and dealing with economic objections of all kinds. It has been made very clear to me that the level of education in this matter is not sufficient to keep the institution going and I would be leaving with no hope if I did not count on the institution itself to enlighten its own members.
Here I found my poor Cobden all the fashion. A month ago, there were only two copies, the one I gave Eugène123 and the copy at the bookseller’s; today, it is to be found everywhere. I would be embarrassed, my dear Félix, to tell you what an opinion has been formed of the author. Some suppose that I am a first-rate scholar, and others that I have spent my life in England studying its institutions and history. In short, I am very embarrassed at my position, since I know full well the difference between what is true and what is exaggerated in this current view. I do not know whether you will see today’s Mémorial124 (the 18th); you will understand that I would not have used this tone if I had not had a clear view of what I could achieve.
It has almost been decided that, when this organization is fully on its feet, I will go to Paris to try to rally Parisian industry, which I know is well disposed toward us. If this is successful, I foresee one difficulty, and that is to persuade the people in Bordeaux to send their money to Paris. It is certain, however, that Paris is the center from which everything must radiate, since, on the basis of the same expenditure, the Paris press has ten times more influence than the provincial press.
When you write to me (as soon as possible, please) tell me about your personal situation.
[120 ]Martin Duffour-Dubergier.
[121 ]It raised fifty-six thousand francs.
[122 ]Articles published in Le Mémorial bordelais of 8, 9, 10, and 11 February.
[123 ]Eugène de Monclar.
[124 ]Le Mémorial bordelais.