Front Page Titles (by Subject) 56.: 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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56.: 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, 22 March 1846
[vol. 1, p. 66]
My dear Félix, I hope that you will not delay giving me your news. God willing, an arrangement has been found: I scarcely hope for it and want it desperately. Once you are free from this painful preoccupation, you will be free to devote your time to useful things, for example, your article in Le Mémorial,127 which I have had the time to read only quickly, but which I will reread tomorrow at my uncle’s. It is extremely lively and provides excellent and vivid arguments. On Monday, I will read it to the assembly, which will be quite numerous. When I am slightly better settled, I will tell you the name of the newspaper in Paris to which you should send it; at that stage, however, you should, as far as possible, refrain from mentioning wine. I have just mentioned that we were having an assembly on Monday. Its aim is to set up the board of the association. We have the duc d’Harcourt as president, and he accepted with a resolution which I liked. The other members will be MM Say, Blanqui, and Dunoyer. However, Dunoyer does not much like being in the spotlight, and I will be proposing in his place M. Anisson-Duperron, a peer of France, whom I found compelling in that he is firm on the basic idea. As treasurer, we will have the baron d’Eichthal, a rich banker. Finally, a secretary, who obviously will be called upon to bear the brunt of the work, will join the management. No doubt you can foresee that these functions will fall on my shoulders. As always, I am hesitating. It will be hard work binding myself to such an arduous and assiduous task. On the other hand, I think I can be useful by devoting myself entirely to this business. Between now and Monday I must make an irrevocable decision. Besides, I hope that we will not lack subscribers. Peers, deputies, bankers, and men of letters will flock to us in sufficient numbers, and even a few major manufacturers. It seems clear that there has been a significant change in public opinion and success is perhaps not as far off as we first supposed.
Here, people very much want me to be nominated as a deputy; you cannot imagine how much credit I received for the quasi-prophecy contained in my introduction.128 It confuses and embarrasses me, as I am certain that I do not match up to my reputation, but I have very little hope with regard to becoming a deputy, since the events in Bordeaux and Paris have very little echo in Saint-Sever. And, incidentally, this would perhaps be a further reason for keeping me at a distance. Dear old Chalosse129 does not appear to understand the importance of the enterprise to which I have devoted my efforts; if this were not the case, it is probable that it would want to join in by increasing my influence in its own interest. I do not bear it any grudge; I love it and will serve it to the end, however indifferent it is.
Today, I made my entry into the Institut,130 where they discussed the question of education. University professors, led by Cousin, monopolized the discussion. I am very sorry I have left my work on the subject in Mugron, as I can see that no one considers it from our point of view.
Try from time to time to write articles to maintain the sacred flame in Bordeaux. Later we can doubtless make them into a collection to be distributed in large numbers. In my next letter to my aunt, I will add a note to tell you what they thought of your last article in the Assembly.
I am expecting our friend, Daguerre, in order to be introduced to M. de Lamenais, whom I hope to convert to free trade. M. de Lamartine has announced his membership, as has our good Béranger. We will be bringing in M. Berryer as well, as soon as the association is sufficiently strongly established not to be diverted by political passions. The same is true for Arago; you see that the leading minds of our time will be on our side. I have been assured that M. de Broglie will agree to be president. I must admit that I go in some fear of the diplomatic approach, which is bound to be his habit. His presence will doubtless have a prodigious effect from the start, but we must look to the future and not be dazzled by transitory brilliance.
[127 ]Le Mémorial bordelais.
[128 ]To Cobden and the League.
[129 ]Bastiat is referring affectionately to the Chalosse region of the Landes.
[130 ]Institut de France.