Front Page Titles (by Subject) 59.: Letter to Richard Cobden - The Collected Works of Frédéric Bastiat. Vol. 1: The Man and the Statesman: The Correspondence and Articles on Politics
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59.: Letter to Richard Cobden - 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 Richard Cobden
Paris, 11 April 1846
[vol. 1, p. 131]
My dear sir, I hasten to tell you that your reply to the address of the economists will appear in this month’s journal, which will be published between the 15th and 20th. The translation is a little weak, as the person to whom it was mainly addressed thought it more appropriate to soften a few expressions in order to humor the susceptibility of our general public. This susceptibility is genuine, and what is more, it is cleverly manipulated. Just recently, while reading a few proofs in a printing works, I came across a book in which we were positively accused of having been bribed by England or rather by the League. As I knew the author, I persuaded him to withdraw this absurd allegation, but it made me realize the increasing danger of having any financial link with your society. I find it impossible to see anything reprehensible in the few subscriptions you may take in our writings in order to distribute them in Europe, and yet from now on I will refrain from calling on your sympathy and, independently of the reasons you give me, this is enough to make me resolve to conform to the national prejudice in this regard.
Although the movement in Bordeaux was rather impressive, I fear that it will create a great many obstacles precisely for that reason. No one dares do anything in Paris, for fear of not doing as much as Bordeaux. Right from the beginning, I predicted that an association, unnoticed at first but made up of men that were totally united and persuaded, would have a better chance than a grand demonstration. Finally, we have to act using the elements we have to hand, and one of the benefits of the association, if ever it spreads, will be to train135 the members themselves. They certainly need it. They cannot perceive the distinction between revenue-raising duties and protectionist duties. That means that they do not understand the very principle of the association, the only thing that can give it strength, cohesion, and longevity. I have developed this thesis in today’s issue of Le Courrier français, and will continue to do so.
Whatever happens, there has been incontrovertible progress in this country. Six months ago, no newspaper would support us. Today, we have five in Paris, three in Bordeaux, two in Marseilles, one in Le Havre, and two in Bayonne. I hope that a dozen peers and as many deputies will join our League and draw from it, if not enlightenment, at least courage.
[135 ]In English in the original.