Front Page Titles (by Subject) 63.: 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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63.: 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, 24 May 1846
[vol. 1, p. 72]
My dear Félix, I have run around so much this morning that I cannot hold my pen properly and my writing is all trembling. What you have told me concerning the usefulness of my presence in Mugron is a constant preoccupation. But, my friend, I am almost certain that, if I left Paris, our association would collapse, and we would have to start all over again. You will make up your own mind about this; this is the position we are in: I think I told you that a commission had been appointed with full powers, but just when we were about to issue our manifesto, several of the commissioners wanted us to obtain prior authorization.139 A request was made for this and the minister agreed, but the days go by and nothing seems to come. In the meantime, the manifesto is in our files. It was certainly a mistake to request authorization; we should have limited ourselves to a simple declaration. Our faint-hearted commissioners thought they were being accommodating to the minister but I think they caused him embarrassment since, especially with the elections coming shortly, he will be afraid of upsetting the manufacturers.
Nevertheless, M. Guizot has declared that he will give the authorization, M. de Broglie has made it understood that he would come over to us immediately afterward and this is why I am still being patient, but if there is any more delay I will complain loudly at the risk of demolishing everything, so as to start on another course and with other people.
You see how difficult it is to leave the field at this time. It is not that I do not want to, for, my dear Félix, Paris and I are not made for one another. There is too much to say on this subject, so we will leave it for another day.
Your article in Le Mémorial140 was excellent. Few people have read it, as it arrived only at the end of our meetings for the reason which I have told you, but I have sent it to Dunoyer and Say as well as to a few others, and everyone thought it was sufficiently lively and clear to absorb the reader and oblige him to agree. The “I will no longer be involved” could not fail to please Dunoyer a great deal; unfortunately the current view is leaning to an appalling degree in the other direction: “Involve the state in everything.” We will shortly produce a second edition of my Sophisms.141 We could include this article and a few others in this, if you write them. I can certainly tell you that this small book is destined to be circulated widely. In America, they are offering to distribute it widely, and the English and Italian newspapers have translated it almost in its entirety.142 But what annoys me a little is to see that the three or four pleasantries that I have slipped into this volume have been highly successful while the serious part has been widely overlooked. For this reason, you also should try a few buffa.143
I must end here. I have just learned that an opportunity has occurred with regard to Bordeaux and I want to take advantage of it.
[139 ]No association of more than twenty persons could be formed without prior authorization from the government.
[140 ]Le Mémorial bordelais.
[141 ]Economic Sophisms.
[142 ]The first English translation was Popular Fallacies Regarding General Interests. Being a Translation of the Sophismes économiques, by M. Frédéric Bastiat, with notes by G. R. Porter (London: J. Murray, 1846). Also appearing was an American edition: Sophisms of the Protective Policy, translated from the second French edition by Mrs. D. J. McCord, with an introductory letter by Dr. Francis Lieber (New York: Geo. P. Putnam; Charleston, S.C., 1848). An Italian edition also quickly appeared: Sofismi economici, translated by Antonio Contrucci (Florence: C. P. Onesti, 1847).
[143 ]Opera buffa, or comic opera.