Front Page Titles (by Subject) 73.: 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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73.: 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, 25 November 1846
[vol. 1, p. 147]
My dear friend, yesterday evening we held our third public session. The Montesquieu Hall was full and many people could not enter, which is, in Paris, the most favorable circumstance for attracting people. New classes of people appeared in the audience. I had sent tickets to workers and students at the law school. The public was admirable and, although the speakers sometimes forgot the rule of wisdom and prudence which was of course in their own interest too, stop talking! the audience listened with religious attention where they were not carried away with enthusiasm. Our speakers were MM Faucher, who commented with great emphasis and pertinence on an official letter from the protectionists to the council of ministers; Peupin, a worker, who would have been a perfect model of verve and simplicity if he had kept to his subject, from which he was rather too eager to wander; and Ortolan, who gave an eloquent speech and considered the question from a totally new point of view. This speech roused the audience and stiffened the French fiber. Lastly, Blanqui, who was as energetic as he was witty. Our worthy president opened the session with a few graceful words imbued with the fine tone that our nominal aristocracy still retains. I will send you all of this.
Speaking in public has an irresistible attraction for French people. It is therefore probable that we will be overwhelmed with requests and, as for me, I have decided to wait to be asked to speak. This makes it possible that I will have a long wait; be that as it may, it will not bother me to be ready if need be. Therefore, if you have any new ideas or a thought that, when developed, might serve as a text for a good speech, please let me have them. If my health cannot cope with the amount of internal work that has fallen upon me, I will request a holiday and take advantage of it to go to Lyons, Marseilles, Nîmes, etc. Therefore, please send me anything that you consider would be relevant for these various towns. You might write these thoughts down on scraps of paper as they come to mind, and enclose them in your letters. I will mix the drink using the flavorings you have given me.
In particular, I would like to examine in depth the question of wages, that is to say, the influence that freedom and protectionism have on them. It would be no trouble at all for me to deal with this major question in economic terms, and if I had to write a book on this, I would perhaps produce a satisfactory result. But what I lack is one of the clear, striking reasons that are ready to be put before the workers themselves and which, in order to be understood, do not need all the previous notions of value, currency, capital, competition, etc.
Farewell, my dear friend, write to me in Barcelona. I think I am slightly feverish and have subjected myself to doing nothing today. This is why I am stopping, assuring you once more of my friendship.