Front Page Titles (by Subject) 93.: Letter to Marie-Julienne Badbedat (Mme Marsan) - The Collected Works of Frédéric Bastiat. Vol. 1: The Man and the Statesman: The Correspondence and Articles on Politics
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93.: Letter to Marie-Julienne Badbedat (Mme Marsan) - 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 Marie-Julienne Badbedat (Mme Marsan)
27 February 1848
[From the private collection of Jean-Claude Paul-Dejean]
My dear lady,
You must be anxious. I would like to reassure you. My cold has almost disappeared and in this respect I am in my normal state, with which you are familiar. On the other hand, the revolution has left me safe and sound.
As you will see in the newspapers, on the 23rd everything seemed to be over. Paris had a festive air; everything was illuminated. A huge gathering moved along the boulevards singing. Flags were adorned with flowers and ribbons. When they reached the Hôtel des Capucines, the soldiers blocked their path and fired a round of musket fire at point-blank range into the crowd. I leave you to imagine the sight offered by a crowd of thirty thousand men, women, and children fleeing from the bullets, the shots, and those who fell.203
An instinctive feeling prevented me from fleeing as well, and when it was all over I was on the site of a massacre with five or six workmen, facing about sixty dead and dying people. The soldiers appeared stupefied. I begged the officer to have the corpses and wounded moved in order to have the latter cared for and to avoid having the former used as flags by the people when they returned, but he had lost his head.
The workers and I then began to move the unfortunate victims onto the pavement, as doors refused to open. At last, seeing the fruitlessness of our efforts, I withdrew. But the people returned and carried the corpses to the outlying districts, and a hue and cry was heard all through the night. The following morning, as though by magic, two thousand barricades made the insurrection fearsome. Fortunately, as the troop did not wish to fire on the National Guard, the day was not as bloody as might have been expected.
All is now over. The Republic has been proclaimed. You know that this is good news for me. The people will govern themselves. I am convinced that for a long time they will govern themselves badly, but they will learn from experience. Right now, ideas I do not share have the upper hand. It is fashionable to expand the functions of the state considerably, and I think they should be restricted. For this reason, I am outside the movement, although several of my friends are very powerful in it. Two friends and I produced a leaflet to inject some of our ideas into the intellectual to and fro.204
Do not worry about the sequel. My age and health have extinguished in me any taste for street campaigning. As for a situation, I will not be seeking one, and will wait until I am considered useful.
I am writing you just a hasty note. I still have repose in view, since age and duties are piling up.
Julie is not giving me as good news as I would like.
Please ask her to write to me from time to time. I embrace both her and her children warmly.
Farewell, my dear lady.
[203 ]Fifty-two people were killed by the military.
[204 ]Bastiat wrote a number of articles in February 1848 for La République française on these events.