Front Page Titles (by Subject) 110.: 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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110.: 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, 7 September 1848
[vol. 1, p. 87]
My dear Félix, your letter did not leave me the choice of the course of action I had to take. I have just sent in my resignation as a member of the General Council; I have not resigned as a representative and you know the reason why. In the end, it was not a few people from Mugron who bestowed this title on me. When all is said and done, the people from Mugron who bestowed this title on me were not few in number.
I would like to know how many there are of those who blame me who have read the defense of Louis Blanc in the Moniteur,229 and, if they have not read it, it must be said that they are extremely presumptuous in speaking out.
It is said that I gave way to fear; fear was completely on the other side. Do these men think that less courage is needed in Paris than in the départements to confront the passions currently raging? We were threatened with the fury of the National Guard if we rejected the plan to start legal proceedings. This threat came from the sector that controls the might of the army. It was possible therefore for fear to influence the black balls but not the white ones.230 You need to be uncommonly absurd and foolish to believe that it is an act of courage to vote in favor of might, the army, the National Guard, the majority, the passions of the moment, and the government.
Have you read the inquiry? Have you read the deposition of Trélat, an ex-minister? It says, “I went to Clichy but did not see Louis Blanc and did not hear that he went there; but I recognized traces of his passage in the attitudes, gestures, facial expressions, and even the utterances of the workers.” Have you ever seen such passions expressed by more dangerous trends? And three-quarters of the inquiry is in this vein!
In short, in all conscience, I believe that Louis Blanc has done a great deal of harm in conjunction with all the socialists, and there are many of these who are, without even knowing this, among those who are making an outcry against him. However, I do not think that he took part in the outrages of May and June and I have no other reasons to give as to my conduct.
Thank you for having made me aware of the state of people’s minds. I am too familiar with the human heart to blame anyone. From their point of view, those who blame me are right. May they be long preserved from this plague of socialism! I feel relieved of a great weight since I posted my letter to the prefect. The country will see that I want it to be represented as it wishes. When the by-election occurs, please ask M. Domenger urgently not to support my candidature. By accepting it, I was drawn by the desire to see my region once again; this was an entirely personal feeling and I have been punished for it. Now I want nothing more than to be rid of a mandate that is most painful.
[229 ]Le Moniteur industriel.
[230 ]In order to vote yes or no to a specific question, the deputies dropped white or black balls into a ballot box.