Front Page Titles (by Subject) 135.: Letter to Mme Cheuvreux - The Collected Works of Frédéric Bastiat. Vol. 1: The Man and the Statesman: The Correspondence and Articles on Politics
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135.: Letter to Mme Cheuvreux - 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 Mme Cheuvreux
Paris, 3 May 1849
[Lettres d’un habitant des Landes, p. 16]
Please allow me to send you a copy of my letter to the electors. This is certainly not to have your political opinion on it, but these documents are above all a matter of tact and delicacy. You have to talk about yourself a lot in them and how do you avoid either false modesty or outrageous vanity? How do you show yourself to be sensitive to ingratitude without falling into the ridiculous category of being misunderstood? It is very difficult to reconcile dignity with the truth. I think that a woman is above all suitable for pointing out any faults of this nature, provided that she is frank enough to say so. It is for this reason that I am sending you this piece of homework in the hope that you will be willing to read it and help me to avoid improprieties if they occur. I have learned that you are starting your salons again this evening. If I can escape from a meeting in which I will be kept a little late, I will come to receive your advice. Is this not a strange mission I am giving you and an opportunity to say with Faucher that “You really have to come from the wide Landes to be gallant in this style.”
Have you had the patience to read last night’s session?268 What a sad conflict! In my opinion, an act of more than doubtful morality would have become excusable by a simple admission, especially as the responsibility for it lay with Faucher’s predecessors. It is the system of defense that is pitiful. And then the representatives who hope to become ministers came to inflame and exploit the fault. Ah, madam! Am I condemned to go from one setback to another? Will it be necessary for me, who left the region as a believer, to return to it as a skeptic? It is not my faith in humanity that I fear to lose, that is unshakeable, but I need also to believe in a few of my contemporaries, in the people I see and who surround me. Faith as a general principle is not enough for me.
Here is a pamphlet on Biarritz; I am sure that when you read it you will say, “That is where we ought to go269 to give my beloved Louise a strong constitution.”
The author of this pamphlet wanted me to hand it over to one of my friends in a position close to the president of the Republic (always this Proteus of lobbying); I could not carry out this commission because of the word Prince, clumsily deleted in front of the name Joinville; this author,270 a doctor, had also asked me to write a preface in the form of an apology. “But I do not know anything about medicine,” I said to him. “Well then, hide your science behind your feelings.” I then set about it. This introduction has no other merit than a certain sobriety of description, which is not very fashionable. As I am very fond of Biarritz, I am trying to do some advertising for it.
What a long letter this is! I will be outdoing M. Blondel.