Front Page Titles (by Subject) 143.: 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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143.: 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
Mont-de-Marsan, 30 August 1849
[Lettres d’un habitant
Organizations that are somewhat ethereal are unfortunate in that they are highly sensitive to tiresome trials and disappointments, but how sensitive are they too to unexpected good fortune when it happens to them! Who would have told me that today I would receive news from La Jonchère? Space has the effect of time, and because I am many leagues away from my beloved Butard, I feel that I am also distant from it by many days both past and in the future. You and Mlle Louise, who are so indulgent, will forgive my outpourings on this subject; perhaps it is because I feel profoundly disgusted by political and social sentimentality that I have become somewhat sentimental in my affections. What can you do! The heart needs revenge; and also, I do not know how you, both mother and daughter, do it, but you have the gift and art of making all those who come into contact with you so content and happy that they can be excused for showing it a little. I was sure that M. Cheuvreux would be sorry not to have been able to join you in the fine welcome given to Cobden at his house. But I am happy to hear this. Would he not have found my manner of dispensing hospitality somewhat indiscreet? I wanted France and England to appear to each other in their best light. With the Cheuvreux ladies I was proud of Cobden; with Cobden I was proud of the Cheuvreux ladies. These insular peoples ought to know that each of the two countries has something to envy the other for.
It is a good sign that M. Cheuvreux is extending his stay at the spa; this proves that it is doing him good.
The journey ought to have tired me more. Two coaches always went together, with ours behind, that is to say in a cloud of dust. My traveling companions were dreary; thank God I talk to myself and imagination is enough for me; it has produced a plan that is the finest and most useful to humanity that you could imagine. It has only to be written down, but once again I will just have to rely on good intentions. If God takes account of this, I will be saved!
Just think, mesdames, how amusing I must find it to be kept here by the General Council, knowing that my aunt and friend280 are expecting me in Mugron. And that is not all: I am enduring the weight of my fame; had they not held back all the most troublesome matters in order to do me the honors of the session? It was a question of being modest and a Gascon; I was both of these and to relieve myself of this strange form of courtesy I spoke of my fatigue. I took the opportunity, however, of producing a little economiste propaganda, given that our prefect has just infected his speech with socialism; this leprosy is getting everywhere. Tomorrow I will know which of the two schools will gain the majority in the Council. My fellow citizens are first-rate in support of me, they do have some small peccadilloes with which to reproach me, but they treat me like a spoiled child and appear to understand that I must be left to act, work, and vote capriciously.
I would like to bring Mlle Louise back a souvenir from our Landes, but what? Shall I go to Bayonne to find a few very tender romances set in restoration times, or else some Spanish boleros?
Mesdames, take pity on a poor exile; is it not strange to be an exile when one is at home? At this, you will say that I love paradoxes and that is a genuinely felt truth. For this reason, please write to me from time to time; I do not greatly dare to ask this sacrifice of Mlle Louise.
Please remain assured, both of you, of my fondness.
[280 ]Félix Coudroy.