Front Page Titles (by Subject) 184.: Letter to M. Cheuvreux - The Collected Works of Frédéric Bastiat. Vol. 1: The Man and the Statesman: The Correspondence and Articles on Politics
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184.: Letter to M. 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 M. Cheuvreux
Mugron, 14 July 1850
[Lettres d’un habitant des Landes, p. 100]
Your kind letter, my dear M. Cheuvreux, has just been handed to me. A few hours later and it would have had to retrace its journey to Paris in the same mail coach as the person to which it was addressed, since I am preparing to leave tomorrow. I am doubtless making a mistake; this must be so since everyone says so and I have already endured countless verbal and epistolary assaults. I do not claim to be right in the face of everyone, although Mme Cheuvreux is calling me a sophist in advance. The truth is that I could scarcely excuse myself from putting in an appearance in the Chamber before the holidays; after this I admit that I am yielding a bit to caprice. For some time now, I have had a very local pain in the larynx that is unbearable because it is continuous. I think I will find relief by changing my environment.
Mlle Louise may fear that her letter has gone astray in the Pyrenees. Please reassure her, it was given to me here on my arrival. Truly, it would have been a great privation for me, since your dear child has the art (if art it is) of infusing her letters with her soul and goodness. She spoke to me of the impression English literature had on her and then deplores the loss of belief that characterizes ours.
I was getting ready to write an essay in reply, on this text, but I will spare her this. Since I am leaving tomorrow, I will take my revenge face to face.
You are quite right, my dear M. Cheuvreux, to encourage me to continue these elusive Harmonies. I too feel that I have the duty to complete them, and I will endeavor to devote my holidays to them.
The field is so vast that it terrifies me.
When I said that the laws of political economy are harmonious, I did not mean only that they harmonize with each other, but also with the laws of politics, the moral laws, and even those of religion (granted the making of generalizations as to the particular rules of each cult). If this were not so, what good would it be for a set of ideas to promote harmony if this set clashed with other sets no less essential?
I do not know whether I am deluding myself, but it seems to me that it is through this and only through this that the lively and fertile beliefs whose loss Mlle Louise deplores will be regenerated within the human race. Extinguished beliefs will no longer be revived, and the efforts made in times of terror and danger to give society this anchor are more meritorious than effective. I believe that an inevitable ordeal is lying in wait for Catholicism. Acquiescence in form alone, which each person requires from others and from which acquiescence each person allows himself dispensation, cannot be a permanent state of affairs.
The plan I had conceived required political harmony to be first of all brought down to rigorous certainty, since this is its basis. It appears that I have not established this certainty adequately, since it has not struck anyone, even professional economists. Perhaps the second volume will provide more consistency for the first. I am subjecting myself to your and Mme Cheuvreux’s advice to stop me in the future from doing anything else.
This letter will precede me by so little that I find it almost incorrect to send it to you. However, I did not want to leave Mugron without thanking you for all the kindnesses that you and your family have shown me during this absence.
Farewell, my dear sir,