Front Page Titles (by Subject) 185.: Letter to Richard Cobden - The Collected Works of Frédéric Bastiat. Vol. 1: The Man and the Statesman: The Correspondence and Articles on Politics
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185.: Letter to Richard Cobden - 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 Richard Cobden
Paris, 3 August 1850
[vol. 1, p. 185]
My dear Cobden, since the departure of our dear friends, the Schwabes, I no longer have the opportunity of talking about you. However, I have not altogether lost sight of you, and recently I noted with joy, but no surprise, that you had disassociated yourself from your friends in order to remain faithful to your convictions. I am referring to the vote on Palmerston.351 The upsurge in British pride that characterized this episode is not in step with the natural sequence of events and the progress of public reasoning in England. You were right to resist this. It is this perfect coherence of all of your actions and votes that will in the future give your name and example an unassailable authority.
I have spent some time in my native region to see whether my poor lungs, which serve me in a highly unreliable fashion, might be cured. I have returned somewhat better but suffering from an ailment of my larynx coupled with a total loss of my voice. My doctor has ordered me to keep total silence. For this reason, I am going to spend two months in the country not far from Paris. There, I will endeavor to write the second volume of the Economic Harmonies. The first went almost unnoticed in scholarly circles. I would not be an author if I accepted this judgment. I call on the future to correct this for I am convinced that this book contains an important idea, a core concept. Time will prove me right.
Today, I wanted to say a few words in support of our colleague in political economy, A. Scialoja. You know that he was a professor in Turin. Events caused him to become a minister of trade in Naples for a few days. This was in the days of the constitution. When absolute authority was reinstated, Scialoja, thinking that a ministry of trade was not sufficiently political to compromise its holder, did not wish to flee. He was to regret this. He was arrested and imprisoned. For ten months now, he has been clamoring to be released or put on trial.
I have taken a few steps here to arouse the interest of our diplomatic service. (Let diplomacy be good for something for once in its life!) I received the reply that our embassy would do what it could but that it stood little chance. It is said that Scialoja would be much better protected by English goodwill. Could you therefore please obtain support for him from your ambassador in Naples?
Scialoja is asking to be put on trial! I would much prefer for him to be given a passport for London or Paris, since I do not think that a Neapolitan trial would guarantee much equity, even for the most shining innocence.
Will you be going to Frankfurt?352 For my part, it is no good my attending the Congress, since I have become dumb, but I would be very pleased to see you when you pass through Paris and my apartment at 3, rue d’Alger is at your disposal.
[351 ]Palmerston got a vote of censure from the Lords for having blocked the harbor of Piraeus to defend the interests of a British citizen named Pacifico. A few days later, Palmerston made a speech to defend his position and won approval—but not from Cobden. See Letter 188.
[352 ]International peace congresses were held in Brussels in September 1848, Paris in August 1849, Frankfurt in August 1850, and London in July 1851.