Front Page Titles (by Subject) 192.: Letter to Mme Cheuvreux - The Collected Works of Frédéric Bastiat. Vol. 1: The Man and the Statesman: The Correspondence and Articles on Politics
Return to Title Page for The Collected Works of Frédéric Bastiat. Vol. 1: The Man and the Statesman: The Correspondence and Articles on Politics
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
192.: 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).
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The copyright to this edition, in both print and electronic forms, is held by Liberty Fund, Inc.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
Letter to Mme Cheuvreux
Lyons, 14 September 1850
[Lettres d’un habitant des Landes, p. 113]
Dear Mme Cheuvreux,
I am leaving tomorrow for Marseilles. If you take the boat at eleven o’clock you have only the inconvenience of spending the night in Valence and this will not be inconvenient for me since I will have the pleasure of taking news to your brother, the captain.
If you go to Lyons, do not fail to climb Fourvières! This is an admirable viewpoint from which you can see the Alps, the Cévennes, the mountains of Forez, and those of the Auvergne. What an image of the world Fourvières gives! Down below, there is work and its insurrections,363 halfway up, cannons and soldiers, and at the top religion with all its sad excrescenes. Is this not the story of the human race?
Contemplating the theater of so many bloody conflicts, I thought that there is no more pressing need in man than that for confidence in a future that offers some stability. What troubles the workers is not so much how low their wages are but their uncertainty, and if men who have achieved wealth were prepared to take a look at themselves, seeing with what ardor they love security, they would perhaps be somewhat indulgent toward the classes which always, for one reason or another, have the specter of unemployment before them. One of the most beautiful of economic harmonies is the ever-increasing tendency for all classes in succession to achieve stability. Society achieves this stability as civilization is attained, through earnings, fees, rent, and interest, in short everything that the socialists reject; to such an extent that their plans bring the human race back precisely to its point of departure, that is to say the time when uncertainty is at its highest for everyone. There is a subject here for new research for political economy . . . But what shall I tell you about Fourvières! What poetry, heavens, for the delicate ear of a woman! . . . Farewell once more, forgive this torrent of words; I am taking revenge for my silence, but is it fair that you should be the victim?
[363 ]Allusion to the revolts of 1830 and 1834 of the “canuts,” the textile workers who lost their jobs because of the growing use of machinery. The revolts were severely repressed.