Front Page Titles (by Subject) 194.: 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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194.: 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
Marseilles (on board the Castor),
[Lettres d’un habitant
Dear Mme Cheuvreux,
Before leaving France, allow me to send you a few lines. The date of this letter will surprise you; here is the explanation.
As you know, since I was determined to go by land, I allowed the boat on the 19th to leave. At the time, a day sooner or later was of little importance and I was not willing to leave Marseilles knowing that one of your letters was on the point of arriving. I waited and was right to do so, since I have at last received your very benevolent and affectionate encouragement, and what is more, I know the major decision that has been taken at La Jonchère.
In short, I should have been taking the coach yesterday, but I was perfectly aware that, to avoid the quarantine station, I would encounter other inconveniences, such as going through clouds of dust, going from inn to inn, cab to cab, and using my larynx to argue with porters; all this was scarcely an attractive prospect. At eleven o’clock, while reading the Marseilles journal, I saw that the Castor was leaving for Leghorn in the afternoon. Although you advised me to avoid making unplanned decisions, I booked and paid for a ticket, thinking that the quarantine would be swallowed at a gulp if I closed my eyes. In the evening, the sea was so rough that the boat did not leave, and this is how I come to be scribbling this epistle while they are raising the anchor.
Since my arrival on board, I have noticed that it is a great mistake to be the last to book your ticket. Instead of having a good single cabin, you have a bed in a joint cabin.
Oh, what an improvident man! You are going to cross the Mediterranean in the joint cabin of a packet-boat; you will die in the general ward of a hospital and will be thrown in the common grave of a Campo Santo! What difference does it make, if the happiness I have dreamed of in this world is waiting for me in the next? However, it is better to have a single cabin, and this is why I am writing to you so that you can take the necessary steps.
Your journey is worrying me. At first, I thought I had the answer (who does not seek answers today?). I thought that His Holiness, who subjects his infallibility to the protection of our bayonets, should spare his soldiers an insulting quarantine. If this were so, it would have been easy for M. Cheuvreux and M. Edouard Bertin to obtain passages on a state vessel going to Civitavecchia. It seems, however, that even our troops are subject to the health regulations (a bad solution). The final consideration, then, is that a journey across the Apennines seems to me to be a risky venture at the end of October.
I meant to write to Mlle Louise since, just as a good government is very willing to raise a great many taxes but distributes them evenly, I feel the necessity to divide the weight of my lamentations; alas, my letter would not have been very pleasant! On my journey, I have been able to see only the side of things that is reprehensible and can be criticized. I am fully aware that colors are not in objects but in ourselves. According to whether we are in a rosy or black mood, we see everything in rosy or black hues.
Farewell, I cannot hold the pen any longer under the vibration of the steam engine.
Your devoted servant,