Front Page Titles (by Subject) 195.: 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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195.: 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
Pisa, 2 October 1850
[Lettres d’un habitant des Landes, p. 120]
My dear Mme Cheuvreux,
Doubtless, we are both complaining about each other, you of the flood of letters with which I am overwhelming you and I who am desolate at not receiving any. However, I am not accusing you of not writing; it is not possible that you have let all this time go by without writing to me. I attribute my disappointment to some mismanagement by the Italian postal service. This explanation is all the more likely since I am also without news of my family and Paillottet.
I do not know whether you are continuing to plan your journey, what route you will be taking, etc. I have been to Leghorn to find out about the conditions at the quarantine station. The large apartments lack furniture, but as soon as I am sure of the date of your arrival, I will see that two rooms are prepared. A decent caterer will supply food and then, if you permit, I will put myself with pleasure into quarantine . . . “and Phaedra in the labyrinth.” Poor man! I am forgetting that I cannot speak and that my company will be only a nuisance.
If only you knew, madam, how your enterprise worries me with regard to Mlle Louise. It is not that it offers the slightest danger; I even hope for fine weather in October, since the wind blows in September, but I fear that you will both be unwell. I entreat the influence of the heavens and the sea to be favorable!
At last, a moment of pleasure! I have read your letter of the 25th, which arrived accompanied by a missive from my aunt and another from Cobden. I wish you could see me; I am no longer the same person.
Is it really dignified for a man to be so wholly dependent on an external event, an accident of the post? Are there no extenuating circumstances for me? My life is just one long deprivation. Conversation, work, reading, plans for the future, all this I find lacking. Is it surprising that I am becoming attached, perhaps too much so, to those who are willing to take an interest in this ghost of an existence? Oh, their affection is more astonishing than mine. So you are leaving on the 10th? If this letter reaches you, please reply immediately.
You advise me to speak to you as I would to a court, to speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth; I am very willing to do this but it is impossible to know whether I am better or worse. The progress of this illness, whether it moves forward or back, is so slow, so imperceptible that you see no difference between the day before or the day after. You have to take points of comparison that are further apart. For example, how was I a year ago at Le Butard? How was I there this year and how am I now? Here are three periods, and I have to admit that the results of this examination are not good.
The departure of your brother and his family will have left a great emptiness in La Jonchère. It needs only one lovely child like Marguerite to fill an entire house.
Farewell, dear Mme Cheuvreux.
Come, and come soon, to bring a little life to the Italy that seems dead to me. When you are all here, I will appreciate more its sun, climate, and arts. Until then, I will follow your advice and just take care of my body, make it an idol, dedicate a cult to it, and prostrate myself in adoration before it. If only I might recover speech when you arrive, for, madam, dumbness is painful in your presence! You have a collection of paradoxes in whose defense you are highly skilled, but to which it is a pleasure for me to reply.
Farewell; M. Cheuvreux will not be the least busy of the three. Please accept my great and respectful affection.
Your devoted servant,