Front Page Titles (by Subject) 198.: 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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198.: 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, 14 October 1850
[Lettres d’un habitant des Landes, p. 124]
My dear Mme Cheuvreux,
At last! If nothing has upset your plans, if there has not been a coup d’état in Paris, if Mlle Louise has not been overcome by some cursed indisposition or M. Cheuvreux by a migraine, if he has settled his affairs with his court, if . . . if you have now taken the first step, the most difficult one, the one that costs the most, you will be on the railway en route for Tonnerre. Each evening, I will be able to say: “There are fifty leagues fewer between us.” Oh, how happy our descendants will be to have electric telegraphs which will tell them: “Departure took place one minute ago.” And now, madam, why are wishes based on friendship totally useless? If mine could be heard, your journey would be just a series of pleasant impressions; you would have beautiful sunshine as a constant companion, not to mention pleasant meetings all along your way. Mlle Louise would feel her strength increasing hourly and her gaiety and friendly interest in everything would not flag for a minute. This disposition would be caught by her father and mother, and this is how you would reach Marseilles. There, you would find a mirror-like sea, quarantine waived, etc. But all the wishes in the world will not prevent your having chosen a date for your departure that greatly increases the difficulties of your journey. This is somewhat due to my bad reputation. You are so convinced, having constantly repeated it, that I do not know my left from my right, your convictions in this respect are so deeply rooted, that I am taken to be totally incapable of properly executing the slightest maneuver, let alone of advising others. This is why you have not read a single word of what I have written on this subject. From what you say, it is as clear as daylight that you have leaped with both feet over all the passages in my letters where I set myself up as an adviser. However, it is pointless going over this again, since this advice, presuming you take account of it, will arrive too late.
Instead of a good French mail boat, will you not have a small Sardinian boat, loaded with goods, crowded with all kinds of passengers subject neither to control nor discipline, where the second-class passengers invade the first-class seats and come to smoke under the noses of women? No complaint can be made, least of all to the captain, since he sets the example of breaking all the rules. At least, this pilgrimage is beginning by the grace of God and it has to end under the same auspices.
Very dear madam, how can I end this letter without begging a pardon of which I am in great need? I have complained loudly of your silence; I was very ungrateful and very unjust, since I have received more letters, not than I wished but than I dared to hope for. The only thing was that the first was delayed and was a little laconic, and this was the cause of all this noise. Please be indulgent toward the complaints of patients: people with your goodness pity and excuse them but do not become annoyed by them.
Farewell, your devoted servant,