Front Page Titles (by Subject) 204.: Letter to Prosper Paillottet - The Collected Works of Frédéric Bastiat. Vol. 1: The Man and the Statesman: The Correspondence and Articles on Politics
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204.: Letter to Prosper Paillottet - 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 Prosper Paillottet
Rome, 26 November 1850
[vol. 1, p. 206]
My dear Paillottet, each time I receive a letter from Paris, it seems to me that my correspondents are Toinettes and that I am Argan:373
The cheeky girl has claimed for an entire hour that I was not ill! You know, my love, what is really the case.
All of you are taking a friendly interest in my illness, but you then treat me as a healthy man. You plan things for me to do, you ask my opinion on various serious subjects, and then you tell me just to write you a few lines. I would have liked you to have included the secret of saying everything in a few words, along with your advice, in your letter. How can I discuss the parliamentary conflicts of interest with you, the corrections to be made to it, and the reasons that make me think that this subject cannot be combined, either in substance or form, with the speech on the tax on wines and spirits—all of this in a single line? And then I have to say something about Carey, since you are sending me his proofs here in Tuscany—and the Harmonies, since you tell me that the current edition is out of print.374
In your fine letter, which I received today, you express the fear that, at the sight of Rome, I will be overcome with enthusiasm and that this will undermine my healing by shattering my nerves. In this, you are still assuming that I am a healthy man. You should understand, my friend, that there are two reasons, which are just as strong as each other, that Rome’s monuments do not trigger an outburst of dangerous enthusiasm in me. The first is that I do not see any of these monuments, since I am more or less confined to my room, surrounded by ashes and coffeepots; the second is that the source of enthusiasm has completely dried up in me, since all the strength of my concentration and imagination are centered on the means of swallowing a little food or drink and getting a little sleep between two coughing fits.
In spite of my writing to Florence, I have no news of Carey’s proofs.375 God alone knows when they will arrive.
Farewell; I will end abruptly. I would have a thousand things to say to you for M. and Mme Planat, M. de Fontenay, and M. Manin. Shortly, when I am better, I will chat longer with you. Now, it is all I can do to reach this page.
[373 ]Toinettes and Argan, characters from Molière’s play Le Malade imaginaire.
[374 ]Carey’s book, The Harmony of Interests, Agricultural, Manufacturing, and Commercial, was sent to Bastiat as proofs in November 1850, before it appeared in print.