Front Page Titles (by Subject) 207.: 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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207.: 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
Rome, 14, 15, and 16 December 1850
[Lettres d’un habitant
Very dear Mme Cheuvreux,
I hope to sit on occasion at this desk, adding one line to another to send you a souvenir.
I have never been so close to nothingness and I would like to be all-powerful in order to make the sea as calm as a lake.
What emotions and duties await you in Paris! My only consolation is for you to tell me that you are ready, with courageous energy, to go down the road that God will have prepared for you, however painful it is.
My health remains the same. If I started to speak about it, it would be through a series of small details only, which would not be of any importance the following day.
Basically, I think Doctor Lacauchy is right not to listen to a word I say.
I am very pleased to think that M. Cheuvreux will shortly be seeing our excellent, all too excellent friend, Paillottet, and will persuade him to abandon an act of devotion that is now totally unnecessary. I very much fear that his presence in Paris will be absolutely essential for me if the Harmonies are reprinted. I cannot be involved with this and everything will be on his shoulders.381
Sunday, 15 December
Here you are in Genoa and with just a little more patience you will be in France. It is five o’clock, the time you used to come to see me. Then I knew what gallery Mlle Louise had visited, what ruin or painting had interested her. This was a ray of sunshine in my life. Everything is ended, I am alone for twenty-four hours a day, except for the two visits from my cousin, de Monclar. The time to which I am referring has become bitter because it used to be too sweet; you proved to me with the scientific approach of your father that I was right to be the most grumpy, stupid, irritable, and often the most unjust of men. Besides, I think that I am learning resignation and am acquiring a certain taste for it.
Monday, 16 December
When Joseph came to say goodbye, the poor man dissolved into thanks. Alas! No one owes me any thanks and I owe them to everyone, especially to Joseph, who has been such a help to me.
A new discovery! A sudden movement removed all breath from me. With one breath being unable to join another, the pain was unbearable. I have concluded that I will have to make all movements slowly like an automaton.
Tuesday, 17 December382
Paillottet has arrived. He has announced the dreadful news to me.383 Oh! You poor woman, poor child! You have received the most terrible and unexpected blow of all. How can you have borne it with a soul so little made for suffering? Louise will be able to control her sorrow better. Throw yourself into the arms of this divine strength, the only strength that can sustain you in such times of trial. May this strength never desert you. Dear friends, I do not have the fortitude to continue these disconnected words and fractured thoughts.
Farewell; in spite of my state of prostration, I still find bright sparks of sympathy for the misfortune that has come upon you.
Farewell, your friend,
[381 ]A shortened version of Economic Harmonies with ten chapters had been printed in Bastiat’s lifetime. Bastiat was working on additional chapters when he died. Paillottet found these unfinished chapters in Bastiat’s papers and edited them for a new, larger edition of the book.
[382 ]This letter, the last he wrote, preceded his death by just eight days.
[383 ]The death of Mme Cheuvreux’s mother.