Letter to Thomas Hunter

Scope and Content

Letter sent from Eaux Bonnes, Pyrenees, labelled "private". Cobden says he has been busy meeting French politicians, having French lessons and attending to his indisposed wife. He says Bordeaux was little better, where he "was nearly a victim to their hospitality". However, he says his wife is now well again and they are resting in Eaux Bonnes where Cobden admires the landscape. He says that he feels he has made a favourable impression on the French politicians, though he remarks that in practical questions they are 25 years behind England in reforms in such areas as commercial legislation. Cobden mentions the French politicians [François] Guizot, [Adolphe] Thiers, Odilon Barrot and Home Secretary Duchatel. Cobman says the best way to influence the French in free trade would be "by English example". He says at the moment the French people are more interested in military glory than commerce: if they were otherwise, it would be better for peace in Europe.