One can conceive that a man as described by Mr. Mignet may have rejected these vain ornaments which, in his mind, are traps for the reader when they are not traps for the writer himself.

Frédéric Bastiat
Complete Works, Volume 1, pages 434 to 439 (in French)
July 11th, 1847

Frédéric Bastiat was an admirer of Charles Comte and gives us here some reflexions about the eulogy made by Mr. François Mignet on May 30th, 1846 at the Academy of moral and political Sciences.

Apart from the fact that Charles Comte was a highly respected man, what this article hints at is that his weakness could be found in his writing skills. Frédéric Bastiat is forgiving him this weakness by insisting on the intellectual integrity of the man which, in his quest for truth, will lead him to write in a simplest possible way in order to avoid misleading the reader or himself through seductive formulations that could mask the ideas that are presented.

For someone like me who does not have the literary skills of Frédéric Bastiat, it is a sweet music to the ear to think that such a weakness is not unacceptable and that the content of what is written is more important than the way it is written. However, I am not totally convinced this is really the case!

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