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  • Print publication year: 1993
  • Online publication date: January 2010

10 - Years of Success and Confrontation, 1830–1838


Ever since [your separation from Saint-Simon], tell me, have you been happy? … There is no joy for the isolated man; there is for him only hatred and bitterness. … Everything is hollow to him; the universe is an immense emptiness. To fill it, he vainly inflates his personality; the pride with which he fills himself oppresses and suffocates him. An acrid disdain blends into his words and runs under his pen. … Because he separates himself from everyone, he believes that everyone rejects him, that everyone is his enemy. Your enemy, Sir, we [the Saint-Simonians] are not, and we would like to be your friends because we know that there is in you a power to do great things for the progress of humanity.

Michel Chevalier to Comte, 1832


At the end of 1829, Comte decided he needed to expand his ideas and spread them more effectively. On December 16, 1829, less than two weeks after beginning his course at the Athénée, he made an agreement with Rouen frères to publish the original seventy-two lessons. (Rouen frères put out the Journal des sciences et institutions médicales.) According to the contract, two lessons would appear each week in the form of a cahier, when bound together, the cahiers were to constitute four volumes.