Pierre Hyaeinthe Azais, a French philosopher, born in Sorreze, Languedoc, March 1,1766, died in Paris, Jan. 22, 1845. He was educated at the Benedictine college of Sorreze, where his father was teacher of music, and at the college of the Oratorians at Toulouse, and afterward became secretary to the bishop of Oleron, but lost this position on refusing to take orders. He was at first a partisan of the revolution, but having published a pamphlet against its excesses, he was condemned to transportation. He found a refuge, however, in the hospital of the sisters of charity at Tarbes, where he served as sec-retary and bookkeeper. There he wrote his "Discourses of the Soul with the Creator," and his "Religious Inspirations, or the Elevation of the Soul to the Spirit of God." In these works he first put forth his ideas of eternal justice, and the natural and necessary balance of good and evil in the universe and in the destinies of men. After remaining 18 months concealed in this hospital, he retired to Saint-Sauveur, at the foot of the Pyrenees, and there wrote his book on the "Misfortunes and the Happiness of Life." Here he remained six years, engaged in writing his philosophical "System of Compensations," the best known of his works.
He then went to Paris, married the widow of an officer, and was appointed professor of geography in the military school of Saint-Cyr. This office he resigned when the school was removed to La Fleche, and was afterward appointed inspector of bookselling at Avignon, where he published his great work, Le systeme universel (2 vols. 8vo, 1812). The following year he went to Nancy in the same capacity, and commenced a work on the destiny of man. At the downfall of Napoleon he lost his place, and retired again to Paris, where he lived some time in poverty; but his friends at length obtained for him a pension. He lectured publicly at the Athenee Royal in Paris, and attracted large audiences; and in 1827-'8 he held conferences in his garden in the suburbs of Paris, which were attended by the elite of both sexes. In 1826 he published his Explication universelle; in 1829, Principe de morale et de politique; in 1833, Cours d'explication universelle; in 1834, Idee precise de la verite premiere; in 1835, De la vraie medecine, and De la vraie morale; in 1836, Physiologie du Men et du mal, for which the French academy awarded a prize of 5,000 francs; in 1839, De la phrenologie, du ma-gnetisme et de la folie; in 1840, La constitution de Vunivers et Vexplication generale des mouvements politiques, for which the academy awarded another prize of 2,000 francs.