Marie Jean Antoine Nicolas Caritat Condorcet, marquis de, a French savant, born at Ribemont, near St. Quentin, Sept. 17,1743, died at Bourg-la-Reine, March 28, 1794. He received his education at the college de Navarre, and being introduced at the age of 19 to the court of Louis XV., his strict morality and earnest love of science kept him pure from the pernicious influences of that dangerous region. His essay Sur le calcul integral and some similar writings were rewarded by his election, at the age of 26, to the academy of sciences, of which in 1777 he was elected secretary. His ingenuity in handling the most difficult mathematical problems was equalled by his versatility. In 1777 a premium was awarded to him by the Berlin academy of science for his theory of comets. An intimate friend of Turgot, Condorcet made himself familiar with the systems of political economy; at the same time he became an active contributor to the Encyclopedic of Diderot and D'Alembert. He was a zealous advocate of the cause of the American colonies, and of the gradual emancipation of negro slaves, to be preceded, however, by their education. The French revolution found him, although belonging to the higher ranks of nobility and a friend of the duke de Rochefoucauld, among the defenders of the popular cause.

To his fame as a mathematician he now added that of a political writer. The boldness of thought which had distinguished his scientific researches characterized his political pamphlets and speeches. While in his Feuille villageoise he explained the fundamental principles of politics and public economy in plain and lucid language, adapted to the understanding of the masses, he rivalled the best orators of his time in his speeches as a member of the legislative assembly. The speech in which, after the attempted escape of the king, he represented monarchy as an anti-social institution, was admired as a model of eloquence and conclusive argument. He was elected secretary, and in 1792 president of the legislative assembly. The address of the French people to the nations of Europe on the abolition of monarchy was written by Condorcet. As a member of the national convention, he sided with the Girondists or moderate republicans. When the king was impeached by the convention, Condorcet voted for the severest penalty short of capital punishment, the total abolition of which he had always advocated. To him was intrusted the work of preparing a new constitution, but the downfall of the Girondists (May 31, 1793) prevented its completion.

Nothing daunted by the reign of terror, he energetically denounced the extreme measures adopted by the committee of public safety. Indicted as an accomplice of Brissot (Oct. 3), he retired from public notice to save his life, and was in consequence declared an outlaw. For months he was secreted by Mine. Yernet. During that time he wrote his Esquisse d'un tableau historique des progres de l'esprit hu-main, and the Epitre d'un Polonais exile en Siberie a sa femme. When by a stray newspaper he learned that all who sheltered outlaws were to forfeit their own lives, he left his asylum in spite of the entreaties of Mme. Ver-net, fled from Paris in disguise, and wandered about for some time until starvation compelled him to ask for food in an inn at Clamart (March 27, 1794). Here he met with a member of the local revolutionary tribunal, who had him arrested and committed on suspicion without even knowing his name. The next morning he was found in his prison a corpse. The general opinion is that he voluntarily put an end to his life by a dose of poison which he had carried with him for some time.

His complete works have been edited by Garat and Cabanis (22 vols., Paris, 1804). After the establishment of the republic in 1870, the lycee imperial received the name of the lycee Condorcet. - His wife, Marie Louise Sophie de, a sister of Marshal Grouchy and Mme. Cabanis, took a lively interest in his philosophical researches, and wrote herself some works which are not without merit. She also translated into French Adam Smith's "Theory of Moral Sentiments " (Paris, 1798). She was born in 1765, and died Sept. 6, 1822.