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CONDOR—CONDORCET

houses still remain, but to the east the town is bordered by pleasant promenades. The Gothic church of St Pierre, its chief building, was erected from 1506 to 1521, and was till 1790 a cathedral. The interior, which is without aisles or transept, is surrounded by lateral chapels. On the south is a beautifully sculptured portal. An adjoining cloister of the 16th century is occupied by the hôtel de ville. The former episcopal palace with its graceful Gothic chapel is used as a law-court. The sub-prefecture, a tribunal of first instance, and a communal college, are among the public institutions. Brandy-distilling, wood-sawing, iron-founding and the manufacture of stills are among the industries. The town is a centre for the sale of Armagnac brandy and has commerce in grain and flour, much of which is river-borne.

Condom (Condomus) was founded in the 8th century, but in 840 was sacked and burnt by the Normans. A monastery built here c. 900 by the wife of Sancho of Gascony was soon destroyed by fire, but in 1011 was rebuilt, by Hugh, bishop of Agen. Round this abbey the town grew up, and in 1317 was made into an episcopal see by Pope John XXII. The line of bishops, which included Bossuet (1668–1671), came to an end in 1790 when the see was suppressed. Condom was, during the middle ages, a fortress of considerable strength. During the Hundred Years’ War, after several unsuccessful attempts, it was finally captured and held by the English. In 1569 it was sacked by the Huguenots under Gabriel, count of Montgomery.

A list of monographs, &c., on the abbey, see and town of Condom is given s.v. in U. Chevalier, Répertoire des sources. Topobibliogr. (Montbéliard, 1894–1899).


CONDOR (Sarcorhamphus gryphus), an American vulture, and almost the largest of existing birds of flight, although by no means attaining the dimensions attributed to it by early writers. It usually measures about 4 ft. from the point of the beak to the extremity of the tail, and 9 ft. between the tips of its wings, while it is probable that the expanse of wing never exceeds 12 ft. The head and neck are destitute of feathers, and the former, which is much flattened above, is in the male crowned with a caruncle or comb, while the skin of the latter in the same sex lies in folds, forming a wattle. The adult plumage is of a uniform black, with the exception of a frill of white feathers nearly surrounding the base of the neck, and certain wing feathers which, especially in the male, have large patches of white. The middle toe is greatly elongated, and the hinder one but slightly developed, while the talons of all the toes are comparatively straight and blunt, and are thus of little use as organs of prehension. The female, contrary to the usual rule among birds of prey, is smaller than the male.

The condor is a native of South America, where it is confined to the region of the Andes, from the Straits of Magellan to 4° north latitude,—the largest examples, it is said, being found about the volcano of Cayambi, situated on the equator. It is often seen on the shores of the Pacific, especially during the rainy season, but its favourite haunts for roosting and breeding are at elevations of 10,000 to 16,000 ft. There, during the months of February and March, on inaccessible ledges of rock, it deposits two white eggs, from 3 to 4 in. in length, its nest consisting merely of a few sticks placed around the eggs. The period of incubation lasts for seven weeks, and the young are covered with a whitish down until almost as large as their parents. They are unable to fly till nearly two years old, and continue for a considerable time after taking wing to roost and hunt with their parents. The white ruff on the neck, and the similarly coloured feathers of the wing, do not appear until the completion of the first moulting. By preference the condor feeds on carrion, but it does not hesitate to attack sheep, goats and deer, and for this reason it is hunted down by the shepherds, who, it is said, train their dogs to look up and bark at the condors as they fly overhead. They are exceedingly voracious, a single condor of moderate size having been known, according to Orton, to devour a calf, a sheep and a dog in a single week. When thus gorged with food, they are exceedingly stupid, and may then be readily caught. For this purpose a horse or mule is killed, and the carcase surrounded with palisades to which the condors are soon attracted by the prospect of food, for the weight of evidence seems to favour the opinion that those vultures owe their knowledge of the presence of carrion more to sight than to scent. Having feasted themselves to excess, they are set upon by the hunters with sticks, and being unable, owing to the want of space within the pen, to take the run without which they are unable to rise on wing, they are readily killed or captured. They sleep during the greater part of the day, searching for food in the clearer light of morning and evening. They are remarkably heavy sleepers, and are readily captured by the inhabitants ascending the trees on which they roost, and noosing them before they awaken. Great numbers of condors are thus taken alive, and these, in certain districts, are employed in a variety of bull-fighting. They are exceedingly tenacious of life, and can exist, it is said, without food for over forty days. Although the favourite haunts of the condor are at the level of perpetual snow, yet it rises to a much greater height, Humboldt having observed it flying over Chimborazo at a height of over 23,000 ft. On wing the movements of the condor, as it wheels in majestic circles, are remarkably graceful. The birds flap their wings on rising from the ground, but after attaining a moderate elevation they seem to sail on the air, Charles Darwin having watched them for half an hour without once observing a flap of their wings.


CONDORCET, MARIE JEAN ANTOINE NICOLAS CARITAT, Marquis de (1743–1794), French mathematician, philosopher and Revolutionist, was born at Ribemont, in Picardy, on the 17th of September 1743. He descended from the ancient family of Caritat, who took their title from Condorcet, near Nyons in Dauphiné, where they were long settled. His father dying while he was very young, his mother, a very devout woman, had him educated at the Jesuit College in Reims and at the College of Navarre in Paris, where he displayed the most varied mental activity. His first public distinctions were gained in mathematics. At the age of sixteen his performances in analysis gained the praise of D’Alembert and A. C. Clairaut, and at the age of twenty-two he wrote a treatise on the integral calculus which obtained warm approbation from competent judges. With his many-sided intellect and richly-endowed emotional nature, however, it was impossible for him to be a specialist, and least of all a specialist in mathematics. Philosophy and literature attracted him, and social work was dearer to him than any form of intellectual exercise. In 1769 he became a member of the Academy of Sciences. His contributions to its memoirs are numerous, and many of them are on the most abstruse and difficult mathematical problems.

Being of a very genial, susceptible and enthusiastic disposition, he was the friend of almost all the distinguished men of his time, and a zealous propagator of the religious and political views then current among the literati of France. D’Alembert, Turgot and Voltaire, for whom he had great affection and veneration, and by whom he was highly respected and esteemed, contributed largely to the formation of his opinions. His Lettre d’un laboureur de Picardie à M. N. . . (Necker) was written under the inspiration of Turgot, in defence of free internal trade in corn. Condorcet

also wrote on the same subject the Réflexions sur le commerce des blés (1776). His Lettre d’un théologien, &c., was attributed to Voltaire, being inspired throughout by the Voltairian anti-clerical spirit. He was induced by D’Alembert to take an active part in the preparation of the Encyclopédie. His Éloges des Académiciens de l’Académie Royale des Sciences morts depuis 1666 jusqu’en 1699 (1773) gained him the reputation of being an eloquent and graceful writer. He was elected to the perpetual secretaryship of the Academy of Sciences in 1777, and to the French Academy in 1782. He was also member of the academies of Turin, St Petersburg, Bologna and Philadelphia. In 1785 he published his Essai sur l’application de l’analyse aux probabilités des décisions prises à la pluralité des voix,—a remarkable work which has a distinguished place in the history of the doctrine of probability; a second edition, greatly enlarged and completely recast, appeared in 1804 under the title of Éléments du calcul