1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Morellet, André
MORELLET, ANDRÉ (1727–1819), French economist and miscellaneous writer, was born at Lyons on the 7th of March 1727. He was one of the last survivors of the philosophes, and in this character he figures in many memoirs, such as Mme de Rémusat’s. He was educated by the Jesuits in his native town, and at the Sorbonne; he then took holy orders, but his designation of abbé was the chief thing clerical about him. He had a ready and biting wit, and Voltaire called him “L’Abbé Mord-les.” His work was chiefly occasional, and the most notable parts of it were a smart pamphlet in answer to Charles Palissot’s scurrilous play Les Philosophes (which procured him a short sojourn in the Bastille for an alleged libel on Palissot’s patroness, the princesse de Robeck), and a reply to Galiani’s Commerce des blés (1770). Later, he made himself useful in quasi-diplomatic communications with English statesmen, and was pensioned, being, moreover, elected a member of the Academy in 1785. A year before his death in Paris on the 12th of January 1819 he brought out four volumes of Mélanges de littérature et de philosophie du XVIIIᵉ siècle, composed chiefly of selections from his former publications, and after his death appeared his valuable Mémoires sur le XVIIIᵉ siècle et la Révolution (2 vols., 1821).
A bibliography of his numerous works is given in Quérard’s La France littéraire, vol. vi.; see also Sainte-Beuve, Causeries du lundi, vol. i.