Whilst Russia, Austria, Prussia and France were becoming powerful monarchies with centralized administration, Poland had remained a weak feudal republic with an elected king chosen under foreign influence and fettered by constitutional restrictions.
Thrice Samson scoffingly told her how he might be bound, and thrice he readily broke the bonds with which she had fettered him in his sleep; seven green bow-strings, new ropes, and even the braiding of his hair into the frame of the loom failed to secure him.
Securities were taken against the revolt of slaves by not associating those of the same nationality and language; they were sometimes fettered to prevent flight, and, after a first attempt at escape, branded to facilitate their recovery.
So, the better to repress them, it created in 1369 a chief of the police, with the title of esecutore, and a numerous association of popolani - the company or casata grande of the people - as bulwarks against the nobles, who had been recalled from banishment, and who, though fettered by strict regulations, were now eligible for offices of the state.
"Those in the Hansa," protested Breslau, "are fettered and must decline and those outside the Hansa are free and prosper."
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