The ocean-carrying trade was almost wholly in the hands of foreigners, the government wisely refraining from an attempt to develop an occupation for which its citizens had no natural aptitude.
It is said that at least Bernardo del Nero would have been spared had Savonarola raised his voice, but, although refraining from any active part against the prisoners, the prior would not ask mercy for them.
But the likeness probably goes deeper than superficial resemblance that appeals to the eye, for spiders which distinguish flies from bees by touch and not by sight, treat drone-flies after touching them, not in the fearless way they evince towards bluebottles (Calliphora), but in the cautious manner they display towards bees and wasps, warily refraining from coming to close quarters until their prey is securely enswathed in silk.
He concentrated all his energies on the government and defence of northern and eastern Germany, leaving the southern and western districts to profit by his example, while his policy of refraining from interference in the affairs of the other duchies tended to diminish the ill-feeling which existed between the various German tribes and to bring peace to the country as a whole.
While refraining from making any pronouncement as to the validity of the decrees of the fourth and fifth sessions, which had seemed to proclaim the superiority of the council over the pope, Martin V.