The downfall of the town was accelerated by the illiberal policy of its patrician rulers; and the French Revolution reduced it to such a degree that in 1796 it offered itself and its territories to the king of Prussia on condition that he would pay its debts.
Not there, nor in any similar institution at that illiberal time, perhaps, was a Jewish boy likely to make a fortunate entry into "the great family of mankind."
His intellect, indeed, was not incapable of understanding and admiring the majestic edifice of Roman law; but he shrank with disgust from the illiberal technicalities of practice.
With this double ideal in view, Petrarch poured scorn upon the French physicians and the Italian Averroists for their illiberal philistinism, no less than for their materialistic impiety.
By their illiberal spirit, which sought but temporary commercial advantage in connexion with the Eastern trade, the Dutch authorities themselves, although generally humanely disposed towards the natives, created the system which caused their oppression and extermination."