Some of the enthusiasts sank into a sceptical, reactionary frame of mind; while others, with deeper convictions or capable of more lasting excitement, attributed the failure to the fact that only halfmeasures and compromises had been adopted by the government.
The Mainz Commission, though hampered by the jealousy of the governments (the king of Prussia refused to allow his subjects to be haled before it), was none the less effective enough in preventing all free expression of opinion; while at the universities the official curators kept Liberal enthusiasts in order.
In fact the presence of an orgiastic character is as marked a feature in Canaanite religion as the absence of it is in the oldest religion of Israel; but the new Hebrew enthusiasts had at least an external resemblance to the devotees of the Canaanite sanctuaries and this would be enough to determine the choice of a name which in the first instance seems hardly to have been a name of honour.
Even then there were enthusiasts who held him to be a sort of Messiah.
It was with the aid of these youthful enthusiasts that Savonarola arranged the religious carnival of 1496, when the citizens gave their costliest possessions in alms to the poor, and tonsured monks, crowned with flowers, sang lauds and performed wild dances for the glory of God.