The merest suspicion of unorthodox opinions, the possession of foreign newspapers, the wearing of a beard or an anonymous denunciation, sufficed for the arrest and condemnation of a man to years of imprisonment, while the attendibili, or persons under police surveillance liable to imprisonment without trial at any moment, numbered 50,000.
But even such an attempt to systematically plumb the universe can only make us acquainted with the merest inside shell.
Since then more and more territory has been ceded by the sultans of Brunei to the raja of Sarawak and to British North Borneo, and to-day the merest remnant of his once extensive state is left within the jurisdiction of the sultan.
At the same time, one could more easily understand how such a system could have found general acceptance all over the Dravidian region of southern India, with its merest sprinkling of Aryan blood, if it were possible to assume that class arrangements of a similar kind must have already been prevalent amongst the aboriginal tribes prior to the advent of the Aryan.
The notopodium may be rudimentary or absent and the entire parapodium reduced to the merest ridge or even completely unrepresented.
The various title-words of the several articles are often the merest stalkinghorses, under cover of which to shoot at the Bible or the church, the target being now and then shifted to the political institutions of the writer's country, his personal foes, &c., and the whole being largely seasoned with that acute, rather superficial, common-sense, but also commonplace, ethical and social criticism which the 18th century called philosophy.
The church of St Olaf, from which the town took its name, was burned down by the English in 1502; and of the church erected on its site by Bishop Reid - the greatest building the Orkneys ever had - little more than the merest fragment survives.
But Waterloo and the Restoration led to a second and final proscription of his father; and though not himself cashiered, Sadi was purposely told off for the merest drudgeries of his service.
Naturally the probability of such a tradition - the merest hint of which happens to be preserved in Gen.
He did so, and then governed like an evil-disposed boy - indulging the merest animal passions, listening to a small camarilla of low-born favourites, changing his ministers every three months, and acting on the impulse of whims which were sometimes mere buffoonery, but were at times lubricous, or ferocious.
They are, moreover, all of them, the merest abstracts.
The merest pleasurelover may consistently say that he prefers a single glass of good champagne to several bottles of cooking-sherry; the slight but delicate experience of the single glass of good wine may fairly be regarded as preferable to the more massive but coarser experience of the large quantity of bad wine.
But even these vast sets cover but the merest fraction of their subjects.
Forster's pluck in speaking out like this was fully appreciated in England, but it was not till after the revelations connected with the Phoenix Park murders that the dangers he had confronted were properly realized, and it became known that several plans to murder him had only been frustrated by the merest accidents.
But his adventures are the merest nightmares of puerile fancy.
Schools were rare, and teachers qualified only to impart the merest rudiments.
But with hardly any exceptions they had been the merest puppets, now in the hands of Turkish ministers, now under the protection of practically independent dynasts.