This political victory of the aristocracy was merely the consummation of a slow subterranean revolution which by innumerable reiterated blows had sapped the structure of the body politic, and was about to transfer the people of Gaul from the Roman monarchical and administrative government to the sway of the feudal system.
Energy tempered by prudence, ran to waste like its wealth in a suzerainty over turbulent vassals devoid of common government or administration, and was undermined by the same lack of social discipline among its vassals which had sapped the power of the Carolingians.
All vitality had been sapped from the old order of nobles, reduced in prestige by the savonnette a vilains (office purchased to ennoble the holder), enervated by court life, and so robbed of its roots in the soil, from which it had once drawn its strength, that it could no longer live save as a ruinous parasite on the central monarchy.
So you sapped us to keep her from absorbing our power.
A well-nigh ubiquitous system of espionage, perhaps most fruitful when directed against official corruption, sapped the foundations of public confidence.
His energy sapped, the kid was sprawled half asleep across the race car bed.
The establishment of the Hatti at Carchemish not only made them a commercial people and probably sapped their highland vigour, but also brought them into closer proximity to the rising North Semitic power of Assyria, whose advent had been regarded with apprehension by Hattusil II.
Mutual discord first sapped the prosperity of Magna Graecia.
This corruption was fatally apparent in the army, the feudal basis of which was sapped by the confiscation of fiefs for the benefit of nominees of favourites of the harem, and by the intrusion, through the same influences of foreigners and rayahs into the corps of janissaries, of which the discipline became more and more relaxed and the temper increasingly turbulent.
At Erh-Lung on the 20th of November three mines were exploded, which half filled the ditch, and the Japanese later on sapped across to the escarp over the debris.
The engineers sapped up to the ruins of the western work, saw the shelters on the reverse slope and directed artillery fire by telephone.
Another consequence of revived erosion is seen in the occurrence of great landslides, where the removal of weak (Permian) clays has sapped the face of the Vermilion Cliffs (Triassic sandstone), so that huge slices of the cliff face have slid down and forward a mile or two, all shattered into a confused tumult of forms for a score or more of miles along the cliff base.
This weakness was due not to attacks from without - for orthodox Protestantism had long since lost its aggressive force - but to disruptive tendencies within the Church; the Enlightenment of the 18th century had sapped the foundations of the faith among the world of intellect and fashion; the development of Gallicanism and Febronianism threatened to leave the Holy See but a shadowy pre-eminence over a series of national churches, and even to obliterate the frontier line between Catholicism and Protestantism.
Later in the century its power began to be sapped by Macedonia.
But its importance was sapped by the vicinity of Belfast, and its historical associations are now its chief interest.
While Elizabeth nursed prosperity in peace, her subjects sapped the strength of Englands rivals by attacks which were none the less damaging because they escaped the name of war.
Such amalgamations became possible after a time, when many of the local royal lines died out, and unifying influences, of which a common Christianity was the most powerful, sapped the strength of tribal pride.
In any case the strengthening of the royal power gradually sapped the significance of the title, until on the eve of the Revolution it implied no more than high rank and probably territorial wealth.