her from Flanders to the Gulf of Finland,—renewing Dantzic; carrying colonies to Elbing, Konigsberg, and Memel, to Riga and Reval; stretching into the interior so as to include Gottingen, Erfurt, and Magdeburg, Breslau, and Cracow; having marts alike in London and Novgorod; shaping their constitutions after the great house of merchants of Lubeck, till the consolidated union of nearly eighty cities became the first mari-
Chap. II.} time power in the commercial world.
As in England, Simon de Montfort created a place for the representation of the boroughs in parliament, so free imperial cities had benches in the German diet.
In these republics and other towns, not so directly depending on the empire, was to be found whatever was best in local self-government, in orderly industry, in art and science, in wise financial administration, in tolerant wisdom drawn from the observation of many religions and many lands, in free inquiry and intelligence.
The emperor had sought to unite in