The Swiss of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries have been compared with good reason to the Romans of the early Republic. In the Swiss, as in the Roman character, we find the most intense patriotism combined with a complete lack of chivalrous feeling or magnanimity, and a certain meanness and pettiness of conception which prevent us from sympathising with either race—however great its achievements. In both, the steadiest courage and the fervour of the noblest self-sacrifice were combined with an appalling ferocity, and a cynical disregard for the rights of all neighbours. Among each the warlike pride, generated by successful wars of independence, led ere long to wars of conquest and plunder. As enemies both were distinguished for their deliberate and cold-blooded cruelty. The resolution to give no quarter, which appears almost pardonable in patriots defending their own native soil, becomes brutal when retained in wars of aggression, but reaches a climax of disgusting inhumanity where the slayer is a mere mercenary, fighting for a cause in which he has no national interest. Repulsive as was the callous blood-thirstiness of the soldiers of Sulla or Caesar, it was less in moral guilt than the needless ferocity displayed by the hired Swiss soldiery on many a battlefield of the sixteenth century. 1