The relative strength of bodies of troops can never be known to anyone.
The toxicity or relative strength of the cobra venom has been calculated to be sixteen times that of the European viper.
During the month that the French troops were pillaging in Moscow and the Russian troops were quietly encamped at Tarutino, a change had taken place in the relative strength of the two armies--both in spirit and in number--as a result of which the superiority had passed to the Russian side.
These signs were: Lauriston's mission; the abundance of provisions at Tarutino; the reports coming in from all sides of the inactivity and disorder of the French; the flow of recruits to our regiments; the fine weather; the long rest the Russian soldiers had enjoyed, and the impatience to do what they had been assembled for, which usually shows itself in an army that has been resting; curiosity as to what the French army, so long lost sight of, was doing; the boldness with which our outposts now scouted close up to the French stationed at Tarutino; the news of easy successes gained by peasants and guerrilla troops over the French, the envy aroused by this; the desire for revenge that lay in the heart of every Russian as long as the French were in Moscow, and (above all) a dim consciousness in every soldier's mind that the relative strength of the armies had changed and that the advantage was now on our side.
The conception of the standard of life involves also some estimate of the efforts and sacrifices people are prepared to make to obtain it; of their ideals and character; of the relative strength of the different motives which usually determine their conduct.
The cause of Servetus was taken up by Calvin's Genevan foes headed by Philibert Berthelier, and became a test of the relative strength of the rival forces and of the permanence of Calvin's control.
These embassies were the school in which Machiavelli formed his political opinions, and gathered views regarding the state of Europe and the relative strength of nations.
This was the beginning of a determined struggle for supremacy, carried on for many years, between the different classes of citizens, locally termed ordini or monti - the lower classes striving to grasp the reins of government, the higher classes already in office striving to keep all power in their own hands, or to divide it in proportion to the relative strength of each monte.
In the matter of the estimation of their relative strength the main grievance of the Nonconformists is that the law classes as members of the Church of England that enormous floating population which is really conscious of no ecclesiastical allegiance at all.