About this time a Prussian corps began to be formed in Silesia, under the denomination of the Corps of Revenge. It was composed of volunteers, who bound themselves by an oath not to lay down their arms till Germany had recovered her independence. On the occupation of Leipzig by the allies, this corps received a great accession of strength from that place, where it joined by the greater number of the students at the university, and by the most respectable young men of the city, and other parts of Saxony. The people of Leipzig moreover availed themselves of every opportunity to make subscriptions for the allied troops, and large sums were raised on these occasions. Their mortification was sufficiently obvious when the French, after the battle of Luetzen, again entered the city. Those who had so lately welcomed the Russians and Prussians with the loudest acclamations now turned their backs on their pretended friends; nay, such was the general aversion, that many strove to get out of the way, that they might not see them.
This antipathy was well known to Bonaparte by means of his spies, who were concealed in the town, and he took care to resent it. When, among others, the deputies of the city of Leipzig, M. Frege, aulic counsellor, M. Dufour, and Dr. Gross, waited upon him after the battle of Luetzen, he expressed himself in the following terms respecting the corps of revenge: Je sais bien que c’est chez vous qu’on a forme ce corps de vengeance, mais qui enfin n’est qu’une policonnerie qui n’a ete bon a rien. It was on this occasion also that the deputies received from the imperial ruffian one of those insults which are so common with him, and which might indeed be naturally expected from such an upstart; for, when they assured him of the submission of the city, he dismissed them with these remarkable words: Allez vous en! than which nothing more contemptuous could be addressed to the meanest beggar.
It was merely to shew his displeasure at the Anti-Gallican sentiments of the city, that Napoleon, after his entrance into Dresden, declared Leipzig in a state of siege; in consequence of which the inhabitants were obliged to furnish gratuitously all the requisitions that he thought fit to demand. In this way the town, in a very short time, was plundered of immense sums, exclusively of the expense of the hospitals, the maintenance of which alone consumed upwards of 30,000 dollars per week. During this state of things the French, from the highest to the lowest, seemed to think themselves justified in wreaking upon the inhabitants the displeasure of their emperor; each therefore, after the example of his master, was a petty tyrant, whose licentiousness knew no bounds.