If you now take into the account the state of the city in a financial point of view, you may judge how dreadful its condition in general must have been. In no town is a better provision made for the indigent than in Leipzig. Here were poor-houses, under most judicious regulations, where food, fire, and lodging, were afforded. These buildings were converted into hospitals, their inmates were obliged to turn out, and at length the necessitous were deprived of their scanty allowance—the funds were exhausted, and no fresh supplies received. The citizen sunk under the weight of his burdens; it was impossible to lay any new ones upon him. Among the different sources of income enjoyed by the city, the author knows of one which at each of the two principal fairs commonly produced 4000 dollars; whereas the receipts from it at the late Michaelmas fair fell short of 100 dollars. All the other branches of revenue, whether belonging to the king or to the city, fared no better.
Such was the state of a city, which a few years since might justly be numbered among the most opulent in Germany, and whose resources appeared inexhaustible. It may be considered as the heart of all Saxony, on account of the manifold channels for trade, manufactures, and industry, which here meet as in one common centre. Hence the commerce of Saxony extends to every part of the globe. With the credit of Leipzig, that of all Saxony could not fail to be in a great measure destroyed. Had this state of things continued a little longer, absolute ruin would probably have ensued, as the total suspension of trade would certainly have occasioned the removal of all the yet remaining monied men. So low, however, the city was not destined to fall. The fatal blow already impended over Leipzig, which was on the point of being reduced to a heap of ashes. Black storm-clouds gathered thick around it; but they passed off; and a new sun, the cheering hope of better times, burst forth. Large bodies of troops are yet within our walls; and they are a heavy burden to the impoverished inhabitants, under their present circumstances. We shall, however, be relieved of some part of it, on the reduction of the fortresses upon the Elbe, which the enemy may yet defend for some time, though without any other prospect than that of final surrender, and of wielding for the last time his desolating arms on the shores of that river. Symptoms of reviving trade and commerce begin at least to appear. The gates are no longer beset with the Argus eyes of French inspectors. The patient indeed, brought as he has been to the very gates of death, is yet extremely weak, and requires the aid of crutches. Long will it be before he is free from pain, but his recovery is sure: he has quitted the close sick room, and is now consigned to better care, to the hands of Prudence and Philanthropy, who are acquainted with his condition, and will infallibly restore him to his former health and vigour.