Narrative of the Most Remarkable Events Which Occurred In and Near Leipzig eBook

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MEMORIAL

Addressed by the City of LEIPZIG to the independent and benevolent

BRITISH NATION,

In Behalf of the Inhabitants of the adjacent Villages and Hamlets, who have been reduced to extreme Distress by the Military Operations in October, 1813.

The prosperity of Leipzig depends upon commerce, as that of commerce depends upon liberty.  Till 1806 it was a flourishing city.  With England in particular, whose manufactures and colonial produce were allowed to be freely imported, its commercial relations were of the highest importance.  For the opulence which Leipzig then enjoyed it was indebted to its extensive traffic, which contributed to the prosperity of Saxony in general; but it was more particularly the numerous adjacent villages and hamlets that owed to our city their respectability, their improvements, and the easy circumstances of their inhabitants.

The well-known events in October, 1806, rendered Saxony—­the then happy Saxony—­dependent on the will of Napoleon.  Commerce, and the liberty of trade, were annihilated as by magic.  A new code was enforced, and Leipzig was severely punished for the traffic which it had heretofore carried on with England and which had been encouraged by its sovereign, as for a heinous crime.  Since that catastrophe Saxony had suffered severely, its prosperity had greatly declined, and our city in particular had, in addition to the general burdens, the most grievous oppressions of every kind to endure.  How often did Leipzig resemble a military parade or hospital rather than a commercial city!  How many pledges of our affection were snatched from us by the contagious fever spread among us by means of the hospitals!—­But with the spring of the present year, with the season which usually fills every tender heart with delight, commenced the most melancholy epoch for our country, as it became the theatre of a war which laid it waste without mercy, and of the most sanguinary engagements.  After all the hardships which it had suffered, a lot still more severe awaited Leipzig and its vicinity.

From the commencement of October last the French troops here kept daily increasing, as did also their sick and wounded in a most alarming manner.  On the 14th Napoleon arrived with his army in our neighbourhood, and the different corps of the allied powers advanced on all sides.  On the 15th commenced all round us a great, a holy conflict, for the liberation and independence of Germany, for the peace of Europe, for the repose of the world—­a conflict which, after an engagement of three days, that can scarcely be paralleled in history for obstinacy and duration, and at last extended to our city itself, terminated on the 19th of October, through the superior talents of the generals and the valour of their troops, which

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Narrative of the Most Remarkable Events Which Occurred In and Near Leipzig from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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