According to a popular anecdote, Scottish poet Thomas Campbell (1777-1844) once asked to give a toast at a dinner with fellow authors. The toast, which was met with anger and disbelief, was for Napoleon Bonaparte. A tribute to Britain’s enemy at wartime was nothing short of an outrage. As the table’s objections increased in volume, Campbell interrupted to defend himself.
“Gentleman”, he said, “you must not mistake me. I admit that the French Emperor is a tyrant. I admit that he is a monster. I admit that he is the sworn foe of our nation, and, if you will, of the whole human race. But, gentlemen, we must be just to our great enemy. We must not forget that he once shot a publisher.”
The speech was met with thunderous laughter.
The publisher Campbell referred to was a Bavarian bookseller from Nuremberg, Johann Philipp Palm. Palm was arrested in 1806 after allegedly publishing an anti-French pamphlet in Augsburg entitled Deutschland in seiner tiefen Erniedrigung. The author of the pamphlet is unknown, but the French, assisted by Bavarian authorities, traced the sold copies back to Palm. Berthier, who was stationed in Munich, received orders from Napoleon to have anyone involved in the distributions of the tracts ”led before a military court and shot within twenty-four hours.” The letter is worth quoting at length:
Mon cousin, I imagine that you have had arrested the booksellers of Augsburg and Nuremberg. My wish is that they be brought before a military committee and shot within twenty-four hours [of arrival before committee]. It is no ordinary crime to propagate libels in areas where there are French troops stationed with the sole intention of exciting the inhabitants against them: it is a crime of high treason. The sentence will carry that, wherever the army may be, and the duty of its commander in chief being to watch over its safety, the individuals concerned, having been convicted of attempting to incite uprising amongst the residents of the Swabian region against the French army, are condemned to death. It is in this way that the sentence will be carried out. You will give the culprits over to a division, and you will name seven colonels to judge them. 
Palm was arrested on the 14th of August, and brought first to Ansbach and subsequently to Braunau where the French had a garrison. There he was tried by an Extraordinary Military Commission consisting of seven French colonels with Latrille, colonel of the 46th Line, presiding. In the absence of his attorney, Palm was found guilty of treason, together with four other booksellers. While the others were ultimately released on the mercy of the Bavarian King, Maximilian I, Palm was executed by a French firing squad on August 26th.
Why did Campbell know about the unfortunate bookseller’s fate? The execution of Palm didn’t go unnoticed in Europe, and it was used as yet another example of Napoleon’s tyranny. Some even compared to the infamous execution of the aristocrat duc d’Enghien in 1804. There is now a statue raised of Palm in Braunau, and by many he is considered a significant figure in the development of German national romanticism.
More details about the incident here.