E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Milan Decree (The).
A decree made by Napoleon I., dated Milan, Dec. 27, 1807, declaring the whole British E&mgrave;pire to be in a state of blockade, and forbidding all countries either from trading with Great Britain or from even using an article of British manufacture.
This very absurd decree was killing the goose which laid the golden eggs, for England was the best customer of the very countries thus restricted from dealing with her.