(The). A decree made by Napoleon I., dated “Milan, Dec. 27, 1807,” declaring “the whole British Empire 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.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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