Before leaving this city, the Emperor rendered a decree which was received with inexpressible enthusiasm, and added much to the regret which his Majesty’s departure caused the inhabitants of Venice. The department of the Adriatic, of which Venice was the chief city, was enlarged in all its maritime coasts, from the town of Aquila as far as Adria. The decree ordered, moreover, that the port should be repaired, the canals deepened and cleaned, the great wall of Palestrina of which I have spoken above, and the jetties in front of it, extended and maintained; that a canal of communication between the arsenal of Venice and the Pass of Mala-Mocco should be dug; and finally that this passage itself should be cleared and deepened sufficiently for vessels of the line of seventy-four tons burthen to pass in and out.
Other articles related to benevolent establishments, the administration of which was given to a kind of council called the Congregation of Charities, and the cession to the city from the royal domain of the island of Saint Christopher, to be used as a general cemetery; for until then here, as in the rest of Italy, they had the pernicious custom of interring the dead in churches. Finally the decree ordered the adoption of a new mode of lighting the beautiful square of Saint Mark, the construction of new quays, gateways, etc.
When we left Venice the Emperor was conducted to the shore by a crowd of the population fully as numerous as that which welcomed his arrival. Trevise, Undine, and Mantua rivaled each other in their eagerness to receive his Majesty in a becoming manner. King Joseph had left the Emperor to return to Naples; but Prince Murat and the vice-king accompanied his Majesty.
The Emperor stopped only two or three days at Milan, and continued his journey. On reaching the plains of Marengo, he found there the entire population of Alexandria awaiting him, and was received by the light of thousands of torches. We passed through Turin without stopping, and on the 30th of December again descended Mont Cenis, and on the evening of the 1st of January arrived at the Tuileries.