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Part 3 Chapter 11

A Scheme So Deeply Laid, that it Shames All the Politics of this Our Age; with Digression and Subdigression.

Wild having now, to the hatred he bore Heartfree on account of those injuries he had done him, an additional spur from this injury received (for so it appeared to him, who, no more than the most ignorant, considered how truly he deserved it), applied his utmost industry to accomplish the ruin of one whose very name sounded odious in his ears; when luckily a scheme arose in his imagination which not only promised to effect it securely, but (which pleased him most) by means of the mischief he had already done him; and which would at once load him with the imputation of having committed what he himself had done to him, and would bring on him the severest punishment for a fact of which he was not only innocent, but had already so greatly suffered by. And this was no other than to charge him with having conveyed away his wife, with his most valuable effects, in order to defraud his creditors.

He no sooner started this thought than he immediately resolved on putting it in execution. What remained to consider was only the quomodo, and the person or tool to be employed; for the stage of the world differs from that in Drury-lane principally in this — that whereas, on the latter, the hero or chief figure is almost continually before your eyes, whilst the under-actors are not seen above once in an evening; now, on the former, the hero or great man is always behind the curtain, and seldom or never appears or doth anything in his own person. He doth indeed, in this GRAND DRAMA, rather perform the part of the prompter, and doth instruct the well-drest figures, who are strutting in public on the stage, what to say and do. To say the truth, a puppet-show will illustrate our meaning better, where it is the master of the show (the great man) who dances and moves everything, whether it be the king of Muscovy or whatever other potentate alias puppet which we behold on the stage; but he himself keeps wisely out of sight: for, should he once appear, the whole motion would be at an end. Not that any one is ignorant of his being there, or supposes that the p............

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