Machiavelli's strong condemnation of conspiracies may get its edge from his own very recent experience (February 1513), when he had been arrested and tortured for his alleged complicity in the Boscoli conspiracy
If he was right, here was our quiet English house suddenly invaded by a devilish Indian Diamond--bringing after it a conspiracy
of living rogues, set loose on us by the vengeance of a dead man.
I have, believing in infallible success, drawn Porthos into my conspiracy
. He threw himself into it, as you know he would do, with all his strength, without knowing what he was about; and now he is as much compromised as myself - as completely ruined as I am."
"Be on your guard, friend Gryphus; be on your guard as long as you please; my conspiracy
, as well as my person, is entirely at your service."
Fairlie's prejudices might be reasoned away--that the false testimony of the Count and his wife, and all the rest of the false testimony, might be confuted-- that the recognition could not possibly be ascribed to a mistake between Laura and Anne Catherick, or the handwriting be declared by our enemies to be a clever fraud--all these are assumptions which, more or less, set plain probabilities at defiance; but let them pass--and let us ask ourselves what would be the first consequence or the first questions put to Laura herself on the subject of the conspiracy
. We know only too well what the consequence would be, for we know that she has never recovered her memory of what happened to her in London.
They are both lying, and in a conspiracy. So now we have the clear problem.
We are in the presence, therefore, of a deliberate conspiracy upon the part of the two people who heard the gunshot--of the man Barker and of the woman Douglas.
'With this audacious preface, he proceeds to state the conditions on which he will play his part in the conspiracy
, and die (if he does die) worth a thousand pounds.
He was of opinion that the critical condition of this gentleman's health might exercise an important influence on the future progress of the conspiracy
. Any chance of a separation, he remarked, between the housekeeper and her master was, under existing circumstances, a chance which merited the closest investigation.
The sight of this officer recalled Villefort from the third heaven to earth; he composed his face, as we have before described, and said, "I have read the letter, sir, and you have acted rightly in arresting this man; now inform me what you have discovered concerning him and the conspiracy
His instance is, that for the achieving of a desperate conspiracy
, a man should not rest upon the fierceness of any man's nature, or his resolute undertakings; but take such an one, as hath had his hands formerly in blood.
'After various shiftings and delays,' said Nicholas, 'he has been sentenced to be transported for seven years, for being in the unlawful possession of a stolen will; and, after that, he has to suffer the consequence of a conspiracy