1907, Phillips Oppenheim, E. , The Great Secret 

Oppenheim, E. Phillips (1907) The Great Secret (aka. The Secret)

“Diplomacy demanded a victim,” he said, “and I never flinched. Two men knew the truth, and they are dead. My scheme was a bold one. If it had succeeded, it would have meant an alliance with Germany, an absolute incontrovertible alliance and an imperishable peace. France and Russia would have been powerless—the balance of strength, of accessible strength, must always have been with us. Every German statesman of note was with me. The falsehood, the vilely egotistic ambition of one man, chock-full to the lips with personal jealousy, a madman posing as a genius, wrecked all my plans. My life’s work went for nothing. We escaped disaster by a miracle and my name is written in the pages of history as a scheming spy—I who narrowly escaped the greatest diplomatic triumph of all ages. That is the epitome of my career. You believe me?”

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