The "half lion, half fox," as his enemies called him, the "Don Juan of politics" (Mommsen), the man who carried out a policy of "blood and iron" with a grim humour, amused himself in his last days with actors and actresses, with dabbling in poetry, and completing the Memoirs (commentarii, inropviigara) of his eventful life (see H.
Thus obliged to assume the unpleasant role of tutor when delicate flattery was often most needful, the minister lectured and cajoled his master, always, until towards the last, giving credit to the king for his own successes, and overawing opposition by his imperious presence even when Louis was dabbling in plots against him (as in the case of Cinq Mars) behind his back.
He occupied part of his time in dabbling in literature, science and various trifling arts, but gave himself up chiefly to excess and debauchery.
For some hasty words, amplified by the doubtful evidence of treacherous retainers,, ,~t together with a foolish charge of dabbling with astro~t~e ~n logers, the heir of the royal line ~ Thomas of Woodstock duke of had been tried and executed with scandalous haste.
Early in the morning I worked barefooted, dabbling like a plastic artist in the dewy and crumbling sand, but later in the day the sun blistered my feet.