Charles Emmanuel achieved a great reputation as a statesman and warrior, and increased the prestige of Savoy, but he was too shifty and ingenious, and his schemes ended in disaster.
He was repeatedly employed on embassies to the Low Countries, and was for a long time stationed at Calais as agent in the shifty negotiations carried on by Wolsey with the court of France.
Napoleon thought him a " shifty Byzantine," and called him the Talma of the North, as ready to play any conspicuous part.
Bruce, previously so shifty, had never wavered or turned back since he smote the Red Comyn at Dumfries.
The more loyal William Douglas, in 1353, slew his kinsman, the shifty Knight of Liddesdale, on the braes of Yarrow, and a fragment of one of the oldest Scottish ballads deplores his fall.
In 1881, he was appointed minister of the interior on the understanding that he would carry out a nationalist, reactionary policy, but his shifty ways and his administrative incapacity so displeased his imperial master that he was dismissed in the following year.
The English intrigue was undoubtedly a serious matter, because the shifty Charles II.