Credit by using such underhand methods in his attack on his master, and had not taken sufficient care to conciliate public opinion when he reconstructed the government.
For the two ealdormen whom he delighted to honor and placed at the head of his armies, ~lfric and Eadric Streona, are accused, the one of persistent cowardice, the other of underhand intrigue with the Danes.
But the manner of the peacemaking, which had been carried on by a series of underhand conspiracies with the enemy instead of by open conferences with the allies, and was characterized throughout by a violation of the most solemn international assurances, left a deep and lasting stain upon the national honour and credit; and not less dishonourable was the abandonment of the Catalans by the treaty.
Even as the minister of a constitutional monarch his intolerance of interference or joint authority, his temper at once imperious and intriguing, his inveterate inclination towards brigue, that is to say, underhand rivalry and caballing for power and place, showed themselves unfavourably; and his constant tendency to inflame the aggressive and chauvinist spirit of his country neglected fact, was not based on any just estimate of the relative power and interests of France, and led his country more than once to the verge of a great calamity.
The discovery of what seemed an underhand intrigue on the part of France produced upon the powers exactly the effect that Thiers had foreseen and deprecated.
No sort of espionage is attempted, no effort made to penetrate privacy; no claim to pry into the secret actions of law-abiding persons is or would be tolerated; the agents of authority must not seek information by underhand or unworthy means.