The only security which he had for the safety of his dominions in his absence was that his most dangerous neighbor, the king of France, was also setting out on the Crusade, and that his brother John, whose shifty and treacherous character gave sure promise of trouble, enjoyed a well-merited unpopularity both in England and in the continental dominions of the crown.
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.
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.
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.
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.