His main defect was unscrupulousness: he hesitated at nothing necessary to accomplish an object, and the conviction of his untrustworthiness gradually alienated his associates, and left him politically powerless.
An energy which never slackened, a doggedness which no adversity could crush, a fiery ambition coupled with the coolest calculation, and a diplomatic unscrupulousness which looked always to the end and never to the means, these were the salient qualities of the reconstructor of the dismembered Danish state.
At the same time a new enemy arose in the Illyrian pirate fleets, which outdid them in unscrupulousness and violence.
His successes were won not only by military and political ability, but also by the most absolute unscrupulousness, neither flagrant perjury nor the basest treachery being disdained.
Even the great Tribonian labours under the reproach of corruption, while the fact that Justinian maintained John of Cappadocia in power long after his greed, his unscrupulousness, and the excesses of his private life had excited the anger of the whole empire, reflects little credit on his own principles of government and sense of duty to his subjects.
He was still full of plans and new ideas, always with the same end in view; and for this reason, in spite of his various enterprises, which were sometimes ridiculous, sometimes unpleasant in their consequences, and his unscrupulousness as to the men and means he employed, he always had a kind of greatness.