He had been accused of vanity and ostentation in his office, but his reputation for ability and integrity as a judge was high even with his enemies.
" I am not conscious," says he, " of having ever bought a book from a motive of ostentation; every volume, before it was deposited on the shelf, was either read or sufficiently examined "; he also mentions that he soon adopted the tolerating maxim of the elder Pliny, that no book is ever so bad as to be absolutely good for nothing.
His greed and ostentation were equalled by his incapacity, and he behaved with characteristic insolence to the foreign ambassadors, from whom he extorted large bribes.
In the hands of the crown; and the personal example of lavish ostentation and loose morals which the cardinal-archbishop exhibited cannot have been without influence on the king, who grew to maturity under Wolsey's guidance.
His library of 70,000 volumes was one of his forms of ostentation, and so was his gallery of pictures.