splendid campaigns and successful sieges, his court became Tune des plus polies'.1 Small wonder that the Stadtholder became king in the eyes of the people. In this respect the newspapers of the time are very Ulustrative. These papers, so conspicuously scanty of news apart from what concerned war and battlefield, become verbose as to matters relating to the Stadtholder and his family. Just as in court news today, the proceedings of 'the illustrious Prince of Orange' are minutely described. All events of any importance in the princery family are made known circumstantially, such as the birth and baptism of a prince, the granting of the order of the Garter to the Prince, etc. Everything goes to prove that in the eyes of the people, the Stadtholder ranked much higher than the States.2 Vondel expressed this popular feeling in an elaborate poem Geboortklock van Willem van Nassau (Birthday Chimes of William of Nassau), written in honour of the birth of the young namesake of the great and beloved Prince William I. Throughout the poem the child and parents are spoken of as the peers of sovereign kings. Very remarkable in this respect is also what Aitzema in his History of Af fairs of State and War > says of the attitude of the people and the Government at the death of Frederick Henry (1647). In the States General some of the members proposed and urgently maintained that the funeral should be officially attended by a triumphal car, adorned so as to symbolize the many victories of the great Prince. The majority of the Assembly, however, objected to the proceeding, as it would be flattery, just as some objected to the way in which some clergymen referred to the Stadtholder's death in their sermons, 'as if he had been the Sovereign of the country'.
Thanks to Frederick Henry's wisdom and tact, his 'high office more and more acquired a monarchical and dynastie character',4 and in course of time a marriage was thought of between the young children Mary, the daughter of Charles I. of England, and the future William II. These negotiations, ultimately successful, introduced an element into Dutch political life which had far-reaching consequences, From the very beginning Frederick Henry seems to have pledged himself to support the English King in his impending conflict with his subjects 5 Thus the House of Orange became the defenders of
1 Blok, op. cit. p. 543 — a Fruin. Verspreide Geschriften, III, p. 356 — 3 See for Aitzema p. 17ff. — 4 Baroness Suzette van Zuylen van Nyevelt — Court Life in the Dutch Republic, London, 1906, p. 18, where Blok (IV, p. 318) is quoted — 5 ibid. p. 45.