By K Weitzmann
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Extra resources for Age of Spirituality: A Symposium
1000, was awarded to Casparus Barlaeus for the book he wrote on the occa sion of the entry into Amsterdam of Maria de Medicis (1638). The description of all the festivities — in Latin, which made it fit for use all over the world — sang Amsterdam's glory in particular, and had been commissioned by the municipality. Still, it would be going too far to suggest that authors were systematically used by the authorities as copywriters in well-organized propaganda campaigns. Their contributions were too incidental for that and also, I think, grew more out of their own feelings of civic pride than out of a desire to please the government.
For most authors, however, writing verse was an honorable way to spend one's leisure time. This holds also for a very successful writer like Jacob Cats. His works were printed in numbers that would still be attractive to many a modern Dutch writer. Still, there is no indication whatsoever that Cats ever made money by writing poetry. This would probably not have been considered honorable for a man in his position. The same point of view is still taken at the end of the eighteenth century by the lawyer-poet Bilderdijk.
It brought him, apart from the foreign title, several estates and fine mansions. A still higher post was attained by the popular poet Jacob Cats. During the first Stadtholderless period he was invested for a short time with the office of Grand Pensionary of the States General, the highest office in the Repub lic. Another high official was Johan de Brune, famous for his Emblemata (1624) with its beautiful illustrations of Dutch daily life; he held the post of Pensionary of the States of Zeeland.
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