Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Cats, Jacob, born at Brouwershaven in Zealand in 1577, studied with distinction at the University of Leyden, and having spent some time in France and Italy to learn the language, settled as an advocate at the Hague. A severe attack of tertian fever drove him to seek a change in England, where he learned the language, but did not recover his health. At last, on his return home, a wandering quack gave him a remedy. He now married and settled at Middleburg, devoting himself to farming and poetry. He produced The Emblems of Fancy and Love, Galatea, a pastoral romance, The Mirror of Past and Present, and Marriage, with other works. His simple, flowing style, his genial wisdom and fund of maxims and humorous illustrations, at once gained him popular favour. "Father Cats" is still venerated in Holland, but his antiquated diction prevents his being read. In 1621 his quiet pastoral life was broken up by the opening of the dykes, but he was provided for by a magistracy, and ultimately rose to be Grand Pensionary of Holland. He visited England twice as a political envoy, and was knighted by Charles I. His later works comprise The Nuptial Ring, Eighty-Two Years of My Life, Old Age and Country Life, Coffins for the Living, etc. He died in 1660, and was buried with great honour in the Kloosterkerk at the Hague.