Of his first wife he still had two brothers-in-law, who were very daring. Hetto—that is, heat—the youngest, he sent as messenger to Kattaburgt, which lies far in the Saxsenmarken. Friso gave him to take seven horses, besides his own, laden with precious things stolen by the sea-rovers. With each horse there were two young sea-rovers and two young horsemen, clad in rich garments, and with money in their purses. In the same way as he sent Hetto to Kattaburgt, he sent Bruno that is, brown—the other brother-in-law, to Mannagarda oord. Mannagarda oord was written Mannagarda ford in the earlier part of this book, but that is wrong. All the riches that they took with them were given away, according to circumstances, to princes, princesses, and chosen young girls. When his young men went to the tavern to dance with the young people there, they ordered baskets of spice, gingerbread, and tuns of the best beer. After these messengers he let his young people constantly go over to the Saxsenmarken, always with money in their purses and presents to give away, and they spent money carelessly in the taverns. When the Saxsen youths looked with envy at this they smiled, and said, If you dare go and fight the common enemy you would be able to give much richer presents to your brides, and live much more princely. Both the brothers-in-law of Friso had married daughters of the chief princes, and afterwards the Saxsen youths and girls came in whole troops to the Flymeer.
The burgtmaidens and old maidens who still remembered their greatness did not hold with Friso's object, and therefore they said no good of him; but Friso, more cunning than they, let them chatter, but the younger maidens he led to his side with golden fingers. They said everywhere, For a long time we have had no mother, but that comes from our being fit to take care of ourselves. At present it suits us best to have a king to win back our lands that we have lost through the imprudence of our mothers.
Further they said, Every child of Frya has permission to let his voice be heard before the choice of a prince is decided; but if it comes to that, that you choose a king, then also we will have our say. From all that we can see, Wr-alda has appointed Friso for it, for he has brought him here in a wonderful way. Friso knows the tricks of the Gauls, whose language he speaks; he can therefore watch against their craftiness. Then there is something else to keep the eye upon. What count could be chosen as king without the others being jealous of him? All such nonsense the young maidens talked; but the old maidens, though few in number, tapped their advice out of another cask. They said always and to every one: Friso does like the spiders. At night he spreads his webs in all directions, and in the day he catches in them all his unsuspecting friends. Friso says he cannot suffer any priests or foreign princes, but we say that he cannot suffer anybody but himself; therefore he will not allow the citadel of Stevie to be rebuilt; therefore he will not have the mother again. To-day Friso is your counsellor, to-morrow he will be your king, in order to have full power over you. Among the people there now existed two parties. The old and the poor wished to have the mother again, but the young and the warlike wished for a father and a king. The first called themselves mother's sons, the others father's sons, but the mother's sons did not count for much; because there were many ships to build, there was a good time for all kinds of workmen. Moreover, the sea-rovers brought all sorts of treasures, with which the maidens were pleased, the girls were pleased, and their relations and friends.
When Friso had been nearly forty years at Staveren he died 1. Owing to him many of the states had been joined together again, but that we were the better for it I am not prepared to certify. Of all the counts that preceded him there was none so renowned as Friso; for, as I said before, the young maidens spoke in his praise, while the old maidens did all in their power to make him hateful to everybody. Although the old women could not prevent his meddling, they made so much fuss that he died without becoming king.