The two brothers were enthusiastic imperialists, and with persistent courage they upheld the cause of their sovereign during his two absences in Italy.
This is 490,251 higher than the actual population, 32,475,253, ascertained by the census of the 10th of February 1901; the difference is due to temporary absences from their residences of certain individuals on military service, &c., who probably were counted twice, and also to the fact that 469,020 individuals were returned as absent from Italy, while only 61,606 foreigners were in Italy at the date of the census.
The stadholder's authority and popularity continued unimpaired, despite of his frequent absences in England.
But the extension of properties in the hands of the patricians, and the continued absences of citizens required by the expanding system of conquest, necessarily brought with them a demand for slave labour, which was increasingly supplied by captives taken in war.
Subsequently he devoted himself wholly to the reformation of his diocese, which had fallen into a most unsatisfactory condition owing to the prolonged absences of its previous archbishops.