He first vindicates the claims of his own age to literary pre-eminence, and then seeks to stimulate the younger writers of the day to what he regarded as the manlier forms of poetry, and especially to the tragic drama, which seemed for a short time to give promise of an artistic revival.
While Gotz inaugurated the manlier side of the Sturm and Drang literature, Werther was responsible for its sentimental excesses.
In 450 Theodosius II., the incapable emperor of the East, died, and his throne was occupied by a veteran soldier named Marcian, who answered the insulting message of Attila in a manlier tone than his predecessor.
Had Petrarch been possessed with a passion for some commanding principle in politics, morality or science, instead of with the thirst for selfglorification and the ideal of artistic culture, it is not wholly impossible that Italian humanism might have assumed a manlier and more conscientious tone.
But manlier counsels prevailed, the struggle was resumed, and after the bloody victory of Puck (September 17, 1462) the scales of fortune inclined decisively to the side of Poland.