Evaluation of people (1934)

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Let us start with the most sublime. Only history serves us as a guide.

Let us distribute people on grounds of their value, starting from the top.

 Love of a few, hate of many and indifference of the majority. Their destiny is, having done their duty, to die young due to the high and mighties. A cross, a guillotine, gallows, a bullet, all sorts of torture – that is their fate. They leave neither wives, nor offspring (Giordano Bruno).

 Hundreds and thousands of years pass, and fame of the tortured grows, their influence continues after their death. It yields majestic beneficent results. Humankind raise them to the rank of gods.

 Some of the despised, persecuted, arrested, sentenced to penal servitude, but nevertheless dying a natural death. Their dignity grows from the day of their death and reaches a high value many centuries after (Hamilton, Kepler).

 And here are genii of a bit lower rank. They are not killed, not tortured to death, but forgotten. Their works are rejected, or decay in cellars. Hundreds of years after their death they are accidentally unveiled. Dignity of a forgotten genius is restored. It also increases with centuries. Leave no offspring (Mendel).

 And here is the fourth level of extraordinary people. These obtain some fame at the end of life. Youth spent in pain, frustration, poverty, in prisons. But they die a natural death, although deprivation, exhaustion, humiliation and hunger significantly shorten their lives. Leave no offspring. Examples: Kepler, Copernicus, Galileo, Mendeleev, Lamarck. Their fame is much greater after death. It grows from century to century.

 We also have people who reach success in middle age. They endure a lot as well, but glory and correct assessment come earlier. They are comforted and rewarded with it, although in old age. Often they reach wealth and power by the end of life. Their lineage continues rarely.

 At the sixth level of outstanding people we see the following: quick success in youth, honor and wealth. Their works are highly valued after death as well, but do not live for hundreds of years. Offspring, if any, is miserable.

 The seventh level: loud practical success, career, conquests, throne. Highly praised only while alive. Estimation is ambivalent. After death, it falls and reaches negative value.

 The eighth level: slight success; deeds are useful, though moderate. Forgotten after death. Leave offspring.

 The ninth level: illusory success. Glory of a writer, inventor, artist, scientist. But, alas, they are still alive when contemporaries are disappointed in them. These unhappy ones outlive their fame. They are soap-bubbles.