Samuel Smiles


Engish Biographer, Author and Reformer

Author Quotes

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. But all play and no work makes him something worse.

Heaven helps those who help themselves is a well-tried maxim, embodying in a small compass the results of vast human experience. The spirit of self-help is the root of all genuine growth in the individual; and, exhibited in the lives of many, it constitutes the true source of national vigour and strength. Help from without is often enfeebling in its effects, but help from within invariably invigorates. Whatever is done for men or classes, to a certain extent takes away the stimulus and necessity of doing for themselves; and where men are subjected to over-guidance and over-government, the inevitable tendency is to render them comparatively helpless.

Man cannot aspire if he looked down; if he rise, he must look up.

Riches do not constitute any claim to distinction. It is only the vulgar who admire riches as riches.

The highest culture is not obtained from the teacher when at school or college, so much as by our ever diligent self-education when we become men.

There is no act, however trivial, but has its train of consequences, as there is no hair so small but it casts its shadow.

An intense anticipation itself transforms possibility into reality; our desires being often but precursors of the things which we are capable of performing.

Home is the first and most important school of character. It is there that every human being receives his best moral training, or his worst; for it is there that he imbibes those principles of conduct which endure through manhood, and cease only with life.

Manners are many benefits, but does not require a fee.

Self-respect is the noblest garment with which a man may clothe himself, - the most elevating feeling with which the mind can be inspired. One of Pythagoras's wisest maxims is that in which lie enjoins the pupil to "reverence himself."

The influence of woman is the same everywhere. Her condition influences the morals, manners, and character of the people of all countries. Where she is debased, society is debased; where she is morally pure and enlightened, society will be proportionately elevated.

They who are the most persistent, and work in the true spirit, will invariably be the most successful.

Any number of depraved units cannot form a great nation.

Hope ... is the companion of power, and the mother of success; for who so hopes has within him the gift of miracles.

Many are the lives of men unwritten, which have nevertheless as powerfully influenced civilization and progress as the more fortunate Great whose names are recorded in biography. Even the humblest person, who sets before his fellows an example of industry, sobriety, and upright honesty of purpose in life, has a present as well as a future influence upon the well-being of his country; for his life and character pass unconsciously into the lives of others, and propagate good example for all time to come. , Self Help; With Illustrations of Conduct and Perseverance

Snobs in high places assume great airs, and are pretentious in all they do, and the higher their elevation, the more conspicuous is the incongruity of their position.

The iron rail proved a magicians' road. It virtually reduced England to a sixth of its size. It brought the country nearer to the town and the town to the country.... It energized punctuality, discipline, and attention; and proved a moral teacher by the influence of example.

To set a lofty example is the richest bequest a man can leave behind him.

As steady application to work is the healthiest training for every individual, so is it the best discipline of a state. Honorable industry alway travels the same road with enjoyment and duty, and progress is altogether impossible without it.

Hope sweetens the memory of experiences well loved. It tempers our troubles to our growth and our strength. It befriends us in the dark hours, excites us in bright ones. It lends promise to the future and purpose to the past. It turns discouragement to determination... It lends promise to the future and purpose to the past. It turns discouragement to determination.

Men cannot be raised in masses as the mountains were in he early geological states of the world. They must be dealt with as units; for it is only by the elevation of individuals that the elevation of the masses can be effectively secured.

Sow a thought and you get an act; Sow an act and you get a habit; Sow a habit and you get a character; Sow a character and you get a destiny. , Happy Homes and the Hearts That Make Them

The knowledge and experience which produce wisdom can only become a man's individual possession and property by his own free action; and it is as futile to expect these without laborious, painstaking effort, as it is to hope to gather a harvest where the seed has not been sown.

We learn wisdom from failure much more than from success. We often discover what will do, by finding out what will not do; and probably he who never made a mistake never made a discovery.

Biographies of great, but especially of good men, are most instructive and useful as helps, guides, and incentives to others. Some of the best are almost equivalent to gospels - teaching high living, high thinking, and energetic actions for their own and the world's good.

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Engish Biographer, Author and Reformer