Samuel Smiles

Samuel
Smiles
1812
1904

Engish Biographer, Author and Reformer

Author Quotes

A great deal of what passes by the name of patriotism in these days consists of the merest bigotry and narrow-mindedness; exhibiting itself in national prejudice, national conceit, and national hatred. It does not show itself in deeds, but in boastings--in howlings, gesticulations, and shrieking helplessly for help--in flying flags and singing songs--and in perpetual grinding at the hurdy-gurdy of long-dead grievances and long-remedied wrongs. To be infested by such a patriotism as this is perhaps among the greatest curses that can befall any country.

Genius, without work, is certainly a dumb oracle, and it is unquestionably true that the men of the highest genius have invariably been found to be amongst the most plodding, hard-working, and intent men -- their chief characteristic apparently consisting simply in their power of laboring more intensely and effectively than others.

It is natural to admire and revere really great men. They hallow the nation to which they belong, and lift up not only all who live in their time, but those who live after them. Their great example becomes the common heritage of their race; and their great deeds and great thoughts are the most glorious legacies of mankind.

Politeness goes far, yet costs nothing.

The experience gathered from books, though often valuable, is but of the nature of learning; whereas, the experience gained from actual life is of the nature of wisdom; and a small store of the latter is worth vastly more than any stock of the former.

The tiniest bits of opinion sown in the minds of children in private life afterwards issue forth to the world, and become its public opinion; for nations are gathered out of nurseries.

A place for everything, and everything in its place

Good manners, which give color to life, are of greater importance than laws, which are but one of their manifestations. The law touches us here and there, but manners are about us everywhere.

It is possible that the scrupulously honest man may not grow rich so fast as the unscrupulous and dishonest one; but the success will be of a truer kind, earned without fraud or injustice. And even though a man should for a time be unsuccessful, stil

Practical wisdom is only to be learned in the school of experience. Precepts and instruction are useful so far as they go, but, without the discipline of real life, they remain of the nature of theory only.

The first step in debt is like the first step in falsehood, involving the necessity of going on in the same course, debt following debt, as lie follows lie.

The very greatest things - great thoughts, discoveries, inventions - have usually been nurtured in hardship, often pondered over in sorrow, and at length established with difficulty.

All experiences of life seems to prove that the impediments thrown in the way of the human advancement may for the most part be overcome by steady good conduct, honest zeal, activity, perseverance and above all, by a determined resolution to surmount.

He who never made a mistake never made a discovery.

Knowledge conquered by labor becomes a possession - a property entirely our own.

Progress however, of the best kind, is comparatively slow. Great results cannot be achieved at once; and we must be satisfied to advance in life as we walk, step by step.

The government of a nation itself is usually found to be but the reflux of the individuals composing it. The government that is ahead of the people will be inevitably dragged down to their level, as the government that is behind them will in the long run be dragged up.

The wise man... if he would live at peace with others, he will bear and forbear.

All life is a struggle.... Under competition the lazy man is put under the necessity of exerting himself; and if he will not exert himself, he must fall behind. If he do not work, neither shall he eat.

He who resolves upon doing a thing, by that very resolution often scales the barriers to it, and secures its achievement. To think we are able, is almost to be so / to determine upon attainment is frequently attainment itself.

Labor is still, and ever will be, the inevitable price set upon everything which is valuable.

Riches and ease, it is perfectly clear, are not necessary for man's highest culture, else had not the world been so largely indebted in all times to those who have sprung from the humbler ranks. An easy and luxurious existence does not train men to effort or encounter with difficulty; nor does it awaken that consciousness of power which is so necessary for energetic and effective action in life. Indeed, so far from poverty being a misfortune, it may, by vigorous self-help, be converted even into a blessing; rousing a man to that struggle with the world in which, though some may purchase ease by degradation, the right-minded and true-hearted will find strength, confidence, and triumph.

The great leader attracts to himself men of kindred character, drawing them towards him as the loadstone draws iron.

The work of many of the greatest men, inspired by duty, has been done amidst suffering and trial and difficulty. They have struggled against the tide, and reached the shore exhausted.

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

Author Picture
First Name
Samuel
Last Name
Smiles
Birth Date
1812
Death Date
1904
Bio

Engish Biographer, Author and Reformer