Samuel Smiles

Samuel
Smiles
1812
1904

Engish Biographer, Author and Reformer

Author Quotes

Lost wealth may be replaced by industry, lost knowledge by study, lost health by temperance or medicine, but lost time is gone forever.

To be worth anything, character must be capable of standing firm upon its feet in the world of daily work, temptation, and trial.

Though an inheritance of acres may be bequeathed, an inheritance of knowledge and wisdom cannot. The wealthy man may pay others for doing his work for him, but it is impossible to get his thinking done for him by another, or to purchase any kind of self-culture.

Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their author’s mind, ages ago.

We each day dig our graves with our teeth.

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.

It is not ease but effort, not facility, but difficulty, that makes men. There is, perhaps, no station in life in which difficulties have not to be encountered and overcome before any decided measure of success can be achieved.

It is the close observation of little things which is the secret of success in business, in art, in science, and in every pursuit in life. Human knowledge is but an accumulation of small facts, made by successive generations of men, the little bits of knowledge and experience carefully treasured up and growing at length into a mighty pyramid.

National progress is the sum of individual industry, energy, and uprightness, as national decay is of individual idleness, selfishness, and vice.

No sweat, no sweet.

The great lesson of biography is to show what man can be and do at his best. A noble life put fairly on record acts like an inspiration to others.

There are words that strike even harder than blows.

The great and good do not die even in this world. Embalmed in books, their spirits walk abroad. The book is a living voice. It is an intellect to which one still listens.

The great highroad of human welfare lies along the old highway of steadfast well-doing; and they who are the most persistent, and the work in the truest spirit, will invariably be the most successful; success treads on the heels of every right effort.

"Knowledge is power," but... knowledge of itself, unless wisely directed, might merely make bad men more dangerous.

Good character is human nature in its best form. It is moral order embodied in the individual. Men of character are not only the conscience of society, but in every well governed state they are its best motive power; for it is moral qualities which, in the main, rule the world.

He who recognizes no higher logic than that of the shilling may become a very rich man, and yet remain a very poor creature, for riches are no proof of moral worth, and their glitter often serves only to draw attention to the worthlessness of their possessor, as the glowworm's light reveals the grub.

Steady employment... keeps one out of mischief, for truly an idle brain is the devil's workshop.

The crown and glory of life is character. It is the noblest possession of a man, constituting a rank in itself, and estate in the general good will; dignifying every station, and exacting every position in society. It exercises a greater power than wealth and secures all the honor without the jealousies of fame. It carries with it an influence which always tells; for it is the result of proved honor, rectitude and consistency - qualities which, perhaps more than any others, command the general confidence and respect of mankind.

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 vigor and strength. Help from without is often enfeebling in its effects, but help from within invariably invigorates.

Although genius always commands admiration, character most secures respect. The former is more the product of the brain, the latter of heart-power; and in the long run it is the heart that rules in life.

To be worth anything, character must be capable of standing firm upon its feet in the world of daily work, temptation, and trial; and able to bear the wear and tear of actual life. Cloistered virtues do not count for much.

Childhood is like a mirror, which reflects in after life the images first presented to it.

To think we are able is almost to be so; to determine upon attainment is frequently attainment itself; earnest resolution has often seemed to have about it almost a savor of omnipotence.

Commonplace though it may appear, this doing of one’s duty embodies the highest ideal of life and character. There may be nothing heroic about it; but the common lot of men is not heroic.

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

Engish Biographer, Author and Reformer