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SAMUEL SMILES
Scottish author, biographer and social reformer
(1812 - 1904)
  Displaying page 1 of 3    Next Page >> 

"A fig-tree looking on a fig-tree becometh fruitful," says the Arabian proverb. And so it is with children; their first great instructor is example.
      - [Children]

A woman's best qualities do not reside in her intellect, but in her affections. She gives refreshment by her sympathies, rather than by her knowledge.
      - [Women]

Alexander the Great valued learning so highly, that he used to say he was more indebted to Aristotle for giving him knowledge than to his father Philip for life.
      - [Intellect]

All that is great in man comes through work; and civilization is its product.
      - [Occupations]

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.
      - [Character]

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 action, for their own and, the world's good.
      - [Biography]

Cheerfulness is also an excellent wearing quality. It has been called the bright weather of the heart.
      - [Cheerfulness]

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

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 as not heroic.
      - [Duty]

Conscience is that peculiar faculty of the soul which may be called the religious instinct.
      - [Conscience]

Courage is by no means incompatible with tenderness. On the contrary, gentleness and tenderness have been found to characterize the men, no less than the women, who have done the most courageous deeds.
      - [Tenderness]

Diligence, above all, is the mother of good luck.
      - [Diligence]

Dr. Johnson held that "impatience of study was the mental disease of the present generation;" and the remark is still applicable. We may not believe that there is a royal road to learning, but we seem to believe very firmly in a "popular" one.
      - [Study]

Experience serves to prove that the worth and strength of a state depend far less upon the form of its institutions than upon the character of its men; for the nation is only the aggregate of individual conditions, and civilization itself is but a question of personal, improvement.
      - [Individuality]

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, hardworking, and intent men--their chief characteristic apparently consisting simply in their power of laboring more intensely and effectively than others.
      - [Genius]

Good sense, disciplined by experience and inspired by goodness, issues in practical wisdom.
      - [Common Sense]

Great men are always exceptional men; and greatness itself is but comparative. Indeed, the range of most men in life is so limited that very few have the opportunity of being great.
      - [Greatness]

He who recognizes no higher logic than that of the shilling may become a very rich man, and yet remain all the while an exceedingly poor creature; for riches are no proof whatever of moral worth, and their glitter often serves only to draw attention to the worthlessness of their possessor, as the glow-worm's light reveals the grub.
      - [Riches]

Help from without is often enfeebling in its effects, but help from within invariably invigorates.
      - [Self-reliance]

His qualities depend, not upon fashion or manners, but upon moral worth; not on personal possessions, but on personal qualities. The Psalmist briefly describes him as one "that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart."
      - [Gentlemen]

Home makes the man.
      - [Home]

Honorable industry always travels the same road with enjoyment and duty, and progress is altogether impossible without it.
      - [Industry]

Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey toward it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us.
      - [Hope]

If you have great talents, industry will improve them; if you have but moderate abilities, industry will supply their deficiencies.
      - [Industry]

It is a mistake to suppose that men succeed through success; they much oftener succeed through failure.
      - [Success]


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