, East Lothian
, Scotland, the son of Samuel Smiles of Haddington and Janet Wilson of Dalkeith, Smiles was one of eleven surviving children. The family were strict Cameronian
s, though when Smiles grew up he was not one of them. He left school at the age of 14 and was apprenticed to a doctor, an arrangement that eventually enabled Smiles to study medicine at the University of Edinburgh
. His father died in the cholera epidemic of 1832, but Smiles was enabled to continue with his studies, supported by his mother who kept running the family shop selling hardware, books, etc., firm in the belief that "The Lord will provide".
A place for everything, and everything in its place.
Sow a thought, and you reap an act;Sow an act, and you reap a habit;Sow a habit, and you reap a character;Sow a character, and you reap a destiny.
No laws, however stringent, can make the idle industrious, the thriftless provident, or the drunken sober.
"Heaven helps those who help themselves" is a well tired maxim, embodying in a small compass the results of a 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.
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.
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.
A man who devotes himself to this pursuit, body and soul, can scarcely fail to become rich. Very little brains will do…