xt7qjq0stw34_3500 https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7qjq0stw34/data/mets.xml https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7qjq0stw34/data/1997ms474.dao.xml unknown archival material 1997ms474 English University of Kentucky The physical rights to the materials in this collection are held by the University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.  Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. W. Hugh Peal manuscript collection Memorial texts for Samuel Smiles text 43.94 Cubic Feet 86 boxes, 4 oversize boxes, 22 items Poor-Good Peal accession no. 11453. Memorial texts for Samuel Smiles 2017 https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7qjq0stw34/data/1997ms474/Box_34/Folder_50/Multipage12060.pdf 1904, undated 1904 1904, undated section false xt7qjq0stw34_3500 xt7qjq0stw34 HE LITERARY DIGE






SINCE the publication, some fifty years

ago of “ Self»Ilelp, with Illustrations of
Character and Conduct.” the book has been
translated into nearly a score of languagest
and hundreds of thousands of copies have
been sold. From the commercial point of


view, we are told, it was one of the most re~
markable publishing successes of the nine~
teenth century. The author. Dr. Samuel
Smiles, died in London on April 16, at the ad-
vanced age of ninety—two. His death, states
the New York Old/0017, “will recall to tens
of thousands of readers the profit and incen—
tive to effort that they have received through




his books." “ Duty,” “Thrift.” and “Char~

Author of “Helflflelp,” (me 0f the most ,6 acter.” from the same pen, while less known
markable [)tllJllSlHng‘ successes of the nine- than the famous “Self-Help,” are “aim-any

teenth century.

classified with it. 7716 Oz/I/(m/c claims that
while the sophisticated critic may smile at the truisms and apho—
risms in these books. it is beyond question that they have in a
large way proved an incentive to character—building. We quote
the following brief account of the author's life from the Springfield
Ram/[Miran .-

“ Mr. Smiles was the son of a Scotch country doctor, who died,
leaving his wife with eleven children to educate. He went to the
schools of his native place, Haddington, then to Edinburgh Uni-
versity, where he got his doctor‘s degree; and he practised as a
surgeon for some years. Afterward he was editor of the Leeds
Timer, and later was engaged in railway offices, retiring in 1866 to
give his time to the work by which he is known. He wrote [be-
sides the books already mentioned] ' Lives of the Engineers,” life
of ‘ Thomas Edward, Naturalist ’——who was a cobbler to the end
of his days, but a fellow of the Linnean Society; ‘ Life of Robert
Dick, Baker, of Thurso, Geologist and Botanist’; ‘Life and
Labor, or Characteristics of Men of Culture and Genius"; ‘ Life
of George Moore. Merchant and l’hilanthropist’; an interesting
account of ‘ The Huguenots after the Edict of Nantes,’ and ‘ Life
of john Murray: a Publisher and His Friends.’ He also was a
constant contributor to 77m Qua/1570' Rat/{mu and other period»
icals. The helpful nature of his writings brought all his honors.
France made him Chevalier of Sts. Maurice and Lazare: Servia
made him Knight Commander of St. Sava: his university gave
him the degree of LL.D. The later years of his life were spent in
London. He had a large family. extending to the third genera—
tion. and beyond his ninetieth birthday he was still strong and
took long walks every day.”

Dr. Smiles‘s “Life of John Murray " has been characterized as
one of the most entertaining works of literary reminiscence of our
times. His “ Memoirs," prepared in his later years, await publi—
cation. / g ,,




HE veteran author of “ Self—Help,” now
the doyen of the English literary
world, has much of which to be proud.
That his most famous work has been trans—
lated into every European language, as well
as into languages and dialects of more
remote lands, might not signify much. We
have popular novelists whose writings might
appear in Choctaw or Manchurian without
the fact profoundly impressing us. But that
Dr. Smiles’s writings, and this book in par—
ticular, should have admittedly exercised
and continue to exercise an immense influ-
ence for good not only on the youth of Great
Britain and Greater Britain but over the
young generations of the United States of
America and the disunited States of Europe
—this, indeed, is an unction to lay to the
spirit such as can happen rarely to the
most fortunate of the masters of the pen.
Nor has Dr. Smiles lacked for those dis—
tinguished personal tributes which naturally
mean so much to the recipient. Queen
Victoria, it is known, wished to confer upon
him in some titular form a mark of her high
and sincere respect. Of Prince Bismarck

there is an anecdote that at Homburg (or

some other Spa) he went up to an elderly
gentleman in the belief that he was
addressing the author of “ Self-Help ” and
“ Thrift,” and begged to thank him in the
name of Germany for works of so sterling
and finely formative a character. True,
the Dr. Smiles thus addressed proved to be
a Pennsylvanian vendor of a quack remedy
for gout! However, Bismarck’s compli-
ment stands on record, and doubtless
it duly reached and gratified the person
for whom it was intended. To give one
more instance, the late Cecil Rhodes, on
opening a library in a small town in South
Africa, is reported to have said: “I have
been called an empire—maker. I don’t know
about that. I’m not sure if I quite under-
stand what is meant. But there’s one
thing I know and am sure of, and that is
(and here he lifted Dr. Smiles’s “Self—
Help”) that here we have what is still
better, a flZdIZ—fllt‘l/efl’, a c/zararz’er—Ilza/cer.”
After all this, it would seem commonplace
to add that Dr. Smiles has received many
honourable official distinctions —— among
them probably none more valued than the
degree of LL.D. conferred on him by the
University of Edinburgh exactly a quarter
of a century ago. If he cared, he could
prefix “Sir” to his name; but his friends
will appreciate his reticence the more when


aware that the knighthood is a knight—com—
mandership of the Order of St. Suva, con~
ferred on him by so dubious an admirer as
the late King Milan of Servia. Among the
foreign distinctions borne by the nonage—
narian author who lives so retiredly and
contentedly in a quiet square in Kensington
are the Chevaliership of St. Maurice and
that of St. Lazare.

Samuel Smiles was born ninety—one years
ago at Haddington—almost within the
smell of Edinburgh, as the Lothian folk
say. The boy learned early those lessons
in self—help and thrift which he was
afterwards to commit to generations of
youth all over the world. At his father’s
death he was one of eleven young children
dependent on a mother who for the coming
struggle had but scanty means, derived
from a small business. But Mrs. Smiles
was a woman of strong character, shrewd in
affairs, intelligent in all respects. In a
hundred ways, directly and indirectly, She
inculcated that homely and sane wisdom
of which her son has become the acknow—
ledged exemplar. Young Samuel had
fancy for the painter’s craft, but Mrs.
Smiles urged that he should at least study
for one of the three Care—taker professions
which stand for the glory of this world in
the esteem of most Scottish mothers.

To the Church he did not lean, and had
still less inclination for the Law; so he
chose Medicine. In time he returned to
Haddington, and practised for six years.
But either the folk were too healthy or too
thrifty or misdoubted so young a physician ,'
for even with his lectures on chemistry and
his occasional contributions to the E17771-
[mrg/L Cozzram‘ he found himself no nearer
prosperity. He had (in his twenty—sixth
year) published, at his own expense, a work
on “Physical Education.” It brought neither
financial nor literary award. In his twenty—
seventh year he left his native shire and settled
as a surgeon in Leeds. But more and more
it became evident that the pen and not the
lancet was to be his wageearner. He was
offered the editorship of the Leeds Times,-
accepted, and from that day all went well.
For a time he combined journalistic and
business avocations, for in 1845 he became
Secretary of the Leeds and Thirsk Railway,
and in 1854 (till his retirement in 1866)
Secretary of the South—Eastern Railway.

At Leeds he came to know George
Stephenson, and his first literary success
came with the publication (in 1857) of his



The following pleasant paragraph con-
cerning the late Samuel Smiles, author
of the ”Self Help“ books which have
had an enormous circulation in America,
is rcprii'ited from the London “Chroni-

Dr. Samuel Smiles was one of the most
genial of men. Those who met the au«
thor of "Thrift," expecting to find him a
prig, had a pleasant surprise. He was all
his own surname; was never happier than
at a dinner party; and did not complain.
nor shirk his part, when beauty fell to
his lot in the usual course of diners’ luck.
Holding out success as one of the tests
almost of righteosuness. no other being
easily available for the didactic purposes
of his books, he was, of course, delight-
ed when large profits came to reward his
literary labors. His simplicity remained
with him through all his popularity. just
as his soft and welcoming Haddington
‘ accent clung to him through his long
residence in England. With the gains
that quickly accrued to Dr. Smiles after
the publication of “Selp Help," he built
for himself a substantial house at Black-
heath. There he intended to live and die,
but as years passed and his sons and
daughters dispersed, he decided to sell
the goodly pile of bricks and mortar
which his pen had reared. In order, how—
ever, to mark the fact that the book had
bought the land and built the house, Dr.
Smiles had placed a. copy of "Selp Help"
in the foundations. The feet of strang"
ers now pass unconscious over the cen-
atafih of that buried copy of a still living
boo . . ‘ . /