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- Self-Reliance. A man must think for himself, must follow his own convictions. George MacDonald says: “A man cannot have another man’s ideas any more than he can another man’s soul or another man’s body.” Self-trust is the foundation of successful effort.
- Judgment. That equipoise, that nice adjustment of the faculties one to the other, which is called good judgment, is an essential to the speculator.
- Courage. That is, confidence to act on the decisions of the mind. In speculation there is value in Mirabeau’s dictum: “Be bold, still be bold; always be bold.”
- Prudence. The power of measuring the danger, together with a certain alertness and watchfulness, is very important. There should be a balance of these two, Prudence and Courage; Prudence in contemplation, Courage in execution. Lord Bacon says: “In meditation all dangers should be seen; in execution one, unless very formidable.” Connected with these qualities, properly an outgrowth of them, is a third, viz: promptness. The mind convinced, the act should follow. In the words of Macbeth; “Henceforth the very firstlings of my heart shall be the firstlings of my hand.” Think, act, promptly.
- Pliability the ability to change an opinion, the power of revision. “He who observes,” says Emerson, “and observes again, is always formidable.”