The few ideas that stirred in his immense head would then be expounded with such clarity, examined so thoroughly, and applied to so many new situations every day, that they became part of him, of his limbs, his character. I was quite lacking in such ideas, and I hung on to him, to enrich myself.
He soon became aware of my admiration and repaid it with a friendship that immediately struck me as paternal. Can he have known at once how things were to end?
He was more than willing to instruct me, and in my notebook he actually wrote in his own hand the three commandments he considered sufficient to make any firm prosper:
1. There’s no need for a man to know how to work, but if he doesn’t know how to make others work, he is doomed. 2. There is only one great regret: not having acted in one’s own best interest. 3. In business, theory is useful, but it can be utilized only after the deal has been made.
I know these and many other axioms by heart, but they were of no help to me.