Now, the object of a bull is to raise the price of shares in order to sell them afterwards at a profit. He selects a certain share or shares which he thinks will be the most suitable for his purpose, and he accordingly purchases big lines of them, without any intention, of course, of taking them up. This demand for the shares generally causes them to appreciate in price, and when we see the prices go up we rejoice. But, as I have said, he has not bought them to look at. They are not taken off the market and put by, and, therefore, some day they will be sold, and this selling will depress prices. Thus, after all, the bull may not be such a friend to us as we think. He may serve our turn for a time, but if we don't know the moment when to take advantage of it, he may be the cause of bringing great loss upon us, and thus be a curse instead of a blessing.

For instance, he selects Belle Vues. The shares are undoubtedly a market favourite, the mine appears to be developing most promisingly, it is becoming richer in depth, the monthly returns, therefore, are likely to increase, with the prospect of bigger dividends to the shareholders. So he buys them and the price goes up. At the next settlement he is paid his differences, or his profits. He bulls them for the next settlement, but during the following account the bears make a raid upon them, in the manner I have described. Or there comes bad news from the mine, and he is scared. He sees inevitable loss staring him in the face, and therefore he sells at the best price he can get, before they go lower. Thus, his selling helps further to weaken the price and to scare others, who cannot see into all the complexities of the situation. Some bulls, of course, may still hold on, if it is only a bear raid, in the certainty that the bears will be defeated, that they will eventually be compelled to cover, and that this covering will strengthen the market. But these are experienced bulls, speculators who can see further than the ends of their noses, and not those 'weak-kneed' bulls who, as the market article states, are an element of weakness to the market. As a rule, however, there are more weak-kneed bulls than strong-kneed bulls, and this is a factor that must not be left out of our calculations.

Like the bear, the bull always, or mostly always, gives a reason for his buying. He must be a good inventor and a clever liar. He hears on very good authority that the mine is opening up splendidly, that a new reef has been cut going 5 oz. to the ton, and that the directors are only waiting for more assured proof before communicating the news to the shareholders. So this is good enough for the shareholders and the speculators for the rise, and everybody is a buyer of Belle Vues. Bears may spread the rumour that the news is not true, but in the excitement this is not listened to. The directors are in no hurry to contradict the rumour. They are rather pleased to see the price go to such heights, for they can sell out themselves at a big profit, and buy again at lower prices. They do not contradict it, perhaps, for a week or so afterwards, when they have made their profits, for it is necessary that the price should now go down in order that they might buy in again. So they publish a statement saying that they have been in communication with their manager respecting the reported discovery, etc., but he cables to the effect that no such rich lode has been struck, though he adds that developments continue to be most promising. Of course, everybody is disappointed. We see that the price will go down on this news, and so we sell. Those who happened to buy, say, a day or two before, sell out at a loss, whilst we ourselves have missed the profit which we were just holding out our hands to take. These bull tactics have, therefore, been a cause of loss to us, when we were fully confident that they would be a cause of gain. I hope, therefore, after this explanation of what a bull or a bear is, and how their tactics affect the market, it will bring about a change in the ordinary man's conception of them. He has hitherto conceived the bears to be those people who sell, without troubling to find out what their object is, viz., to buy again, that they merely make prices go down in order to make them go up again. If the bear sells, and yet does not depress prices, he cannot keep on paying his differences for ever. He will be compelled ultimately to buy those shares to cover himself, as it were, and, therefore, if there is a big bear account open and bulls know this, the knowledge strengthens the market, for those bears will have to be purchasers by-and-by. This explains, therefore, the meaning of the phrase 'The market is supported by the existence of a big bear account.'

On the other hand, a bull account may be a source of weakness to the market. The ordinary man conceives the bull to be the speculator who makes prices go up. He buys in the hope that the price will go up; but he may hold on for weeks, paying his differences and his rates at the settlements, and if he finds at last that they actually go down instead of up, he has to sell at a loss, and this selling naturally helps further to depress the price.

Thus, we hear of 'cornered bears' and 'stale bulls.' Bears are cornered when there is a rig on. They sell certain shares which are in the hands of a few persons, and those persons hold, knowing that the bears will eventually have to go to them for the shares. Thus, they can send the price up as they please, and the bears will have to pay it when they have to cover. The most experienced speculators have often been caught in this way, as lately in the case of Le Roi No. 2 and we shall see repetitions of it as long as the Stock Exchange exists. Stale bulls, therefore, are those who have held on too long, and have been obliged to sell at last, at a loss, hence the meaning of the phrase 'The market is depressed by the existence of a big - or a stale - bull account.'