IT is written in the Acts of Muhammad that “God loves the man who is noble in enterprise.” The Lord holds those men dear whose pursuits are noble; and dignifies with a look of approbation, actions of great intent: and the highest promotion has such a union with great designs, that their separation from each other is impossible.

When the bird of ambition expands her wings,
Honour and success are her nest;
Before the bat of a lofty mind,
The sphere of heaven is the smallest ball.

High enterprises, are the most effectual assistant, and the most faithful ally to princes; and whoever of them has most ambition, will excel the rest in grandeur.

Have a high mind; for with God and mankind,
Thy respectability will be in proportion to thy strength of purpose.

One of the elders of the tribe said to Yākūb-lais, when in his first manhood: “My mind is attentive to thy condi­tion, for at the age to which thou hast arrived, is the season of the violence of lust and the power of desire: make ready a dowry, that I may ask a noble lady for thee from some great family.” Yākūb said, “The bride that I love, her dowry is prepared.” The old man said, “Shew it to me, that I may see what it is; and give me some token of your bride, that I may know who she is.” Yākūb went home and fetched his sword, and said, “I will claim the bride of the kingdoms of the East and the West; and my dower for her is this sword of high temper, this armour-cutting scymitar.”

That man shall fold the bride of dominion to his breast;
Who first pays her dower with the metal of his sword.

And to the same purport is the following well-known couplet:

That man shall quickly fold the bride of empire to his bosom,
Who gives a kiss to the edge of his highly-tempered sword.

They have related, that, in those days when Alexander was intending that he would carry aloft the standard of empire from the confines of Greece, for the purpose of seizing the kingdoms of Arabia and Persia, and that he would set the August stirrup in motion for the design of conquering the land and the ocean of the world—he was thoughtful and sad in mind. Aristotle, the philosopher, who was his minister, when he saw signs of thoughtfulness, and marks of anxiety on the aspect of his condition, and the forehead of his affairs, said, “O king of the world! the means of prosperity are ready and prepared; troops and attendants stand in the station of service and obedience; the treasury is replenished; fortune is arrayed in the quality of continuance; the shrub of prosperity is adorned with the honour of steadfastness; success has tied on the girdle of alliance: while dignity and glory sit at the royal threshold in attendance;—what reason is there for this distraction of thy brilliant mind, and for this disturbance of thy splendid spirit?” Alexander answered thus, “I am considering that the expanse of the world is extremely contemptible, and the extent of the kingdoms of the Seven Climes is very con­tracted: I am ashamed to mount my horse for the sake of this portion of territory, and to set off for the acquisition and conquest of it.

The length and breadth of the Seven Climes would not form a reward for this;
That I, with the design of conquering it, should mount my horse;
If there were a thousand worlds of this kind, it is too little still;
That I, with the design of controul, should set off for those parts.”

Aristotle said, “There is no doubt, that the possession and government of this bit of world is not suitable to thy high ambition, and is not worthy of thy noble desires. Unite the kingdom of eternity with it: that as by the stroke of the world-burning sword, thou bringest this perishable mansion within the limits of seizure, by the blessing of justice enlightening the world, thou mayest also bring the kingdom of eternal happiness into the grasp of a just claim; so that this imperfection may be reconciled with the blessing of that perfection, and this trifle may, by the glory of the other, become great, and receive splendour.

Seek the kingdom of futurity, for it is joyful;
An atom from that kingdom would be a hundred worlds;
Strive, that, in the midst of this abode;
The expanse of that world may come into thy hand.”

Alexander having found consolation upon this discourse, gave excessive praise to the philosopher. And to this day the falcon of the wisdom of each perfect man takes its flight in the atmosphere of the praise of Alexander; for this reason that the phœnix of his ambition did not stoop her head to the bone of the fragments of this world.

Thou, the falcon of the royal wrist, look not upon bones;
Give a lofty flight to the phœnix of thy ambition.