ulus Gellius_, which he wrote to _Aristotle_, upon hearing that he had published those lectures he had given him in private. This letter was written in the following words, at a time when he was in the height of his Persian conquests.
5. "ALEXANDER to ARISTOTLE, Greeting.
"You have not done well to publish your books of select knowledge; for what is there now in which I can surpass others, if those things which I have been instructed in are communicated to every body? For my own part I declare to you, I would rather excel others in knowledge than power. Farewell."
6. We see by this letter, that the love of conquest was but the second ambition in _Alexander_'s soul. Knowledge is indeed that, which, next to virtue, truly and essentially raises one man above another. It finishes one half of the human soul. It makes being pleasant to us, fills the mind with entertaining views, and administers to it a perpetual series of gratifications.
It gives ease to solitude, and gracefulness to retirement. It fills a public station with suitable abilities, and adds a lustre to those who are in possession of them.
7. Learning, by which I mean all useful knowledge, whether speculative or practical, is in popular and mixed governments the natural source of wealth and honor. If we look into most of the reigns from the conquest, we shall find, that the favorites of each reign have been those who have raised themselves. The greatest men are generally the growth of that particular age in which they flourish.
8. A superior capacity for business and a more extensive knowledge, are the steps by which a new man often mounts to favor, and outshines the rest of his cotemporaries. But when men are actually born to titles, it is almost impossible that they should fail of receiving an additional greatness, if they take care to accomplish themselves for it.
9. The story of _Solomon_'s choice, does not only instruct us in that point of history, but furnishes out a very fine moral to us, name