While still duke of Brabant he had been the first to call the attention of the Belgians to the need of enlarging their horizon beyond sea, and after his accession to the throne he gave the first impulse towards the development of this idea by founding in 1876 the Association Internationale Africaine.
In the course of his wanderings he met Alexander the Great, and, according to Plutarch (Alexander, cap. 62), encouraged him to invade the Ganges kingdom by enlarging on the extreme unpopularity of the reigning monarch.
There is reason, as Macalister thinks, to believe that it is the result of a gradual development, beginning with two small pillars, and gradually enlarging by later additions.
A modern parallel to the spread of Bantu speech is found in the rise of the Hausa language, which is gradually enlarging its sphere of influence in the western and central Sudan.
He filled his treasury with spoils harshly wrung from all classes; thus inaugurating the monarchys long and patient labors at enlarging the crown lands bit by bit through taxes on private property.