Mahomet made the people believe that he would call a hill to him, and from the top of it offer up his prayers for the observers of the Law. The people assembled; Mahomet called the hill to come to him again and again; and when the hill stood still, he was never a whit abashed, but said, If the hill will not come to Mahomet, Mahomet will go to the hill.
Francis Bacon (1561–1626), British philosopher, essayist, statesman. Essays, "Of Boldness," (1597-1625).
Referring to a tradition relating to Muhammad. "So," Bacon explained, "these men, when they have promised great matters, and failed most shamefully (yet if they have the perfection of boldness), they will but slight it over, and make a turn, and no more ado." This is the first appearance of the proverb in English.