Page:MKGandhi patriot.djvu/71

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56
AN INDIAN PATRIOT

"no room" for him. Everywhere it was the same. The colour-bar was a terrible disadvantage, and experiences like these so disheartened and disgusted him, that, but for his contract with the Indians, he would leave left South Africa at once.

As it was, the contract held him, and the twelve months spent in Pretoria were a distinct gain. He learned self-restraint. Even when the sentry kicked him off the foot-path in front of President Kruger's house, and his European friends wished to test the legality of the act, he refused to retaliate. He learned to bear the insults which attached to his race and colour, until, lot the sake of his people, he almost gloried in them, and, gradually, pride of birth and education gave way before the humility of sacrifice.

During this period, Mr. Gandhi attended Bible classes conducted by a prominent solicitor in Pretoria, and studied the characters of Christian people, with a keenness of vision which they seldom suspected. Having plenty of time, he read widely, "quite eighty" books within this year; among them, Butler's "Analogy," Tolstoi's works, "The Six Systems," by a Jain philosopher, and a great deal of Dr. Parker's "Commentaries" He also read the whole Bible for the first time. When, in his consecutive study, he