Page:MKGandhi patriot.djvu/79

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64
AN INDIAN PATRIOT

matter, and presents them with an emphasis that carries conviction. I have listened to him often, watching the faces of audience, and while I should not call him an orator, and certainly have met with several of his countrymen whose elocution, natural and unaffected, is far superior to his, I have never met with a more convincing speaker than he. In Gujarati he naturally speaks with greater rapidity than in English, but with even less variation of voice. He never waves his arms, seldom moves a finger, but the force of his own conviction, his mode, sty, and his logic carries his hearers with him. Few can withstand the charm of his personality. I have known his bitterest opponents silenced and made courteous by the power of his own courtesy. The impression that he leaves with all who debate with him is one of invariable and beautiful courtesy. They recognise that they have met a gentleman.

These qualities must have told greatly in India, and the reports of his meetings indicate that all classes of people were deeply moved. The sense of the wrongs under which British Indians were suffering in South Africa stirred them with intense feeling, as it does yet more to-day. Unfortunately, while the interest was at its height, Reuter cabled to