Page:Malabari, Behramji M. - Gujarat and the Gujaratis (1882).djvu/12

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viii
PREFACE.

will buy with you, sell with you, talk with you, and so following; but I will not eat with you, drink with you, nor pray with you." It has been said that the way to an Englishman's heart is through his stomach: well, the people of India cannot penetrate to English hearts that way. Caste sits before every Indian door and forbids the European to enter. The very shadow of a European pollutes the food of a Brahman; and though an Indian may enter a European's house of prayer, the sacred places of the Hindu may not be profaned by the European footstep.

The story of Indian domestic and social life can be set forth only by the pens of Indians themselves, and these pens have many restraints upon them. Pages, therefore, such as these which are here presented to the English public, deserve to be welcomed. The author possesses a remarkable knowledge of the English language, and combines with it an amount of candour and freedom from bigotry which is rarely to be met with anywhere. In these sketches of Indian life will be seen the struggles which clever and ambitious Indians, who have but a meagre patrimony, must undergo, first to educate, and then to support themselves. Here, too, will be seen