Page:The Home and the World.djvu/133
what salt they shall eat, what clothes they shall wear. Why should they put up with such tyranny, and why should we let them?'
'But we have taken to Indian salt and sugar and cloth ourselves.'
'You may do as you please to work off your irritation, to keep up your fanaticism. You are well off, you need not mind the cost. The poor do not want to stand in your way, but you insist on their submitting to your compulsion. As it is, every moment of theirs is a life-and-death struggle for a bare living; you cannot even imagine the difference a few pice means to them,—so little have you in common. You have spent your whole past in a superior compartment, and now you come down to use them as tools for the wreaking of your wrath. I call it cowardly.'
They were all old pupils of my master, so they did not venture to be disrespectful, though they were quivering with indignation. They turned to me. 'Will you then be the only one, Maharaja, to put obstacles in the way of what the country would achieve?'
'Who am I, that I should dare do such a thing? Would I not rather lay down my life to help it?'
The M.A. student smiled a crooked smile, as he asked: 'May we enquire what you are actually doing to help?'
'I have imported Indian mill-made yarn and kept it for sale in my Suksar market, and also sent