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To Lala Badri Sah
39 VICTORIA STREET,ÂÂ
21st November, 1896.
DEAR LALAJI, (Lala Badri Sah)
I reach Madras about the 7th of January; after a few days in the plains I intend to come up to Almora.
I have three English friends with me. Two of them, Mr. and Mrs. Sevier, are going to settle in Almora. They are my disciples, you know, and they are going to build the Goliath for me in the Himalayas.Â
It was for that reason I asked you to look for some suitable site. We want a whole hill, with a view of the snow-range, all to ourselves. It would of course take time to fix on the site and complete the building. In the meanwhile will you kindly engage a small bungalow for my friends? The bungalow ought to accommodate three persons. I do not require a large one. A small one would do for the present. My friends will live in this bungalow in Almora and then go about looking for a site and building.
You need not reply to this letter, as before your reply will reach me, I shall be on my way to India. I will write to you from Madras as soon as I reach there.
With love and blessings to you all,
To Misses Mary and Harriet Hale
39 VICTORIA ST., LONDON S.W.,
28th Nov., 1896.
. . . I feel impelled to write a few lines to you before my departure for India. The work in London has been a roaring success. The English are not so bright as the Americans, but once you touch their heart, it is yours for ever. Slowly have I gained, and it is strange that in six months' work altogether I would have a steady class of 120 persons apart from public lectures.
Here every one means work â the practical Englishman. Capt. and Mrs. Sevier and Mr. Goodwin are going to India with me to work and spend their own money on it! There are scores here ready to do the same: men and women of position, ready to give up everything for the idea, once they feel convinced! And last though not the least, the help in the shape of money to start my "work" in India has come and more will follow. My ideas about the English have been revolutionized.
I now understand why the Lord has blessed them above all other races. They are steady, sincere to the backbone, with great depths of feeling â only with a crust of stoicism on the surface; if that is broken, you have your man.
Now I am going to start a centre in Calcutta and another in the Himalayas. The Himalayan one will be an entire hill about 7,000 ft. high â cool in summer, cold in winter. Capt. and Mrs. Sevier will live there, and it will be the centre for European workers, as I do not want to kill them by forcing on them the Indian mode of living and the fiery plains. My plan is to send out numbers of Hindu boys to every civilised country to preach â get men and women from foreign countries to work in India.
This would be a good exchange. After having established the centres, I go about up and down like the gentleman in the book of Job.
Here I must end to catch the mail. Things are opening for me. I am glad, and I know so you are. Now all blessings be yours and all happiness
With eternal love,