SELECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI >  VOL. IV - SELECTED LETTERS > SECTION ONE : SELECTED LETTERS > To Count Leo Tolstoy
05. To Count Leo Tolstoy
Westminster Palace Hotel,
4, Victoria Street,
London, W.C.,
10-11-1909
DEAR SIR,
I beg to tender my thanks for your registered letter in connection with the letter addressed to a Hindu, and with the matters that I dealt with in my letter to you.
Having heard about your failing health I refrained, in order to save you the trouble from sending an acknowledgement, knowing that a written expression of my thanks was a superfluous formality; but Mr Aylmer Maude whom I have now been able to meet reassured me that you are keeping good health indeed and that unfailingly and regularly you attend to your correspon¬dence every morning. It was very gladsome news to me and it encourages me to write to you further about matters which are, I know, of the greatest importance according to your teaching.
I beg to send you herewith a copy of a book written by a friend—an Englishman—who is at present in South Africa, in connection with my life, in so far it has a bearing on the struggle with which I am so connected and to which my life is dedicated. As I am very anxious to engage your active interest and sympathy I thought that it would not be considered by you as out of the way for me to send you the book.
In my opinion, this struggle of the Indians in the Transvaal is the greatest of modern times, inasmuch as it has been idealized both as to the goal as also to the methods adopted to reach the goal. I am not aware of a struggle in which the participators are not to derive any personal advantage at the end of it and in which 50 per cent of the persons affected have undergone great suffering and trial for the sake of a principle. It has not been possible for me to advertise the struggle as much as I should like. You command, possibly, the widest public today If you are satisfied as to the facts you will find set forth in Mr Doke's book, and if you consider that the conclusions I have arrived at are justified by the facts, may I ask you to use your influence in any manner you think fit to popularize the movement? If it succeeds, it will be not only as a triumph of religion, love and truth over irreligion, hatred, and falsehood but it is highly likely to serve as an example to the millions in India and to people in other parts of the world, who may be down-trodden and will certainly go a great way towards breaking up the party of violence, at least in India. If we hold out to the end, as I think we would, I entertain not the slightest doubt as to its ultimate success and your encouragement in the way suggested by you can only strengthen us in our resolve.
The negotiations that are going on for a settlement of the question have practically fallen through, and together with my colleagues I return to South Africa this week and invite imprisonment. I may add that my son has happily joined me in the struggle and is now undergoing imprisonment with hard labour for six months. This is his fourth imprisonment in the course of the struggle.
If you would be so good as to reply to this letter, may I ask you to address your reply to me at Johannes¬burg, S.A., Box 6522.
Hoping that this will find you in good health,
I remain,
Your obedient servant,
M. K. Gandhi

Tolstoy & Gandhi, pp. 64-66