Royal Tea

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi shuffled over the rose-&-yellow carpets of London’s swank Grosvenor House last week to a luncheon in his honor by the old Fruitarian Society. While St. Gandhi slowly chomped grapes and baked apples, Dr. Josiah Oldfield, presiding Fruitarian, spoke:

“I am proud to say that the only point on which we of the Fruitarian Society disagree with Mr. Gandhi is that Mr. Gandhi will not eat eggs, because they contain life.” Ovarian-Fruitarians applauded.

Back at his quarters in Kingsley Hall, St. Gandhi was invited to eat again—this time at Buckingham Palace at a tea party for the delegates to the Indian Round Table Conference. Blinking at the lower right hand corner of the invitation where was engraved the phrase Morning Dress, St. Gandhi announced:

“I will wear my habitual dress of loin cloth, shawl and sandals. If the King prescribes European dress I will be obliged to decline the royal invitation. It must be remembered I am a humble servant of India’s impoverished millions and must dress as they dress—nothing more and nothing less. As a matter of fact the King’s invitation is unconditional.”

Time Magazine, November 9, 1931