Breakfast with the Mayor of London

Oct 02


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On October 1911, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá breakfasted with the Lord Mayor of London at the Mansion House, City of London.

Mansion House today

The Lord Major of London at the time of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s visit was Sir Thomas Vezey Strong (1858- 1920). He was a teetotaler and a temperance advocate. He traded in paper and was the holder of a
number of honours.

 

 
 

Visit to the Lord Mayor
At the express wish of the Lord Mayor, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá paid him a visit early one morning at the Mansion House. The talk turned chiefly upon the social conditions of great cities, and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá said that London was the best regulated city he had seen. He said: “Every man walking in the street is free as if he were in his own kingdom. There is a great spiritual light in London. The effort made for justice is real and in this country the law is the same for the poor as for the rich.” He took great interest in hearing of the care that is taken of prisoners as they leave jail, and spoke of the land being happy where the magistrates are as fathers to the people.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá in London, pp. 109-10

On his last afternoon in London, a reporter called to ask him of his future plans, finding him surrounded by a number of friends who had called to bid him good-bye. When, in answer to this query, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá told in perfect English of his intention to visit Paris and go from there to Alexandria, the press representative evinced surprise at his faultless pronunciation. Thereupon ‘Abdu’l-Bahá proceeded to march with a free stride up and down the flower-scented drawing room, his Oriental garb contrasting strangely with his modern surroundings; and, to the amusement of the assembly, uttered a string of elaborate English words, laughingly ending, “Very difficult English words I speak!” Then, a moment later, with the swift transition of one who knows both how to be grave and gay, he showed himself terribly in earnest.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá in London, pp. 110-11

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