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The San Francisco call. [volume] (San Francisco [Calif.]) 1895-1913, October 06, 1907, Image 6

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SURPRISING ACTIVITY
OF ESPERANTISTS
IN AMERICA
THE international, congress of
Esperantlsts in Cambridge^ Eng- .'
land. Just ended, leads one to In- /
quire, "What progress has the^'
movement toward the establishment' as
a practical, useful thing of this inter
national auxiliary language (a very
different thing, please note, from a
•universal language') made In Amer
ica?" And truly, the result of the In
quiry is surprising.
The Inventor of It Is Dr. I* Zamen
hof, though once his Identity was hid- -
Cen behtnd the ' norn de plume. "Dr.
Esperanto." Esperanto, by the way,
signifies "hope."^ Dr. Zamenhof Is
honorary president of all International
Esperanto congresses and leader of
more than 500.000 loyal Esperantlsts. a
large and growing body of whom are
found In New York, Boston, and Indeed,
ell over the United States.
Perhaps the greatest Impetus which
Esperanto has r&celved took place at
the congress In \u2666 Cambridge, England.
Fourteen hundred delegates, represent
ing 25 different countries, ' were pres
ent To attempt to describe in detail
the events at this congress would take
columns of space. It may be mentioned
here, however, that every big country
was represented by a man of promi-.
nence, and that at this congress Esper
anto received Its first official recogni
tion by a European power, the delegate
from Belgium having been ofHdalfy as
signed by the minister of military af
fairs to represent the Belgian, ministry
at the congress.
The American delegates who at
tended the congress, are enthusiastic
over the practical use to which they
pnt their knowledge of Esperanto
while in Cambridge. Professor Viles of,
the Ohio state university had only a
reading knowledge of the language
when be arrived at Cambridge, but he
declares that he found, within a few
boura. that he could use the language
In conversation. Professor Vlles also
brings back word that Lord Roberts,
the famous "Bobs." has Just accepted
the honorary presidency of the British
Ssperanto association.
Although the leading centers of the
Esperanto movement are in , France,
England and Germany, the people of
the United States^are rapidly becom
ing Interested in it- Three years ago
It was virtually unheard of in Amer
ica. Now there Is a national associa
tion and more than 42 local societies
and clubs affiliated with It, the total
membership list running well into the
thousands.
The first Esperanto society of the
United States was formed on February
16, 1905, at the home of C. M. Match'ett,
12 Garden street, Boston. Four days
later a second society was formed by
Edward K. Harvey at the''Perkins'ln
stitution for the blind in South Boston.
Forming the Organization
The national society, or the American./
Esperanto association, as it Is now
known, was formed on March 16 of the
samo year at the home of Mr. Matchett, \u25a0
who organized the first society. The
members of the two societies already
In existence and other Esperantists re-,
siding In Everett, Medford. Brighton
and neighboring towns succeeded by
united effort- In placing the national
association upon a permanent basis.
They were soon Joined by Esperantists"
and Esperanto clubs In other states.
The magazines of the country then
took up the subject, the Atlantic.
Monthly In January. I*o6, being the
first" to do so. The Ladles* Home Jour
nal, the Independent and the North
American Review soon followed suit.
Meanwhile an American ' Esperanto
periodical had begun publication under'
socialist auspices In October. 1908. At
the same tin. * the American ; Esperanto
Journal, the official organ = of .' the " na-:
tional association, "was brought into
existence. Both of, the publications are:
•aid to be financially Yon" their feet."
Dr. William Gray- Nowell. assistant
secretary of the American? Esperanto
association r end president the first year
of Its existence.-; got out the national:
Journal thla summer from his log cabin
In the mountains of • New Hampshire.
He saytt
' "From the log cabin, with the gener
ous assistance of Prof. Percy, M. . Daw
son of Johns Hopkins university i and
of the young artist who stays with me
in camp and paints portraits and land
scapes In .oil when not busy with
Esperanto work, - the August issue of
the American Esperanto Journal was
mailed, and September will be, but. the
publication office of the Journal is 24
Green street. Brookline, Mass., and the
mail address of the Journal and of the
American Esperanto association is
Boulevard station, Boston, Mass. .
"These Journals are- supported by
readers and not' by advertisers...: \u25a0 ,
"Since the? North American -; Review
has taken up the European custom of
printing. lessons in Esperanto, and since
the other American Journals mentioned
have been giving more space to the
language, tt has enjoyed what is col
loquially known as a 'boom' on this side
of the Atlantic. .: •
"Two years ago the New York society
was organized by Dr. Max Talmey of
62 West One Hundred and Twenty
sixth street and Stephen; M.' Travis of
349 Etna street, Brookline, now of
Tenafly, N. J. * • -.
'They worked for months trying to
bring together; a sufilcie'nt number: of
people who were willing to take tip the
new language. At first; many joined
for the purpose of saying they were
Esperantists. . Asj the charter members
of 1 the . society ?; did ; not desire '" faddists
and, curiosity seefkers in i the : clubj" they
added the following amendments to the
constitution: i
."'Every applicant for. membership
shall' oe requlrcU to pass an examina
tion showing, th ict he has a good'knowl
edge of. Esperanto grammar. Such ex
amination shall rbo passed not later, than
*lx weeks afterf his admission to the so
ciety;; meetings^ INot '.\u25a0- later . than '^four
weeks after tie" first examination he
shall i be^ required jto pass a: second -ex
amination ,- ahojwing - that he -Is \ able '; to
read Mntelligeatly Esperanto texts;- and
to translate ', Cato h, Esperanto!' sentences
from his native language.' .r. r \u25a0'- ".'":.•
" 'The adopfclon of these amendments
has : resulted / In . only earnest workers
becoming woj.-kers of .the New ' York so
ciety. ' - x -i. "\u25a0:'\u25a0!";\u25a0 \u25a0 ''-.':/.:'. r ; Vv.fr lr J
To Aspirants
'/Persons <wfio are interested. In I Espe
ranto ; and (fas Ire to \u25a0 become '\u25a0 members [of
either the tocal or national s society may
communicate : with ) pr.;Talmey of No. s 63
/West \u25a0 One/j Hundred ? and l< Twenty-sixth
street; president of the! New i York? Es
peranto sdclety, or 'John ? Fogs; ,Twombly, ;
secretary, / of V the American Esperanto
assoclat lean, k ßoulevard ?. station. Boston,
Mass. Elides being secretary of the
national ; j association A Mr.v- Twombiy i! Is
president of Jthev, Boston Esperanto
society: / and ; editor. In \u25a0 chief \ot -'\u25a0\u25a0 tha
America \* Esperanto //Journal. "„ Other
promiwsiit^ T "Americans ; » who : are v In
tereste^ln the success of Esperanto are
Dr. * WJJliam \u25a0 Gray J Nbwell h of k Boston,*
Richard H. Geoghagan of Seattle, ; Pro;
f essor G. B. s Vlles "of the Ohio state Minlf
versity. Professor^ E.>y;i Huntlngtbn) of
Harvard^ : Prof aisor/A;'- E."; CurdyTof . Yale,
Dr."; D. O. S., Lowell (of ~i Roxbury; Latin
school;? Roxbury/- Mass. ; ; ; Mrs; , : BLVM.V H.
Merrill of • thai Cantab rldla"club T of Cam
"bridge, *; Mrs." Winlfrad;<'SackvilleKfSto
nar«/ of / the 3 'United id States i-l marine
hospital rat ';iEvansvllla,v; 3 lnd.', -I, Dr.
Ivy ; Kellerman.x; Greek i,- professor v> at
lowa - state college, ", Grinnell, " Iowa: ,
Professor. H. ;, , F. ;, Roberts,, Kansas
state :» agricultural college, Manhattan,
Kan. ; \u0084 Wriin .'\u25a0 J. : Grins tead, Kentucky
state i. normal .1 school, \u25a0\JUchmorid,^Ky.j
Prof essor f Jamas ? Main' Dlxon, Unlver
slty ? _of / Southern \California, i Los /An
gelas, Cal. i%i Henry, --^ James^;Forman/
editor; ot <North; American! Rev!ew;f John
P."; Reihl. Seattle, Wash.; Dr. Joseph H.
Raymond, : Polhemus'g memorial clinic,
Brooklyn;: N.^.Y. : I Prof asspr^prt H. 1 Mayer,
Rev."A.T Kraft C^Dr.iWalterjH.? Fox s and
George' W.^ Bredemeler, ail i of^ Chicago;
Rev. •' J.i Lv ClelanavlWlnbna.^ Minn.'; I Rev •
• Carl iHeyl.VMontlcallo,^ Wls.';?Dr.S Ralph
Read,; Mlddl etown;; 0., and - a very a large
number 5 of^ phySldn na % all ?fi by «r V" the
country; :\u25a0'. EL;*< S.'i>!Blalna,''; Toledo, : : O.;
Charles W. vika wart 1 and ? several \ others
of thaj navy f department-Washington, 1
D. SF.VAtklnson,'
\ Cornell 3 un ! versl ty, J> lth a ea, v £ N.*> V. : ='• d r.
: D.'f A?_j Morton? and 1 Dr.*iWi Ills \ R.% Perry
: natl, ; : Ohio; ?\u25a0 ?r'of MsorJSA^lMr^ Grljlbn?
, Lewis B4Lueders^and V ßev-^Gebrge^ S.
-Gassner. all of v Herbert
: Harris/ •= Portland,^ Me. ; j Prof essorr Her-
Vert K. Cummtngs. "Polytechnle instl
\u25a0 tute,? Worcester; Maa«^ and ?\u25a0 Prof essor
'. Percy"; M.t Dawson, \ Johns ' Hopkins \ unl- '\u25a0:\u25a0
veretty, Baltimore,- Md.*? ':\ '.'\u25a0"-: ! , ;^.V
businessmen; of
1 New York > have • made practical \ use as ;
yet' of ; Esperanto.^ Dr/«TaltneyHof"th«j
local society; ls confident that those who'
s are | affiliated r^ with * firms ; that', handle *i»j
great deal of foreign business will soon
: ; be- forced : to I take tup the I International \
language. '; In > an : Interview. I recently \
'with the .writer he said: 3" - '
"The 'American^consul ; An Breslaa,
•Gefmariy.^hasfjustiwrlttsn' th« »OT«rn
ment fto advise I our m«rohant« either to \u25a0
: learn ~ Esperanto* or! i«our« \ r«pr«t*ata
\ tlves with J suoh • knowledge . If th«y «•
{sire *; to s hold i theiri! (orttffn \ tr«4«^iThlf j
message wm % published ?In ttoa\ Ftnan- {
i cier.^ and •» II undeittand I tt ; dm v sparred .
? some £of i our me roh*nt» \to j lcqulre J
fabout^Bsperanto.?'^- 1 -';-^ \u25a0\'- ; ;" ; *v---^? n-Vv.v'^
'« "I agree s wlthHhe Breilan ' oon««!,1 f©rj
< I believe * that ' the day; !\u25a0; not far distant ;
Kwhen *. foreign * merchants 2 will \ transact
{ much, of • thelr"^ international < business
I th rough] Hsperaiito."J:«!?'-" : rL-/;--"!:--;i;*'Vi»'".';;.,
' .The practicabllltyiOf'Bsperanto as an
International '? language reoeived =, muoh
c substantiation % at b the * Cambridge I con-;
[ gress.Tnot } onlyi by the ehth uslastto ? re- ,
sports of/returnlngidelega«ea,lbut:bylthe
?c6mment| which' the; English: newspapers;
*,madel upon| th eTcongresß. : ?| In {descrlbfng ;
* the Iscene J at? the?opening i meeting I the'
5 Cambridge ? Dftlly*: News ? of J ; August Jl3J 13
cays: , _ r ' ' \u25a0
n.H'rrhe ? appearance of j Esperantlsts i or-1
Idl nari ly separated jby many, miles . of sea'
j"arid ' land, 11 * having no means of communlf
, cation save ; tnrough , Esperanto, was In- \u25a0
teniely lntereßtingvv :;;"-\u25a0;. -;",, - \:-'C 'V
-'" "SHgbt: differences of . accent might be
marked ,' here and there by ; the ; expert;
but not sufficient to obscure the Intelli
gence. Difference of -habit and gestures,
of ; course, i was pronounced.' '-'\u25a0':-', s i/0~~-'; i: V«- \u25a0;
li'At the /Esperanto congresses marked,
feature* are speeches in the tongue by
men I from, various - nations : and plays ; In
which all the actors speak fit. for many?
of Shakespeare's g plays - and ;r. standard .
works '.**.- of : all kinds , have , been S trans-/
lated Into Esperanto. S^", ~ :-' t-l^-i'r- ' '"?£\u25a0'\u25a0\u25a0 • • ;; .
.«1 Bt.V. Clement's P Danes I church %in .h the
i Strand. London,^ familiar} to : - : American t
i, toortiU \ v ; the i plwelof i worship ~i f re
\u25a0 e,n«nUd by Dr. Johnson, was filled .with
• • ::' cosmopolitan i oongresatlon August
Wit ; i wh«n? the ftntlrt . \u25a0»rvlc« ? was con
i4ttetß4f«lnTjiEsperant».-v;>:Amonffl;the
I hymns Uranflr « ln > the new 1 langruage were"
'; fLord >ct Our Life" and f'Onward, Chris
\u25ba tlft'n'tBoldlera,"ij i-;' \u25a0-.••- '^>' :\u25a0.„.; ij ''i';j : . y'-\liT.> -5
; " The S man ; who < received « the ; greatest
\ ovation s at -;the | conJKress,i however,; ex-!
Iceptlhg.l of course,7l>r.\ Zamenhof," s was
theerenerous Marquis de Beaufront, the
i Frenchman \ who ; pushed i the ; movement
t In ii Prmnoe |when J It |.waa J In ~6f
? total s extinction; the \u25a0'-; man who, -j after
; working ; fifteen \ years ; upon \af universal
i langUßge - of -; his I own,^ recognized * that
t Dr;?» Zamen hof *s % system \j better.
.Abandoning his own, and' casting. away
• quls $ s;ot -behind t». Dr.^j Zamenhof "s >. lan
j guage » and I worked |whole | heartedly 5 for
• Wi'r, For Jthls 3 splendid i sacrifice ?M. • de
i Beauf ront "•' will \u25a0 , always £ bold C. * D hon
ored * place In : the Esperanto world.
The San Trancisctt Sunday Call.
. v Dr. " Zamenhof .' regards .December 5,.
1878, as .the .birthday of ; hls new-lan
guage. It was .not ;untll nine years
later, however, that . he " issued his , first
pamphlet.": It was called * "An Interna
tional' Language; by Dr. Esperanto,"
and was published. at the. author's ex
pense. Its ' success ; was small , at . first,
but a copy. of It eventually reached M.
dOißeaufront,; who took%up the. Idea
wlthi ; the greatest- enthusiasm and
started Esperanto toward ' the " goal of
success. - ; "-\u25a0\u25a0\u25a0'.'.•'\u25a0 • , ; ?*\u25a0-<
• The rapid strides which the language
has made on the continent is shown
by. the fact that Esperanto Is; now be
ing 1 taught in many, commercial schools
In; England," France, Sweden and Ham
burg; \u25a0 Germany. . Esperanto examina
tions are now also being conducted by
the' London chamber of commerce.
More than 100 persons passed at the
first examination. . In this country it
Is ' being pushed \u25a0 hard by : Its enthusi
astic followers, and It ' Is now planned
that after i next year's congress In Ger- ,
many the^ Esperantists .'will assemble
in "America. Ana" J when one congress
Is held here the American. Esperantlsts
believe the. movement will take great
Impetus./ ;J; J . V
', It iis 20 years since Dr. Zamenhof
published his first pamphlet" intro-
duclng ' Esperanto, to .- the world. Its
progress' was slow * and 'limited. In fact,
10 : years . passed ' the ' possibility
of 'Its: success ,T, T began \ to be -realized.
Then ; It ' attracted : attention : In Russia.
France, , En gland i ; and Germany, took :\u25a0' It
up In j rapid : succession,"" and now *. the
language ? that was .virtually 1 unknown
: a-i dozen I years ago 1 has a .- following "of
moreVthan, 500.000. v and fully.' half tof
jthese can >. converse i in - Esperanto flu
ently. It Is ": used already\ta aTconsld- :
erable a extent , in*! international com
merce,'" find ?' is \ being ;; promoted •\u25a0 by *20
Journals l -and more > than ?*OO organ
ized \u25a0ocletles.
r. : -.The .'ease 'with (which ' Esperanto may
baracg.uired r U;resp6nsibleifor..lts : sud
denjleap£into*: prominence. ; ,_ltsV*ntlra
grammar ?;can / easily be 2 learned \ ln"-aa
afternoon. When you \ coiiple^with : this
the "\u25a0 fact i that I the^ complete i vocabulary
ot .Esperanto : is , already known in larg*
part itoYohe'. who _> knows J English, the
i growth j of j the 'new language .•becomes
less ; startling.* v It -seems' almost* that it
should -\u25a0? have ::' more^.4 followers, and \u25a0» ln-"
deed."^ It £wb«ld : : have 5^ If H the / promoters
of i Esperanto ;: had. l not j had > two great
difficulties ito^ overcome. -V
In the f first; place; they ;had. no money
to : launch^ the i idea; { and. \u25a0 in ;the£second
they^had ,, ; to i overcome rl tha 4 prejudice
created against the idea of an artlnclal
language-iby.itha'failureiof.yolapuk.ia
predecessor, : of \u25a0', Esperanto, In the field
of I international lan qua ges. Bat Vola
puk was dlfScult ; to learn. -
There Is an excallent reason: for f&«
superiority of Esperanto over predeces
sors. Esperanto Is % "root" lanjuajs-
Its Inventor selected from the Gr««k.
Latin .and the great commercial 'Jfa
guages of the world— Ooraan, Ruairsn,
French and English — the baato word*.
The shape and pronunciation of these
roots never vary. To them Is added
such prefixes or affixes as *r» neces
sary to express the diffarsnt shades of
meaning. . It Is by this ingenious bat
easily comprehensible system of pre
fixes and suffixes that Dr. Zamenhof 39
simplified Esperanto that an ordinarily
well educated man can use tt tn spokan
or written' form quits fluently is a
few weeks and become % master of tt
In three to six months. To Isara. say.
French as well would taka two to four
years.
To state that the grammar .of Esps
ranto may be learned In a coup!* of
hours sounds extravagant, yet so sim
ple ,Is. its grammar that there ara raw
educated persons who cannot mastsr.lt
In that time. ... . *.
• The parts of speech are always recog
nized by the final vowel. For Instance,
all nouns end in "o." Father Is pacro.
"O" is the substantive ending. "A." as
in patra. makes the adjective paternal.
AJI adjectives end In "a." T" (patre)
.makes the adverb paternally. Tha la
finltlvei'of the verb is formed by "I"
f (patri) to : father. -
' .In brief,, the vowels a. a, 1, o added to
the common root make adjective, ad
verb, verb and noun respectively.
By" making. the same regular changes
upon the vowels the verb is conjugated.
Ami (to . love) becomes Ml amas (I
love): Mi amis (I loved); Ml amas (I
will love); Ml amus (I would love);
amu (imperative, love). And so it is
with ; the participles, amanta. air W-.3,
"amunta, standing for. loving. ha7!xg
loved, about to love; and amata, amita,
amota for present, past and future par
ticiples passive. There Is only one con
jugation with active and passive forms,
and all. verb 3 are conjugated alike.
.There are no exceptions to any Es
peranto rules.
Among other Interesting points about
Esperanto are the following: It has
an alphabet of: 2S letters, and each let
ter has its own sound and no other.
Every , word la pronounced as tt is
written. There are no silent letters.
All words are accented on the next to
the last syllable.. There are no irregu-,
lar verbs. There Is no Indefinite ar
ticle. The definite article "la" is in
variable. The pronunciation is uni
form and follows, the general conti
nental pronunciation .of tha vowels.
The language i sounds as musical as
Italian.
.The man of average education, know
ing only, English, has usually a vo^
cabulary of about 5,000. English words.'
Shakespeare used about 15,000 — mord
than any other writer. Of his vocabu
lary this "average man" will find fully
a half used as root words -in Esper
anto. If he knows a little Latin or -
French or German ha will find that
already he knows possibly 3.000 Es
peranto roots and needs 'to learn 'only
Its grammar, which Is an afternoon's
diversion. The v averaga illiterate
workman has a vocabulary of. say* 530
words, yet * he " gets on somehow.
> • Esperantl3t3 point out many practi
cal ; reasons for ' tha spread of- thai?
tongue. Tsl:e It, for Instance, ta ths
field of.: science.: Suppose a German
or a French scientist to have made tm-\
portant discoveries about which ha hay*
written "a very Important book. To
spread this to the world means a book
in English. Swedish. Japanese, Spanish,
German, Italian, Russian, French and
so on, and so expensive is, such book
work that it wouldn't pay for even ona
translation. Its circulation, though
small, is important.. Translate It Into
Esperanto ° and ' it Is available to tha
scientists of the world. And the scien
tist 'or philosopher or economist or
medical man or mathematician who
knows Esperanto has ,the scientists'
work of .all nations at bis command.
Yet .It \ would taka years of exclusive
! study, to \u25a0be able to ' read ' a German . or
a French scientific work. But why,
you' say, should - not all learn English
; or; French. or GermaaT First, because
they won't. Possibly because they
can't — it's too difficult. It takas years.
Esperanto takes only weeks.
Again, iungtlsn, Is not easy. It has.
indeed.' a simple grammar. \u25a0Jthooat.
It has 200 common irregular varb».
• :JThe 'study. of Esperanto and the cir
culation 'of the EsDeraat> Journal have
spread all over the United States. Mex
ico -and/; Canada. , Not only do large
Esperanto organizations exist In Bos
ton. ; New r York, , Brooklyn. Columbus.
Washington..- Chicago."- Evansville. In
dianapolis,' Toledo.: Seattle and Los An
geles,'but. individuals and small groups
in-] many towns In'every state are act
ively;' Interested in this international.
auxiliary \ language. '^SSßom&Bß)B&*%.V '
Text^ books. on Esperanto may be »•
cured from tha United Society of Chris
. Man : Endeavor. ) No. 600 Tremont temple,
Boston, Mass., and the Fl ami a* H. R«
vell company of New York and Chloacs.

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