Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 72.djvu/170

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There has already been inaugurated a system of Esperanto consulates throughout the world, with resident consuls, charged with the interests of Esperanto travelers. A "Centra Oficejo" (Central Office) has been established in Paris: an "Adresaro," or published list of the names and addresses of the adherents of Esperanto throughout the world, is issued annually, and a very considerable volume of literature, original and translated, already exists in Esperanto. Finally, two eminently successful congresses have been held: the first in Boulogne-sur-mer in France in 1905, and the second in Geneva, Switzerland, last August. At both of these congresses, hundreds of delegates from twenty-five or more nationalities met, conversed, transacted business in general. Numerous section meetings were held on various topics. Public programs were presented—theatrical, musical and literary—all in Esperanto. The new American Esperanto Journal, in its initial number of January, 1907, publishes an interesting letter from Dr. E. Y. Huntington, assistant professor of mathematics at Harvard, describing his experiences at the Geneva congress, from which extracts are as follows:

When I arrived at the congress I had only a reading knowledge of the language; that is to say I had read some five or six hundred pages of Esperanto literature, but had never had an opportunity for speaking the language, or for hearing it spoken. Imagine my surprise and delight at finding that I could understand everything that went on from the very first day, and that within a few days I was able to use the language myself sufficiently well to spend a very profitable day conversing with a French philosopher, with whom I could have had no oral exchange of ideas without the aid of the new language. . . . Esperanto was for us both an indispensable means of communication. . . . The congress itself was a continual source of amazement to those of us who had been rather skeptical about the possibilities of an artificial language. The answer to all objections simply is—the language works. . . . The language was used at the congress for all the purposes to which a language can be put: general conversation, lively busy meetings, with spirited and eloquent extemporaneous debate, elaborate theatrical programs and church services. Any stranger dropping in at one of these Esperanto gatherings would certainly have supposed that he was in a foreign land where the people were talking in their own tongue. The experimental days are over; the language works.

The third congress, which will be convened in Cambridge, England, this month, is already arousing unusual interest.[1] The authorities of the University of Cambridge have proffered the use of the university buildings for the sessions of the congress, and the municipal council of the city of Cambridge has tendered the use of the city hall and other municipal buildings for administrative functions. In our own country, the growth of the Esperanto movement is surprising. All of the large cities have become centers of enthusiastic and rapidly growing groups.[2]

  1. This article was prepared in January, 1907.
  2. During the writing of these lines, one of our most eminent journals, The North American Review, has allied itself definitely with the Esperanto propaganda, lending the inestimable prestige of its great influence to the interests of the language in America.