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Je 04:59 ptm 5/2/98 +0000, Julian PARDOE skribis:
 
>As for the idea that the fact that Zamenhof himself entertained reforms
>could be see as meaning that there were no strings, I do not totally
>accept this argument.  Firstly, whilst he personally might have been
>happy with some reforms it is not at all clear that he would have wished
>to promote them against the wished of the E-istaro.  Secondly, the
>hesitations cited above suggested that he felt that he might have been
>pressured to accept reforms that he could not go along with, even
>personally.  I recall reading something that suggested that reform camp
>were disappointed with what he'd come up with.  This suggests that there
>was quite a distance between the two sides idea of what reforms should
>be made and that Zamenhof was quite right do fear that he might "stop
>pleasing Mr. Lemaire"
 
>
I believe that this was indicated in the letter of May, 1907 from Lemaire
to Couturat, which Bob PETRY recently posted in Occidental translation.
Interestingly, the few lines of description of the proposed reforms
included in the letter seemed strikingly familiar to me -- they were also,
I believe, part of a circular that Z. sent to his French advisors for
possible circulation to the Lingva Komitato when, in 1907, he felt that it
might be necessary to head off a reformist tidal wave by proposing some
relatively minor reforms of his own. I draw some interesting conclusions
from this, but will leave it to others to draw their own.
 
(One interesting point about that letter is that it shows that Couturat,
far from playing any part in the offer of 250,000 francs, apparently didn't
even know about it until more than half a year after the fact. This is
actually not too surprising, since at about the same time that Javal and
Lemaire were trying to implicate Zamenhof in the reform movement, Couturat
was doing his best to keep him _out_ of it.)
 
>Likewise, the fact that Zamenhof maintained courteous relations with the
>people making him the offer does not detract from the argument that they
>were trying to influence him unduly.  Firstly he may well have con-
>sidered these people as basically well-intentioned and have hoped that
>the terms of the offer could have been modified so as to make it
>acceptable (which he clearly felt it wasn't in its original form).
>Secondly, even if he felt that the motives behind the offer were
>dishonourable, he might have wished to avoid provoking a split, feeling
>it better to decline the offer in a way that caused no offence.  There's
>is little point in turning rich and influential people against you.
>(I'm playing a game of email Diplomacy at the moment.  Believe you me, I
>am cordial and polite to everyone, even if I consider them double
>[whoops! I mean "duplicitous"] toe-rags, only to be trusted when my
>armies have driven the last of theirs into the sea.)
>
Zamenhof was seldom less than courteous with anybody; he generally followed
my mother's advice (so difficult for most of us!) that "if you can't say
anything good about someone, just don't say anything at all." The only time
I remember being scathing about someone's general conduct was in his
references to Couturat in the 1913 article from "La Ondo de Esperanto" that
I quoted elsewhere. In the case of Javal in particular (who, from the
figures I've seen, provided some 80% of the 250,000 francs; Lemaire put up
the rest himself), Z. and Javal were close friends; they were both
ophthalmologists, they were both Jewish (and in turn-of-the-century Europe
in general, that particular sharing of religion meant even more than to be
an Esperantist on Auxlang in 1998), the Javals had put up the Zamenhofs in
their home in France on at least one occasion. Furthermore, Javal was
already dying at the time of the incident in question (he passed on less
than three months later), and everybody knew it, even though they avoided
talking much about it. Add these points to Zamenhof's natural
courteousness, and you'd be surprised if he ever _had_ addressed Javal in
less than the friendliest of terms.
 
 
-- Don HARLOW
http://www.webcom.com/~donh/
(English version: http://www.webcom.com/~donh/dona.html)