Therefore we have commanded all the Bahá’ís in the Orient to study this language very carefully, and ere long it will spread all over the East. Therefore I request you also, non-Esperantists and fellow-Esperantists, to put your utmost exertion into the spread and promulgation of this language.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Star of the West 1921 p 299-306

This article, reprinted from "International Language", gives an excellent picture of the man who created Esperanto. The author calls him a genius. It would seem clear, however, that his success was due not only to genius, but to divine guidance, which flowed to him because of his utter sincerity, devotion and self sacrifice in the spread of the great ideal of an international auxiliary language. Zamenhof was an indefatigable worker. All his life, except during the days of his last illness, he had to struggle to keep his family, and for an oculist amongst poor people, the struggle was a bitter one. From Esperanto he made no profit, except royalties on the sale of his works, which certainly did not make good the losses caused by the inevitable neglect of his practice. Lack of money made difficult even travelling to the international congresses; the childlike excitement discernible in his letters on his journey to the Sixth Universal Congress in Washington shows how great was the event in his life, and how great were the efforts which it cost. In spite of money worries, ill health, bitter opposition and mockery, he fought on and worked unceasingly, and in none of his work is there any sign of discouragement (except, perhaps, in the poems Ho'mia kor' and Mia penso) or bitterness. One looks for the motive which enabled him to persist and conquer. As we have seen, it was not love of money. Nor was it ambition or love of power, for when, in 1889, it was proposed that the American Philosophical Society should call an international conference of scientists to elect an auxiliary language, he offered to hand the matter over to them entirely and "to retire from the scene"; and, as we know, at a later date (as soon as it was practicable) he gave up all rights in his invention and all official positions. He wished for none of these. His aim was to give humanity peace and ease from the suffering caused by dissension and war, and he saw that a neutral means of communication would be one of the most important factors in achieving that aim. He was an idealist through and through, and he strove for his ideals with a passionate tenacity which sprang from the simplicity of his character. That simplicity gave him the strength to inspire his followers with his own ideals; to that fact it is due that Esperanto survived the early years. At times he showed even a touch of naivety, as, for instance, when he proposed to collect the names and addresses of ten million people who would promise to learn Esperanto, before asking any one to begin to study. But he was shrewd, too. He expected no miracles, and foresaw opposition from the first. In his first textbook he answered in advance almost all the objections which can be raised against an "artificial" language. He realized that to make headway, the new language must be stable, and that to be stable, its basis must remain unchanged until the language is universally accepted. Hence, the principle of the inviolability of the fundamental grammar of Esperanto, which has caused so much controversy. It is safe to say that Esperanto would have gone the way of a hundred ephemeral projects, dying stillborn, if it had not been protected by this "dogma". When the famous Delegation was convened in 1907 for the purpose of choosing an international language, he pointed out from the first that it lacked the necessary authority, and that its choice, whatever it might be, would be ineffective; and the Delegation was indeed a fiasco.

Star of the West, v10, p 46