To Cyril Coniston Clemens
Grand Hotel,
Rome. May 16, 1941

Dear Clemens:

Your card of April 6, forwarded by Scribner through the ordinary mail, reminds me that I have not thanked you for one or two others previously received, or for the unexpected present of one dollar, which was reduced only to a good intention on your part by the impossibility of cashing it in the present circumstances. So far, save for delay on some occasions, I have been able to get money from my nephew in Boston, who manages my earthly goods; but this may become impossible at any moment, so that I live with one foot in the stirrup, and may have to take refuge in Switzerland. However, if I can obtain a permit of residence there for the rest of the war, the change would have its advantages; but I fear the cold in winter. This last season has not been good for my health; however, it has now become normal; and as my principal work is done, it really matters very little what now becomes of me. I spend the morning writing a voluminous book to be called Persons & Places or Fragments of Autobiography in which I put everything that occurs to me, and which may stretch to any length, according to that of my life. I have written reams, and have not yet got to my birth.

You mustn’t expect me to keep up a correspondence. I write to only one or two relations and very old friends, and that chiefly on business. You are rather a public personage, and writing to you is like writing to the newspapers, with the imminent danger of starting false reports. Not that false reports, or true ones, do me any harm: I feel they are not about me at all but about a fictitious person imagined by the reporter. However, it is pleasant to be remembered and—I hope—prayed for. Yours sincerely

G Santayana

From The Letters of George Santayana:  Book Seven, 1941–1947.  Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2006.
Location of manuscript: William R. Perkins Library, Duke University, Durham NC.