Coming now to the disposal of the money at my death, there is the question raised by you, Shall the trust be continued, or dissolved? You evidently prefer to let it continue, and especially, that your sister’s share should be left in trust. Here we are on delicate ground. You have not told me your reasons, at least none that seemed serious: you suggested that some of her property might some day go to children that Raymond Bidwell might some day have by some other wife. I shouldn’t turn in my grave even if that happened. Money is not a pure good, to be reserved only to those we love: and even if it were, why should we reserve it for them? Money is a social commodity, and it has to be distributed conventionally, without asking whether people deserve it or will ultimately profit by having it. With my present lights, therefore, I see no reason for continuing the Trust after my death: but I am open to any suggestions which you may have to make to the contrary. The bequests to Harvard College and to people in Spain would in any case, I suppose, have to be made outright: so that little but Josephine’s share would remain to be in trust, except that yours would apparently be in trust too, under your own trusteeship. How safe, and how trusted, you would feel!
The principal other bequest is to be to Harvard College. I told you I had thought of making it a Spanish Fellowship, but I have repented of this. In the first place, there was a touch of vanity or egotism in it, as if I was coddling my own personality after it had been happily dissolved. Then I am afraid there are likely to be too many Spanish-speaking people flocking to the U.S. to be educated: and the reverse is provided for by the Hispanic Society of America and other foundations. Let my fellowship, then, be without local limitations. And I want it to be generous in amount, because I aspire to be like the magnanimous man of Aristotle, who seldom does anything, but when he does, it is something handsome.
From The Letters of George Santayana: Book Four, 1928–1932. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2003.
Location of manuscript: The Houghton Library, Harvard University, Cambridge MA.