They will persecute you, like all the Apostles of sweetness and light, and especially of liberty, that thing unknown to America; it was foretold of the Lord. I trust, however, that you will be victorious in the end and become one of the patriarchs of the orthodox church–I mean of the life of reason.
I note with pleasure that you are to be in Paris in the Summer. You will find me there, and you will tell me, I hope, all about these physical and moral transformations which Harvard is undergoing. What I hear from time to time confirms me in the feeling that I quitted most opportunely. The wonder is that I endured and was endured so long. The only Harvard that in any measure held my affections and with which I could have almost identified myself was that of the “nineties” or rather, of 1890-1895; but the awful cloud of Eliot then overhung it, and made life impossible. Before and after that, Harvard was only an accident and a temporary necessity in my life; and especially since I became a professor I did nothing but save money so as to get out of it quam celerrime. It took a great many years, partly for other reasons, and I wrote a great many bad books in the interval; otherwise it seems a stretch of desert. However, I have still senses and life enough left to see, and perhaps to do, something; and I am perfectly happy. “Of course he is”, said an Italian scholar of peasant origin at the Berensons, when this confessed beatitude of mine was reported to him, “Of course, he has such a strong digestion!”
From The Letters of George Santayana: Book Two, 1910-1920. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2001.
Location of manuscript: The Houghton Library, Harvard University, Cambridge MA