Here is Mercedes’ receipt for your cheque. She writes in her most excited exaggerated style of thanks, but adds that you forgot to sign the letter, and that food is very dear, and many things are hard to find, in consequence of the after-war condition of business and finance. She has got the cheque, and hopes, by the help of influence, to get it cashed soon and favourably.
I am going in two days to Lugano, a new place for me; but I had reasons for not returning to Cortina this summer, and Switzerland is safer for communication with London (where I have a new edition of an old book in the press, viz. “Egotism in German Philosophy”) and also with America, in the improbable event of war. But I have chosen Lugano with forethought, and a double intention. It might be a good place all the year round. I have never seen it, but know what it looks like: a pretty lake region, where palms can grow, and Italian is spoken, and where my hotel will still be the “Hotel Bristol”. I might, therefore, return there eventually for good. The other day I saw my landlord Pinchetti; he is half paralyzed with arthritis–(if that is the word) and the clerk, afterwards assured me that it was serious and that presently all would be over: which tragic thought he expressed by imparting his blessing to the hotel ledger. So that apart from wars and rumours of war, I may before long be compelled to change my quarters; because I assume that on Pinchetti’s death this hotel will be pulled down, the whole new street now being of quite another character.
Cory, and perhaps Strong, are coming to see me at Lugano: but I may find it too warm there for my work (I have the last chapter of “Spirit” to compose) and may go higher up into the Alps.
From The Letters of George Santayana: Book Six, 1937–1940. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2004.
Location of manuscript: The Houghton Library, Harvard University, Cambridge MA.