To Benjamin Apthorp Gould Fuller
C/o Brown Shipley & Co 123 Pall Mall
Rome. May 25/6, 1931
After I had finished the proofs of your Aristotle, the two volumes arrived, and I have now read the Socrates and Plato. I am partly reconciled to your intentional American and jocular medium; for I see that really you are not writing a history of Greek Philosophy at all, but a review of what the professors—chiefly English or Scottish—now say about it. You might have carried the joke out, and composed a perfect satire on all these controversies, on the theme which you indicate in several places, that the two and seventy sects come out by the same door wherein they went. And this is always the back door. All these professors are outsiders and interlopers, and the first thing to do if you had wished to study the ancients themselves should have been to become a believer in them, and to have let all these modern egotistical critics lie buried in their own dust. Plato and Aristotle speak for themselves, if you trust them, and if you want guidance, you have it, within the school and its living traditions, in the Neo Platonists, the Arabians, and the Scholastics.
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