My chief trouble has been the bronchitis, of which I had an attack in Madrid in April, and another in Paris during the summer—a very cold rainy summer it was—which lasted so long that I gave up going to England for the autumn and went to Naples to sun myself instead. I got well at once; but in Rome last month the cough came on again, and although I am free from it now, I begin to feel that it is necessary to think of it as a chronic affair, and to choose my winter habitat accordingly. It will make Madrid or Ávila impossible; and I don’t mean to go back there until the middle or end of March. From here I shall go to the Riviera and to Andalusia, and then join my sisters and the excellent Mercedes for a season, before returning “home” to Paris. There, at Strong’s, 9 avenue de l’Observatoire, I am delightfully established, with the books I have retained; we have a very nice apartment, a sunny large study, a dining-room and a nice room for each of us, including one—always empty—for Strong’s daughter Margaret. Francoise the bonne, gives us such meals as we wish to have at home, and she is an excellent cook; but I try to entice Strong to the boulevard and its restaurants, so as to vary the scene a little, and be entertained by the cinematograph of real life, and sometimes by the other cinematograph also; and when I am alone (Strong left me in July to go to America, so that his daughter might visit her grandparents during her long vacation: she is at school in England) I take both lunch and dinner out, enjoying that daily episode, even if the scene is not more gorgeous or novel than an établissement Duval in the boulevard Saint Michel. The only trouble with the situation in Paris is that the avenue de l’Observatoire is far from central, and that even the bus and the underground are not very convenient, and to get a cab it is necessary to send Francoise out in the rain, or else to go wading oneself until one can be found at some street-corner. Otherwise, the apartment is ideal, and so long as Strong keeps it, it will be my head-quarters. If he gives it up, when his villa in Fiesole is finished, I shall doubtless take a small apartment for myself in some more central place. Paris is, I am convinced, the point of stable equilibrium for my pendulum.
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.