Harvard_University_170686To George Sturgis
Hotel Bristol
Rome. April 14, 1934

I wrote not long ago to the new President of Harvard College about the legacy which I am leaving them, expressing the hope that if the sum given wasn’t enough for the intended purpose—to keep some impecunious genius alive—they would allow it to accumulate. He has replied very civilly, saying he had been a pupil of mine, and much impressed when a Freshman by the view I unrolled before him of the history of philosophy: so that there is no knowing how far I may not be responsible if he goes wrong. But as to the legacy, he said he hoped I had mentioned in the deed of gift that they might let the income accumulate, because otherwise they might feel bound to spend it all. I don’t remember the exact wording of the deed. Would it be easy for you to look it up and send me a copy of that passage? I don’t want to make any fuss: and if they don’t feel authorized, as things stand, to let the fund grow, I will suggest that they invite some other friend of Harvard to double it. After the present crisis passes, that ought to be easy. The trouble is that the income of $40,000 now wouldn’t keep even a poet from starving.

From The Letters of George Santayana:  Book Five, 1933-1936.  Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2003.
Location of manuscript: The Houghton Library, Harvard University, Cambridge MA.