I have never seen Mr. Buchler or Mr. Schartz and know them only as the very diligent and accurate compilers of Obiter Scripta and of the Bibliography attached. I supposed them to be poor young students and naturally wished to do what I could to help them. The phrase Obiter Scripta was used by me in the letter I wrote them when they sent me the MS of their proposed book, but it was itself an obiter scriptum and the idea of taking it for the title was their own. Before Mr. Wheelock had written to me about the suit they were bringing against you, one of them had written to me on the subject, not making any complaint against me, but alleging that you had, in your contract with them, promised not to reproduce the matter in their collection. I replied that whatever might be the legal state of the case it seemed to me farfetched to object to the reproduction of papers that they themselves had merely reproduced, with a trifling note or two, and some omissions. If it had been a question of reproducing their Bibliography, which must have cost much labour, it would have been another matter. It had never occurred to me, in welcoming their collection, that I was debarred by it from using those essays again. Can a composition be copyrighed that has already been published without copyright? You say you think there was no fault on the part of either of us. I certainly think there was no fault on my part, and Buchler and Schwartz have not, to my knowledge, made any complaint against me or shown any ingratitude. They do, however, make a further complaint against you which, however groundless or explicable it may be, might have a marked effect on a jury; and perhaps it was this complaint that led your counsel to fear considerable damages. Now, if I understand the purport of your letter, which is not very clear to me, in order to avoid this danger of damages, you have agreed to settle the matter by paying them $690.00 and suggest that this sum should be deducted from the royalties of about $1,600.00 that I was to receive this month. I confess that this suggestion surprises me, and since you say that you will be governed by what I think proper, I will say frankly that I do not think it proper that I should be charged with any amount whatever in consequence of this litigation, in which I already feel that I have been a victim rather than an offender.
From The Letters of George Santayana: Book Six, 1937-1940. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2004.
Location of manuscript: Butler Library, Columbia University, New York NY