Santayana: the Later Years: A Portrait with Letters

By Daniel Cory | Go to book overview

Twelve: 1940-41

Please, on my authority and Balzac's, to consider it an axiom that money is the petrol of life.

A LTHOUGH the application for an extension of my passport was set in motion by Santayana's letter, the fact that our petition could not be settled immediately had a most unhappy sequel. Late in January, I had a telegram informing me that Strong had been removed to a nursing home in Florence and had asked for me to "come at once." It would have been difficult enough to re-enter Italy at that time, but with an "expired" document it was out of the question. I pleaded with the American consulate in Geneva, but the answer was that nothing could be done until permission for an extension had been cleared -- presumably in Washington. It was distressing to let Strong down at the end, for I was certain he must be dying. I wired to Florence, saying I was coming as soon as possible, and in the meantime wrote to Santayana, telling him how frustrated I felt at being immobilized in Vevey. In a few days I received a letter from him that resolved everything (January 23):

At noon today I received a telegram from Aldo, saying Strong was "gravissimo," and they announced a few minutes later a telephone call from Florence, that I knew must be fatal news.... Dino spoke, saying Strong had died that morning. I asked if you had arrived (although I almost knew that it was impossible) and he said no, that he had sent you the news.... I explained that I was laid up with

-225-

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Santayana: the Later Years: A Portrait with Letters
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Contents 5
  • Prologue 11
  • One: 1927-28 15
  • Two: 1929 37
  • Three: 1930-31 59
  • Four: 1932 89
  • Five: 1933 106
  • Six: 1934 122
  • Seven: 1935 146
  • Eight: 1936 165
  • Nine: 1937 181
  • Ten: 1938 193
  • Eleven: 1939 206
  • Twelve: 1940-41 225
  • Thirteen: 1942-46 245
  • Fourteen: 1947-48 266
  • Fifteen: 1949-50 290
  • Sixteen: 1951-52 306
  • Epilogue 328
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