Bernstein has taught me, too, what Hegelianism is. I knew I was a Hegelian, but never knew what it was. Now I see that a Hegelian is one who agrees that everybody is right, and who acts as if everybody but himself were wrong. What a delightful idea—so German—that Karl Marx thought himself a Hegelian! It is equal to Wagner’s philosophy…
—Henry Adams to Brooks Adams,
Paris, November 5, 1899
The nieces took me to Philadelphia to hear Ternina as Ysolde [sic], and Looly taught me what to say about it. To you, the formula doesn’t matter. To me, the singular part of it was that the music of Ysolde should be interpreted to me by two young and perfectly pure girls. Another Americanism! I could not even hint to them what it meant, and they couldn’t have hinted it to me if they had known. The twelfth century had the audacity of its passions, and Wagner at times talks almost plain twelfth century language.
—Henry Adams to Elizabeth Cameron,
March 12, 1900