Diary of Charles Francis Adams, volume 7

Tuesday 5th.

Thursday 7th.

Wednesday 6th. CFA Wednesday 6th. CFA
Wednesday 6th.

A beautiful day. I remained at home, part of my time superintending the work and part devoted to study. Read a hundred lines of the seventh book of the Iliad, and engaged in assorting books. Afternoon much the same account to give until evening when I went to town accompanying the ladies of the family to the Theatre to see the representation of “the Stranger”. Miss Tree as Mrs. Haller. The Stranger was taken by Mr. Barry. This is a piece I never can see without feeling it.1 Indeed I am more touched by it than by any. If this is the test of a good piece it certainly is good, but I require rather more. I feel the inconsistencies in the character of the heroine, and the affectations of sentiment, it contains. Miss Tree’s general conception of the part did not in my judgment equal Fanny Kemble’s, although her execution of the details was occasionally better. The afterpiece was called “the Barrack room” a french vaudeville, resting upon the custom of Napoleon of infusing pedigree into his new Noblesse. The nature of Miss Tree, her most marked characteristic had a fine field here, and she succeeded in amusing us. Home by twelve safe and sound.


Earlier attendance at performances of William Dunlap’s The Stranger is recorded in the Diary in 1825, 1833, and 1834 (1:456; 5:70; 6:19). That in 1833 with Fanny Kemble and Charles Kemble in the leading roles remained in CFA’s mind as the one against which others were to be measured.