Journeying by way of The Hague and Rotterdam, they set sail in the Holland packet and were landed at Harwich on the 27th of March. They proceeded at once to London, arriving late in the afternoon, and took rooms and lodgings at Froome’s Hotel, Covent Garden. There they were waited on, in the course of the evening, by General Morris, Mr. Gouverneur Morris’s brother. This gentleman, who had remained a royalist and removed to England, was a general in the British army, and had married the Duchess of Gordon. He was eager to make the travellers from Paris welcome to London, and could scarcely wait for the morrow to begin his kind offices. As Mr. Morris had hoped and, indeed, expected, he took an instant liking to Mr. Calvert, and professed himself anxious that that young gentleman’s stay in London should prove agreeable. This kind wish was echoed by his wife, who was as greatly prepossessed in Calvert’s favor when he was presented to her the following day as General Morris had been, and, as they moved in the highest circles of society, it was easy enough to introduce the young American to the gayest social life of the capital. With the acquaintances thus made and the large circle of friends which Mr. Morris had formed on his previous visit to London, Calvert soon found himself on pleasant terms.
Perhaps the house they both most liked to frequent was that of Mr. John B. Church. Mr. Morris had known the gentleman when he was Commissary-General under Lafayette in America and before he had married his American wife. Mr. Church’s American proclivities made him unpopular with the Tory party on his return to England, but he numbered among his friends the Whig leaders and many of the most eminent men and women of the day. ’Twas at a ball given by Mrs. Church a few days after his arrival in London that Mr. Calvert saw, for the first time, some of the greatest personages in the kingdom—the Prince of Wales, and Mrs. Fitzherbert, the beautiful Mrs. Damer and the Duc d’Orleans, who had but lately come over, sent out of France by the King under pretext of an embassy to the English monarch. Calvert had not seen his hateful face since the opening of the States-General, and ’twas with a kind of horror that he now looked at this royal renegade. Pitt was there, too, but, although Mr. Calvert saw him, he did not meet him until on a subsequent occasion. He marvelled, as did everyone who saw Pitt at this time, at the youth (he was but thirty-one) and the dignity of the Prime Minister of George III. Indeed, he moved among the company with a kind of cold splendor that sat strangely on so young a man, smacking of affectation somewhat, and which rather repelled than invited Calvert’s admiration. This first impression Mr. Calvert had little reason to alter when, some weeks later, in company with Mr. Morris, he was presented to Mr. Pitt by the Duke of Leeds, and had the occasion of seeing and conversing with him at some length.