John Freeth and his Circle or Birmingham Men of the Last Century, 1792 Oil on canvas Artist: Johannes Eckstein - John Freeth (1731-1808) was a publican and poet who ran a coffee house in Birmingham (Leicester Arms, Bell Street), where the Jacobin Club.
It began to have the lonesome look which a house has when the heart has gone out of it and nobody puts a new heart in. The garden was growing sad and careless. The flowers drooped and pouted, and leaned peevishly against one another. Only the weeds seemed glad,—as undisturbed weeds do,—and made the most of their holiday to grow tall and impertinent and to crowd their more sensitive neighbors out of their very beds.
But one September day something happened to the old house. A lady and gentleman, a big girl and a little boy, came walking over the slate stones between the rows of sulky flowers. The gentleman, who was tall and thin and pale, opened the front door with a key bearing a huge tag.