112 THE FRIENDLY SONS OF ST. PATRICK
It is fitting that the record of this meeting—the first quarterly Sooo e veatly
be held elsewhere than within the walls that have housed the Society 0
half a century—should contain a minute of the passing of Dooner’s. t opened
From that day in the fall of 1882 when Peter Samuel Dooner ens of St.
his hospitable doors to the public it has been home to the Friendly t : many
Patrick. The quarterly meetings have always been held there, and house was
years—until increased attendance demanded more spacious room—the her, 1886,
the scene of the annual banquet on St. Patrick’s Day. There, in October, 3 fou
the visiting Governors of States, who had come to Philadelphia to ee ve re
the celebration of the Constitutional Centennial in the following eet impor
entertained. This was the most pretentious, and in many ways the most not for
tant function ever given by the Friendly Song in that house. But it ee rriendly
pomp and circumstance that Dooner’s chiefly endeared itself to the to jus
Sons. Dooner’s was home, that was all—and, surely, that was enough when
tify the sentimental regret that filled the breasts of all good Friendly Sons iaing
the news went abroad that the Federal Reserve Bank had bought the bu
and would tear it down. .
At this moment, the wreckers have reached the second floor, where er be
many years our quarterly dinners were held. In a few days there will 2 on
one stone left upon another. If ever in this age and country there was a oor’
part of the Mermaid Tavern of Elizabethan times, this was it. Great aoe ons
sung of the Mermaid; and now a lesser bard, one of our own Friendly ’
craves your indulgence while he spins his rough rhymes on
THE PASSING OF DOONER’S
Friendly Sons, the wrecker’s pick
Tears your temple, brick by brick,
And tonight June’s moonlight falls
Cold upon its roofless walls. . . .
Yet this shall not wholly die;
While Love lights an inward eye,
All the joys that there you had
Still shall make your memories glad.
Many taverns there have been;
Few to match this friendly inn.
Here was no mere brick and plaster,
Dooner’s elements were vaster.
Not of earth alone were they;
Of what else then? Who shall say?
No one, surely, were so droll
As to give a house a soul—
Yet, so deeply to endear it,
Dooner’s sure had something near it,
And its onetime guests inherit
Largess of this kindly spirit.
Come, then, what should any doubt it?
Knowing what we know about it,
Let us bravely shout the truth:
Dooner’s had a soul—of youth,