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A Service Of Love

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A Service Of Love

by O. Henry

Genre: Comedy
Setting:
Format of Original Source: Short Story
Recommended Adaptation Length:

Candidate for Adaptation? Promising

EXCERPT:

They were mighty happy as long as their money lasted. So is every–but I will not be cynical. Their aims were very clear and defined. Joe was to become capable very soon of turning out pictures that old gentlemen with thin side-whiskers and thick pocketbooks would sandbag one another in his studio for the privilege of buying. Delia was to become familiar and then contemptuous with Music, so that when she saw the orchestra seats and boxes unsold she could have sore throat and lobster in a private dining-room and refuse to go on the stage.

But the best, in my opinion, was the home life in the little flat–the ardent, voluble chats after the day’s study; the cozy dinners and fresh, light breakfasts; the interchange of ambitions–ambitions interwoven each with the other’s or else inconsiderable–the mutual help and inspiration; and–overlook my artlessness–stuffed olives and cheese sandwiches at 11 p.m.

But after a while Art flagged. It sometimes does, even if some switchman doesn’t flag it. Everything going out and nothing coming in, as the vulgarians say. Money was lacking to pay Mr. Magister and Herr Rosenstock their prices. When one loves one’s Art no service seems too hard. So, Delia said she must give music lessons to keep the chafing dish bubbling.



COMMENTS:

A young painter and a young actress try to set up a life together, struggling to make ends meet and still be true to their art. This story is more earnest than many O. Henry stories, and doesn’t have a lot of his famous jokey dialogue. It’s Romantic and old-fashioned, and gentle/sweet, but short with only a handful of events.


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