Муниципальное бюджетное общеобразовательное учреждение города Керчи Республики Крым "Специализированная школа № 1 имени Володи Дубинина"




0. Henry




O. Henry (1862-1910) was born William Sydney Porter in Greenboro, North Carolina. His father, Algernon Sidney Porter, was a physician. When William was three, his mother died, and he was raised by his parental grandmother and paternal aunt. William was an avid reader, but at the age of fifteen he left school, and then worked in a drug store and on a Texas ranch. He continued to Houston, where he had a number of jobs, including that of bank clerk. After moving in 1882 to Texas, he worked on a ranch in LaSalle County for two years. In 1887 he married Athol Estes Roach; they had one daughter and one son.

In 1894 Porter started a humorous weekly The Rolling Stone. It was at this time that he began heavy drinking. When the weekly failed, he joined the Houston Post as a reporter and columnist. In 1894 cash was found to have gone missing from the First National Bank in Austin, where Porter had worked as a bank teller. When he was called back to Austin to stand trial, Porter fled to Honduras to avoid trial. Little is known about Porter's stay in Central America. It is said, that he met one Al Jennings, and rambled in South America and Mexico on the proceeds of Jenning's robbery. After hearing news that his wife was dying, he returned in 1897 to Austin. In 1897 he was convicted of embezzling money, although there has been much debate over his actual guilt. Porter entered in 1898 a penitentiary at Columbus, Ohio.

While in prison, Porter started to write short stories to earn money to support his daughter Margaret. His first work, 'Whistling Dick's Christmas Stocking' (1899), appeared in McClure's Magazine. The stories of adventure in the U. S. Southwest and in Central America gained an immediately success among readers. After doing three years of the five years sentence, Porter emerged from the prison in 1901 and changed his name to O. Henry. According to some sources, he acquired the pseudonym from a warder called Orrin Henry. It also could be an abbreviation of the name of a French pharmacist, Eteinne-Ossian Henry, found in the U. S. Dispensatory, a reference work Porter used when he was in the prison pharmacy.

O. Henry moved to New York City in 1902 and from December 1903 to January 1906 he wrote a story a week for the New York World, also publishing in other magazines. Henry's first collection, CABBAGES AND KINGS, appeared in 1904. The second, THE FOUR MILLION, was published two years later and included his well-known stories 'The Gift of the Magi' and 'The Furnished Room'. THE TRIMMED LAMP (1907) explored the lives of New Yorkers and included 'The Last Leaf' - the city itself Henry liked to call 'Bagdad-on the-Subway. ' In one of his stories, 'One Dollar's Worth', O. Henry deals with the judicial system. Judge Derwent receives a letter from an ex-convict, in which the writer, 'Rattlesnake' threatens his daughter and the district attorney, Littlefield. A young Mexican, Rafael Ortiz, is accused of passing a counterfeit silver dollar, made principally of lead. Rafael's girl, Joya Treviñas, tells Littlefield that he is innocent - she was sick, and needed medicine, and that was the reason why Rafael used the dollar. Littlefield refuses to help, and Joya says that "it the life of the girl you love is ever in danger, remember Rafael Ortiz. " When he drives out of the town with Nancy Derwent, they meet Mexico Sam, the writer of the letter. He starts to shoot them from distance with his rifle. Littlefield can't hurt him with his own gun which has only tiny pellets. 

O. Henry had a broad knowledge of the life of common people. They are the main characters of his stories, and their fates comprise those unusual and unexpected plots which never fail to surprise the reader. O. Henry was the master of surprise endings.

The literary heritage1 of O. Henry contains two hundred and seventy-three short stories. Most of them are filled with the writer’s warm human sympathy for common American people: “The Gift of the Magi”, “A Service of Love”, “The Cop and the Anthem”, “An Unfinished Story”, “The Romance of a Busy Broker”, “The Last Leaf”, “While the Auto Waits”, “The Third Ingredient” and many others.

TASKS to the LESSONS 1-2

Task 1. Read and translate the text.
Task 2. Pick out new words in your vocabulary.
Task 3. Compose three sentences with as many new words as possible.

Task 4. Make a summary of the auther’s life in chronological order




When one loves one’s Art no service seems too hard.

That is our premise. This story shall draw a conclusion from it, and show at the same time that the premise is incorrect. That will be a new thing in logic, and a feat in story-telling somewhat older than the Great Wall of China. 1 _ Joe Larrabee came out of the post-oak flats of the Middle West pulsing with a genius for pictorial art. At six he drew a picture of the town pump with a prominent citizen passing it hastily. This effort was framed and hung in the drug store window by the side of the ear of corn with an uneven number of rows. At twenty he left for New York with a flowing necktie and a capital tied up somewhat closer.

Delia Caruthers did things in six octaves so promisingly in a pine-tree village in the South that her relatives chipped in2 enough in her chip hat3 for her to go “North” and “finish”. They could not see her f—, but that is our story.

Joe and Delia met in an atelier where a number of art and music students had gathered to discuss chiaroscuro, Wagner,4 music, Rembrandt’s5 works, pictures, Waldteufel,6 wall paper, Chopin,7 and Oolong.

Joe and Delia became enamoured one of the other, or each of the other, as you please, and in a short time were married — for (see above), when one loves one’s Art no service seems too hard.

Mr. and  Mrs. Larrabee began housekeeping in a flat. It was a lonesome flat — something like the A sharp way down at the left-hand end of the keyboard. And they were happy; for they had their Art, and they had each other. And my advice to the rich young man would be sell all thou hast,8 and give it to the poor — janitor for the privilege of living in a flat with your Art and your Delia.

Flat-dwellers shall indorse my dictum that theirs is the only true happiness. If a home is happy it cannot fit too close — let the dresser collapse and become a billiard table; let the mantel turn to a rowing machine, the escritoire 9 to a spare bedchamber, the washstand to an upright piano; let the four walls come to­gether, if they will, so you and your Delia are between. But if home be the other kind, let it be wide and long — enter you at the Golden Gate,10 hang your hat on Hatteras,11 your cape on Cape Horn,12 and go out by the Labrador.13

Joe was painting in the class of the great Magister — you know his fame. His fees are high; his lessons are light — his highlights have brought him renown. Delia was studying under Rosenstock — you know his repute as a disturber of the piano keys.

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.

For two or three days she went out canvassing for pupils. One evening she came home elated.

“Joe, dear,” she said, gleefully, “I’ve a pupil. And, oh, the loveliest people! General — General A. B. Pinkney’s daughter — on Seventy-first Street. Such a splendid house, Joe — you ought to see the front door! Byzantine 14 I think you would call it. And inside! Oh, Joe, I never saw anything like it before.

“My pupil is his daughter Clementina. I dearly love her already. She’s a delicate thing — dresses always in white; and the sweetest, simplest manners! Only eighteen years old. I’m to give three lessons a week; and, just think, Joe! $ 5 a lesson. I don’t mind it a bit; for when I get two or three more pupils I can resume my lessons with Herr Rosenstock. Now, smooth out that wrinkle between your brows, dear, and let’s have a nice supper.”

“That’s all right for you, Dele,” said Joe, attacking a can of peas with a carving knife and a hatchet, “but how about me? Do you think I’m going to let you hustle for wages while I phi­lander in the regions of high art? Not by the bones of Benvenuto Cellini! 15 I guess I can sell papers or lay cobblestones, and bring in a dollar or two.”

Delia came and hung about his neck.

“Joe, dear, you are silly. You must keep on at your studies. It is not as if I had quit my music and gone to work at some­thing else. While I teach I learn. I am always with my music. And we can live as happily as millionaires on $ 15 a week. You mustn’t think of leaving Mr. Magister.”

“All right,” said Joe, reaching for the blue scalloped vegetable dish. “But I hate for you to be giving lessons. It isn’t Art. But you’re a trump and a dear to do it.”

“When one loves one’s Art no service seems too hard,” said Delia.

“Magister praised the sky in that sketch 1 made in the park,” said Joe. “And Tinkle gave me permission to hang two of them in his window. I may sell one if the right kind of a moneyed idiot sees them.”

“I’m sure you will,” said Delia, sweetly. “And now let’s be thankful for Gen. Pinkney and this veal roast.”

TASKS to the LESSONS 3-4

Task 1. Read and translate the text.
Task 2. Pick out new words in your vocabulary.

Task 3 Compose the plan of the extract in five items with as many new words as possible.
Task 4. Describe the characters of this story.




During all of the next week the Larrabees had an early breakfast. Joe was enthusiastic about some morning-effect sketches he was doing in Central Park,16 and Delia packed him off breakfasted, coddled, praised and kissed at 7 o’clock. Art is an engaging mistress. It was most times 7 o’clock when he returned in the evening.

At the end of the week Delia, sweetly proud but languid, triumphantly tossed three five-dollar bills on the 8 X 10 (inches) centre table of the 8X10 (feet) flat parlour.

“Sometimes,” she said, a little wearily, “Clementina tries me. I’m afraid she doesn’t practice enough, and I have to tell her the same things so often. And then she always dresses entirely in white, and that does get monotonous. But Gen. Pinkney is the dearest old man! I wish you could know him, Joe. He comes in sometimes when I am with Clementina at the piano — he is a wid­ower, you know — and stands there pulling his white goatee. ‘And how are the semiquavers and the demisemiquavers progressing?* he always asks.

“I wish you could see the wainscoting in that drawing-room, Joe! And those Astrakhan rug portières. And Clementina has such a funny little cough. I hope she is stronger than she looks. Oh, I really am getting attached to her, she is so gentle and high bred. Gen. Pinkney’s brother was once Minister to Bolivia.”

And then Joe, with the air of a Monte Cristo,17 drew forth a ten, a five, a two and a one — all legal tender notes — and laid them beside Delia’s earnings.

“Sold that watercolour of the obelisk to a man from Peoria,” 18 he announced overwhelmingly.

“Don’t joke with me,” said Delia — “not from Peoria!”

“All the way. I wish you could see him, Dele, fat man with a woollen muffler and a quill toothpick. He saw the sketch in Tinkle’s window and thought it was a windmill at first. He was game, though, and bought it anyhow. He ordered another — an oil sketch of the Lackawanna freight depot — to take back with him. Music lessons! Oh, I guess Art is still in it.”

“I’m so glad you’ve kept on,” said Delia, heartily. “You’re bound to win, dear. Thirty-three dollars! We never had so much to spend before. We’ll have oysters to-night.”

“And filet mignon with champignons,” said Joe. “Where is the olive fork?”

On the next Saturday evening Joe reached home first. He spread his $ 18 on the parlour table and washed what seemed to be a great deal of dark paint from his hands.

Half an hour later Delia arrived, her right hand tied up in a shapeless bundle of wraps and bandages.

“How is this?” asked Joe after the usual greetings. Delia laughed, but not very joyously.

“Clementina,” she explained, “insisted upon a Welsh rabbit after her lesson. She is such a queer girl. Welsh rabbits at 5 in the afternoon. The General was there. You should have seen him run for the chafing dish, Joe, just as if there wasn’t a servant in the house. I know Clementina isn’t in good health; she is so nervous. In serving the rabbit she spilled a great lot of it, boiling hot, over my hand and wrist. It hurt awfully, Joe. And the dear girl was so sorry! But Gen. Pinkney!—Joe, that old man nearly went distracted. He rushed downstairs and sent somebody — they said the furnace man or somebody in the basement — out to a drug store for some oil and things to bind it up with. It doesn’t hurt so much now.”

“What’s this?” asked Joe, taking the hand tenderly and pull­ing at some white strands beneath the bandages.

“It’s something soft,” said Delia, “that had oil on it. Oh, Joe, did you sell another sketch?” she had seen the money on the table.

“Did I?” said Joe; “just ask the man from Peoria. He got his depot to-day, and he isn’t sure but he thinks he wants another parkscape and a view on the Hudson.19 What time this afternoon did you burn your hand, Dele?”

“Five o’clock, I think,” said Dele plaintively. “The iron —

1 mean the rabbit came off the fire about that time. You ought to have seen Gen. Pinkney, Joe, when —”

“Sit down here a moment, Dele,” said Joe. He drew her to the couch, sat beside her and put his arm across her shoulders.

“What have you been doing for the last two weeks, Dele?” he asked.

She braved it for a moment or two with an eye full of love and stubbornness, and murmured a phrase or two vaguely of Gen. Pinkney; but at length down went her head and out came the truth and tears.

“I couldn’t get any pupils,” she confessed. “And I couldn’t bear to have you give up your lessons; and I got a place ironing shirts in that big Twenty-fourth Street laundry. And I think I did very well to make up both General Pinkney and Clementina, don’t you, Joe? And when a girl in the laundry set down a hot iron on my hand this afternoon I was all the way home making up that story about the Welsh rabbit. You’re not angry, are you, Joe? And if I hadn’t got the work you mightn’t have sold your sketches to that man from Peoria.”

“He wasn’t from Peoria,” said Joe slowly.

“Well, it doesn’t matter where he was from. How clever you are, Joe — and — kiss me, Joe — and what made you ever suspect that I wasn’t giving music, lessons to Clementina?”

“I didn’t,” said Joe, “until to-night. And I wouldn’t have then, only I sent up this cotton waste and oil from the engine-room this afternoon for a girl upstairs who had her hand burned with a smoothing-iron. I’ve been firing the engine in that laundry for the last two weeks.”

“And then you didn’t —”

“My purchaser from Peoria,” said Joe, “and Gen. Pinkney are both creations of the same art — but you wouldn’t call it either painting or music.”

And then they both laughed, and Joe began:

“When one loves one’s Art no service seems — ”

But Delia stopped him with her hand on his lips. “No,” she said — “just ‘When one loves.’ ”


TASKS to the LESSONS 5-6

Task 1. Read and translate the text.
Task 2. Pick out new words in your vocabulary.
Task 3. What is the main idea of the extract?
Task 4. Give pluses and minuses of the extract.
Task 5. Make the literary analysis of the text according to the plan or the presentation using Microsoft Power Point Presentation or Movie Maker.



  1. the great wall of China — defensive wall in the north of China, between China proper and Mongolia.
  2. to chip in — to give money in common with others.
  3. chip hat — collection.
  4. Wagner ['vctgne], Richard — German composer (1813—1883).
  5. Rembrandt f'rembraent], Van Ryn — Dutch painter (1606—1669).
  6. Waldteufel — French composer (1837—1915).
  7. Chopin, Frederic ['ppe:*) 'fredrik] — Polish pianist and composer (1810— 1849).
  8. thou hast — you have.
  9. escritoire [,eskri'twa] (Fr.)—a writing-table or desk.
  10. the Golden Gate — strait connecting San Francisco Bay with Pacific Ocean.
  11. Hatteras ['haetares]—cape North Carolina, on S.E. Hatteras Island.
  12. Cape Horn — southernmost point of South America.
  13. the Labrador ['laebredo:]—sea arm of the Atlantic between Labrador Pe­ninsula and Greenland.
  14. Byzantine [bl'zaentain] — having the characteristics of a style of architecture developed in the Byzantine Empire especially in the 5th and the 6th centu­ries.
  15. Benvenuto Cellini — Italian goldsmith and sculptor (1500—1571).
  16. Central Park is in New York.
  17. Monte Cristo — character from the novel by Alexandre Dumas (1802—1840), * French novelist.
  18. Peoria [pi:'ouri:0] — city in Illinois [,ili'noi], state of U.S.A.
  19. the Hudson — river flowing from Adirondack kaedi'randaek] mountains into New York Bay.