Full text: The little review (8 (1922), 2)

50 
seemed bleak and empty. The people hurried along in silence; 
old snow lay frozen hard in the dark dirty corners; and the dust 
was thick. Over the roofs the sky seemed particularly black, 
foggy, and cold. 
It was night. 
No sound except those of the vehicles flying over the rough 
pavement, the pounding tramcars that passed, and the shoes of 
the hurrying people. . . . but at last, at intervals above 
the other sounds there came what seemed to be a voice raised 
in shouting or speaking; and on coming to a place where two 
mean dark side streets met I found on the pavement a short 
plump gentle but very earnest Negro of forty who was urging 
upon passers the principles of Jesus’ teaching. He used the 
inflection and diction of Negroes in this part of the world, but 
he was neatly dressed and wore a greatcoat; his head was bare, 
for he had placed his round black hat against an iron hydrant 
for the reception of coins. Four or five men who had turned 
aside from the main street were listening to him; more, how 
ever, were going into the half-screened drinking places all about. 
Besides, the farther side of the street in which he stood contained 
a row of little dark wooden buildings that held Negro brothels. 
It was a dusty winter night. 
“You men, naow:” the Negro was crying in a ringing, pleas 
ing voice, “you got to be good! You got to do as God says! It 
ain’t gwine do you no good to pray to God if you don’t do as He 
says! Don’t you go to fightin and killin and gamblin and then 
pray to God. It ain’t gwine do you no good! First you got to 
quit yo fightin, quit yo killin, quit yo drinkin, quit yo gamblin, 
quit yo swarin, quit yo whore-mongerin: God does not wish you 
to do these things! Then you go to Him and pray! And He’s 
gwine hear what you say!” 
The utterance of these words with singular force in that 
stirring melodious voice, and the face and form of the little man 
made lovely by joy, faith and good will, shone in that bleak cold 
street, it seemed to me, like glittering gold shining from the 
gutter dust. 
I drew nearer and listened to him say that he had come here 
because he had been bidden by God to go among men and 
preach the Word, not as preached in worldly churches but as the
	        

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