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George And Alick
by [?]

“Well, you know, Annie, it is all very well to try to be kind to and help nice people–people whom you like. It is the nicest thing in the world to help you, Annie, because you are always so good, and kind, and gentle. But there are people to whom I never could be kind, let me try ever so much.”

“But Georgie,” his sister began.

He interrupted her with some impatience.

“Oh, I know what you are going to say. You always say that we ought to like everybody. But that is nonsense. Everybody is not likable, and I don’t like people who are not likable, and I never shall, and never can.”

“I did not mean to say that. I don’t always say it; I don’t think I ever said it,” she answered quietly. “I know that one cannot like people who are not likable. But Georgie,” (with much earnestness,) “I know, and you know, that it is God’s will, that it is God’s command, that we should be kind, and tender, and gentle, and pitiful to every one, whether we like them or not.”

Yes, Georgie did know that. Often had he been reminded of it. But as this was a command he often broke, he did not like to think of it. He moved restlessly and impatiently on his chair, and said, with some fretfulness:–

“Well, but how can one; at least how can a rough boy like me? You can, Annie, I know. You do. Although you are often confined to this stupid bed for weeks at a time, you do more good, and make more people happy and comfortable, than any one in all the house. You are so good. It is easy for you.”

“No, Georgie, it is not easy for me,” she answered, her sweet, pale face, flushing at his praise. “I am not always kind. But a thought came into my mind about a year ago that has always helped me a great deal. I think God must have put it into my mind. Indeed I am sure he did, it has helped me so much.”

“And what was the thought?” George asked eagerly.

“I was thinking how difficult it was to feel kindly, to feel rightly towards those whom we don’t care for, who are not pleasant; and then it came all in a minute into my head, that we should find it much easier if we could only remember ever and always that everybody we meet must be either God’s friend or God’s enemy.”

“But how could that help?” George asked, knitting his brows, as if greatly puzzled.

Annie tried to explain.

“You know,” she said, “that there are no two ways about it,–that we must either be God’s friend or his enemy.”

“Yes,” he answered thoughtfully; “papa made me see that long ago.”

“And every boy you meet is either the one or the other, whatever else he may be, nice or not, pleasant and likable, or unpleasant and unlikable. If he be God’s friend–if he be a boy who loves our dear Lord Jesus Christ,” she went on, with an earnestness of feeling which brought tears to her eyes,–“a boy whom Christ loves, and for whom he died–a boy that Christ cares for, and is ever watching over, and in whose troubles and pleasures, joys and sorrows, Christ is tenderly concerned–O Georgie, if he be Christ’s friend, must not we like to be kind to and help him, to do him as much good and as little harm as we can?”

“Yes, yes, I see,” he answered softly, and with much feeling. Annie went on.

“And if he be a boy who does not love God,” she said solemnly, “then must he be one of the wicked with whom God says that he is angry every day. And oh, Georgie, think what it must be to have God angry with you every day! to go through the world without God, never to think of him with love! to have no God to serve, no God to care for you; never to have your troubles made easy by knowing that the loving God has sent them, never to have your joys made sweet because they are his loving gift! O Georgie, how dreary, how desolate! Can you help being pitiful to any one who is in such a state?”