The Brother and The Sister

An ugly sister was jealous of her handsome brother. Father said not to be as beauty is more than skin deep.

Inner beauty is better than outer beauty.

Townsend VersionTownsend version

A father had one son and one daughter, the former remarkable for his good looks, the latter for her extraordinary ugliness. While they were playing one day as children, they happened by chance to look together into a mirror that was placed on their mother’s chair. The boy congratulated himself on his good looks; the girl grew angry, and could not bear the self-praises of her Brother, interpreting all he said (and how could she do otherwise?) into reflection on herself. She ran off to her father to be avenged on her Brother, and spitefully accused him of having, as a boy, made use of that which belonged only to girls. The father embraced them both, and bestowing his kisses and affection impartially on each, said, “I wish you both would look into the mirror every day: you, my son, that you may not spoil your beauty by evil conduct; and you, my daughter, that you may make up for your lack of beauty by your virtues.”

JBR CollectionJBR Collection

A certain man had tw0 children, a boy and a girl. The lad was a handsome young fellow enough, but the girl was as plain as a girl can well be. The latter, provoked beyond endurance by the way in which her Brother looked in the glass and made remarks to her disadvantage, went to her father and complained of it. The father drew his children to him very tenderly, and said, ” ‘My dears, I wish you both to look in the glass every day. You, my son, that, seeing your face is handsome, you may take care not to spoil it by ill-temper and bad behaviour, and you, my daughter, that you may be encouraged to make up for your want of beauty by the sweetness of your manners, and the grace of your conversation.”

Crane Poetry VisualCrane Poetry Visual


Brother and Sister

Twin children: the Girl, she was plain;
The Brother was handsome & vain;
“Let him brag of his looks,”
Father said, mind your books!
The best beauty is bred in the brain.”

Handsome is as handsome does.

Perry #499