Emperor’s New Clothes/ 皇帝的新衣
Many years ago there lived an emperor who loved beautiful new clothes so much that he spent all his money on being finely dressed. His only interest was in going to the theatre where he could show off his new clothes. He had a different costume for every hour of the day.
One day two swindlers came to the emperor’s city. They said that they were weavers, claiming that they knew how to make the finest cloth imaginable. Not only were the colors and the patterns extraordinarily beautiful, but this material had the amazing property that it was to be invisible to anyone who was incompetent or stupid.
一天，两个骗子 来到了首都。他们自称自己是裁缝 ，并承诺可以制作世上最漂亮的衣服。他们告诉皇帝，这件衣服不仅颜色和图案都异常美丽，而且材料也十分奇特，任何愚蠢、或者不称职的人都看不见这件衣服。
“It would be wonderful to have clothes made from that cloth,” thought the emperor. “Then I would know which of my men are unfit for their positions, and I’d also be able to tell clever people from stupid ones.” So he immediately gave the two swindlers a great sum of money to weave their cloth for him.
They set up their looms and pretended to go to work, although there was nothing at all on the looms. They asked for the finest silk and the purest gold, all of which they hid away, continuing to work on the empty looms, often late into the night.
“I would really like to know how they are coming with the cloth!” thought the emperor, but he was a bit uneasy when he recalled that anyone who was unfit for his position or stupid would not be able to see the material. Of course, he himself had nothing to fear, but still he decided to send someone else to see how the work was progressing.
“I’ll send my honest old minister to the weavers,” thought the emperor. He’s the best one to see how the material is coming. He is very sensible, and no one is more worthy of his position than he.
So the good old minister went into the hall where the two swindlers sat working at their empty looms. “Goodness!” thought the old minister, opening his eyes wide. “I cannot see a thing!” But he did not say so.
The two swindlers invited him to step closer, asking him if it wasn’t a beautiful design and if the colors weren’t magnificent. They pointed to the empty loom, and the poor old minister opened his eyes wider and wider. He still could see nothing, for nothing was there. “Gracious” he thought. “Is it possible that I am stupid? I have never thought so. Am I unfit for my position? No one must know this. No, it will never do for me to say that I was unable to see the material.”
“You aren’t saying anything!” said one of the weavers.
“Oh, it is magnificent! The very best!” said the old minister, peering through his glasses.”This pattern and these colors! Yes, I’ll tell the emperor that I am very satisfied with it!”
“That makes us happy!” said the two weavers, and they called the colors and the unusual pattern by name. The old minister listened closely so that he would be to able say the same things when he reported back to the emperor, and that is exactly what he did.
The swindlers now asked for more money, more silk, and more gold, all of which they hid away. Then they continued to weave away as before on the empty looms.
The emperor sent other officials as well to observe the weavers’ progress. They too were startled when they saw nothing, and they too reported back to him how wonderful the material was, advising him to have it made into clothes that he could wear in a grand procession. The entire city was alive in praise of the cloth. “Magnifique! Nysseligt! Excellent!” they said, in all languages. The emperor awarded the swindlers with medals of honor, bestowing on each of them the title Lord Weaver.
Questions: / 问题：
- What does the Emperor like the most? / 故事中的皇帝最喜欢什么？
- What is so special about this cloth? / 布料的神奇之处在哪里？