THE EMPEROR'S NEW CLOTHES 93
loom, for he would not say that he saw nothing. The whole suite whom he had with him looked ancl looked, and saw nothing, any more than the rest; but, like the emperor, they said, ' That is pretty ! ' and counselled him to wear these splendid new clothes for the first time at the great procession that was presently to take place. ' It is splendid, tasteful, excellent! ' went from mouth to mouth. On all sides there seemed to be general rejoicing, and the emperor gave each of the cheats a cross to hang at his button-hole and the title of Imperial Court Weaver.
The whole night before the morning on which the procession was to take place the cheats were up, and had lighted more than sixteen candles. The people could see that they were hard at work, completing the emperor's new clothes. They pretended to take the stuff down from the loom ; they made cuts in the air with great scissors ; they sewed with needles without thread ; and at last they said, ' Now the clothes are ready ! '
The emperor came himself with his noblest cavaliers ; and the two cheats lifted up one arm as if they were holding something, and said, ' See, here are the trousers ! here is the coat! here is the cloak ! ' and so on. ' It is as light as a spider's web : one would think one had nothing on ; but that is just the beauty of it.'
' Yes,' said all the cavaliers ; but they could not see anything, for nothing was there.
1 Does your imperial majesty please to condescend to undress ? ' said the cheats ; ' then we will put you on the new clothes here in front of the great mirror.'
The emperor took off his clothes, and the cheats pretended to put on him each of the new garments, and they took him round the waist, and seemed to fasten on something ; that was the train ; and the emperor turned round and round before the mirror.
' Oh, how well they look ! how capitally they fit! ' said all. * What a pattern! what colours! That is a splendid dress !'
* They are standing outside with the canopy which is to be borne above your majesty in the procession !' announced the head master of the ceremonies.
1 Well, I am ready,' replied the emperor. ' Does it not