STORY OF THE EMPERORS NEW CLOTHES1
MANY years ago there lived an Emperor who was so fond of new clothes that he spent all his money on them in order to be beautifully dressed. He did not care about his soldiers, he did not care about the theatre; he only liked to go out walking to show off his new clothes. He had a coat for every hour of the day; and just as they say of a king, ' He is in the council-chamber,' they always said here, ' The Emperor is in the wardrobe.'
In the great city in which he lived there was always something going on; every day many strangers came there. One day two impostors arrived who gave themselves out as weavers, and said that they knew how to manufacture the most beautiful cloth imaginable. Not only were the texture and pattern uncommonly beautiful, but the clothes which were made of the stuff possessed this wonderful property that they were invisible to anyone who was not fit for his office, or who was unpardonably stupid.
' Those must indeed be splendid clothes,' thought the Emperor. (If I had them on I could find out which men in my kingdom are unfit for the offices they hold; I could distinguish the wise from the stupid ! Yes, this cloth must be woven for me at once.' And he gave both the impostors much money, so that they might begin their work.
They placed two weaving-looms, and began to do as if they were working, but they had not the least thing on the looms. They also demandod the finest silk and the best gold, which they put in their pockets, and worked at the empty looms till late into the night.
' I should like very much to know how far they have got on with the cloth,' thought the Emperor. But he remembered when he thought about it that whoever was stupid or not fit for his office would not be able to see it. Now he certainly believed that he had