Andersen's Fairy Tales
"The canopy which is to be borne over your Majesty, in the procession, is waiting,"
announced the chief master of the ceremonies.
"I am quite ready," answered the Emperor. "Do my new clothes fit well?" asked he, turning
himself round again before the looking glass, in order that he might appear to be examining
his handsome suit.
The lords of the bedchamber, who were to carry his Majesty's train felt about on the
ground, as if they were lifting up the ends of the mantle; and pretended to be carrying
something; for they would by no means betray anything like simplicity, or unfitness for
So now the Emperor walked under his high canopy in the midst of the procession, through
the streets of his capital; and all the people standing by, and those at the windows, cried
out, "Oh! How beautiful are our Emperor's new clothes! What a magnificent train there is
to the mantle; and how gracefully the scarf hangs!" in short, no one would allow that he
could not see these much-admired clothes; because, in doing so, he would have declared
himself either a simpleton or unfit for his office. Certainly, none of the Emperor's various
suits, had ever made so great an impression, as these invisible ones.
"But the Emperor has nothing at all on!" said a little child.
"Listen to the voice of innocence!" exclaimed his father; and what the child had said was
whispered from one to another.
"But he has nothing at all on!" at last cried out all the people. The Emperor was vexed, for
he knew that the people were right; but he thought the procession must go on now! And the
lords of the bedchamber took greater pains than ever, to appear holding up a train,
although, in reality, there was no train to hold.