The Yellow Fairy Book HTML version

Story Of The Emperor's New Clothes
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 demanded 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 nothing to fear for himself, but he wanted first to send