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The Emperor's New Clothes

Long ago and far away, there lived an Emperor. This Emperor was very vain and could think about nothing but his clothes. He had wardrobes and cupboards full of clothes. They filled his spare bedrooms and upstairs corridors of the palace.

The courtiers were worried that the wardrobes would begin to appear downstairs and in their chambers1.

The Emperor spent hours every morning getting dressed. He had to choose his outfit2, preferable a new one, and the shoes and wig3 to go with it. Mid-morning, he invariably changed into something more formal for his short meetings with his councillors and advisors4. He would change again for lunch, and then again for a rest in the afternoon. He just had to change for dinner and them again for the evening!

He kept all the weavers6, tailors, cobblers and silk merchants of the city very busy and very happy! News of the Emperor spread to distant kingdoms and finally came to the ears of two very shady characters.

"Could we?" they asked themselves. "Could we fool the Emperor who loves new clothes?" "Let's try," they decided7.

They left their homes and traveled to the Emperor's city. there they saw the many shops selling clothes, shoes and fabrics9. For, if the Emperor dressed finely, so too did his couriers. The two travelers went to the palace along with many other tradesmen hoping to sell their wares10 to the Emperor. They asked to meet the Emperor. "We have something very special to show him," they told the Chamberlain. "That's what everyone says," said the Chamberlain. "Ah, but his is magical," said one, "We have invented a new cloth by using a very special and secret method."

The Chamberlain felt that it was his duty to bring new items to the Emperor's attention and he went to tell him. "Something magical?" said the Emperor, who was changing for lunch and admiring himself in the mirror. "Oh, I love new things, Show the two weavers in."

The two weavers were shown in, and began to describe their cloth to the Emperor. "It is gold, silver and rainbow colored, all at the same time," said one. "It shimmers12." "It feels like silk, but is as warm as wool," said the second. "It is as light as air," said the first. "A most wonderful fabric8."

The Emperor was enchanted13. He must have an outfit from this new cloth. "There is a grand parade in the city in two weeks time," he said. "I need a new outfit for it. Can one be ready in time?" "Oh yes, your Majesty," said the weavers. "But there is a problem. The cloth is very expensive to make." "No matter," said the Emperor, waving his hand. "Money is no object. I must have an outfit. Just see the Chamberlain and he'll sort it out. Make it here in the palace."

The Chamberlain showed the two weavers to a large airy room and they set to work. They asked for a loom14, and a sack of gold to start buying materials. The Chamberlain followed the Emperor's orders and they were denied nothing. The weavers worked away behind closed doors. The loom could be heard clattering15 away. Every now and then a courtier would stand and listen at the door. News of the magic cloth had spread.

Finally, the Emperor could stand it no more. "Chamberlain, go to the weavers and see how the cloth is processing. The parade is only a week way." The Chamberlain knocked at the door and waited. "Enter!" said the weavers. They had been expecting someone soon! "The Emperor has sent me to check on the progress of the cloth," said the Chamberlain, staring at the empty loom. "Is it not beautiful?" said one of the weavers, holding out nothing to the Chamberlain. "See the lustre16, feel the softness!" "Um," said the Chamberlain, not quite sure what to say. "Oh wise Chamberlain," said the other weaver5.

"Now you can see why it is magical. Only the truly clever and brilliant can see the cloth. Most people would see an empty loom, but a clever man like you will see our wonderful cloth." "Of course," said the Chamberlain, not wanting to look stupid. "It really is quite marvelous. Those colors, that shimmer11 of the gold and silver threads. Marvelous." "Oh, you are so wise," said the weavers.

The Emperor was very impatient and couldn't wait for the Chamberlain to return. After ten minutes of pacing up and down, he went to the weavers' room, followed by half of his court. He threw the doors open, and saw the empty loom. "Why!" he cried in a surprised voice. "Your Majesty," said the Chamberlain quickly. " A wise man such as yourself can surely see the colors and sheen of this magical cloth." "Of course I can," said the Emperor, wondering why he could not. "It's beautiful. Simply enchanting17. When can my outfit be made? Send for the royal tailors!" "Your Majesty," said the two weavers. "We would be delighted to make your outfit for you. There is no need to trouble your hard-working tailor. It is such a difficult fabric to cut and sew. We will make the suit." "Very well," said the Emperor. "First fitting tomorrow."

The courtiers had followed the Emperor, and they now came into the room. Of course, they could see nothing on the loom for there was nothing to see. "Is it not beautiful?" said one of the weavers. "Of course, only the wise and very clever can see the beauty of the cloth. Look at the colors, feel the weight." The courtiers queued up to look at the colors and feel the weight, and each went away exclaiming over the marvelous cloth which was indeed as light as air. But each courtier secretly wondered if they were really stupid, as they had seen nothing at all. The two weavers then set to work as tailors. They muttered and discussed at the Emperor's fittings, stitching here, cutting there until at last the suit was made.

The following day was the day of the parade. "Am I not the handsomest of men in my marvellous suit?" said the Emperor to the Chamberlain, as he showed off his new outfit. "Just look at the tiny stitches and the lacework. Truly marvelous." "Undoubtedly18, sir," said the Chamberlain. "There is no outfit on earth to equal this one."

The Emperor was dressed in his new suit and ready for the parade. News of his amazing outfit had reached the people of the town and all wanted to see him. There were people crowded along the sides of the streets.

The parade began!

People gasped19. "What a suit!" they cried. "What suit?" asked a small boy, who had not heard of the magical cloth. "The Emperor has no clothes on at all!" "It's true! No clothes! The Emperor is naked!" the people cried. And the Emperor was very ashamed. He had been so vain, and now he had been made to look a fool. As for the two tailors -- they were in fact thieves, and had long since left the town with their bags of gold. Probably laughing all the way! But the Emperor is a wiser man now, and spends a lot more time with his advisors and far less with his tailors.

I. Translation for Reference(参考译文)




















II. Exercise Choose the correct answer to the following questions.

1. What or who did the Emperor really think about?
A. His subject(臣民).
B. His money.
C. His wife.  
D. His clothes.

2. What did the two weavers travel to the Emperor's city for?
A. Fooling the Emperor.
B. Doing something good for the Emperor.
C. Just touring there.
D. Doing some business.

3. What did the weavers say about making the cloth?
A. Very complex.
B. Very expensive.
C. Very easy.
D. Very cheap.

4. When they need any money for making the clothes, who would they go to see?
A. The Emperor.
B. No one.
C. The Chamberlain.
D. Solve the problem by themselves.

5. Who went to the weavers' loom first?
A. The Chamberlain.
B. A servant.
C. The Emperor.
D. The courtiers.

6. Who could really see the clothes?
A. The Emperor.
B. The courtiers.
C. The Chamberlain.
D. No one.

7. What did the Chamberlain say about the clothes during the day of parade?
A. Truly marvelous.
B. Just so so.
C. Very neat.
D. No comment.

8. Who told the truth finally?
A. The Chamberlain.
B. The courtiers.
C. A small boy.
D. A old woman.


III. New Words and Expressions 生词和词组

vain a. 空虚的  
chamber n. 房间
weaver n. 织布者
fabrics n. 织物
shimmer v. 闪烁
lustre n. 光泽
sheen n. 光泽
stitch v. 缝合


Key to Exercise(练习答案)

1.D  2.A 3.B 4.C 5.A 6.D 7.A 8.C


1 chambers c053984cd45eab1984d2c4776373c4fe     
n.房间( chamber的名词复数 );(议会的)议院;卧室;会议厅
  • The body will be removed into one of the cold storage chambers. 尸体将被移到一个冷冻间里。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • Mr Chambers's readable book concentrates on the middle passage: the time Ransome spent in Russia. Chambers先生的这本值得一看的书重点在中间:Ransome在俄国的那几年。 来自互联网
2 outfit YJTxC     
  • Jenney bought a new outfit for her daughter's wedding.珍妮为参加女儿的婚礼买了一套新装。
  • His father bought a ski outfit for him on his birthday.他父亲在他生日那天给他买了一套滑雪用具。
3 wig 1gRwR     
  • The actress wore a black wig over her blond hair.那个女演员戴一顶黑色假发罩住自己的金黄色头发。
  • He disguised himself with a wig and false beard.他用假发和假胡须来乔装。
4 advisors 9c02a9c1778f1533c47ade215559070d     
n.顾问,劝告者( advisor的名词复数 );(指导大学新生学科问题等的)指导教授
  • The governors felt that they were being strung along by their advisors. 地方长官感到他们一直在受顾问们的愚弄。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
  • We will consult together with advisors about her education. 我们将一起和专家商议她的教育事宜。 来自互联网
5 weaver LgWwd     
  • She was a fast weaver and the cloth was very good.她织布织得很快,而且布的质量很好。
  • The eager weaver did not notice my confusion.热心的纺织工人没有注意到我的狼狈相。
6 weavers 55d09101fa7c612133657b412e704736     
织工,编织者( weaver的名词复数 )
  • The Navajo are noted as stockbreeders and skilled weavers, potters, and silversmiths. 纳瓦霍人以豢养家禽,技术熟练的纺织者,制陶者和银匠而著名。
  • They made out they were weavers. 他们假装是织布工人。
7 decided lvqzZd     
  • This gave them a decided advantage over their opponents.这使他们比对手具有明显的优势。
  • There is a decided difference between British and Chinese way of greeting.英国人和中国人打招呼的方式有很明显的区别。
8 fabric 3hezG     
  • The fabric will spot easily.这种织品很容易玷污。
  • I don't like the pattern on the fabric.我不喜欢那块布料上的图案。
9 fabrics 678996eb9c1fa810d3b0cecef6c792b4     
织物( fabric的名词复数 ); 布; 构造; (建筑物的)结构(如墙、地面、屋顶):质地
  • cotton fabrics and synthetics 棉织物与合成织物
  • The fabrics are merchandised through a network of dealers. 通过经销网点销售纺织品。
10 wares 2eqzkk     
n. 货物, 商品
  • They sold their wares at half-price. 他们的货品是半价出售的。
  • The peddler was crying up his wares. 小贩极力夸耀自己的货物。
11 shimmer 7T8z7     
  • The room was dark,but there was a shimmer of moonlight at the window.屋子里很黑,但靠近窗户的地方有点微光。
  • Nor is there anything more virginal than the shimmer of young foliage.没有什么比新叶的微光更纯洁无瑕了。
12 shimmers 4fad931838cc2f6062fa4a38709a3072     
n.闪闪发光,发微光( shimmer的名词复数 )v.闪闪发光,发微光( shimmer的第三人称单数 )
  • The hot pavement sent up shimmers. 晒热的道路浮起热气晃动的景象。 来自辞典例句
  • Sunlight shimmers on the waters of the bay. 阳光在海湾的水面上闪烁。 来自辞典例句
13 enchanted enchanted     
adj. 被施魔法的,陶醉的,入迷的 动词enchant的过去式和过去分词
  • She was enchanted by the flowers you sent her. 她非常喜欢你送给她的花。
  • He was enchanted by the idea. 他为这个主意而欣喜若狂。
14 loom T8pzd     
  • The old woman was weaving on her loom.那位老太太正在织布机上织布。
  • The shuttle flies back and forth on the loom.织布机上梭子来回飞动。
15 clattering f876829075e287eeb8e4dc1cb4972cc5     
  • Typewriters keep clattering away. 打字机在不停地嗒嗒作响。
  • The typewriter was clattering away. 打字机啪嗒啪嗒地响着。
16 lustre hAhxg     
  • The sun was shining with uncommon lustre.太阳放射出异常的光彩。
  • A good name keeps its lustre in the dark.一个好的名誉在黑暗中也保持它的光辉。
17 enchanting MmCyP     
  • His smile, at once enchanting and melancholy, is just his father's. 他那种既迷人又有些忧郁的微笑,活脱儿象他父亲。
  • Its interior was an enchanting place that both lured and frightened me. 它的里头是个吸引人的地方,我又向往又害怕。
18 undoubtedly Mfjz6l     
  • It is undoubtedly she who has said that.这话明明是她说的。
  • He is undoubtedly the pride of China.毫无疑问他是中国的骄傲。
19 gasped e6af294d8a7477229d6749fa9e8f5b80     
v.喘气( gasp的过去式和过去分词 );喘息;倒抽气;很想要
  • She gasped at the wonderful view. 如此美景使她惊讶得屏住了呼吸。
  • People gasped with admiration at the superb skill of the gymnasts. 体操运动员的高超技艺令人赞叹。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
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