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第2篇:THE EMPEROR'S NEW CLOTHES皇帝的新装

2012-12-28    来源:网络    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

THE EMPEROR'S NEW CLOTHES

Many years ago, there was an Emperor, who was so excessively fond of new clothes, that he spent all his money in dress. He did not trouble himself in the least about his soldiers; nor did he care to go either to the theatre or the chase, except for the opportunities then afforded him for displaying his new clothes. He had a different suit for each hour of the day; and as of any other king or emperor, one is accustomed to say, "he is sitting in council," it was always said of him, "The Emperor is sitting in his wardrobe."

Time passed merrily in the large town which was his capital; strangers arrived every day at the court. One day, two rogues, calling themselves weavers, made their appearance. They gave out that they knew how to weave stuffs of the most beautiful colors and elaborate patterns, the clothes manufactured from which should have the wonderful property of remaining invisible to everyone who was unfit for the office he held, or who was extraordinarily simple in character.

"These must, indeed, be splendid clothes!" thought the Emperor. "Had I such a suit, I might at once find out what men in my realms are unfit for their office, and also be able to distinguish the wise from the foolish! This stuff must be woven for me immediately." And he caused large sums of money to be given to both the weavers in order that they might begin their work directly.

So the two pretended weavers set up two looms, and affected to work very busily, though in reality they did nothing at all. They asked for the most delicate silk and the purest gold thread; put both into their own knapsacks; and then continued their pretended work at the empty looms until late at night.

"I should like to know how the weavers are getting on with my cloth," said the Emperor to himself, after some little time had elapsed; he was, however, rather embarrassed, when he remembered that a simpleton, or one unfit for his office, would be unable to see the manufacture. To be sure, he thought he had nothing to risk in his own person; but yet, he would prefer sending somebody else, to bring him intelligence about the weavers, and their work, before he troubled himself in the affair. All the people throughout the city had heard of the wonderful property the cloth was to possess; and all were anxious to learn how wise, or how ignorant, their neighbors might prove to be.

"I will send my faithful old minister to the weavers," said the Emperor at last, after some deliberation, "he will be best able to see how the cloth looks; for he is a man of sense, and no one can be more suitable for his office than he is."

So the faithful old minister went into the hall, where the knaves were working with all their might, at their empty looms. "What can be the meaning of this?" thought the old man, opening his eyes very wide. "I cannot discover the least bit of thread on the looms." However, he did not express his thoughts aloud.

The impostors requested him very courteously to be so good as to come nearer their looms; and then asked him whether the design pleased him, and whether the colors were not very beautiful; at the same time pointing to the empty frames. The poor old minister looked and looked, he could not discover anything on the looms, for a very good reason, viz: there was nothing there.

"What!" thought he again. "Is it possible that I am a simpleton? I have never thought so myself; and no one must know it now if I am so. Can it be, that I am unfit for my office? No, that must not be said either. I will never confess that I could not see the stuff."

"Well, Sir Minister!" said one of the knaves, still pretending to work. "You do not say whether the stuff pleases you."

"Oh, it is excellent!" replied the old minister, looking at the loom through his spectacles. "This pattern, and the colors, yes, I will tell the Emperor without delay, how very beautiful I think them."

"We shall be much obliged to you," said the impostors, and then they named the different colors and described the pattern of the pretended stuff. The old minister listened attentively to their words, in order that he might repeat them to the Emperor; and then the knaves asked for more silk and gold, saying that it was necessary to complete what they had begun. However, they put all that was given them into their knapsacks; and continued to work with as much apparent diligence as before at their empty looms.

The Emperor now sent another officer of his court to see how the men were getting on, and to ascertain whether the cloth would soon be ready. It was just the same with this gentleman as with the minister; he surveyed the looms on all sides, but could see nothing at all but the empty frames.

"Does not the stuff appear as beautiful to you, as it did to my lord the minister?" asked the impostors of the Emperor's second ambassador; at the same time making the same gestures as before, and talking of the design and colors which were not there.

"I certainly am not stupid!" thought the messenger. "It must be, that I am not fit for my good, profitable office! That is very odd; however, no one shall know anything about it." And accordingly he praised the stuff he could not see, and declared that he was delighted with both colors and patterns.

"Indeed, please your Imperial Majesty," said he to his sovereign when he returned, "the cloth which the weavers are preparing is extraordinarily magnificent."

The whole city was talking of the splendid cloth which the Emperor had ordered to be woven at his own expense.

And now the Emperor himself wished to see the costly manufacture, while it was still in the loom. Accompanied by a select number of officers of the court, among whom were the two honest men who had already admired the cloth, he went to the crafty impostors, who, as soon as they were aware of the Emperor's approach, went on working more diligently than ever; although they still did not pass a single thread through the looms.

"Is not the work absolutely magnificent?" said the two officers of the crown, already mentioned.

"If your Majesty will only be pleased to look at it! What a splendid design! What glorious colors!" and at the same time they pointed to the empty frames; for they imagined that everyone else could see this exquisite piece of workmanship.

"How is this?" said the Emperor to himself. "I can see nothing! This is indeed a terrible affair! Am I a simpleton, or am I unfit to be an Emperor? That would be the worst thing that could happen--Oh! the cloth is charming," said he, aloud. "It has my complete approbation." And he smiled most graciously, and looked closely at the empty looms; for on no account would he say that he could not see what two of the officers of his court had praised so much. All his retinue now strained their eyes, hoping to discover something on the looms, but they could see no more than the others; nevertheless, they all exclaimed, "Oh, how beautiful!" and advised his majesty to have some new clothes made from this splendid material, for the approaching procession.

"Magnificent! Charming! Excellent!" resounded on all sides; and everyone was uncommonly gay. The Emperor shared in the general satisfaction; and presented the impostors with the rib and of an order of knighthood, to be worn in their button-holes, and the title of "Gentlemen Weavers."

The rogues sat up the whole of the night before the day on which the procession was to take place, and had sixteen lights burning, so that everyone might see how anxious they were to finish the Emperor's new suit. They pretended to roll the cloth off the looms; cut the air with their scissors; and sewed with needles without any thread in them. "See!" cried them, at last.

"The Emperor's new clothes are ready!"

And now the Emperor, with all the grandees of his court, came to the weavers; and the rogues raised their arms, as if in the act of holding something up, saying, "Here are your Majesty's trousers! Here is the scarf! Here is the mantle! The whole suit is as light as a cobweb; one might fancy one has nothing at all on, when dressed in it; that, however, is the great virtue of this delicate cloth."

"Yes indeed!" said all the courtiers, although not one of them could see anything of this exquisite manufacture.

"If your Imperial Majesty will be graciously pleased to take off your clothes, we will fit on the new suit, in front of the looking glass."

The Emperor was accordingly undressed, and the rogues pretended to array him in his new suit; the Emperor turning round, from side to side, before the looking glass.

"How splendid his Majesty looks in his new clothes, and how well they fit!" everyone cried out. "What a design! What colors! These are indeed royal robes!"

"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 their office.

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.

皇帝的新装

许多年以前有一位皇帝,他非常喜欢穿好看的新衣服。他为了要穿得漂亮,把所有的钱都花到衣服上去了,他一点也不关心他的军队,也不喜欢去看戏。除非是为了炫耀一下新衣服,他也不喜欢乘着马车逛公园。他每天每个钟头要换一套新衣服。人们提到皇帝时总是说:“皇上在会议室里。”但是人们一提到他时,总是说:“皇上在更衣室里。”

在他住的那个大城市里,生活很轻松,很愉快。每天有许多外国人到来。有一天来了两个骗子。他们说他们是织工。他们说,他们能织出谁也想象不到的最美丽的布。这种布的色彩和图案不仅是非常好看,而且用它缝出来的衣服还有一种奇异的作用,那就是凡是不称职的人或者愚蠢的人,都看不见这衣服。

“那正是我最喜欢的衣服!”皇帝心里想。“我穿了这样的衣服,就可以看出我的王国里哪些人不称职;我就可以辨别出哪些人是聪明人,哪些人是傻子。是的,我要叫他们马上织出这样的布来!”他付了许多现款给这两个骗子,叫他们马上开始工作。

他们摆出两架织机来,装做是在工作的样子,可是他们的织机上什么东西也没有。他们接二连三地请求皇帝发一些最好的生丝和金子给他们。他们把这些东西都装进自己的腰包,却假装在那两架空空的织机上忙碌地工作,一直忙到深夜。

“我很想知道他们织布究竟织得怎样了,”皇帝想。不过,他立刻就想起了愚蠢的人或不称职的人是看不见这布的。他心里的确感到有些不大自在。他相信他自己是用不着害怕的。虽然如此,他还是觉得先派一个人去看看比较妥当。全城的人都听说过这种布料有一种奇异的力量,所以大家都很想趁这机会来测验一下,看看他们的邻人究竟有多笨,有多傻。
 
“我要派诚实的老部长到织工那儿去看看,”皇帝想。“只有他能看出这布料是个什么样子,因为他这个人很有头脑,而且谁也不像他那样称职。”

因此这位善良的老部长就到那两个骗子的工作地点去。他们正在空空的织机上忙忙碌碌地工作着。

“这是怎么一回事儿?”老部长想,把眼睛睁得有碗口那么大。

“我什么东西也没有看见!”但是他不敢把这句话说出来。

那两个骗子请求他走近一点,同时问他,布的花纹是不是很美丽,色彩是不是很漂亮。他们指着那两架空空的织机。

这位可怜的老大臣的眼睛越睁越大,可是他还是看不见什么东西,因为的确没有什么东西可看。

“我的老天爷!”他想。“难道我是一个愚蠢的人吗?我从来没有怀疑过我自己。我决不能让人知道这件事。难道我不称职吗?——不成;我决不能让人知道我看不见布料。”

“哎,您一点意见也没有吗?”一个正在织布的织工说。

“啊,美极了!真是美妙极了!”老大臣说。他戴着眼镜仔细地看。“多么美的花纹!多么美的色彩!是的,我将要呈报皇上说我对于这布感到非常满意。”

“嗯,我们听到您的话真高兴,”两个织工一起说。他们把这些稀有的色彩和花纹描述了一番,还加上些名词儿。这位老大臣注意地听着,以便回到皇帝那里去时,可以照样背得出来。事实上他也就这样办了。

这两个骗子又要了很多的钱,更多的丝和金子,他们说这是为了织布的需要。他们把这些东西全装进腰包里,连一根线也没有放到织机上去。不过他们还是继续在空空的机架上工作。

过了不久,皇帝派了另一位诚实的官员去看看,布是不是很快就可以织好。他的运气并不比头一位大臣的好:他看了又看,但是那两架空空的织机上什么也没有,他什么东西也看不出来。

“您看这段布美不美?”两个骗子问。他们指着一些美丽的花纹,并且作了一些解释。事实上什么花纹也没有。

“我并不愚蠢!”这位官员想。“这大概是因为我不配担当现在这样好的官职吧?这也真够滑稽,但是我决不能让人看出来!”因此他就把他完全没有看见的布称赞了一番,同时对他们说,他非常喜欢这些美丽的颜色和巧妙的花纹。“是的,那真是太美了,”他回去对皇帝说。

城里所有的人都在谈论这美丽的布料。

当这布还在织的时候,皇帝就很想亲自去看一次。他选了一群特别圈定的随员——其中包括已经去看过的那两位诚实的大臣。这样,他就到那两个狡猾的骗子住的地方去。这两个家伙正以全副精神织布,但是一根线的影子也看不见。
“您看这不漂亮吗?”那两位诚实的官员说。“陛下请看,多么美丽的花纹!多么美丽的色彩!”他们指着那架空空的织机,因为他们以为别人一定会看得见布料的。

“这是怎么一回事儿呢?”皇帝心里想。“我什么也没有看见!这真是荒唐!难道我是一个愚蠢的人吗?难道我不配做皇帝吗?这真是我从来没有碰见过的一件最可怕的事情。”

“啊,它真是美极了!”皇帝说。“我表示十二分地满意!”

于是他点头表示满意。他装做很仔细地看着织机的样子,因为他不愿意说出他什么也没有看见。跟他来的全体随员也仔细地看了又看,可是他们也没有看出更多的东西。不过,他们也照着皇帝的话说:“啊,真是美极了!”他们建议皇帝用这种新奇的、美丽的布料做成衣服,穿上这衣服亲自去参加快要举行的游行大典。“真美丽!真精致!真是好极了!”每人都随声附和着。每人都有说不出的快乐。皇帝赐给骗子每人一个爵士的头衔和一枚可以挂在纽扣洞上的勋章;并且还封他们为“御聘织师”。

第二天早晨游行大典就要举行了。在头天晚上,这两个骗子整夜不睡,点起16支蜡烛。你可以看到他们是在赶夜工,要完成皇帝的新衣。他们装做把布料从织机上取下来。他们用两把大剪刀在空中裁了一阵子,同时又用没有穿线的针缝了一通。最后,他们齐声说:“ 请看!新衣服缝好了!”

皇帝带着他的一群最高贵的骑士们亲自到来了。这两个骗子每人举起一只手,好像他们拿着一件什么东西似的。他们说:“请看吧,这是裤子,这是袍子!这是外衣!”等等。“ 这衣服轻柔得像蜘蛛网一样:穿着它的人会觉得好像身上没有什么东西似的——这也正是这衣服的妙处。”

“一点也不错,”所有的骑士们都说。可是他们什么也没有看见,因为实际上什么东西也没有。

“现在请皇上脱下衣服,”两个骗子说,“我们要在这个大镜子面前为陛下换上新衣。

皇帝把身上的衣服统统都脱光了。这两个骗子装做把他们刚才缝好的新衣服一件一件地交给他。他们在他的腰围那儿弄了一阵子,好像是系上一件什么东西似的:这就是后裾(注:后裾(Slaebet)就是拖在礼服后面的很长的一块布;它是封建时代欧洲贵族的一种装束。)。皇帝在镜子面前转了转身子,扭了扭腰肢。

“上帝,这衣服多么合身啊!式样裁得多么好看啊!”大家都说。“多么美的花纹!多么美的色彩!这真是一套贵重的衣服!”

“大家已经在外面把华盖准备好了,只等陛下一出去,就可撑起来去游行!”典礼官说。

“对,我已经穿好了,”皇帝说,“这衣服合我的身么?”于是他又在镜子面前把身子转动了一下,因为他要叫大家看出他在认真地欣赏他美丽的服装。那些将要托着后裾的内臣们,都把手在地上东摸西摸,好像他们真的在拾其后裾似的。他们开步走,手中托着空气— —他们不敢让人瞧出他们实在什么东西也没有看见。

这么着,皇帝就在那个富丽的华盖下游行起来了。站在街上和窗子里的人都说:“乖乖,皇上的新装真是漂亮!他上衣下面的后裾是多么美丽!衣服多么合身!”谁也不愿意让人知道自己看不见什么东西,因为这样就会暴露自己不称职,或是太愚蠢。皇帝所有的衣服从来没有得到这样普遍的称赞。

“可是他什么衣服也没有穿呀!”一个小孩子最后叫出声来。

“上帝哟,你听这个天真的声音!”爸爸说。于是大家把这孩子讲的话私自低声地传播开来。

“他并没有穿什么衣服!有一个小孩子说他并没有穿什么衣服呀!”

“他实在是没有穿什么衣服呀!”最后所有的老百姓都说。

皇帝有点儿发抖,因为他似乎觉得老百姓所讲的话是对的。不过他自己心里却这样想: “我必须把这游行大典举行完毕。”因此他摆出一副更骄傲的神气,他的内臣们跟在他后面走,手中托着一个并不存在的后裾。

(1837年)



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