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皇帝的新衣

[雙語故事]      來源:

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 chambers.

The Emperor spent hours every morning getting dressed. He had to choose his outfit, preferable a new one, and the shoes and wig to go with it. Mid-morning, he invariably changed into something more formal for his short meetings with his councillors and advisors. 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 weavers, 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 decided.

They left their homes and traveled to the Emperor's city. there they saw the many shops selling clothes, shoes and fabrics. 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 wares 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 shimmers." "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 fabric."

The Emperor was enchanted. 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 loom, 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 clattering 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 lustre, feel the softness!" "Um," said the Chamberlain, not quite sure what to say. "Oh wise Chamberlain," said the other weaver.

"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 shimmer 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 enchanting. 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." "Undoubtedly, 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 gasped. "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(參考譯文)

皇帝的新衣

從前有一個國王很喜歡穿新衣服,差不多每過一個鐘頭就要換一件。因為這個緣故,他差不多把所有的錢都花在買衣服上了。他不關心他的士兵,也不愿意到哪兒去玩兒,成天地的催著大臣去給他找最新奇的衣服,想著怎么夸耀他的新衣服。別國的人民談到他們的國王,都是說:“他在開會。”可是在這個國家里,大家總是說:“他在換衣服。”

有一天,有兩個騙子來到這個國家。這兩個騙子化裝成織布匠去見國王,說他們能織出世界上誰也沒見過的一種布。


“國王”,一個騙子說:“這種布不但是圖案非常美麗,而且有一個特色,就是非常愚蠢的人,或能力跟他的職位不相配的人看不見。”

“織這種布很費事。”另一個騙子說:“不過,我們愿意替你織。”

過了一些日子,國王心想:“不知道他們兩個把布織得怎么樣了?”

他很想去看看,可是他一想到愚蠢的人或才能跟職位不配的人看不見這種布的事,心里又有點不安。“對了,”國王自言自語地說:“最好先派我的宰相去看看。他的學問和才能都比別人高。此外他對我又是最誠實的,從來沒說過謊話。派他去看,是再可靠也沒有了。”

忠誠的宰相走進了織布機房。兩個騙子指著空空的織布機,問他這種花樣兒好看嗎?那種顏色美麗嗎?

宰相看不見織布機上有什么,但是他不愿意讓國王認為他是個愚蠢的人,不配做宰相。所以他說:“嗯,好極子,這種花樣兒太美了,那種顏色真好看。我要告訴國王,說你們織的這種布是我從來沒見過的,最新奇的布!”

又過了些日子,國王派了他的侍從官到織布房去看。

侍從官所看到的情形跟宰相看到的一樣,織布機上連一根絲也沒有。“啊,我一定是不配做侍從官。”他想,“真糟糕!不過我不能讓國王知道我的能力不夠。”因此他也稱贊這兩個騙子織的布非常好看,回去以后就對國王說:“國王,你見了一定會喜歡。那種布太美麗了!”

布終于織好了。兩個騙子把布拿來給國王看。國王張大了眼睛也看不見布,只能看到裝布的空盒子。“是怎么回事兒?”國王想,“我什么也看不見。難道我是愚蠢的人,不配做國王?…….”他想了一會兒,高興地宣布說:“這塊布真是好看極了,是世界上最新奇的布!”他的侍從官和宰相也表示同意他的說法,并且建議他做成衣服來穿。

國王高興地給了騙子許多錢,要他們用這塊布給他做一套衣服,準備在舉行游行大會的那一天穿。兩個騙子日夜趕工,把衣服做好了。

他們請國王脫光衣服,然后做出拿著新衣服給國王穿的樣子,說:“看,這是內衣。這是襯衫。這是外套。這種美麗的布像蜘蛛網一樣輕巧。穿了就跟沒穿一樣兒。不過,這正是這種布的特點。”

游行的時侯到了,全城的人都爭著來看國王的新衣服。他們個個都說:“我們國王的新衣服好漂亮??!世界上再也沒這種漂亮、高貴的衣服了!”

國王越來越高興??墒蔷驮谒畹靡獾臅r後,人群突然有一個小孩兒叫了起來:“國王明明光著屁股嘛!他身上什么都沒穿!”小孩兒一直跟媽媽吵鬧著:為什么你們都沒看見嗎?明明就是沒穿衣服,為何一直稱贊國王的衣服呢?

大家聽了這個小孩兒的話會怎么想呢?

最后,就是大家哄堂大笑了起來~~猜到了沒有?



 

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 生詞和詞組

vain a. 空虛的  
chamber n. 房間
weaver n. 織布者
fabrics n. 織物
shimmer v. 閃爍
lustre n. 光澤
sheen n. 光澤
stitch v. 縫合

 

Key to Exercise(練習答案)

1.D  2.A 3.B 4.C 5.A 6.D 7.A 8.C


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