In a very remote city lived an emperor whose only interest in life was to dress in fashionable clothes. His vanity was so great that he changed his suit several times a day so that everyone could admire him.
One day, two swindlers approached the emperor stating that they were excellent tailors and that they could sew a magnificent suit for him. It would be so light and fine that it would appear invisible, but only to those who were ignorant.
The emperor was very excited to have a suit that would allow him to know which of his officials were suitable for the positions they held and ordered the so-called tailors to start their work immediately, paying them a huge sum of money.
After some time, the king asked an old minister to go and see how far the two tailors had progressed with his suit. The minister saw the two men waving scissors in the air, but he could not see the cloth. However, he kept silent for fear of being called ignorant.
“You are very quiet, Mr. Minister, can’t you see the wonderful fabric?” said one of the swindlers.
“Of course I see her.” This cloth is very beautiful and I will inform our emperor of it,” answered the old minister, not wanting to appear ignorant.
The scammers then asked for more money, which ended up in their pockets. They did not spend even a piece of thread and continued to work on the empty machines.
Shortly afterward, the emperor sent another trusted official to observe the state of his suit and find out the delivery date.
The official looked and looked at the supposed cloth, but since there was nothing there, he could see nothing.
“Isn’t she beautiful?” the two cheaters asked, pointing into the air.
“I’ll be losing my reason or my sight,” the official thought. Like the old minister, he fell silent and praised the cloth that did not exist.
“The cloth I have seen is wonderful!” he told the emperor.
Finally, the suit was ready. Like the old minister and the official, the emperor could not see anything, but he did not want to appear ignorant either. So he admired the supposed suit and thanked the tailors, who maliciously told him:
“Lord Emperor, your new suit is so admirable that you must show it off in front of everyone.”
Happy with the praise, the emperor paraded his new suit down the main street. People could see the emperor naked, but no one would admit it for fear of being considered ignorant. So the emperor kept walking.
Everyone praised the invisible fabric, its wonderful colors and patterns. The emperor was very pleased, until finally, a child shouted:
“The emperor is naked!”
It was then that everyone began to laugh and murmur, very soon they shouted:
“The emperor is naked, the emperor is wearing nothing!”
The emperor suddenly realized that they were right, but he thought to himself, “Now I must continue to pretend to the end or I will appear even more ignorant.” It was so that the emperor continued walking gracefully, while the crowd laughed out loud.