谈天说地 ✐2005-07-01


林肯的盖茨堡演辞

亚谷

 


林肯

美国第十六任总统林肯,是历来最受爱戴的人。他在盖茨堡的演说,被认为是最佳的演说。
在美国的南北內战中, 1863年七月的盖茨堡战役,是最惨烈的一役。过后,当地的一位律师David Wills提议以那战场为国家公墓。十一月十九日,是奉献典礼,请艾弗锐特(Edward Everett, 1794-1865)为主讲人,曾任哈佛大学希腊文教授及校长,麻萨诸塞州长,国会参议员,大使,国务卿等要职,是最有名的演说家。在那天,约有一万五千至二万人参与典礼。艾弗锐特讲完后,林肯站起来,从他帽子里,掏出草草写成的讲稿,作短短的讲话。讲毕,听众沒有人鼓掌。第二天,艾弗锐特写信祝贺並致敬说:“总统先生!你简短的讲话,中心表达得那么恰切,如果我妄想自己二小时的讲话,有你二分钟所讲的一半价值,就是分外之想了。”后来有人解释为什么大家沒有立即反应:如果你听了一场出色的讲演,会极力鼓掌;但听了一篇有力的讲道,大家对那近於神圣启示的气氛,敬畏震慑,讲不出话来。只是不像林肯当时所讲的,世人沒有忘记他在那里所讲的话。懂得讲演的人,对那短讲极力的讚扬。英国牛津大学,把讲辞铸成铜牌,悬在图书馆里。

 

  八十有七岁之前,在这大陆上,产生了一个新国家,是我们先祖孕育於自由,奉献於所有受造的人平等的主张。
  现在,我们在进行这一场浩大的內战,在考验这个国家,或任何这样孕育,这样奉献的国家,能否长存。我们聚集在这战爭的伟大战场上。我们来奉献一部分的土地,为在此付出他们生命的人,作长眠的地方。我们这样作,是全然应当的,合宜的。
  不过,从更大的意义来说,我们不能奉献,不能尊崇,不能圣化这土地。那些英勇的人,或生或死,在这里搏斗,已经圣化这土地,远超过我们微薄的力量所能增減。世界不会注意或长久记忆,我们在这里所说的,但永不会忘记他们在此所作的。我们生者,卻是应该在此奉献,去继续他们那么高贵的进展尚待完成的工作,我们卻是要奉献在面前伟大的未竟事功;光荣的死者,已经竭尽他们最高的忠诚,我们应该在这事业上更加忠诚。我们以高度的決心,不让这些死者徒然而死-这个国家,在神护理之下,将有自由的新生,这民有,民治,民享的政府,永远不会从地上灭亡。

  THE GETTYSBURG ADDRESS
   November 19, 1863

The battle of Gettysburg(July 1-3, 1863)is generally considered a turning point in the Civil War, although, largely as a result of Major General George G. Meade's inexcusable procrastination, Lee was not decisively defeated. Casualties were heavy, with some 7,000 killed on both sides, and almost 45,000 wounded or missing. At the dedication of the cemetery at the Gettysburg battlefield the principal oration was delivered by Edward Everett, but Lincoln's brief remarks constitute the most memorable of all American addresses.


  Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

  Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

  But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate—we cannot consecrate—we cannot hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Abraham Lincoln, Complete Works.
ed. by John G. Nicolay & John Hay(New York, 1905), IX, pp.209-210.

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