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Lincoln's First Inaugural Address

( 林肯的第一次就职演说 )
作者:Abraham Lincoln 阅读:89 喜欢:0 语言:英语

March 4, 1861

1861年3月4日

Fellow citizens of the United States: in compliance with a custom as old as the government itself, I appear before you to address you briefly and to take, in your presence, the oath prescribed by the Constitution of the United States, to be taken by the President "before he enters on the execution of his office."

合众国的同胞们:按照一个和我们的政府一样古老的习惯,我现在来到诸位的面前,简单地讲几句话,并在你们的面前,遵照合众国宪法规定一个总统在他“到职视事之前”必须宣誓的仪式,在大家面前宣誓。

I do not consider it necessary, at present, for me to discuss those matters of administration about which there is no special anxiety, or excitement.

我认为没有必要在这里来讨论并不特别令人忧虑和不安的行政方面的问题。

Apprehension seems to exist among the people of the Southern States that by the accession of a Republican administration their property and their peace and personal security are to be endangered. There has never been any reasonable cause for such apprehension. Indeed, the most ample evidence to the contrary has all the while existed and been open to their inspection. It is found in nearly all the published speeches of him who now addresses you. I do but quote from one of those speeches when I declare that "I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so." Those who nominated and elected me did so with full knowledge that I had made this and many similar declarations, and had never recanted them. And, more than this, they placed in the platform for my acceptance, and as a law to themselves and to me, the clear and emphatic resolution which I now read:

在南方各州人民中似乎存在着一种恐惧心理。他们认为,随着共和党政府的执政,他们的财产,他们的和平生活和人身安全都将遭到危险。这种恐惧是从来没有任何事实根据的。说实在的,大量相反的证据倒是一直存在,并随时可以供他们检查的。那种证据几乎在现在对你们讲话的这个人公开发表的每一篇演说中都能找到。这里我只想引用其中的一篇,在那篇演说中我曾说,“我完全无意,对已经存在奴隶制的各州的这一制度,进行直接或间接的干涉。我深信我根本没有合法权利那样做,而且我无此意图。”那些提名我并选举我的人都完全知道,我曾明确这么讲过,并且还讲过许多类似的话,而且从来也没有收回过我已讲过的这些话。不仅如此,他们还在纲领中,写进了对他们和对我来说,都具有法律效力的一项清楚明白、不容含糊的决议让我接受。这里我来对大家谈谈这一决议:

"Resolved: that the maintenance inviolate of the rights of the States, and especially the right of each State to order and control its own domestic institutions according to its own judgment exclusively, is essential to that balance of power on which the perfection and endurance of our political fabric depend, and we denounce the lawless invasion by armed force of the soil of any State or Territory, no matter under what pretext, as among the gravest of crimes."

“决议,保持各州的各种权利不受侵犯,特别是各州完全凭自己的决断来安排和控制本州内部各种制度的权利不受侵犯,乃是我们的政治结构赖以完善和得以持久的权力均衡的至为重要的因素;我们谴责使用武装力量非法入侵任何一个州或准州的土地,这种入侵不论使用什么借口,都是最严重的罪行。”

I now reiterate these sentiments; and, in doing so, I only press upon the public attention the most conclusive evidence of which the case is susceptible, that the property, peace, and security of no section are to be in any wise endangered by the now incoming administration. I add, too, that all the protection which, consistently with the Constitution and the laws, can be given, will be cheerfully given to all the States when lawfully demanded, for whatever cause— as cheerfully to one section as to another.

我现在重申这些观点:而在这样做的时候,我只想提请公众注意,最能对这一点提出确切证据的那就是全国任何一个地方的财产、和平生活和人身安全决不会在任何情况下,由于即将上任的政府而遭到危险。这里我还要补充说,各州只要符合宪法和法律规定,合法地提出保护要求,政府便一定会乐于给予保护,不管是出于什么原因一一而且对任何一个地方都一视同仁。

There is much controversy about the delivering up of fugitives from service or labor. The clause I now read is as plainly written in the Constitution as any other of its provisions:

有一个争论得很多的问题是,关于逃避服务或引渡从劳役中逃走的人的问题。我现在要宣读的条文,也和任何有关其它问题的条款一样,明明白白写在宪法之中:

"No person held to service or labor in one State, under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall in consequence of any law or regulation therein be discharged from such service or labor, but shall be delivered up on claim of the party to whom such service or labor may be due."

“凡根据一个州的法律应在该州于服务或从事劳役的人,如逃到另一州,一律不得按照这一州的法律或条例,使其解除该项服务或劳役,而必,须按照有权享有该项服务或劳役当事人的要求,将其引渡。”

It is scarcely questioned that this provision was intended by those who made it for the reclaiming of what we call fugitive slaves; and the intention of the lawgiver is the law. All members of Congress swear their support to the whole Constitution—to this provision as much as to any other. To the proposition, then, that slaves whose cases come within the terms of this clause "shall be delivered up", their oaths are unanimous. Now, if they would make the effort in good temper, could they not with nearly equal unanimity frame and pass a law by means of which to keep good that unanimous oath?

毫无疑问,按照制订这一条款的人的意图,此项规定实际指的就是,对我们所说的逃亡奴隶有权索回;而法律制订人的这一意图实际已成为法律。国会的所有议员都曾宣誓遵守宪法中的一切条款——对这一条和其它各条并无两样。因此,关于适合这一条款规定的奴隶应“将其引渡”这一点,他们的誓言是完全一致的。那么现在如果他们心平气和地作一番努力,他们难道不能以几乎同样完全一致的誓言,制订一项法律,以使他们的共同誓言得以实施吗?

There is some difference of opinion whether this clause should be enforced by national or by State authority; but surely that difference is not a very material one. If the slave is to be surrendered, it can be of but little consequence to him or to others by which authority it is done. And should any one in any case be content that his oath shall go unkept on a merely unsubstantial controversy as to HOW it shall be kept?

究竟这一条款应该由国家当局,还是由州当局来执行,大家的意见还不完全一致;但可以肯定地说,这种分歧并不是什么十分重要的问题。只要奴隶能被交还,那究竟由哪一个当局来交还,对奴隶或对别的人来说,没有什么关系。任何人,在任何情况下,也决不会因为应以何种方式来实。现他的誓言这样一个无关紧要的争执,他便会认为完全可以不遵守自己的誓言吧?

Again, in any law upon this subject, ought not all the safeguards of liberty known in civilized and humane jurisprudence to be introduced, so that a free man be not, in any case, surrendered as a slave? And might it not be well at the same time to provide by law for the enforcement of that clause in the Constitution which guarantees that "the citizen of each State shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of citizens in the several States?"

另外,在任何有关这一问题的法律中,应不应该把文明和人道法学中关于自由的各项保证都写上,以防止在任何情况下使一个自由人被作为奴隶交出吗?同时,宪法中还有一条规定,明确保证“每一州的公民都享有其它各州公民所享有公民的一切特权和豁免权”,我们用法律保证使这一条文得以执行,那不是更好吗?

I take the official oath today with no mental reservations, and with no purpose to construe the Constitution or laws by any hypercritical rules. And while I do not choose now to specify particular acts of Congress as proper to be enforced, I do suggest that it will be much safer for all, both in official and private stations, to conform to and abide by all those acts which stand unrepealed, than to violate any of them, trusting to find impunity in having them held to be unConstitutional.

我今天在这里正式宣誓,思想上决无任何保留,也决无意以任何过于挑剔的标准来解释宪法或法律条文。我现在虽不打算详细指出国会的哪些法令必须要遵照执行;但我建议,我们大家,不论以个人身份还是以公职人员的身份,为了有更多的安全,我们最好服从并遵守现在还没有废除的一切法令,而不要轻易相信可以指之为不合宪法,便可以逃脱罪责,而对它们公然违反。

It is seventy-two years since the first inauguration of a President under our national Constitution. During that period fifteen different and greatly distinguished citizens have, in succession, administered the executive branch of the government. They have conducted it through many perils, and generally with great success. Yet, with all this scope of precedent, I now enter upon the same task for the brief Constitutional term of four years under great and peculiar difficulty. A disruption of the Federal Union, heretofore only menaced, is now formidably attempted.

自从第一任总统根据国家宪法宣誓就职以来,七十二年已经过去了。在这期间,十五位十分杰出的公民相继主持过政府的行政部门。他们引导着它度过了许多艰难险阻;一般都获得极大的成功。然而,尽管有这么多可供参考的先例,我现在将在宪法所规定的短短四年任期中来担任这同一任务,却.面临着巨大的非同一般的困难。在此以前,分裂联邦只是受到了威胁,而现在却是已出现力图分裂它的可怕行动了。

I hold that, in contemplation of universal law and of the Constitution, the Union of these States is perpetual. Perpetuity is implied, if not expressed, in the fundamental law of all national governments. It is safe to assert that no government proper ever had a provision in its organic law for its own termination. Continue to execute all the express provisions of our National Constitution, and the Union will endure forever—it being impossible to destroy it except by some action not provided for in the instrument itself.

从一般法律和我们的宪法来仔细考虑,我坚信,我们各州组成的联邦是永久性的。在一切国民政府的根本大法中永久性这一点,虽不一定写明,却是不言而喻的。我们完全可以肯定说,没有一个名副其实的政府会在自己的根本法中定出一条,规定自己完结的期限。继续执行我国宪法所明文规定的各项条文,联邦便将永远存在下去——除了采取并未见之于宪法的行动,谁也不可能毁灭掉联邦。

Again, if the United States be not a government proper, but an association of States in the nature of contract merely, can it, as a contract, be peaceably unmade by less than all the parties who made it? One party to a contract may violate it—break it, so to speak; but does it not require all to lawfully rescind it?

还有,就算合众国并不是个名副其实的政府,而只是依靠契约成立的一个各州的联合体,那既有契约的约束,若非参加这一契约的各方一致同意,我们能说取消就把它取消吗?参加订立契约的一方可以违约,或者说毁约;但如果合法地取消这一契约,岂能不需要大家一致同意吗?

Descending from these general principles, we find the proposition that in legal contemplation the Union is perpetual confirmed by the history of the Union itself. The Union is much older than the Constitution. It was formed, in fact, by the Articles of Association in 1774. It was matured and continued by the Declaration of Independence in 1776. It was further matured, and the faith of all the then thirteen States expressly plighted and engaged that it should be perpetual, by the Articles of Confederation in 1778. And, finally, in 1787 one of the declared objects for ordaining and establishing the Constitution was "TO FORM A MORE PERFECT UNION."

从这些总原则出发,我们发现,从法学观点来看,联邦具有永久性质的提法,是为联邦自身的历史所证实的。联邦本身比宪法更为早得多。事实上,它是由1774年,签订的《联合条款》建立的。到1776年的《独立宣言》才使它进一步成熟和延续下来。然后,通过1778年的“邦联条款”使它更臻成熟,当时参加的十三个州便已明确保证要使邦联永久存在下去。最后,到1787年制订的宪法公开宣布的目的之一,便是“组建一个更为完美的联邦”。

But if the destruction of the Union by one or by a part only of the States be lawfully possible, the Union is LESS perfect than before the Constitution, having lost the vital element of perpetuity.

但是,如果任何一个州,或几个州也可以合法地把联邦给取消掉,加这个联邦可是比它在宪法制订以前还更不完美了,因为它已失去了它的一个至关重要因素——永久性。

It follows from these views that no State upon its own mere motion can lawfully get out of the Union; that Resolves and Ordinances to that effect are legally void; and that acts of violence, within any State or States, against the authority of the United States, are insurrectionary or revolutionary, according to circumstances.

从这些观点我们可以认定,任何一个州,都不可能仅凭自己动议,便能合法地退出联邦——而任何以此为目的的决议和法令在法律上都是无效的;至于任何一州或几州的反对合众国当局的暴力行为,都可以依据具体情况视为叛乱或革命行为。

I therefore consider that, in view of the Constitution and the laws, the Union is unbroken; and to the extent of my ability I shall take care, as the Constitution itself expressly enjoins upon me, that the laws of the Union be faithfully executed in all the States. Doing this I deem to be only a simple duty on my part; and I shall perform it so far as practicable, unless my rightful masters, the American people, shall withhold the requisite means, or in some authoritative manner direct the contrary. I trust this will not be regarded as a menace, but only as the declared purpose of the Union that it WILL Constitutionally defend and maintain itself.

因此我认为,从宪法和法律的角度来看,联邦是不容分裂的;我也将竭尽全力,按照宪法明确赋于我的责任,坚决负责让联邦的一切法令在所有各州得以贯彻执行。这样做,我认为只是履行我应负的简单职责;只要是可行的,我就一定要履行它,除非我的合法的主人美国人民,收回赋予我的不可缺少的工具,或行使他们的权威,命令我采取相反的行动。我相信我这话决不会被看成是一种恫吓,而只会被看作实现联邦已公开宣布的目的,它必将按照宪法保卫和维持它自己的存在。

In doing this there needs to be no bloodshed or violence; and there shall be none, unless it be forced upon the national authority. The power confided to me will be used to hold, occupy, and possess the property and places belonging to the government, and to collect the duties and imposts; but beyond what may be necessary for these objects, there will be no invasion, no using of force against or among the people anywhere. Where hostility to the United States, in any interior locality, shall be so great and universal as to prevent competent resident citizens from holding the Federal offices, there will be no attempt to force obnoxious strangers among the people for that object. While the strict legal right may exist in the government to enforce the exercise of these offices, the attempt to do so would be so irritating, and so nearly impracticable withal, that I deem it better to forego for the time the uses of such offices.

要做到这一点并不需要流血或使用暴力,除非有人把它强。加于国家当局,否则便决不会发生那种情况。赋予我的权力将被用来保持、占有和掌管属于政府的一切财产和土地。征收各种税款和关税;但除开为了这些目的确有必要这外,决不会有什么入侵问题——决不会在任何地方对人民,或在人民之间使用武力。任何内地,即使对联邦政府的敌对情绪已十分严重和普遍,以致妨害有能力的当地公民执行联邦职务的时候,政府也决不会强制派进令人厌恶的外来人去担任这些职务。尽管按严格的法律规定,政府有权强制履行这些职责,但一定要那样做,必然非常使人不愉快,也几乎不切实际,所以我认为最好还是暂时先把这些职责放一放。

The mails, unless repelled, will continue to be furnished in all parts of the Union. So far as possible, the people everywhere shall have that sense of perfect security which is most favorable to calm thought and reflection. The course here indicated will be followed unless current events and experience shall show a modification or change to be proper, and in every case and exigency my best discretion will be exercised according to circumstances actually existing, and with a view and a hope of a peaceful solution of the national troubles and the restoration of fraternal sympathies and affections.

邮政,除非遭到拒收,仍将在联邦全境运作。在可能的情况下,一定要让各地人民,都享有完善的安全感,这十分有利于冷静思索和反思。我在这里所讲的这些方针必将奉行,除非当前事态和实际经验表明修改或改变方针是合适的。对任何一个事件和紧急问题,我一定会根据当时出现的具体形势谨慎从事,期望以和平手段解决国内纠纷,力图恢复兄弟爱手足情。

That there are persons in one section or another who seek to destroy the Union at all events, and are glad of any pretext to do it, I will neither affirm nor deny; but if there be such, I need address no word to them. To those, however, who really love the Union may I not speak?

至于说某些地方总有些人不顾一切一心想破坏联邦,并不惜以任何借口图谋不轨,我不打算肯定或否定;如果确有这样一些人,我不必要再对他们讲什么。但对那些真正热爱联邦的人,我不可以讲几句吗?

Before entering upon so grave a matter as the destruction of our national fabric, with all its benefits, its memories, and its hopes, would it not be wise to ascertain precisely why we do it? Will you hazard so desperate a step while there is any possibility that any portion of the ills you fly from have no real existence? Will you, while the certain ills you fly to are greater than all the real ones you fly from—will you risk the commission of so fearful a mistake?

在我们着手研究如此严重的一件事情之前,那就是要把我们的国家组织连同它的一切利益,一切记忆和一切希望全给消灭掉,难道明智的做法不是先仔细研究一下那样做究竟是为了什么?当事实上极有可能你企图逃避的祸害并不存在的时候,你还会不顾一切采取那种贻害无穷的步骤吗?或者你要逃避的灾祸虽确实存在,而在你逃往的地方却有更大的灾祸在等着你;那你会往那里逃吗?你会冒险犯下如此可怕的一个错误吗?

All profess to be content in the Union if all Constitutional rights can be maintained. Is it true, then, that any right, plainly written in the Constitution, has been denied? I think not. Happily the human mind is so constituted that no party can reach to the audacity of doing this. Think, if you can, of a single instance in which a plainly written provision of the Constitution has ever been denied. If by the mere force of numbers a majority should deprive a minority of any clearly written Constitutional right, it might, in a moral point of view, justify revolution—certainly would if such a right were a vital one. But such is not our case. All the vital rights of minorities and of individuals are so plainly assured to them by affirmations and negations, guaranties and prohibitions, in the Constitution, that controversies never arise concerning them. But no organic law can ever be framed with a provision specifically applicable to every question which may occur in practical administration. No foresight can anticipate, nor any document of reasonable length contain, express provisions for all possible questions. Shall fugitives from labor be surrendered by national or State authority? The Constitution does not expressly say. May Congress prohibit slavery in the Territories? The Constitution does not expressly say. MUST Congress protect slavery in the Territories? The Constitution does not expressly say.

大家都说,如果宪法中所规定的一切权利都确实得到执行,那他也就会留在联邦里。那么,真有什么如宪法申明文规定的权利被否定了吗?我想没有。很幸运,人的头脑是这样构造出来的,没有一个党敢于如此冒天下之大不韪。如果可能,请你们讲出哪怕是一个例子来,说明有什么宪法中明文规定的条款是没有得到执行的。如果多数派完全靠人数上的优势,剥夺掉少数派宪法上明文规定的权利,这件事从道义的角度来看,也许可以说革命是正当的——如果被剥夺的是极为重要的权利,那革命就肯定无疑是合理行动。但我们的情况却并非如此。少数派和个人的一切重要权利,在宪法中,通过肯定和否定、保证和禁令;都一一向他们作了明确保证,以致关于这类问题,从来也没有引起过争论。但是,在制订基本法时却不可能对实际工作中出现的任何问题,都一一写下可以立即加以应用的条文。再高明的预见也不可能料定未来的一切,任何长度适当的文件也不可能包容下针对一切可能发生的问题的条文。逃避劳役的人到底应该由联邦政府交还还是由州政府交还呢?宪法上没有具体规定。国会可以在准州禁止奴隶制吗?宪法没有具体规定。国会必须保护准州的奴隶制吗?宪法也没有具体规定。

From questions of this class spring all our constitutional controversies, and we divide upon them into majorities and minorities. If the minority will not acquiesce, the majority must, or the government must cease. There is no other alternative; for continuing the government is acquiescence on one side or the other.

从这类问题中引出了我们对宪法问题的争端,并因这类问题使我们分成了多数派和少数派。如果少数派不肯默认,多数派便必须默认,否则政府便只好停止工作了。再没有任何别的路可走;要让政府继续行使职权,便必须要这一方或那一方默认。在这种情况下,如果一个少数派宁可脱离也决不默认,那他们也就开创将来必会使他们分裂和毁灭的先例;因为,当多数派拒绝接受这样一个少数派的控制的时候,他们中的少数派便必会从他们之中再脱离出去。比如说,一个新的联盟的任何一部分,在一两年之后,为什么就不会像现在的联邦中的一些部分坚决要脱离出去一样,执意要从从那个新联盟中脱离出去。所有怀着分裂联邦思想的人现在都正接受着分裂思想的教育。难道要组成一个新联邦的州,它们的利益竟会是那样完全一致,它们只会有和谐,而不会再出现脱离行动吗?

If a minority in such case will secede rather than acquiesce, they make a precedent which in turn will divide and ruin them; for a minority of their own will secede from them whenever a majority refuses to be controlled by such minority. For instance, why may not any portion of a new confederacy a year or two hence arbitrarily secede again, precisely as portions of the present Union now claim to secede from it? All who cherish disunion sentiments are now being educated to the exact temper of doing this.

非常清楚,脱离的中心思想实质就是无政府主义。一个受着宪法的检查和限制的约束,总是随着大众意见和情绪的慎重变化而及时改变的多数派,是自由人民的唯一真正的统治者。谁要想排斥他们,便必然走向无政府主义或专制主义。完全一致是根本不可能的;把少数派的统治作为一种长期安排是完全不能接受的,所以,一旦排斥了多数原则,剩下的便只有某种形式的无政府主义或某专制主义了。

Is there such perfect identity of interests among the States to compose a new Union, as to produce harmony only, and prevent renewed secession?

我没有忘记某些人的说法,认为宪法问题应该由最高法院来裁决。我也不否认这种裁决,在任何情况下,对诉讼各万,以及诉讼目的,完全具有约束力,而且在类似的情况中,—应受到政府的一切其它部门高度的尊重和重视。尽管非常明显,这类裁决在某一特定案例中都很可能会是错误的,然而,这样随之而来的恶果总只限于该特定案件,同时裁决还有机会被驳回,不致成为以后判案的先例,那这种过失比起其它的过失来当然更让人容易忍受。同时,正直的公民必须承认,如果政府在有关全体人民利害的重大问题的政策,都得由最高法院的裁决,作出决定那一旦对个人之间的一般诉讼作出裁决时,人民便已不再是自己的主人,而达到了将他们的政府交给那个高于一切的法庭的地步了。我这样说,决无意对法院或法官表示不满。一件案子按正常程序送到他们面前,对它作出正当裁决,是他们的不可推卸的责任;如果别的人硬要把他们的判决用来达到政治目的,那并不是他们的过错。

Plainly, the central idea of secession is the essence of anarchy. A majority held in restraint by constitutional checks and limitations, and always changing easily with deliberate changes of popular opinions and sentiments, is the only true sovereign of a free people. Whoever rejects it does, of necessity, fly to anarchy or to despotism. Unanimity is impossible; the rule of a minority, as a permanent arrangement, is wholly inadmissible; so that, rejecting the majority principle, anarchy or despotism in some form is all that is left.

我国有一部分人相信奴隶制是正确的。应该扩展,而另一部分人又相信它是错误的,不应该扩展。这是唯一的实质性的争执,宪法中有关逃亡奴隶的条款,以及制止对外奴隶贸易的法律,在一个人民的道德观念并不支持该法的,社会里,它们的执行情况也许不次于任何一项法律所能达到的程度。在两种情况下,绝大多数的人都遵守枯燥乏味的法律义务,但又都有少数人不听那一套。关于这一点,我想,要彻底解决是根本不可能的;如果寸巴两个地区分离。以后,情况只会更坏。对外奴隶贸易现在并未能完全加以禁止,最后在一个地区中必将全面恢复;对于逃亡奴隶,在另一个地区,现在送回的只是一部分,将来会完全不肯交出来了。

I do not forget the position, assumed by some, that Constitutional questions are to be decided by the Supreme Court; nor do I deny that such decisions must be binding, in any case, upon the parties to a suit, as to the object of that suit, while they are also entitled to very high respect and consideration in all parallel cases by all other departments of the government. And while it is obviously possible that such decision may be erroneous in any given case, still the evil effect following it, being limited to that particular case, with the chance that it may be overruled and never become a precedent for other cases, can better be borne than could the evils of a different practice. At the same time, the candid citizen must confess that if the policy of the government, upon vital questions affecting the whole people, is to be irrevocably fixed by decisions of the Supreme Court, the instant they are made, in ordinary litigation between parties in personal actions, the people will have ceased to be their own rulers, having to that extent practically resigned their government into the hands of that eminent tribunal. Nor is there in this view any assault upon the court or the judges. It is a duty from which they may not shrink to decide cases properly brought before them, and it is no fault of theirs if others seek to turn their decisions to political purposes.

就自然条件而言,我们是不能分离的。我们决不能把我们的各个地区相互搬开,也不可能在它们之间修建起一道无法逾越的高墙。一对夫妻可以离婚,各走各的路,彼此再不见面。但我们国家的各部分可无法这么办。它们只能面对面相处,友好也罢。仇视也罢,他们仍必须彼此交往。我们维道能有任何办法使得这种交往在分离之后,比分离:之前更为有利,更为令,人满意吗?难道在外人之间订立条约,比在朋友之间制订法律还更为容易吗?难道在外人之间履行条约,比在朋友之间按法律办事还更忠实吗?就算你们决定。诉诸战争,你们,总不能永远打下去吧;最后当两败俱伤而双方都一无所获时,你们停止战斗,那时依照什么条件相互交往,这同一个老问题仍会照样摆在你们面前了。

One section of our country believes slavery is RIGHT, and ought to be extended, while the other believes it is WRONG, and ought not to be extended. This is the only substantial dispute. The fugitive-slave clause of the Constitution, and the law for the suppression of the foreign slave-trade, are each as well enforced, perhaps, as any law can ever be in a community where the moral sense of the people imperfectly supports the law itself. The great body of the people abide by the dry legal obligation in both cases, and a few break over in each. This, I think, cannot be perfectly cured; and it would be worse in both cases AFTER the separation of the sections than BEFORE. The foreign slave-trade, now imperfectly suppressed, would be ultimately revived, without restriction, in one section, while fugitive slaves, now only partially surrendered, would not be surrendered at all by the other.

这个国家,连同它的各种机构,都属于居住在这里的人民。任何时候,他们对现存政府感到厌倦了,他们可以行使他们的宪法权利,改革这个政府,或者行使他们的革命权利解散它或者推翻它。我当然知道,现在就有许多尊贵的、爱国的公民极于想修订我们的宪法。尽管我自己不会那么建议,我却也完全承认他们在这个问题上的合法权利,承认他们可以按照宪法所规定的两种方式中的任何一种来行使这种权利;而且,在目前情况下,我不但不反对,而倒是赞成给人民一个公正的机会让他们去行动。

Physically speaking, we cannot separate. We cannot remove our respective sections from each other, nor build an impassable wall between them. A husband and wife may be divorced, and go out of the presence and beyond the reach of each other; but the different parts of our country cannot do this. They cannot but remain face to face, and intercourse, either amicable or hostile, must continue between them. Is it possible, then, to make that intercourse more advantageous or more satisfactory after separation than before? Can aliens make treaties easier than friends can make laws? Can treaties be more faithfully enforced between aliens than laws can among friends? Suppose you go to war, you cannot fight always; and when, after much loss on both sides, an no gain on either, you cease fighting, the identical old questions as to terms of intercourse are again upon you.

我还不禁要补充一点,在我看来,采取举行会议的方式似乎更好一些,这样可以使修订方案完全由人民自己提出,而不是只让他们去接受或拒绝一些并非特别为此目的而选出的一些人提出的方案,因为也可能那些方案恰恰并不是他们愿意接受或拒绝的。我了解到现在已有人提出一项宪法修正案——这修正案我并没有看到,但在国会中已经通过了,大意说,联邦政府将永远不再干涉各州内部制度,包括那些应服劳役者的问题。为了使我讲的话不致被误解,我现在改变我不谈具体修正案的原来的打算,明确声明,这样一个条款,既然现在可能列入宪法,我不反对使它成为明确而不可改动的条文。

This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their CONSTITUTIONAL right of amending it, or their REVOLUTIONARY right to dismember or overthrow it. I cannot be ignorant of the fact that many worthy and patriotic citizens are desirous of having the national Constitution amended. While I make no recommendation of amendments, I fully recognize the rightful authority of the people over the whole subject, to be exercised in either of the modes prescribed in the instrument itself; and I should, under existing circumstances, favor rather than oppose a fair opportunity being afforded the people to act upon it. I will venture to add that to me the convention mode seems preferable, in that it allows amendments to originate with the people themselves, instead of only permitting them to take or reject propositions originated by others not especially chosen for the purpose, and which might not be precisely such as they would wish to either accept or refuse. I understand a proposed amendment to the Constitution—which amendment, however, I have not seen—has passed Congress, to the effect that the Federal Government shall never interfere with the domestic institutions of the States, including that of persons held to service. To avoid misconstruction of what I have said, I depart from my purpose not to speak of particular amendments so far as to say that, holding such a provision to now be implied Constitutional law, I have no objection to its being made express and irrevocable.

合众国总统的一切权威都来之于人民,人民并没有授于他规定条件让各州脱离出去的权力。人民自己如果要那样干,那自然也是可以的;可是现在的行政当局不能这样做。他的职责,是按照他接任时的样子管理这个政府,然后,毫无损伤地再移交给他的继任者。

The chief magistrate derives all his authority from the people, and they have conferred none upon him to fix terms for the separation of the states. The people themselves can do this also if they choose; but the executive, as such, has nothing to do with it. His duty is to administer the present government, as it came to his hands, and to transmit it, unimpaired by him, to his successor.

我们为什么不能耐心地坚决相信人民的最终的公道呢?难道在整个世界上还有什么更好的,或与之相等的希望吗?在我们今天的分歧中,难道双方不都是认为自己正确吗?如果万国的全能统治者,以他的永恒的真理和公正,站在你们北方一边,或你们南方一边,那么,依照美国人民这一伟大法官的判决,真理和公正必将胜利。

Why should there not be a patient confidence in the ultimate justice of the people? Is there any better or equal hope in the world? In our present differences is either party without faith of being in the right? If the Almighty Ruler of Nations, with his eternal truth and justice, be on your side of the North, or on yours of the South, that truth and that justice will surely prevail, by the judgment of this great tribunal, the American people.

按照目前我们生活其下的现政府的构架,我国人民十分明智;授于他们的公仆的胡作非为的权力是微乎其微的;而且同样还十分明智地规定,即使那点微乎其微的权力,经过很短一段时间后,就必须收回到他们自己手中。

By the frame of the government under which we live, this same people have wisely given their public servants but little power for mischief; and have, with equal wisdom, provided for the return of that little to their own hands at very short intervals. While the people retain their virtue and vigilance, no administration, by any extreme of wickedness or folly, can very seriously injure the government in the short space of four years.

由于人民保持他们的纯正和警惕,任何行政当局,在短短的四年之中,也不可能用极其恶劣或愚蠢的行为对这个政府造成严重的损害。

My countrymen, one and all, think calmly and WELL upon this whole subject. Nothing valuable can be lost by taking time. If there be an object to HURRY any of you in hot haste to a step which you would never take DELIBERATELY, that object will be frustrated by taking time; but no good object can be frustrated by it. Such of you as are now dissatisfied, still have the old Constitution unimpaired, and, on the sensitive point, the laws of your own framing under it; while the new administration will have no immediate power, if it would, to change either. If it were admitted that you who are dissatisfied hold the right side in the dispute, there still is no single good reason for precipitate action. Intelligence, patriotism, Christianity, and a firm reliance on him who has never yet forsaken this favored land, are still competent to adjust in the best way all our present difficulty.

我的同胞们,请大家对这整个问题平心静气地好好想一想,真正有价值的东西是不会因从容从事而丧失的。如果有个什么目标使你迫不及待地要取得它,你采取的步骤是在审慎考虑的情况下不会采取的,那个目标的确可能会由于你的从容不迫而达不到;但一个真正好的自标是不会因为从容从事而失去的。你们中现在感到不满的人,仍然必须遵守原封未动的老宪法,新个敏感的问题上,仍然有根据宪法制订的法律;而对此二者,新政府即使想要加以改变,它自身也立即无此权力。即使承认你们那些心怀不满的人在这一争执中站在正确的一边,那也丝毫没有正当的理由要采取贸然行动。明智、爱国主义、基督教精神,以及对从未抛弃过这片得天独厚的土地的上帝的依赖,仍然完全能够以最理想的方式来解决我们当前的一切困难。

In YOUR hands, my dissatisfied fellow-countrymen, and not in MINE, is the momentous issue of civil war. The government will not assail YOU. You can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors. YOU have no oath registered in heaven to destroy the government, while _I_ shall have the most solemn one to "preserve, protect, and defend it."

决定内战这个重大问题的是你们,我的心怀不满的同胞们,而并非决定于我。政府决不会攻击你们。只要你们自己不当侵略者,就不会发生冲突。你们并没有对天发誓必须毁灭这个政府,而我却曾无比庄严地宣誓,一定要“保持、保护和保卫”这个政府。

I am loathe to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.

我真不想就此结束我的讲话,我们不是敌人,而是朋友。我们决不能成为敌人。尽管目前的情绪有些紧张,但决不能容许它使我们之间的亲密情感纽带破裂。回忆的神秘琴弦,在整个这片辽阔的土地上,从每一个战场,每一个爱国志士的坟墓,延伸到每一颗跳动的心和每一个家庭,它有一天会被我们的良知所触动,再次奏出联邦合唱曲。

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    作者简介

    亚伯拉罕·林肯(Abraham Lincoln,1809年2月12日-1865年4月15日),美国政治家、战略家、第16任总统。林肯是首位共和党籍总统,在任期间主导废除了美国黑人奴隶制。1834年8月,林肯作为辉格党人当选为伊利诺伊州议员。1856年,林肯退出辉格党,参加新成立的共和党。1860年11月6日,林肯当选美国总统。美国南北战争爆发后,林肯签署了《宅地法》、颁布了《解放黑人奴隶宣言》,为北方获得南北战争的胜利奠定了基础。1864年11月8日,林肯再次当选为美国总统。1865年4月14日,林肯被约翰·布斯暗杀,次日上午与世长辞,年仅56岁。在美国爆发南北战争期间,林肯坚决反对国家分裂。他废除了叛乱各州的奴隶制,击败了南方分离势力,维护了美利坚联邦及其领土上不分人种、人人生而平等的权利。

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