The Gettysburg Address
文章來源: 文章作者: 發布時間:2006-12-19 05:46 字體: [ ]  進入論壇
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背景知識

美國在1776年獨立,脫離英國的管治,不足一百年間,已發展成一個超級大國。由于國土遼闊,南北之間的分歧亦大。

美國北方依靠工商業,要求提高關稅以保護他們產品的市場;南方依靠農業,需要自由貿易制度,以便他們的棉花、煙草和大米賣到歐洲各國。但雙方更大的分歧在于是否解放黑奴。

1860年,林肯(Abraham Lincoln) 當選美國總統,盡管南方人也認同林肯的看法,奴隸制最終要從地球上消失,但黑奴種植棉花為他們帶來經濟繁榮,他們害怕改變。南方炮兵于1861年4月12日首先開火,美國開始了持續四年的內戰。

內戰的其中一次主要戰役,發生于首都華盛頓附近的蓋提斯堡,林肯總統在紀念陣亡士兵的儀式上,向在場的一萬人發表了著名的「蓋提斯堡演說」(Gettysburg Address),鼓勵人民為人人平等的民主原則而戰,時維1863年11月19日。

林肯在1865年3月第二度當選美國總統,六個星期后,他在劇院遇刺,一顆子彈射穿他的大腦,他倒下了。這一年,林肯56歲。

林肯不僅是美國史上最偉大的總統,而且是偉大的演說家,他的演說充滿魅力,文采精煉,是傳世的文學作品。

演講原文

The Gettysburg Address
Abraham Lincoln
19 November 1863

Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth1 on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated2 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 fit and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate - we cannot consecrate3 - we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated4 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 this earth.

 解說:
想學好英文,不外乎幾個途徑--多聽、多講和多寫。要聽好的英語,最好是聽百多二百年來英語世界的名人演講,不單學習他們的腔調,也學習他們遣詞造句的精髓,以及人生的智能。

 

演講在西方有悠久的傳統,希臘的學者和政治家在三千前,已經在廣場向群眾宣揚自己的學說和政治理念。

 

從政者必須是一個出色的演說家,前美國總統林肯,就是最偉大的英語演說家之一,他的文辭淺白,從不在演語中亂丟書包、或故意賣弄,而且句子簡潔、鏗鏘有力。發表于1863年的「蓋提斯堡演說」(The Gettysburg Address)可說是其中的佼佼者。

 

演講首重煽動性,林肯在演說中,要說服全美國的國民,跟他一起打贏一場南北戰爭。任誰都害怕戰爭,但在美國總統眼中,這是對國家利益的全民奉獻,因此他很技巧地捉住Dedicated這個字。

 

第一段已畫龍點睛,傾注美國憲法中的立國精神︰Four score 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.

 

Dedicated或Dedication即奉獻,正如孫中山先生所說的「革命尚未成功,同志仍需努力」,也是奉獻的意思,不過孫中山用了一句口號來包裝,而林肯則在演說中不斷重復這個字。例如︰

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.

又如︰It is for us, the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work.

 

一個演講要令群眾聽后有崇拜之情、也要有感情起伏,就要捉緊一個字眼,而dedicated是一個非常顯淺的字,每一個美國人都會明白,林肯于是執著這個字,不斷變戲法、翻筋斗和表演雜技。

 

林肯演講中每一個字都精挑細選,他為了令民眾留下更深刻印像,有時會用一些像吟詩一樣的句子,例如︰But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate - we cannot consecrate - we cannot hallow this ground. Dedicate和consecrate既押韻、同為三音節、也都是奉獻的意思,可見林肯用字的心思。

 

林肯這篇演講最為人津津樂道的是最后一句︰that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from this earth. 孫中山先生將of the people, by the people, for the people轉化成三民主義,即民族、民權、民生。這些英文翻譯成中文不容易,但英文本身卻是如此淺白,以致美國人一聽即難以忘懷。

 

聽完林肯的演講,如果我們在寫求職信的時候,也用上dedicated這個字眼,在信末加一句Should I have the honour of becoming an employee of this Company, I shall remain dedicated to my career and to the Company. 相信你的未來雇主也會另眼相看!

 

 



點擊收聽單詞發音收聽單詞發音  

1 forth Hzdz2     
adv.向前;向外,往外
參考例句:
  • The wind moved the trees gently back and forth.風吹得樹輕輕地來回搖晃。
  • He gave forth a series of works in rapid succession.他很快連續發表了一系列的作品。
2 dedicated duHzy2     
adj.一心一意的;獻身的;熱誠的
參考例句:
  • He dedicated his life to the cause of education.他獻身于教育事業。
  • His whole energies are dedicated to improve the design.他的全部精力都放在改進這項設計上了。
3 consecrate 6Yzzq     
v.使圣化,奉…為神圣;尊崇;奉獻
參考例句:
  • Consecrate your life to the church.把你的生命奉獻給教堂吧。
  • The priest promised God he would consecrate his life to helping the poor.牧師對上帝允諾他將獻身幫助窮人。
4 consecrated consecrated     
adj.神圣的,被視為神圣的v.把…奉為神圣,給…祝圣( consecrate的過去式和過去分詞 );奉獻
參考例句:
  • The church was consecrated in 1853. 這座教堂于1853年祝圣。
  • They consecrated a temple to their god. 他們把廟奉獻給神。 來自《簡明英漢詞典》
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