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  1、背景

  1944年乃二战关键一年,一场名为“I Am an American Day”的盛大集会于1994年5月21日在纽约中央公园举行。有几千人参加集会,Learned Hand应邀出席集会并做了这次演说。

  2、主旨

  Learned Hand告诉我们,人类的目标就是寻求自由;自由不是随心所欲任意妄为;自由是在倾听每个人的心声,它对伟大和渺小一视同仁,不会对一只落地的鸟儿视而不见。

  3、意义

  该演讲唤起了人类内心深处对自由由来已久的渴望。自由不是任意妄为,不是恃强凌弱和以大欺小,自由乃是人们对幸福生活的随心选择,乃是一视同仁的对待苍生大众,这才是自由的精髓。Hand的演说引起了巨大反响,被广泛转载,并被编入Hand演说集。

  4、译文

  我们今天在这里集会,目的是确定一个信念。这个信念存在于一个共同的目标,一个共同的信仰,一个共同的献身精神。

  我们有些人选择在美国成长。其他人则是做出这种选择的人的后代。所以,我们有理由相信我们是一个特定的群体,我们有勇气摆脱过去的束缚,有勇气面对这块陌生大陆上的危险和孤独。我们这种选择的目标是什么?这个目标鼓舞着我们以及我们的先驱者。我们是寻求自由来的,那是摆脱压迫的自由,脱离贫困的自由,是我们自己的自由。这就是我们的向往;而且我们相信胜利终将属于我们。我们说自由是我们的首选,这是什么意思?我经常在问一个问题:是不是不要把我们的希望过多寄托于宪法、寄托于法律和法庭。这些都是虚无缥缈的希望;相信我,这都是虚无缥缈的希望。自由存在于天下苍生的心中;当自由死去,任何宪法,任何法律,任何法庭都无法拯救;任何宪法,任何法律,任何法庭在自由的真空面前都是苍白无力。即使自由存在,也不需要任何宪法,法律和法庭来拯救。那么这种必然存在于天下苍生心中的自由到底是什么?它不是残忍无情的随心所欲;它不是不受约束的任意妄为。这是在否定自由,会直接把自由引向毁灭。一个社会里,如果人们没有限制自由的意识,那么这个社会的自由就会属于少数野蛮人------我们曾经对此欲哭无泪。

  那么自由的精神到底是什么?

  我无法给它定义;我只能告诉大家我自己的信仰。自由的精神,它不是十分确信自己是否正确;它在寻求体会其他男女老少的所思所想;它会倾听他们的心声同时衡量自己的诉求,毫无偏见;自由的精神会记得,不会有一只鸟儿落在地上而不被人理睬;自由的精神属于这种人,他在两千年前教给人类这种他们从未体会过的训导,但是他从来也没有忘记,有这样一个王国,在这里最弱势人们的心声和诉求应该被倾听和重视,和大人物们一视同仁。如今,在这种精神里面,这种美国精神从来没有被排斥过,也从来不应该被排斥,绝不!将来也绝不会被排斥,因为美国人的良知和勇气创造了它。这种美国精神以某种形式存在于我们所有人的渴望中;这种美国精神是我们年轻一代此时此刻为之战斗和献身的;这种自由的精神和美国的精神,它现在是如此的繁盛,如此安全,如此心满意足,但是我们是无法理解它的真正含义的,在它的承诺面前我们会消极怠工,除非我们努力奋斗使之成为一个信号,一做灯塔,一种标准,把它们作为人类最伟大愿望转化的目标。希望大家分享这种信念,对此我信心满满,我现在请求诸位举起手和我重复这句誓言:

  我宣誓无限忠于旗帜,忠于美利坚合众国,忠于其代表的共和政府,------ 一个国家,不可分割,所以的公民享有自由和公正。

  5、原文

  Presented in 1944 during "I AM an American Day"

  We have gathered here to affirm a faith, a faith in a common purpose, a common conviction, a common devotion.

  Some of us have chosen America as the land of our adoption; the rest have come from those who did the same. For this reason we have some right to consider ourselves a picked group, a group of those who had the courage to break from the past and brave the dangers and the loneliness of a strange land. What was the object that nerved us, or those who went before us, to this choice? We sought liberty - freedom from oppression, freedom from want, freedom to be ourselves. This then we sought; this we now believe that we are by way of winning. What do we mean when we say that first of all we seek liberty? I often wonder whether we do not rest our hopes too much upon constitutions, upon laws, and upon courts. These are false hopes; believe me, these are false hopes. Liberty lies in the hearts of men and women; when it dies there, no constitution, no law, no court can save it; no constitution, no law, no court can even do much to help it. While it lies there, it needs no constitution, no law, no court to save it. And what is this liberty which must lie in the hearts of men and women? It is not the ruthless, the unbridled will; it is not freedom to do as one likes. That is the denial of liberty, and leads straight to its overthrow. A society in which men recognize no check upon their freedom soon becomes a society where freedom is the possession of only a savage few - as we have learned to our sorrow.

  What then is the spirit of liberty?

  I cannot define it; I can only tell you my own faith. The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right; the spirit of liberty is the spirit which seeks to understand the minds of other men and women; the spirit of liberty is the spirit which weighs their interest alongside its own without bias; the spirit of liberty remembers that not even a sparrow falls to earth unheeded; the spirit of liberty is the spirit of him who, near two thousand years ago, taught mankind that lesson it has never learned, but has never quite forgotten - that there may be a kingdom where the least shall be heard and considered side-by-side with the greatest. And now in that spirit, that spirit of an American which has never been, and which may never be - nay, which never will be except as the conscience and courage of Americans create it - yet in the spirit of America which lies hidden in some form in the aspirations of us all; in the spirit of that America for which our young men are at this moment fighting and dying; in that spirit of liberty and of America so prosperous, and safe, and contented, we shall have failed to grasp its meaning, and shall have been truant to its promise, except as welc’ strive to make it a signal, a beacon, a standard to which the best hopes of mankind will ever turn; In confidence that you share that belief, I now ask you to raise you hand and repeat with me this pledge:

  I pledge allegiance to the flag and to the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands--One nation, Indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

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