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  背景介绍:

  这是林肯的第二次就职演说,与以往典型的总统就职演说相比篇幅比较简短。而且,比较少见地,在这种政治场合,林肯却并没有从政治和道德角度长篇大论,而是引用了《圣经》里的两段话,从宗教和上帝的角度诠释内战的意义。这是为什么呢?

  第一个原因,是他在演讲一开头就解释过的,因为在他的上一个四年任期里,该说的话都说过了。我们知道,林肯从政前曾是一名律师,从政后的他也是一名雄辩的演讲家。1958年,他曾和民主党领导人史蒂芬·道格拉斯(Stephen Douglas, 1913-1961)在角逐伊利诺伊州参议员的位置时展开过七次著名的辩论,每次辩论持续3小时。从那个时候起,林肯就已经充分详细地解释过自己的政见----奴隶制需要废除,但不急于一时,可以先从禁止蓄奴政策向其他地区扩张开始;此外,黑人也享有《独立宣言》中提到的公民权利。

  一开始,林肯在解放黑奴的问题上态度还是比较缓和的,这跟当时的政治背景有关。林肯是共和党首位总统,而共和党1954年才创立,其支持者主要聚集在东北部和中西部地区,对奴隶制盛行的南方几乎没有影响力。虽然林肯当选了总统,但在政策实施方面,仍然受到根深蒂固的民主党派势力限制。所以一开始,林肯为了争取拥护国家统一的民主党人支持,并防止边境奴隶州倒向叛乱的一方,只是反对奴隶制向中西部地区扩张。1961年内战爆发初期,林肯政府应战的目的也只是为了恢复南北统一,并未宣布解放奴隶。直到1962年9月,在军事上屡次失败的压力下,林肯才发表解放宣言,并颁布《宅地法》,允许黑人参加北方军队。

  第二个原因,则是当时的军事形势胜负已定,林肯是在内战结束前夕发表的演说,这时候再对这场战争的合理性做多解释已经没有必要。事实上,1963年7月葛底斯堡决战之后,战场上的主动权就已经转到北方军队手中。而就在林肯这次就职演说后一个月,4月9日,南方军队投降,内战结束。

  第三个原因,是当时胜利在望的共和党激进分子主张报复南方的叛乱和分裂。林肯希望遏制这种倾向,所以他援引《圣经》中的说法,说奴隶制是按照上帝的旨意降给我们的罪过,上帝现在要让这罪过消失,所以才把这场可怕的战争给予南北双方。同时号召不要随意评断南方拥护奴隶制者的行为,以免对方也对你攻击和评判。

  综合以上三个原因,就不难读懂这场就职演说的核心思想了。然而不幸的是,在这场就职演说结束后一个月,4月15日,林肯总统就被刺杀离世。

  Weeks of wet weather preceding Lincoln's second inauguration had caused Pennsylvania Avenue to become a sea of mud and standing water. Thousands of spectators stood in thick mud at the Capitol grounds to hear the President. As he stood on the East Portico to take the executive oath, the completed Capitol dome over the President's head was a physical reminder of the resolve of his Administration throughout the years of civil war. Chief Justice Salmon Chase administered the oath of office. In little more than a month, the President would be assassinated.

  演讲正文:

  Fellow-Countrymen:

  At this second appearing to take the oath of the Presidential office there is less occasion for an extended address than there was at the first. Then a statement somewhat in detail of a course to be pursued seemed fitting and proper. Now, at the expiration of four years, during which public declarations have been constantly called forth on every point and phase of the great contest which still absorbs the attention and engrosses the energies of the nation, little that is new could be presented. The progress of our arms, upon which all else chiefly depends, is as well known to the public as to myself, and it is, I trust, reasonably satisfactory and encouraging to all. With high hope for the future, no prediction in regard to it is ventured.

  On the occasion corresponding to this, four years ago all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil war. All dreaded it, all sought to avert it. While the inaugural address was being delivered from this place, devoted altogether to saving the Union without war, insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it without war—seeking to dissolve the Union and divide effects by negotiation. Both parties deprecated war, but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish, and the war came.

  One-eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the southern part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was somehow the cause of the war. To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union even by war, while the Government claimed no right to do more than to restrict the territorial enlargement of it. Neither party expected for the war the magnitude or the duration which it has already attained. Neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease with or even before the conflict itself should cease. Each looked for an easier triumph, and a result less fundamental and astounding. Both read the same Bible and pray to the same God, and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God's assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men's faces, but let us judge not, that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered. That of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes. "Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh."[1] If we shall suppose that American slavery is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him? Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said "the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether."[2]

  With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.

  注释:

  [1] From the Bible: Matthew 18:7

  [2] From the Bible: Psalm 19:9

  来源://www.bartleby.com/124/pres32.html

  演讲译文:

  同胞们:

  这是我第二次宣誓就任总统,所以不太适合像第一次就职那样作长篇的演讲。初次就职时比较适合较为详细地叙述我们要追求的道路。而现在,我的四年任期刚刚结束。在这四年里,对于这场旷日持久、举国瞩目的斗争的方方面面,我一直不断地发表公开宣言,所以也没有什么新的内容要讲。军事力量是决定一切的关键,这方面的进展,大家跟我一样熟知,并且我相信,大家也对此感到满意和鼓舞。既然我们对未来抱有很大希望,那么在军事方面也就无须再做什么预言。

  四年前我初次就职之时,所有的想法和忧虑都集中在即将爆发的内战问题上。大家害怕内战,都设法避免它的发生。当时我在此发表的就职演说,全部致力于不战而拯救联邦,然而,这座城市里的造反派却企图通过主张不战而摧毁联邦,他们企图通过妥协和谈判来瓦解联邦,瓜分这个国家。两方都反对战争,但其中一方宁愿发动战争也不愿联邦存续,而另一方不愿看到联邦解体,所以他们宁肯接受战争,于是内战就爆发了。

  我国八分之一的人口是黑奴,他们并非不是广泛分布于全国各地,而是集中在美国南部。这些黑奴带来了一种特殊而强大的利益。所有人都知道这种利益迟早会成为战争的起因。为了加强、延续和扩展这种利益,造反派不惜发动战争分裂联邦,而政府所做的仅仅是要求将奴隶制限于原来区域,不能再扩张。双方都未曾料到战争会发展到这么大的规模,会持续这么久,也不觉得引起冲突的原因会在冲突本身停止时或者停止前就消失。双方都想轻而易举地得到胜利,也不想执着于一个彻底或让世人震惊的结果。双方读的是同一本圣经,向同一位上帝祷告,都诉求上帝帮助自己战胜对方。看起来很奇怪吧,居然有人敢请求公正的上帝帮助自己去榨取他人的血汗,掠夺他人的劳动成果;但我们还是不要随意鉴定吧,以免我们自己也被人说三道四。双方的祈求上帝不能回应,也没有任何一方得到满意的回应,因为全能的上帝自有他的主张。“苦难降临于世,是因为人犯下了罪过,因为人注定要犯错,然而苦难只降临在那些带来罪过的人身上。”我们如果肯相信奴隶制是那些罪过之一,是按照上帝的旨意降给我们的罪过,而这罪过已经到了上帝指定的期限,上帝现在要让这罪过消失,所以他把这场可怕的战争给予南北双方,他要惩罚那些犯下罪过的人们,那么笃信上帝并把许多神圣的属性赋予上帝的信徒们能说上帝的行为与他的神圣相违背吗?我们满怀着希望,我们热忱地祈祷,愿这战争的鞭笞早日过去。然而,假如上帝要这场战争延续下去,直至两百五十年来利用奴隶的无偿劳动所积聚的财富全部散尽,直至奴隶在皮鞭下流淌的每一滴血都用刀剑下的血来偿还,那么,如同三千年前《圣经》中所说的,“我们仍要称颂上帝的判决是公允合理的。”

  我们对任何人都没有恶意,对所有人都怀有善心,我们坚信上帝赋予了我们明辨是非的能力,让我们努力完成我们正在进行的事业,包扎这个国家的伤痕,关怀每一位战死的烈士和他的妻儿,尽一切力量争取和维护我们国家及各个国家公正且长久的和平。

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