《独立宣言》和葛底斯堡演说

我们认为下面这些真理是不证自明的:人人生而平等,造物者赋予他们若干不可剥夺的权利,其中包括生命权、自由权和追求幸福的权利。为了保障这些权利,人们才在他们之间建立政府,而政府之正当权力,则来自被统治者的同意。任何形式的政府,只要破坏上述目的,人民就有权利改变或废除它,并建立新政府;新政府赖以奠基的原则,得以组织权力的方式,都要最大可能地增进民众的安全和幸福。的确,从慎重考虑,不应当由于轻微和短暂的原因而改变成立多年的政府。过去的一切经验也都说明,任何苦难,只要尚能忍受,人类都宁愿容忍,而无意废除他们久已习惯了的政府来恢复自身的权益。但是,当政府一贯滥用职权、强取豪夺,一成不变地追逐这一目标,足以证明它旨在把人民置于绝对专制统治之下时,那么,人民就有权利,也有义务推翻这个政府,并为他们未来的安全建立新的保障。

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

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endowed:天赋
unalienable:不可剥夺的
deriving:obtain something from... 得到;推导;派生
prudence:/'pruːdns/ 谨慎
be disposed to:倾向于,有意
usurpation /ˌjuːzɜː'peɪʃn/:强取豪夺
evince(s) /iˈvins(is)/:表明
Despotism /'despətɪzəm/:独裁;专制统治

八十七年前,我们的父辈们在这块陆地上建起了一个新的国家,它孕育于自由,并奉行人人生而平等的主张。

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.

如今,我们正在进行一场伟大的内战,考验着那个国家,或任何有此信仰和主张的国家,能否长久地存续下去。我们在这场战争的伟大战场上相遇,为了使那一国家得以存续,我们将在这片战场上找到我们最后的安息之地,——那些为此而死去的人已经这么做了,——这对我们而言是恰当的,也是适宜的。

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 battle-field 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.

然而,从更广泛的意义上说,我们无法在此祭奠,我们无法在此奉献,我们无法使这片土地得以神圣化;那些活着的人,和死去的人,曾在此拼搏过的,已经使它神圣化,而这一意义是我们乏弱的力量远远不能有所增减的。世界不会注意到,也不会长久地记住我们在这儿说过什么,但它绝不会忘记那些人曾在这儿做过什么。虽然大业尚未完竟,但那些为此奋斗过的烈士们已使这一事业进入了最后的成熟阶段,无疑,我们这活着的人当继续致力于这一事业。我们应当投身于那留在我们面前的伟大任务——从那些为此投入了全部热忱的逝者那里,我们将获得更多的热忱;我们将不会,绝不会使那些为此献出生命的人白白献出生命;我们将使这个国家,在上帝的庇佑下,从自由里获得新生;而那一为民所有、为民所治、为民所享的政府,也绝不会从这片土地上消亡。

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate—we can not consecrate—we can not 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.