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阿瑟·詹姆斯·贝尔福 七月四日

2006-07-07 16:59

Arthur James Balfour

THE FOURTH OF JULY

July4,1917

  On this anniversary in every part of the worldAmerican citizens meet together and renew,as itwere,their vows of devotion to the great idealswhich have animated them.All the world admires,and all the world sympathizes with the vast workof the great American Republic.All the worldlooks back upon the one hundred forty-one yearswhich have elapsed since the Declaration of Inde-pendence and sees in that one hundred forty-oneyears an expansion in the way of population,in theway of wealth and of power,material and spiritu-al,which is unexampled in that period,and,as faras I know,in the history of the world.

  We of the British race,who do not fall shortof the rest of the world in our admiration in thismighty work,look at it in some respects in a dif- ferent way,and must look at it in a different way,from that of other people.From one point of viewwe have surely a right to look at it with a special satisfaction,a satisfaction born of the fact that,after all,the thirteen colonies were Britishcolonies;that the thirteen colonies,in spite ofsmall controversies,grew up broadly speaking,under the protection of England;that it was ourwars,the English wars with Spain in the sixteenthcentury,with Holland in the seventeent century,and with France in the eighteenth century,whichgave that security from external European attackwhich enabled those thirteen colonies to developinto the nucleus of the great community of whichthey were the origin.

  We British may also surely,without unduevanity,pride ourselves on the fact that the menwho founded the great American Republic,themen whose genius contrived its constitution,theirforefathers who,struggling in the wilderness,gradually developed the basis of all that has hap-pened since,were men speaking the English lan- guage,obeying and believing in English laws,andnourished upon English literature;and althoughwe may say that the originality and power and en-durance were theirs,they were men of our ownrace,born of the same stock,and to that extent asleast we may feel that we have some small and notinsignificant part in the great development whichthe world owes to their genius,courage,and loveof liberty.

  In that sense we may well look with peculiarpride and satisfaction upon this great anniversary.There is,of course,another side to the question.The Fourth of July is the anniversary of the sepa-ration,the final political separation—not,thankGod,the final separation in sentiment,in emo-tion,or in ideal—but the final separation betweenthe thirteen colonies and the Mother Country.Weof the Mother Country cannot look back on thatevent as representing one of our successes.Nodoubt there was something to be said,though per-haps it is not often said,for those on this side ofthe Atlantic who fought for unity,who desired topreserve the unity of the Empire.Unity is a causefor which the American people have sacrificedrivers of blood and infinite treasure.

  I am not going into ancient history,but themistake we made,an almost inevitable mistake atthat particular period of the development of thehistory of the world,was in supposing that unitywas possible so long as one part of the Empirewhich you tried to unite,speaking the same lan- guage,having the same traditions and laws,hav- ing the same love of liberty and the same ideals,would consent to remain a part of the Empire ex-cept on absolutely equal terms.That was a pro- found mistake,a mistake which produced a greatschism and produced all the collateral,though I amglad to think subordinate,evils which followed onthat great schism.

  All I can say in excuse for my forefathers isthat,utterly defective as the colonial policy ofGreat Britain in the middle of the eighteenth centu-ry undoubtedly was,it was far better than thecolonial policy of any other coutry.Imperfectly aswe conceived the kind of relations that might,orcould,bind the colonies to their Mother Country,thoroughly as we misconceived tnem,we miscon-ceived them less than most of our neighbors.

  If I rightly read the sings of the times,a truerperspective and a more charitable perspective isnow recognized and felt by all the heirs of these sadand ancient glories.Heaven knows Ido not grudgethe glories of Washington and his brother soldiers.I do not shed tears over the British defeat whichended in the triumphant establishment of theAmerican Republic.I do not express any regretson that subject.My only regrets are that the mem- ories of it should carry with them the smallesttrace of bitterness on our side.I do not know whythere should be.I think it may properly carrymemories of triumph on your side,but it should bea triumph seen in its true perspective,and by thistrue perspective seen in such a way that it does notinterfere with the continuity of history in the de-velopment of free institutions,and with the con-sciousness of common kinship and common ideals,and the considerations which ought to bind us to-gether,and which have bound us together,andwhich year by year,generation by generation,andcentury by century are going to bind us still closerin the future.

阿瑟·詹姆斯·贝尔福

七月四日

1917年7月4日

  在今天这个周年纪念日,世界各地的美国公民聚在一起,可以说是再一次宣誓忠实于曾激励过他们的伟大理想。全世界都在赞美,在感受伟大的美利坚共和国的巨大成就。全世界都在回顾自独立宣言以来所经历的一百四十一年,看到了那一百四十一年里人口方面、财富方面、物质力量和精神力量方面的大发展。这种发展在那个时代是绝无仅有的,并且据我所知,在世界历史上也是没有先例的。

  我们不列颠民族对这个非凡成就的钦佩并不亚于世界其他民族,但是对这个成就的看法在某些方面与别国人民是不同的,而且必然是不同的。从某种角度看,我们确实有权利对这个成就感到特殊的满意,这种满意产生于下列事实:那十三个州毕竟曾是英国的殖民地;十三个州,尽管小有争议,广义上讲是在英国的保护下发展起来的;十三个州是由于我们英国同别国的交战——16世纪与西班牙的战争、17世纪与荷兰的战争、18世纪与法国的战争——才得以免遭来自欧洲的侵袭,并且由这个伟大社会的发源地发展成为它的核心。

  我们英国确实还可以并非得意扬扬地因以下事实而自豪:建立伟大的美利坚共和国的人们,以他们的天赋创造出共和国宪法的人们和他们那些在荒野里奋斗,逐渐为后来所产生的一切打好基础的祖先们,都是些说英语,服从并信奉英国法律,受到英国文学滋养的人们。虽然我们可以说这创造力、这才能和忍耐力是他们自己的,但是他们毕竟是我们这个民族的人,出自同一个祖先,我们至少可以感到,在这个伟大的发展中——全世界把这归功于他们的天赋、胆略和热爱自由——也有我们小小的、并非无关紧要的一部分。

  从这个意义上,我们可以有理由特别自豪、特别满意地看待这个伟大的周年纪念日。当然,问题还有另外一面。七月四日是分离的周年纪念日,最后的政治上的分离——感谢上帝不是最后的感情上或者理想上的分离——而是十三州和母国之间的最后分离。我们母国不能回头把那个分离看作我们的一个具有代表性的成就。无疑,早就该为那些为了统一而战斗和那些期望维护帝国统一的大西洋这一边的人说几句话,尽管这些话现在可能并不常说。而统一正是美国人民为之曾经血流成河并献出无数财富的事业。

  我不准备涉及久远的历史,但是我们所犯的错误,一个在世界历史发展的那个特定阶段几乎不可避免的错误,是以为:只要你试图去统一的那个和我们说着同样的语言、拥有同样的传统和法律、拥有对自由的同样热爱和同样理想的部分,同意继续作为英帝国的一部分而不要求绝对平等的地位,大英帝国的统一就是可能的。那是一个极大的错误,这个错误产生了一个大分裂,产生了种种因大分裂而引起的伴生祸害,尽管我乐于认为是次生祸害。

  我为我的祖先所能做的全部辩解就是:就算大不列颠18世纪中叶的殖民地政策绝对有缺点,也比任何其他国家的殖民地政策要好得多。就算我们没有完整地理解那些可能或能够把殖民地与母国结合在一起的关系的本质,甚至完全误解了那些关系,我们的误解也比我们的大多数邻国要少。

  如果我对时代的标志的理解是正确的话,那么一种更合理、更宽容的观点现在已被这些令人悲伤的古老荣誉的所有继承人所承认和接受。上天知道我不妒嫉华盛顿及其战友的荣誉。我不为以美利坚共和国胜利成立为结局的英国的战败流泪。我对这个问题不表示任何遗憾。我唯一的遗憾是这件往事将会把我们一方最细微的痛苦痕迹全留在这些继承人的记忆之中。我不知道为什么会这样。我想你们一方的胜利完全可以留在记忆之中,但是这个胜利应该从其合理的视角来观察,从这种合理的视角来观察,就不至于妨碍在自由制度的发展中的历史连续性,不至于妨碍共同血统和共同理想的意识,而这些应当把我们结合在一起的看法曾经把我们结合在一起,并且在未来将一年又一年、一代又一代、一个世纪又一个世纪地把我们结合得更加紧密。

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