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名校励志英语演讲 第118期:21世纪的挑战(12)

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From the windows of the White House, where I live in Washington, D.C., the monument to our first President, George Washington, dominates the skyline. It is a very tall obelisk. But very near this large monument there is a small stone which contains these words: The United States neither established titles of nobility and royalty, nor created a hereditary system. State affairs are put to the vote of public opinion.

从我居住的华盛顿特区白宫的窗口向外眺望,我们第一任总统乔治.华盛顿的纪念碑俯视全城。那是一座高耸的方形尖塔。在这个庞大的纪念碑旁,有一块很小的石碑,上面刻着的碑文是:美国决不设立贵族和皇室头衔,也不建立世袭制度。国家事务由舆论公决。

This created a new political situation, unprecedented from ancient times to the present. How wonderful it is. Those words were not written by an American. They were written by Xu Jiyu, governor of Fujian Province, inscribed as a gift from the government of China to our nation in 1853.

美国就是这样建立了一个从古至今史无前例的崭新政治体系。这是最奇妙的事物。这些话不是美国人写的,而出自福建省巡抚徐继玉之手,并于1853年由中国政府刻成碑文,作为礼物送给美国。

I am very grateful for that gift from China. It goes to the heart of who we are as a people—the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, the freedom to debate, to dissent, to associate, to worship without interference from the state.

我很感激中国送的这份礼物。它道出了我们全体美国人民的心声,即人人有生命和自由的权利、追求幸福的权利,有不受国家的干涉发表言论和持不同政见的自由、有结社的自由和宗教信仰的自由。

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