尼克松对白宫职员的告别演讲

作者: 阮一峰

日期: 2007年8月19日

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1974年8月8日,美国历史上一个悲剧性的时刻。

为了避免国会因"水门事件"对他的弹勀,尼克松总统向全国发表电视演讲,宣布他将在第二天中午在白宫辞去总统职务。他成了历史上唯一一个辞职的美国总统。

第二天的中午,在乘飞机离开之前,尼克松向白宫的工作人员发表告别演说。这是一篇即兴演说,没有讲稿,在整个演讲过程中,尼克松的情绪非常激动,以至说了很多破句,句子与句子之间意思也不是很连贯。这样的离开当然是很不体面的事情,但是他用这篇演讲为自己做最后的辩解。他要堂堂正正地离开白宫。

因为喜欢其中的一句话,我读了全文。读完后,感觉它不失为一篇有一定价值的历史文献。网上没有查到有中译,好在原文也不长,我就把它翻译了出来。

我特别喜欢的那句话,我用黑体标出来了。

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Richard Nixon's Farewell Speech to White House Staff

理查德·尼克松白宫告别演说

1974年8月9日

阮一峰 译

Members of the Cabinet, Members of the White House Staff, all of our friends here:

各位内阁成员,各位白宫的职员,所有在场的朋友:

I think the record should show that this is one of those spontaneous things that we always arrange whenever the President comes in to speak, and it will be so reported in the press, and we don't mind because they have to call it as they see it. But on our part, believe me, it is spontaneous.

我想记录会表明,这只是一次自发的聚会。每当总统要发表演说时,都会有这样的场面。新闻媒体也会这样报道。我们不必担心这个问题,他们只要看到这个现场,自然就会这样报道。但是我们自己一定要很清楚,这确实是自发的聚会,相信我。

You are here to say good-bye to us, and we don't have a good word for it in English. The best is au revoir. We will see you again. I just met with the members of the White House staff, you know, those who serve here in the White House day in and day out, and I asked them to do what I ask all of you to do to the extent that you can and, of course, are requested to do so: to serve our next President as you have served me and previous Presidents -- because many of you have been here for many years -- with devotion and dedication, because this office, great as it is, can only be as great as the men and women who work for and with the President.

你们来到这里,同我们说再见。这种仪式在英语里没有特别好的名称,最好的说法是法语的au revoir(欢送会)。我们还会再相见的。我刚才已经接见过白宫的职员了,你们知道,他们天天都在白宫里提供服务,已经很多年了。我对他们的要求,同对你们的要求是一样的。我要求你们大家尽力,当然这本来就是你们的职责,为下一任总统服务,就像你们为我和为历任总统服务一样。你们中的很多人已经在这里工作多年,无比忠诚和具有奉献精神。你们要知道,这座楼之所以是一座伟大的楼,完全是因为那些和总统一起工作或者为总统工作的男男女女本身就同这幢楼一样伟大。

This house, for example, I was thinking of it as we walked down this hall, and I was comparing it to some of the great houses of the world that I have been in. This isn't the biggest house. Many, and most, in even smaller countries are much bigger. This isn't the finest house. Many in Europe, particularly, and in China, Asia, have paintings of great, great value, things that we just don't have here, and probably will never have until we are 1,000 years old or older.

比如说,当我走过大厅的时候,我会想到这座楼,我会将它同另一些世界上我到过的伟大的楼做比较。它不是最大的楼,很多小国里有比它大得多的楼。它也不是最漂亮的楼。欧洲的许多楼,中国的许多楼,里面有价值连城的绘画,有许多我们这里没有的东西,再过1000年,我们这里也未必会有。

But this is the best house. It is the best house because it has something far more important than numbers of people who serve, far more important than numbers of rooms or how big it is, far more important than numbers of magnificent pieces of art.

但是,它是世界上最好的楼。因为它里面有一些东西,有一些比人员的数量、比房间的数目、比空间的大小、比艺术品的多寡更重要的东西。

This house has a great heart, and that heart comes from those who serve. I was rather sorry they didn't come down. We said good-bye to them upstairs. But they are really great. And I recall after so many times I have made speeches, and some of them pretty tough, yet, I always come back, or after a hard day -- and my days usually have run rather long -- I would always get a lift from them because I might be a little down, but they always smiled.

这座楼有一颗伟大的心。这颗心来自于那些为这座楼工作的人们。我相当遗憾,他们没有下来。我们在楼上同他们道别了。但是,他们的伟大是的的确确的。回想起来,我曾经做过很多次演讲,有些还是难度很高的演讲,当演讲结束以后,经过劳累的一天,我回到这座楼里,通常我的工作时间是很长的,我也许有些疲惫不堪,但是我总是能从他们身上感到鼓励,他们总是对我微笑着。

And so it is with you. I look around here, and I see so many on this staff that, you know, I should have been by your offices and shaken hands, and I would love to have talked to you and found out how to run the world -- everybody wants to tell the President what to do, and boy he needs to be told many times -- but I just haven't had the time. But I want you know that each and everyone of you, I know, is indispensable to this Government. I am proud of this Cabinet. I am proud of all the members who have served in our Cabinet. I am proud of our sub-cabinet. I am proud of our White House staff. As I pointed out last night, sure we have done some things wrong in this Administration, and the top man always takes the responsibility, and I have never ducked it. But I want to say one thing: We can be proud of it -- 5 1/2 years. No man or no woman came into this administration and left it with more of this world's goods than when he came in. No man or no woman ever profited at that public expense or the public till. That tells something about you.

现在,轮到在场的各位了,我看看周围,我看到那么多的工作人员。我本应该来到你们的办公室,同你们一一握手。我非常喜欢同你们交谈,同你们讨论如何让世界正常运作。每个人都喜欢告诉总统该做什么,总统就像一个小男孩,要听好多次人们的指点。但是,现在我没有这么多时间了。不过,我要你们知道,你们中的每一个人,对这个政府来说,都是不可缺少的。我为这一届的内阁感到自豪。我为所有在这一届内阁中工作过的人们感到自豪。我为我们的顾问委员会感到自豪。我为白宫的工作人员感到自豪。正如我昨天晚上所说的,在政府运作中,我们毫无疑问做错了一些事情。在这种情况下,负责人必须承担责任,我绝对不会推卸掉我的责任。但是,我要说一件事,一件足以让我们感到自豪的事情:五年半了,在这一届政府中工作的所有人中,没有一个人离开的时候比他来的时候多带走了任何东西。没有一个人从公共开支中获得私利或者贪污。这充分表明了你们的品质。

Mistakes, yes. But for personal gain, never. You did what you believed in. Sometimes right, sometimes wrong. And I only wish that i were a wealthy man -- at the present time I have got to find a way to pay my taxes -- [laughter] -- and if I were, I would like to recompense you for the sacrifices that all have made to serve in Government.

对,我们确实犯了错误,但是没有个人利益在里面。你们实践了自己的信仰。有时候,结果是对的,有时候结果是错的。此时此刻,我仅仅希望我要是一个富有的人该多好----可惜我不是,我还必须找到一些办法去付清我的税款(听众的笑声)----如果我有钱,我会补偿你们,为了你们在这一届政府里工作时所做出的奉献。

But you are getting something in Government -- and I want you to tell this to your children, and I hope the nation's children will hear it, too -- something in Government service that is far more important than money. It is a cause bigger than yourself. It is the cause of making this the greatest nation in the world, the leader of the world, because without our leadership the world will know nothing but war, possible starvation, or worse, in the years ahead. With our leadership it will know peace, it will know plenty.

但是,你们也从政府得到了另一些东西。我要你们去告诉你们的孩子,我希望这个国家的其他孩子也能听到----在政府中工作,有一些东西是比金钱远远更重要的。那是一个比个人的生命更宏大的事业。这个事业就是创造一个世界上最伟大的国家,一个世界的领袖,因为如果我们没有在世界上的领导地位,这个世界就会发生战争,可能还有饥荒,或者未来的更糟糕的事情。只有在我们的领导下,世界才会有和平,才会有富裕。

We have been generous, and we will be more generous in the future as we are able to. But most important, we must be strong here, strong in our hearts, strong in our souls, strong in our belief, and strong in our willingness to sacrifice, as you have been willing to sacrifice, in a pecuniary way, to serve in Government.

我们一直是慷慨的,在未来我们还将尽我们所能更加慷慨。但是最重要的事情是,我们必须是强大的,我们的心灵必须是强大的,我们的灵魂必须是强大的,我们的信念必须是强大的,我们奉献的意愿必须是强大的。你们一直以一种特别的方式,在做出牺牲,那就是在政府工作。

There is something else I would like for you to tell your young people. You know, people often come in and say, "What will I tell my kids?" They look at government and say it is sort of a rugged life, and they see the mistakes that are made. They get the impression that everybody is here for the purpose of feathering his nest. That is why I made this earlier point -- not in this Administration, no one single man or woman.

还有另一件事,我也要你们去告诉我们的孩子。你们知道,有些人会过来说:"我能跟自己的孩子说什么?"他们看着这一届政府,说这一届政府真是有点多灾多难。他们只看到了我们犯的错误。他们得到了一种印象,好像每个在这里的人都是为了私利而来政府工作的。这就是我为什么会说前面那段说话,我们这一届政府中没有这样的人,一个都没有。

And I say to them, "There are many fine careers. This country needs good farmers, good businessmen, good plumbers, good carpenters." I remembered my old man. I think that they would have called him sort of a little man, common man. He didn't consider himself that way. You know what he was? he was a streetcar motorman first, and the he was a farmer, and then he had a lemon ranch. It was the poorest lemon ranch in California, I can assure you. He sold it before they found oil on it. [Laughter] And then he was a grocer. But he was a great man because he did his job, and every job counts up to the hilt, regardless of what happens.

我要这些人说,"世界上有很多好的职业。这个国家需要好的农民,好的商人,好的管子工,好的木匠。"我想起了我父亲。人们总是管他叫小老百姓。他自己并不这么想。你们知道他干过什么?一开始,他是一个电车司机,后来他是个农民,然后他自己有了一个种柠檬的大农场。那个农场是加州最差的种柠檬的农场。我向你们保证,他卖掉农场的时候,里面还没有被发现藏有石油。(听众的笑声)在那以后,他又开了一个杂货店。但是,他是一个伟大的人,因为他做好了自己的工作,不管发生什么,他干过的每一项职业无不精益求精。

Nobody will ever write a book, probably, about my mother. Well, I guess all of you would say this about your mother -- my mother was a saint. And I think of her, two boys dying to tuberculosis, nursing four others in order that she could take care of my older brother for 3 years in Arizona, and seeing each of them die, and when they died, it was like one of her own. Yes, she will have no books written about her. But she was a saint.

关于我母亲,可能将来也不会有人为她写本书。不错,我想你们所有人都会用同样一句话,形容你们的母亲)----我的妈妈是个神圣的人。我回想她的一生,她有两个儿子死于肺结核,养大了其他四个。她在亚利桑那州照顾我的两个哥哥三年,看着他们接连死去。当他们死的时候,就像她自己死了一次一样。就是这样,没有一本书会写到她。但是,她是一个神圣的人。

Now, however, we look to the future. I had a little quote in the speech last night from T.R. As you know, I kind of like to read books. I am not educated, but I do read books -- [laughter] -- and the T.R. quote was a pretty good one. Here is another one I found as I was reading, my last night in the White House, and this quote is about a young man. He was a young lawyer in New York. He had married a beautiful girl, and they had a lovely daughter, and then suddenly she died, and this is what he wrote. This was in his diary.

好了,现在我们要看看未来了。昨天晚上的演讲中,我引用了西奥多•罗斯福的一句话。正如你们所知的,我还是很喜欢读书的。我没有受过良好的教育,但我确实读了不少书。(听众的笑声)西奥多•罗斯福的那句话说得很不错。下面是另外一句话,是我昨天晚上在白宫里读书的时候发现的,那句话说的是一个年轻人。他是一个纽约的年轻的律师。他娶了一个漂亮的姑娘,他们有一个可爱的女儿。突然之间,妻子死了。下面就是他写的一段话。他写在日记里。

He said: "She was beautiful in face and from and lovelier still in spirit. As a flower she grew and as a fair young flower she died. her life had been always in the sunshine. There had never come to her a single great sorrow. None ever knew her who did not love and revere her for her bright and sunny temper and her saintly unselfishness. Fair, pure and joyous as a maiden, loving, tender and happy as a young wife. When she had just become a mother, when her life seemed to be just begun and when the years seemed so bright before her, then by a strange and terrible fare death came to her. And when my heart's dearest died, the light went from my life forever."

他写道:"她的脸和身体是那么美丽,她的灵魂更加美丽。她像一朵花那样来到人间,又像一朵花那样死去。她的生活总是处在阳光之中。她从来不会遇到巨大的悲伤。认识她的每一个人,没有不爱她的。她聪明,天性快乐,乐于助人,人人都喜欢她。作为少女,她端庄、纯洁又快乐;作为妻子,她深情、温和又幸福。当她刚成为母亲的时候,她的生活看上去才刚刚开始,未来还有无数美好的日子等待着她。但是突如其来,可怕的死亡就降临在她身上。我最亲爱的人死了,我生命中的光永久地熄灭了。"

That was T.R. in his twenties. He thought the light had gone from his life forever -- but he went on. and he not only became President but, as an ex-President, he served his country always in the arena, tempestuous, strong, sometimes wrong, sometimes right, but he was a man.

这个年轻人就是西奥多•罗斯福。在他二十多岁的时候,他认为他的生活将永远地黑暗无光。但是,他没有消沉,继续向前走,后来成为了美国的总统。作为一个总统,他为他的国家服务,永远就像在竞技场上战斗,风云变幻,对手强大,有时他做了正确的事,有时他做了错误的事,但是他是一个真正的人。

And as I leave, let me say, that is an example I think all of us should remember. We think sometimes when things happen that don't go the right way; we think that when you don't pass the bar exam the first time -- I happened to, but I was just lucky; I mean my writing was so poor that bar examiner said, "We have just got to let the guy through." [Laughter] We think that when someone dear to us dies, we think that when we lose an election, we think that when we suffer defeat, that all is ended. We think, as T.R. said, that the light had left his life forever.

现在,我即将离开,我想这是一个很好的例子,我们所有人都应该记住。有时,我们会觉得事情糟透了,比如你第一次的时候没有通过律师资格考试。我就是这样,但是我很幸运,我的意思是我的写作差极了,但是考官说:"我们让这个家伙通过算了。"(听众的笑声)当我们亲爱的人死去,我们会这样想,当我们输掉一次选举的时候,我们会这样想,当我们被击败的时候,我们会这样想。我们会想所有一切都完了。这正如西奥多•罗斯福所说的:"生命中的光永远地熄灭了。"

Not true. It is only a beginning always. The young must know it; the old must know it. It must always sustain us because the greatness comes not when things go always good for you, but the greatness comes when you are really tested, when you take some knocks, some disappointments, when sadness comes, because only if you have been in the deepest valley can you ever know how magnificent it is to be at the highest mountain.

但是,这不是真的。它永远只是一个开始。年轻人一定要知道这一点,老年人也一定要知道这一点。我们必须永远都记得这一点,生命中的伟大时刻并不仅仅是那些成功的时刻,也包括那些考验你的时刻,打击你的时刻,你感到失望的时刻,你悲伤的时刻。因为只有当你身处最深的山谷,你才会知道在最高的山峰之上将是何等壮美。

And so I say to you on this occasion, as we leave, we leave proud of the people who have stood by us and worked for us and served this country. We want you to be proud of what you have done. We want you to continue to serve in Government, if that is your wish. Always give your best, never get discouraged, never be petty; always remember other may hate you, but those who hate you don't win unless you hate them, and then you destroy yourself.

所以,我要对你们这些在场的人说,我们就要走了,我们是带着骄傲离开的。我们为那些与我们站在一起的人们感到骄傲,他们为我们工作,为这个国家服务。我们要你们为自己所做过的事情感到骄傲。我们要你们继续在政府中服务,如果你们愿意的话。永远竭尽全力,永远不要失去勇气,永远不要成为心胸狭窄的人,永远要记得,可能有人会恨你,但是那些恨你的人不会赢,除非你也恨他们,那样的话,你就将毁了你自己。

And so, we leave with high hopes, in good spirit and with deep humility, and with very much gratefulness in our hearts. I can only say to each and every one of you, we come from many faiths, we pray perhaps to different gods, but really the same God in a sense, but I want to say for each and every one of you, not only will we always remember you, not only will we always be grateful to you but always you will be in our hearts and you will be in our prayers.

我们走了,带着巨大的希望,我们的精神是高昂的,我们的态度是非常谦卑的,我们的心中是满怀感激的。我对你们每一个人所能说的就是,我们也许有不同的信仰,我们也许向不同的神灵祈祷,但是在某种意义上,我们的神是一样的。我要对你们每一个人说,我们不仅会永远地记得你们,永远地感激你们,我们还会将你们放到我们的心上,每一次祈祷的时候,我们都将想到你们。

(2007年8月19日译)

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留言(11条)

我代理的一本书叫:Integrity: Good People, Bad Choices, and Life Lessons from the Nixon White House,是尼克松当年的律师写的回忆录,One of the “President’s Men” in the Watergate recalls how he lost his way and destroyed his life under the pressure of politics and power, and provides a lesson in what integrity—and success—really mean.

我很佩服这个律师,能坦然地讲述自己的真实故事,哪怕是不光彩的故事,因为水门事件,尼克松下台了,而他被认定要对机密文件泄密负责,因而被剥夺了律师资格,并且被判入狱,in the book he tells the inspirational story of how one man came out of prison, regained his law license, and turned his life around.

但是,我试了试,发现中国出版商对这样的书,好像不感兴趣:(


引用sinan的发言:
但是,我试了试,发现中国出版商对这样的书,好像不感兴趣:(

你的那本书怕是真的在中国没市场,只有对美国政治很感兴趣而且很熟悉的人,才会要读。这样的人国内大概不多。

You are here to say good-bye to us, and we don't have a good word for it in English. The best is au revoir.


good-bye是“别了”的意思,而au revoir才是“再见”,即指“再次相见”,所以尼克松这里这样说。

引用饼的发言:
good-bye是“别了”的意思,而au revoir才是“再见”,即指“再次相见”,所以尼克松这里这样说。

多谢指出我的错误。怪不得我觉得这一句有点怪,原来是没有搞懂au revoir的意思。

很喜欢这句,豁然开朗。

It must always sustain us because the greatness comes not when things go always good for you, but the greatness comes when you are really tested, when you take some knocks, some disappointments, when sadness comes, because only if you have been in the deepest valley can you ever know how magnificent it is to be at the highest mountain.

确实看完了让人心胸开阔。
心胸狭窄其实更多的是对自己的惩罚
有时原谅了别人也是对自己的救赎

everybody wants to tell the President what to do, and boy he needs to be told many times

"and boy" 我觉得像一个语气词阿:)

引用ashbury的发言:
"and boy" 我觉得像一个语气词阿:)

我当时觉得,boy是尼克松的一个比喻。现在看起来,也可能指在场的听众,只是在这样的场合,似乎用这个词称呼人很不严肃。

boy在这里就是用来加强语气的,并无实指。:)

引用boyohboy的发言:
boy在这里就是用来加强语气的,并无实指。:)

在m-w.com上,果然查到boy有这个意思:used interjectionally to express intensity of feeling 【例句】boy, what a game。

多谢指出,我又在长知识了!

这篇翻译的真好。

我要发表看法

«-必填

«-必填,不公开

«-我信任你,不会填写广告链接