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【名人家书】林肯致江斯顿(双语)

2015-05-14    来源:网络    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

【名人家书】林肯致江斯顿(双语)
亚伯拉罕•林肯(1809—1865),美国历史上最富人格魅力与传奇色彩的总统。他出生于农民家庭,青年时代当过工人、石匠和店员,艰苦的环境磨炼了他的意志,他刻苦自学,又先后担任过州议员、律师、众议员。1860年,林肯当选为美国总统,着手废除奴隶制,在任期间发表了《解放宣言》,提出了“民有、民治、民享”的口号。在南方诸州提出分裂以后,他领导人民进行了南北战争,重新统一了美国。1864年,林肯获得连任,1865年4月14日,他被一个戏剧演员暗杀。

江斯顿是林肯继母的儿子,他来信向林肯借钱,林肯以此信回复了他。

Dear Johnston:
Your request for eighty dollars, I do not think it best to comply with now. At the various times when I have helped you a little, you have said to me, “We can get along very well now,” but in a very short time I find you in the same difficulty again. Now this can only happen by some defect in your conduct. What that defect is, I think I know. You are not lazy, and still you are an idler. I doubt whether since I saw you, you have done a good whole day's work, in any one day. You do not very much dislike to work, and still you do not work much, merely because it does not seem to you that you could get much for it.

This habit of uselessly wasting time, is the whole difficulty; it is vastly important to you, and still more so to your children, that you should break this habit. It is more important to them, because they have longer to live, and can keep out of an idle habit before they are in it, easier than they can get out after they are in.

You are now in need of some ready money; and what I propose is, that you shall go to work,“tooth and nail,” for somebody who will give you money for it.

Let father and your boys take charge of your things at home—prepare for a crop, and make the crop, and you go to work for the best money wages, or in discharge of any debt you owe, that you can get. And to secure you a fair reward for your labor, I now promise you that for every dollar you will, between this and the first of May, get for your own labor either in money or in your own indebtedness, I will then give you one other dollar.

By this, if you hire yourself at ten dollars a month, from me you will get ten more, making twenty dollars a month for your work. In this, I do not mean you shall go off to , or the lead mines, or the gold mines, in California, but I mean for you to go at it for the best wages you can get close to home—in Coles County.

Now if you will do this, you will soon be out of debt, and what is better, you will have a habit that will keep you from getting in debt again. But if I should now clear you out, next year you will be just as deep in as ever. You say you would almost give your place in Heaven for 70 or 80. Then you value your place in Heaven very cheaply, for I am sure you can with the offer I make you get the seventy or eighty dollars for four or five months' work. You say if I furnish you the money you will deed me the land, and if you don't pay the money back, you will deliver possession—Nonsense! If you can't now live with the land, how will you then live without it? You have always been kind to me, and I do not now mean to be unkind to you. On the contrary, if you will but follow my advice, you will find it worth more than eight times eighty dollars to you.

Affectionately
Your brother

亲爱的江斯顿:
你向我借八十块钱,我觉得目前最好不要借给你。好几次我帮助你之后,你都说“现在我们的生活可以好过了”,但是时隔不久,你又面临了同样的困境。现在,只能说明你自己有问题。是什么问题呢?我想我知道。你不是个懒汉,但多少有点游手好闲。自从我上次看见你,就怀疑你没有认真工作过一天。你不太讨厌工作,但却不卖劲干活,惟一的原因是你觉得你并不能从中获益多少。

所有的问题都缘于你那浪费时间的恶习。改掉这种习惯对你来说很重要,而对你的儿女则更加重要。这是因为他们的人生之路还很长,在没有养成闲散的习惯之前,尚可加以制止。这比养成之后再纠正要容易得多。

现在你需要些现钱;我建议你去工作,去找个出薪雇人的老板,为他“卖力地”工作。

让你爸爸和你的几个儿子去应付家里春播和秋收的事吧,你自己去做些最挣钱的工作,再用你的工资抵债。为了使你的劳动获得好的酬金,我现在答应你,从今天到五月一号,只要你工作挣到一块钱或是偿还了一块钱的债,我就再给你一块钱。

这样的话,如果你每月挣十块钱,你可以从我这儿再得到十块钱,那么你一个月就能挣二十块钱。我不是说让你到圣路易或加利福尼亚州的铅矿、金矿去,而是让你在离家近的地方找个最挣钱的工作——就在柯尔斯县境内。

如果你现在愿意这样做,很快就能还清债务。更好的是,你会养成不再欠债的好习惯。但是,如果我现在帮你还了债,明年你又会负债累累。你说,你愿意用你在天堂的席位换来七八十块钱。这么说,你把你在天堂的席位看得太廉价了。其实,照我说的去做,保证你工作四五个月就能挣到那七八十块钱。你又说,如果我借给你钱,你愿意把田产抵押给我;若是将来你还不清钱,那田地就归我所有——

胡说八道!假如现在你有田地都无法生存,将来没有田地又怎么存活呢?你一向对我很好,我现在也没有对你无情无义,相反,如果你肯采纳我的建议,你会发现,对你来说,这比八个八十块钱还值!

挚爱你的哥哥
亚•林肯



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