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伟大的友谊
作者:  点击次数:1755

a great friendship

  Thomas Jefferson and James Madison met in 1776.Could it have been any other year? They worked together starting then to further American Revolution and later to shape the new scheme of government. From the work sprang a friendship perhaps incomparable in intimacy and the trustfulness of collaboration and induration. It lasted 50 years. It included pleasure and utility but over and above them, there were shared purpose, a common end and an enduring goodness on both sides. Four and a half months before he died, when he was ailing, debt-ridden, and worried about his impoverished family, Jefferson wrote to his longtime friend. His words and Madison's reply remind us that friends are friends until death. They also remind us that sometimes a friendship has a bearing on things larger than the friendship itself, for has there ever been a friendship of greater public consequence than this one?

  托马斯·杰斐逊和詹姆斯·麦迪逊相识于1776年。为什么偏偏是这一年呢?当时他们开始共同努力推动美国革命,后来又一同为政府拟订新草案。在这些合作中孕育出的友谊是亲密无间、信诚以托、坚不可摧的。这份友谊维持了五十年。当中包含有欢乐,有协作,他们更志同道合地朝共同的目标迈进,历经多年从不间断地令彼此受益。在离开人世前四个半月时,杰斐逊重病在身,债台高筑,并为家庭的贫困感到忧心如焚,于是他提笔给这位知心好友写了封信。从他的信以及麦迪逊的回复中,我们可以看到:这两个朋友是一生之交;并且有时候,他们之间的友情意义之大更超越了友情本身,这份友谊给大众带来的深远影响是前所未有的。

  "The friendship which has subsisted between us now half a century, the harmony of our po1itical principles and pursuits have been sources of constant happiness to me through that long period. It's also been a great solace to me to believe that you're engaged in vindicating to posterity the course that we've pursued for preserving to them, in all their purity, their blessings of self-government, which we

  had assisted in acquiring for them. If ever the earth has beheld a system of administration conducted with a single and steadfast eye to the general interest and happiness of those committed to it, one which, protected by truth, can never known reproach, it is that to which our lives have been devoted. To myself you have been a pillar of support throughout life. Take care of me when dead and be assured that I should leave with you my last affections."

  “你我之间的友谊迄今已经走过了半个世纪,我们在政治原则与追求上取得的协调在过去的漫漫岁月中为我带来了源源不断的快乐。我感到一大安慰的是,我相信你还在兢兢业业地致力于造福子孙后代的事业一一这份事业我们曾为他们争取过,我们也努力要把他们透明自治的优良体制流传下去。希望这世界上有一种治理制度,在执行的时候专门有坚定不移的一只眼睛来审视它,监护大众利益和为之奋斗者的幸福,建立在真理基础上的制度将永远与责难无缘,我们一生所致力的也正在这里。我自己,还有你,毕生都为此鼎力支持。请你照顾我的身后之事,也请相信,我的友情永远和你同在。"(1826年2月17日)

  A week later Madison replied-

  一个星期后,麦迪逊写了回信——

  "You cannot look back to the long period of our private friendship and political harmony with more affecting recollections than I do. If they are a source of pleasure to you, what aren’t they not to be to me? We cannot be deprived of the happy consciousness of the pure devotion to the public good with Which we discharge the trust committed to us and I indulge a confidence that sufficient evidence will find in its way to another generation to ensure, after we are gone, whatever of justice may be withheld whilst we are here. "

  "在过去的漫长岁月中,你我的友谊与一致的政治观,总令我在回想时心中无比感动。它们为你带来欢乐,对我又何尝不是如此?我们肩负人民的信任,为大众福利鞠躬尽瘁,从中获得的幸福感是难以泯灭的。我坚信,无论当前对我们的评判怎样,我们的一切贡献,身后的下一代人必将给予公断。"

  


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