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双语 | 临别赠言:美国总统写给继任者的亲笔信

2017-01-22 纽约时报中文网 NYT教育频道 NYT教育频道

左起,乔治·布什总统、候任总统巴拉克·奥巴马、乔治·布什总统、比尔·克林顿总统和吉米·卡特总统,2009年1月。Doug Mills/The New York Times

“批评指责会汹涌而至。”

“The critics will rage.”


“做你认为正确的事所带来的纯粹的快乐,是难以言表的。”


“The sheer joy of doing what you believe is right is inexpressible.”


这些是乔治·W·布什(George W. Bush)和比尔·克林顿(Bill Clinton)在给他们的继任者的离别信中所写的话。

Those are the words of Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton in parting letters to their successors.

总统给人们选出来替代他们的人留言,是一项悠久的传统,奥巴马在周四,也就是他卸任总统职位的前夜致这个国家的感谢信中,也提到了这一传统。

The notes from presidents to the person elected to replace them are part of a long tradition, one Barack Obama alluded to in his thank you message to the nation on Thursday, the eve of his stepping down as president.

以下是这些信的全文,包括老乔治·布什(George Bush)总统给克林顿的告别信,后者几个月前出现在社交媒体上。

Below is the full text of the letters, as well as the note from the elder President George Bush to Mr. Clinton, which was shared on social media months ago.

乔治·W·布什致巴拉克·奥巴马的信。via George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum

乔治·W·布什总统致奥巴马总统

From President George W. Bush to President Obama

2009年1月20日

Jan. 20, 2009

亲爱的贝拉克,

Dear Barack,

祝贺你成为我们的总统。你刚刚打开了自己人生中一个极为美妙的篇章。

Congratulations on becoming our President. You have just begun a fantastic chapter in your life.

很少人能有幸体会你现在所感到的责任。也很少有人能明白此时此刻的激动和你将面临的挑战。

Very few have had the honor of knowing the responsibility you now feel. Very few know the excitement of the moment and the challenges you will face.

你会遇到十分艰难的时刻。批评指责会汹涌而至。你的“朋友”会让你失望。但你会有给你安慰的万能的上帝、爱你的家人,还有为你打气的国人,包括我。不管发生什么,你现在所领导的民众的品德和同情会给你鼓舞。

There will be trying moments. The critics will rage. Your “friends” will disappoint you. But, you will have an Almighty God to comfort you, a family who loves you, and a country that is pulling for you, including me. No matter what comes, you will be inspired by the character and compassion of the people you now lead.

上帝保佑你。

God bless you.

谨上,

Sincerely,

GW



比尔·克林顿总统致乔治·W·布什的信。via George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum

克林顿总统致布什总统

From President Clinton to President Bush

2001年1月20日

January 20, 2001

亲爱的乔治,

Dear George,

今天,你带着能赋予一位美国公民的最大的荣耀,开启了最伟大的征程。

Today you embark on the greatest venture, with the greatest honor, that can come to an American citizen.

就像我一样,你非常幸运,能在这样一个时期领导我们的国家。这里正经历深刻而且基本上是正面的改变,一些老的问题必须再次得到解答,不只是关于政府的角色,还关于我们国家的本质。

Like me, you are especially fortunate to lead our country in a time of profound and largely positive change, when old questions, not just about the role of government, but about the very nature of our nation, must be answered anew.

你领导着一群骄傲、正派且善良的民众。从今天开始,你就是我们所有人的总统。我向你致敬,祝你获得成功,获得无穷的幸福。

You lead a proud, decent, good people. And from this day you are President of all of us. I salute you and wish you success and much happiness.

你现在肩负的担子是巨大的,但往往会被夸大。做你认为正确的事所带来的纯粹的快乐,是难以言表的。

The burdens you now shoulder are great but often exaggerated. The sheer joy of doing what you believe is right is inexpressible.

我的祝福与你和你的家人同在。祝你成功。

My prayers are with you and your family. Godspeed.

致上,比尔

Sincerely, Bill


第一位乔治·布什总统致克林顿总统

From the First President George Bush to President Clinton

1993年1月20日

Jan. 20, 1993

亲爱的比尔,

Dear Bill,

刚才走进这间办公室时,我依然像四年前一样感到惊奇与崇敬。我知道你也会有这样的感觉。

When I walked into this office just now I felt the same sense of wonder and respect that I felt four years ago. I know you will feel that, too.

我希望你在这里获得巨大的幸福。有些总统描述的那种孤独感,我从来不曾感到。

I wish you great happiness here. I never felt the loneliness some Presidents have described.

会有一些十分艰难的时刻,如果同时受到你认为并不公平的指责,会让这些困难变得更加难以克服。我不是一个太会提建议的人;但千万不要为那些批评感到灰心,不要因此偏离你的轨道。

There will be very tough times, made even more difficult by criticism you may not think is fair. I’m not a very good one to give advice; but just don’t let the critics discourage you or push you off course.

读到这封信时,你已经成为了我们的总统。我祝福你。也祝福你的家人。

You will be our President when you read this note. I wish you well. I wish your family well.

现在,你的成功就是我们国家的成功。我在为你加油。

Your success now is our country’s success. I am rooting hard for you.

祝你好运——乔治

Good Luck — George

本文作者是NIRAJ CHOKSHI

翻译:常青


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