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史上最著名的一场演讲:带着信仰,直击人心

Source: 恒星英语学习网    2018-01-11  我要投稿   论坛   Favorite  

《至暗时刻》与同年上映的《敦刻尔克》完美衔接,两部影片都用了丘吉尔的演讲做结束,这段史上最著名的一段演讲也是我们今天的主题。

We shall never surrender
我们决不投降

We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans,
我们将战斗到底。我们将在法国作战,我们将在海洋中作战,

we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be,
我们将以越来越大的信心和越来越强的力量在空中作战,我们将不惜一切代价保卫本土,

we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills;
我们将在海滩作战,我们将在敌人的登陆点作战,我们将在田野和街头作战,我们将在山区作战。

we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving,
我们绝不投降,即使我们这个岛屿或这个岛屿的大部分被征服并陷于饥饿之中——我从来不相信会发生这种情况——

then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle,
我们在海外的帝国臣民,在英国舰队的武装和保护下也会继续战斗,

until, in God’s good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old.
直到新世界在上帝认为适当的时候,拿出它所有一切的力量来拯救和解放这个旧世界。
这段演讲发生在敦刻尔克大撤退之后。英法的绥靖政策让纳粹铁蹄在欧洲大陆肆无忌惮,法国即将宣布投降之时,丘吉尔下令撤出在法英军,为后续的战斗保存实力。

这是英国最难的时刻,这也是最振奋人心的一段话。在巨大的恐惧和不安中,人们等待着他的声音。

这段话中很多次用到shall,它在陈述句中表示说话者给对方的承诺、决心,表示无可避免,必须要做的事情。

句式简洁、短促有力,韵律中带着无可阻挡的气势。而这,正适合以激励和警醒为目的的主题演讲。fight、defend、carry on、step forth to等极具行动感染力的动词穿插其中,配合growing confidence、strength、whatever、never的修饰,将丘吉尔抗战到底的决心一展无遗。

“even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving”,这句话的正常顺序是:even if this Island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, which I do not for a moment believe.which I do not for a moment believe是非限定性定语从句修饰前面的假设情况。

从整段话来看,句式简单且统一,全是与决心和承诺相关的陈述,当这样的句子反复累加,稍有不慎就会显得空洞且不具有可信度。于是,丘吉尔在这段讲话中加入了失败或者持久战可能带来的后果,以表示自己的讲话是建立在深思熟虑之上的。同时,又将“我从不相信”的表达提前,以展示这微乎其微的可能性。

“then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle”,这句话中的armed and guarded by the British Fleet是过去分词作后置定语,修饰our empire。carry on the struggle 则是与后面的until引导的从句连接在一起,即“持续战斗到……为止”。

until引导的时间状语从句中,主干部分是the New World steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old,in God’s good time和with all its power and might是伴随状语。

毋庸置疑,这是二战中让英大印象最深的一次演讲,丘吉尔的原音并没有太多起伏波折,但莫名地让人感到热血。战争前期的劣势、颓靡的士气、无法预知的未来,这一切都让英国人民感到怀疑、恐惧。而丘吉尔要做的就是近乎决绝的坚定,哪怕玉石俱焚,也绝不与虎谋皮。

在一个黑暗侵袭的年代里,保有对文明的终极信念,就如影片中丘吉尔对外阁讲的那段话:如果我们的文明注定要毁灭,那就让它随着我们的死亡一起,彻彻底底地消失。

附演讲全文

When, a week ago today, I asked the House to fix this afternoon as the occasion for a statement, I feared it would be my hard lot to announce the greatest military disaster in our long history.

I thought-and some good judges agreed with me-that perhaps 20,000 or 30,000 men might be re-embarked. But it certainly seemed that the whole of the French First Army and the whole of the British Expeditionary Force north of the Amiens-Abbeville gap would be broken up in the open field or else would have to capitulate for lack of food and ammunition.

These were the hard and heavy tidings for which I called upon the House and the nation to prepare themselves a week ago. The whole root and core and brain of the British Army, on which and around which we were to build, and are to build, the great British Armies in the later years of the war, seemed about to perish upon the field or to be led into an ignominious and starving captivity.

The enemy attacked on all sides with great strength and fierceness, and their main power, the power of their far more numerous Air Force, was thrown into the battle or else concentrated upon Dunkirk and the beaches.

Pressing in upon the narrow exit, both from the east and from the west, the enemy began to fire with cannon upon the beaches by which alone the shipping could approach or depart.

They sowed magnetic mines in the channels and seas; they sent repeated waves of hostile aircraft, sometimes more than a hundred strong in one formation, to cast their bombs upon the single pier that remained, and upon the sand dunes on which the troops had their eyes for shelter.

Their U-boats, one of which was sunk, and their motor launches took their toll of the vast traffic which now began. For four or five days an intense struggle reigned. All their armored divisions-or what Was left of them-together with great masses of infantry and artillery, hurled themselves in vain upon the ever-narrowing, ever-contracting appendix within which the British and French Armies fought. Meanwhile, the Royal Navy, with the willing help of countless merchant seamen, strained every nerve to embark the British and Allied troops; 220 light warships and 650 other vessels were engaged.

They had to operate upon the difficult coast, often in adverse weather, under an almost ceaseless hail of bombs and an increasing concentration of artillery fire. Nor were the seas, as I have said, themselves free from mines and torpedoes.

It was in conditions such as these that our men carried on, with little or no rest, for days and nights on end, making trip after trip across the dangerous waters, bringing with them always men whom they had rescued.

The numbers they have brought back are the measure of their devotion and their courage. The hospital ships, which brought off many thousands of British and French wounded, being so plainly marked were a special target for Nazi bombs; but the men and women on board them never faltered in their duty.

Meanwhile, the Royal Air Force, which had already been intervening in the battle, so far as its range would allow, from home bases, now used part of its main metropolitan fighter strength, and struck at the German bombers and at the fighters which in large numbers protected them.

This struggle was protracted and fierce. Suddenly the scene has cleared, the crash and thunder has for the moment-but only for the moment-died away.

A miracle of deliverance, achieved by valor, by perseverance, by perfect discipline, by faultless service, by resource, by skill, by unconquerable fidelity, is manifest to us all. The enemy was hurled back by the retreating British troops.  He was so roughly handled that he did not hurry their departure seriously. We must be very careful not to assign to this deliverance the attributes of a victory. Wars are not won by evacuations.

But there was a victory inside this deliverance, which should be noted. It was gained by the Air Force. Many of our soldiers coming back have not seen the Air Force at work; they saw only the bombers which escaped its protective attack.

They underrate its achievements. I have heard much talk of this; that is why I go out of my way to say this. I will tell you about it.This was a great trial of strength between the British and German Air Forces.

Can you conceive a greater objective for the Germans in the air than to make evacuation from these beaches impossible, and to sink all these ships which were displayed, almost to the extent of thousands?

Could there have been an objective of greater military importance and significance for the whole purpose of the war than this?

They tried hard, and they were beaten back; they were frustrated in their task. We got the Army away; and they have paid fourfold for any losses which they have inflicted.

When we consider how much greater would be our advantage in defending the air above this Island against an overseas attack, I must say that I find in these facts a sure basis upon which practical and reassuring thoughts may rest.

I will pay my tribute to these young airmen. The great French Army was very largely, for the time being, cast back and disturbed by the onrush of a few thousands of armored vehicles.

May it not also be that the cause of civilization itself will be defended by the skill and devotion of a few thousand airmen?

There never has been, I suppose, in all the world, in all the history of war, such an opportunity for youth.

The Knights of the Round Table, the Crusaders, all fall back into the past-not only distant but prosaic; these young men, going forth every morn to guard their native land and all that we stand for, holding in their hands these instruments of colossal and shattering power, of whom it may be said that:

Every morn brought forth a noble chance

And every chance brought forth a noble knight,

deserve our gratitude, as do all the brave men who, in so many ways and on so many occasions, are ready, and continue ready to give life and all for their native land.

Nevertheless, our thankfulness at the escape of our Army and so many men, whose loved ones have passed through an agonizing week, must not blind us to the fact that what has happened in France and Belgium is a colossal military disaster.

The French Army has been weakened, the Belgian Army has been lost, a large part of those fortified lines upon which so much faith had been reposed is gone, many valuable mining districts and factories have passed into the enemy’s possession, the whole of the Channel ports are in his hands, with all the tragic consequences that follow from that, and we must expect another blow to be struck almost immediately at us or at France.

We are told that Herr Hitler has a plan for invading the British Isles. This has often been thought of before. When Napoleon lay at Boulogne for a year with his flat-bottomed boats and his Grand Army, he was told by someone.

“There are bitter weeds in England.” There are certainly a great many more of them since the British Expeditionary Force returned.

I have, myself, full confidence that if all do their duty, if nothing is neglected, and if the best arrangements are made, as they are being made, we shall prove ourselves once again able to defend our Island home, to ride out the storm of war, and to outlive the menace of tyranny, if necessary for years, if necessary alone.

At any rate, that is what we are going to try to do. That is the resolve of His Majesty’s Government-every man of them.

That is the will of Parliament and the nation. The British Empire and the French Republic, linked together in their cause and in their need, will defend to the death their native soil, aiding each other like good comrades to the utmost of their strength.

We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God’s good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old.


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