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種植園奴隸的自由之路: 從黑人奴隸 到國會議員

kira86 于2019-09-27發布 l 已有人瀏覽
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種植園黑人奴隸羅伯特·斯莫爾斯,從被奴役中覺醒,再到為自由而奮戰一生的故事。
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Freedom for the Planter

種植者的自由

To nine-year-old Robert Smalls , Beaufort Sea , South Carolina, was the best place in the world. It lay off the Carolina coast in the midst of a maze of islands. Rich oak, pine, and cedar trees stood as guardians over what were known as the Sea Islands.

對于年僅九歲的羅伯特·斯莫爾斯來說,南卡羅來納州的波弗特海是世上最好的地方。波弗特海位于卡羅來納海岸不遠處,置身于眾多迷宮般交錯的島嶼之中。在這被人們稱作“海群島”的地方,生長著茂密的橡樹、松樹和雪松,它們仿佛衛兵一樣保護著這里。

Robert and his mother, Lydia, belonged to rice planter Henry McKee.Within sight of the slave quarters was McKee's great mansion, flanked by magnolia trees.

羅伯特和她的母親莉迪亞都是水稻種植園主亨利·麥基的奴隸。站在奴隸的住所就可以看到麥基那宏偉的豪宅,豪宅兩邊還種滿了玉蘭樹。

Because he was both bright and kind, Robert became a favored slave. His life was carefree and comfortable, but Lydia began to worry that her son did not understand his true status. To show him what slavery really meant,she brought him to a slave auction . It was a scene that Robert never forgot.

羅伯特生來聰明,心地又好,因此獲得了麥基的偏愛。他的生活無憂無慮又自在輕松,但是莉迪亞開始擔心兒子沒有弄明白自己真正的身份。為了讓羅伯特明白什么是奴隸制,她帶羅伯特去看了一場奴隸拍賣。那里的情景令羅伯特終生難忘。

In 1851 Henry McKee sold the plantation in Beaufort and bought another less than fifty miles away, near Charleston. Twelve-year-old Robert was sent to Charleston to be hired out. He worked as a waiter and then as a lamplighter. In his free hours he went to the waterfront, where he could watch the schooners and the graceful clipper ships.

1851年,亨利·麥基賣掉了波弗特的種植園,然后在離那兒不到50英里的查爾斯頓附近買了另一個種植園。12歲的羅伯特被派到查爾斯頓供人租用。他在那里做過侍者,接著又做過點街燈的燈夫。沒事的時候,他會去碼頭看看縱帆船,欣賞快速帆船在海上優雅地航行。

With Henry McKee's consent, he quit his job as a lamplighter and took any work he could find on the waterfront. As a teenager, Robert loaded and unloaded ships. He painted hulls and cabins and learned the trade of sailmaker. Working on a schooner as a sailor, he watched how the boat pilots handled their vessels. He began to study maps of the region, including the currents and tides. Before long he could pilot boats skillfully.

得到亨利·麥基的允許后,羅伯特辭掉了燈夫的工作,在碼頭隨便做點雜工。年少的羅伯特給船裝卸貨物,給船身和船艙上漆,還學會了怎么制帆、修帆。在縱帆船上當水手期間,他觀察領航員如何操縱船只。之后他又開始研究本地區的地圖,包括水流和潮汐的規律。沒過多久,他就已經可以輕松自如地駕駛船只了。

In 1860 bitter emotions about slavery divided the country. By late December, South Carolina had withdrawn from the Union. Ten more southern states soon followed. They called themselves the Confederate States of America. At dawn on April 12th, 1861, the Civil War began when Confederates fired on and captured Fort Sumter, one of many Union forts scattered throughout Charleston's harbor.

1860年,人們對奴隸制充滿敵意的爭端使美國分裂了。當年12月底,南卡羅來納州脫離了聯邦政府。不久,南方又有十個州緊隨其后。這些脫離出來的州自稱為“美利堅聯盟國”。1861年4月12日黎明時分,作為北方聯邦遍布在查爾斯頓海灣眾多堡壘之一的薩姆特堡遭到了南方聯盟軍的進攻,隨后被占領,美國內戰爆發。

Robert was forced into the Confederate Navy as a sailor on a paddle- wheel steamer called the Planter. It was ideal for river work, because it could travel in shallow coastal waters without running aground . By then Robert had mastered navigation, and he soon became the ship's helmsman . He learned the signals necessary to pass by the forts, as well as the locations of hidden underwater explosives.

羅伯特被迫加入了南方聯盟的海軍,在一艘名叫“種植者號”的漿輪汽船上當水手。這艘船可以在濱海淺水水域里航行而不會擱淺,因此很適合在河域航行。那時候羅伯特已經熟練掌握了航海術,很快就當上了“種植者號”的舵手。他還掌握了穿過各個堡壘需要的信號,并摸清了水下隱藏的炸藥的具體位置。

The great Union fleet could be seen poised off the South Carolina coast. From a safe distance, Robert watched the Union attack and capture the Sea Islands, including his native Beaufort Sea. He heard that the Union set the Sea Islands slaves free. For months he brooded over his continuing slavery and the freedom that was visible just a few miles away.

龐大的北方聯邦艦隊就部署在南卡羅來納州沿岸,整裝待發。在保證自己安全的距離之外,羅伯特遠遠地看著北方聯邦軍進攻并奪取了海群島,其中就有自己的出生地波弗特海。他聽說北方聯邦軍讓海群島的奴隸們重獲自由。之后的幾個月里,羅伯特認真思考了自己一直被奴役的狀態,還有那就在幾英里外可見的自由。

In the spring of 1862, the Planter's slave crew gathered in Robert's room to listen to an escape plan. With them were their wives and children. It was decided that the women and children would hide in a merchant boat. The Planter would pick them up and then head for the Union fleet. It was a simple plan. But success depended on choosing just the right moment.

1862年春天的某一天,“種植者號”上的奴隸船員在羅伯特的房間里集會,聽他說明逃跑計劃。跟這些船員們一起準備逃跑的還有他們的妻子和孩子。他們商量決定,讓女人和孩子事先藏在一艘商船里, 等“種植者號”把他們接上船后,就駛向北方聯邦的艦隊。計劃很簡 單,但要想成功還得選對時機。

On May 12th, that moment came. The captain, chief engineer, and mate went ashore for the night, leaving the slave crew on board. Robert alerted the women. At 3 a.m. on May 13th, the Planter eased into the channel and picked up the women and children. The harbor was ringed with armed forts on constant alert, and the Planter would have to pass each of these forts before reaching the Union fleet.

到了5月12日那天,行動的時機來了。那天“種植者號”的船長、輪機長和大副全都上岸去過夜,船上只剩下那些奴隸船員。羅伯特通知一起逃跑的女人們待命。5月13日凌晨3點,“種植者號”緩緩駛入航道,把女人和孩子接上船。整個海灣被時刻處于警戒狀態的武裝堡壘所包圍,要到達北方聯邦艦隊所在地,“種植者號”就必須一個個通過這些堡壘。

Robert sailed the ship at its normal speed. Wearing the captain's hat and jacket, he stood in the pilot house with the steam whistle's cord in his hand. He gave the correct signal for the first fort. The sentry waved him on. Gradually the Planter made its way until it approached Fort Sumter, the last fort that stood between the slaves and their freedom.

羅伯特駕駛船只按照正常速度航行。他站在駕駛艙里,頭戴船長帽,身穿船長服,手里拽著汽笛拉繩。對著第一座堡壘,他發出了正確的信號。衛兵向他擺手,示意他繼續前進。“種植者號”一路前行, 來到薩姆特堡前,這是最后一座堡壘,橫亙在他們和自由之間。

The pace was slow and easy. Robert looked into the muzzles of Sumter's guns and gave the singnal - two long whistles and one short. The Planter was passed again. Once outside the range of the guns, Robert shouted for more steam, and the ship sped out to sea.

船緩慢、輕松地行駛著。羅伯特看了一眼薩姆特堡的炮口,然后發出了信號——兩聲長鳴,一聲短鳴。“種植者號”再次被放行。一開出薩姆特堡的炮火范圍,羅伯特立即大聲下令加大馬力,船只快速向大海駛去。

At 5:45 a.m., Captain F. J. Nichols of the Union fleet saw a craft steaming out of the harbor. Because of its lowered guns and its white flag of surrender , he allowed the Planter to anchor near the fleet.

凌晨5點45分,北方聯邦艦隊F. J.尼科爾斯船長發現有一艘船正駛出海灣。船上的炮已經放下,還升起了投降的白旗,于是他允許“種植者號”在艦隊附近拋錨停船。

News of the ship's abduction spread. Newspapers declared the deed "daring and heroic". The loss of the Planter was a blow to the Confederate government, and the unknown slave was hailed as a courageous hero. But this incident was only the beginning of a life dedicated to fighting for freedom.

這次劫船逃跑的消息很快便傳播開來。報紙稱這一事件為“勇氣可嘉的英雄之舉”。失去“種植者號”對于南方聯盟政府打擊不小,而這件事背后默默無名的奴隸則被人們視為勇敢的英雄。但是這件事對于羅伯特致力于為自由而戰的一生來說,僅僅只是一個開始。

In 1871 Robert Smalls was elected to the South Carolina legislature . Later, he served as a member of the U.S. Congress. He worked hard for free public education, and he fought for equal rights for all citizens.

1871年,羅伯特·斯莫爾斯通過選舉進入南卡羅來納州立法機關任職。后來,他又當上了美國國會的議員。他為實現免費公共教育而努力,并為全體公民獲得平等權利而奮斗。

Robert spoke eloquently on behalf of his people. "My race needs no special defense, for the past history of them in this country proves them to be the equal of any people anywhere. All they need is an equal chance in the battle of life."

羅伯特曾代表黑人發表過這樣精彩的演說:“作為黑人,我們不需要任何特殊的保護,因為過去我們在這個國家所經歷的歷史已經證明了,我們和其他任何一個地方的人們都是平等的。我們真正需要 的,是在人生這場戰役中獲得平等的機會。”

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