Chapter 2 [The Eureka Stockade, by Raffaello Carboni, 1855]

[Editor: This is a chapter from The Eureka Stockade by Raffaello Carboni. A glossary has been provided to explain various words and phrases that may be unfamiliar to modern readers.]


A jove principum.

“Wanted a governor. Apply to the People of Victoria:” that was the extraordinary advertisement, a new chum in want of employment, did meet in the usual column of The Argus, December 1852. Many could afford to laugh at it, the intelligent however, who had immigrated here, permanently to better his condition, was forced to rip up in his memory a certain fable of Aesop. Who would have dared then to warn the fatted Melbourne frogs weltering in grog, their colonial glory, against their contempt for King Log? Behold King Stork is your reward. Tout comme chez nous.

One remark before I start for the gold-fields. As an old European traveller I had set apart a few coppers for the poor at my landing. I had no opportunity for them. “We shall do well in this land ;” was my motto. Who is going to be the first beggar? Not I! My care for the poor would have less disappointed me, if I had prepared myself against falling in the unsparing clutches of a shoal of land-sharks, who swarmed at that time the Yarra Yarra wharfs. Five pounds for landing my luggage, was the A, followed by the old colonial C, preceded by the double D. Rapacity in Australia is the alpha and omega. Yet there were no poor! a grand reflection for the serious. Adam Smith, settled the question of “the wealth of nations.” The source of pauperism will be settled in Victoria by any quill-driver, who has the pluck to write the history of public-houses in the towns, and sly-grog sellers on the gold-fields.

Let us start for Ballaarat, Christmas, December 1852. — Vide — tempore suo — Julii Caesaris junioris. De Campis Aureis, Australia Felix Commentaria.

For the purpose, it is now sufficient to say that I had joined a party; fixed our tent on the Canadian Flat; went up to the Camp to get our gold licence; for one pound ten shilling sterling a head we were duly licensed for one month to dig, search for, and remove gold, etc. — We wanted to drink a glass of porter to our future success, but there was no Bath Hotel at the time. — Proceeded to inspect the famous Golden Point (a sketch of which I had seen in London in the Illustrated News). The holes all around, three feet in diameter, and five to eight feet in depth, had been abandoned! we jumped into one, and one of my mates gave me the first lesson in “fossiking,” — In less than five minutes I pounced on a little pouch — the yellow boy was all there, — my eyes were sparkling, — I felt a sensation identical to a first declaration of love in by-gone times. — “Great works,” at last was my bursting exclamation. In old Europe I had to take off my hat half a dozen times, and walk from east to west before I could earn one pound in the capacity of sworn interpreter, and translator of languages in the city of London. Here, I had earned double the amount in a few minutes, without crouching or crawling to Jew or Christian. Had my good angel prevailed on me to stick to that blessed Golden Point, I should have now to relate a very different story: the gold fever, however, got the best of my usual judgment, and I dreamt of, and pretended nothing else, than a hole choked with gold, sunk with my darling pick, and on virgin ground. — I started the hill right-hand side, ascending Canadian Gully, and safe as the Bank of England I pounced on gold — seventeen and a half ounces, depth ten feet.

Raffaello Carboni. The Eureka Stockade: The Consequence of Some Pirates Wanting on Quarter-Deck a Rebellion, Public Library of South Australia, Adelaide, 1962 [facsimile of the 1855 edition], pages 2-3

Editor’s notes:
a jove principum = (Latin) “beginning with Jove” (also translated as “from Jove is the beginning of all things”); from Eclogues, Book 3 (line 60), by Virgil (Publius Vergilius Maro, 70 BC – 19 BC): “Ab jove principium, Musae” (“From Jove, ye Muses, let us begin”, also translated as “The beginning of my song is from Jupiter” [Jove])

Australia Felix = (Latin) “fortunate Australia”, or “happy Australia” (“felix” may be translated as blessed, fortunate, happy, lucky, or successful)

fossiking = fossicking; to search for gold, especially by picking through dirt that has already been worked on

*Julii Caesaris junioris. De Campis Aureis, Australia Felix Commentaria = (Latin) “Julius Caesar junior. Fields of gold, commentary on fortunate Australia” (*rough translation)

tempore suo = (Latin) “due time”, or “appointed time” (possibly a Biblical reference, as this phrase appears in Numbers 9:2 of the Latin Bible)

tout comme chez nous = (French) “just as it is at home”

vide = (French) blank, empty, vacant, void

a jove principum:
Jon R. Stone. The Routledge Dictionary of Latin Quotations: The Illiterati’s Guide to Latin Maxims, Mottoes, Proverbs, and Sayings, Routledge, New York, 2005, page 133 (accessed 29 December 2012)
The Works of Virgil: Translated Into English Prose, Vol. 1 fifth edition, Joseph Davidson, [UK], 1770, page 14 (accessed 29 December 2012)
John Martyn. Publii Virgilii Maronis Bucolicorum Eclogae Decem. The Bucolicks of Virgil, London, R. Reily, 1749, page 111 (accessed 29 December 2012)
EUdict: Latin-English dictionary: Results for: a Jove principium”, EUdict: European Dictionary (accessed 29 December 2012)
P. Vergili Maronis Ecloga Tertia”, The Latin Library [“Ab Iove principium Musae”] (accessed 29 December 2012)

tempore suo:
Numbers 9”, New Advent (accessed 29 December 2012)
Numbers 9:2”, Online Multilingual Bible (accessed 29 December 2012)
Numbers 9:2 : Douay-Rheims Bible parallel: Christian Community, New Jerusalem, Clementine Latin Vulgate, Biblia Sacra Vulgatam”, Veritas Bible (accessed 29 December 2012)

tout comme chez nous:
William Carpenter [revised by Rev. W. Webster]. A Comprehensive Dictionary of English Synonyms, William Tegg, London, 1865, page 304

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