Chapter 31 [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.]


Si Cessi Il Pianto, L’Ira Si Gusti.

Lo Schiavo Che Vuol Finir Le Sue Pene.

Vendetta Gridando Al Dio De Giusti,

Deve Schiantar Le Proprie Catene.

Cuore! Si Vada, Vedasi, Si Vinca. (bis.).

In spite of all that, however, Timothy Hayes, the chairman — who by-the-bye, discharged the duties of the chair in that vast assemblage, with ability and tact, spoke like a man, as follows :—

“Gentlemen, many a time I have seen large public meetings pass resolutions with as much earnestness and unanimity as you show this day; and yet, when the time came to test the sincerity, and prove the determination necessary for carrying out those resolutions, it was found then that ‘the spirit, indeed, is willing, but the flesh is weak.’ Now, then, before I put this resolution from the chair, let me point out to you the responsibility it will lay upon you (hear, hear). And so I feel bound to ask you, gentlemen, to speak out your mind. Should any member of the League be dragged to the lock-up for not having the licence, will a thousand of you volunteer to liberate the man?”

“Yes! Yes!”

“Will two thousand of you come forward?”

“Yes! Yes! Yes!”

“Will four thousand of you volunteer to march up to the Camp, and open the lock-up to liberate the man?”

“Yes! yes!” (the clamour was really deafening.)

“Are you ready to die?” shouted out our worthy chairman, stretching forth his right hand, clenched all the while; “Are you ready to die?”

“Yes, Yes! Hurrah!”

This general decided clamour put out Tim in such good spirits, that, in spite of the heat of the sun and the excitement of the day, he launched in the realm of crowned poets, and bawled as loud as if he wanted the head-butler at Toorak to take him a quart-pot of smallbeer—

“On to the field, our doom is sealed,
To conquer or be slaves;
The sun shall see our country free.
Or set upon our graves.”

(Great works!)

No one who was not present at that monster meeting, or never saw any Chartist meeting in Copenhagen-fields, London, can possibly form an idea of the enthusiasm of the miners of Ballaarat on that 29th of November. A regular volley of revolvers and other pistols now took place, and a good blazing up of gold-licences. When the original resolutions had all been passed, Mr. Humffray moved a vote of thanks to Mr. Ireland, for his free advocacy of the state prisoners. The meeting then dissolved, many of them having previously burned their licences, and thus virtually pledging themselves to the resolution adopted, which might be said to have been the business of the day. Nothing could exceed the order and regularity with which the people, some fifteen thousand in number, retired.

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 40-41

Editor’s notes:
bis = (Latin) “again” or “repeat”; a term used, especially in music, to ask that a passage or performance be repeated

[Regarding the chapter heading:]
Si cessi il pianto, l’ira si gusti = (Italian) “Cease your tears, savour your anger”
Lo schiavo che vuol finir le sue pene = (Italian) “O slaves who desire to end your suffering”
Vendetta gridando al Dio de giusti = (Italian) “Vengeance! Shouting to the God of the just”
Deve schiantar le proprie catene = (Italian) “You must burst free of your chains”
*Curoe! si vada, vedasi, si vinca = (Italian) “Heart! you go, see, you win” (*rough translation)

[Regarding the chapter heading:]
G Rando. “Raffaello Carboni’s perception of Australia and Australian identity” [University of Wollongong, 2006], page 18

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