Chapter 33 [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.]


Mistero! S’Apre Mendacia, Violente

Strada Maestra In Citta E Campagna:

La Verita, Se Docile, Quadagna

A Passo Lo Stradello Lentamente.

(Translated in the text of my first chapter.)

On Thursday morning, November 30th, at sunrise, I was at my work, as usual.

I assert, as an eye-witness, that most of the hands on the Eureka came to their work, and worked as usual.

Whilst having a ‘blow,’ we would talk over again about the monster meeting of yesterday, thus spinning a yarn in the usual colonial style.

The general impression was, that as soon as government knew in Melbourne the real state of the excited feelings of the diggers, the licence-hunt would be put a stop to.

Towards ten o’clock was my hour for a working-man’s breakfast. I used to retire to my tent from the heat of the mid-day, and on that same Thursday I set about, at once, to end my letter to Mr. Archer, because I was anxious to forward it immediately to Melbourne.

Good reader, I copy now, word for word, the scrawl then penned, in great haste and excitement.

Thursday, November 30th, 1854.

“Just on my preparing to go and post this letter, we are worried by the usual Irish cry, to run to Gravel-pits. The traps are out for licences, and playing hell with the diggers. If that be the case, I am not inclined to give half-a-crown for the whole fixtures at the Camp.

“I must go and see ‘what’s up.’

“Always your affectionate,


“W. H. ARCHER, Esq.,
Acting Registrar-General, Melbourne.”

WHY this identical letter of mine — now in the hands of James Macpherson Grant, M.L.C., Solicitor, Collins-street, where it will remain till Christmas for inspection, to be then returned to the owner — was not produced at my STATE TRIAL, was, and is still, a MYSTERY to me!

Let’s run to Bakery-hill.

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 42-43

Editor’s notes:
[Regarding the chapter heading:]
* Mistero! S’apre mendacia, violente = (Italian) “Mystery! Opens mendacity, violent” (*rough translation)
* Strada maestra in citta e campagna = (Italian) “Road master in town and country” (*rough translation)
* La verita, se docile, quadagna = (Italian) “The truth, if docile, quadagna” (*rough translation)
* A passo lo stradello lentamente = (Italian) “A wheelbase the stradello slowly” (*rough translation)

[Editor: Carboni says that the above lines have been “translated in the text of my first chapter”; however, the text given here in chapter 33 is different to the text in chapter 1. Carboni’s Latin text, and his translation of it, as given in chapter 1, is as follows:]

Mendacium sibi, sicut turbinis, viam augustam in urbe et orbe terrarum aperuit.
Stultus dicit in corde suo, “non est Deus.”
Veritas vero lente passu passu sicut puer, tandem aliquando janunculat ad lucem.
Tunc justus ut palma florescit.

*Listen to me —
The lie, like the whirlwind, clears itself a royal road, either in town or country, through the whole face of the earth.
The fool in his heart says, “There is no God.”
The truth, however slow, step by step, like a little child, someday, at last, finds a footpath to light.
Then the righteous flourish like a palm tree.

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