Chapter 58 [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.]

LVIII.

Veritatem dico non mentior.

Here begins a foul deed, worthy of devils, and devils they were. The accursed troopers were now within the stockade. They dismounted, and pounced on firebrands from the large fire on the middle of the stockade, and deliberately set in a blaze all the tents round about. I did see with both eyes one of those devils, a tall, thick-shouldered, long-legged, fast Vandemonian-looking trooper, purposely striking a bundle of matches, and setting fire at the corner end, north of the very store of Diamond, where we had kept the council for the defence.

The howling and yelling was horrible. The wounded are now burnt to death; those who had laid down their arms, and taken refuge within the tents, were kicked like brutes, and made prisoners.

At the burning of the Eureka Hotel, I expressed it to be my opinion that a characteristic of the British race is to delight in the calamity of a fire.

The troopers, enjoying the fun within the stockade, now spread it without. The tent next to mine (Quinn’s) was soon in a blaze. I collected in haste my most important papers, and rushed out to remonstrate against such a wanton cruelty. Sub-inspector Carter pointing with his pistol ordered me to fall in with a batch of prisoners. There were no two ways: I obeyed. In the middle of the gully, I expostulated with Captain Thomas, he asked me whether I had been made a prisoner within the stockade. “No, sir,” was my answer. He noticed my frankness, my anxiety and grief. After a few words more in explanation, he, giving me a gentle stroke with his sword, told me “If you really are an honest digger, I do not want you, sir; you may return to your tent.”

Mr. Gordon — of the store of Gordon and M‘Callum, on the left of the gully, near the stockade — who had been made prisoner, and was liberated in the same way, and at the same time as myself, was and is a living witness to the above.

On crossing the gully to return to my tent, an infernal trooper trotting on the road to Ballaarat, took a deliberate aim at me, and fired his Minie rifle pistol with such a tolerable precision, that the shot whizzed and actually struck the brim of my cabbage-tree hat, and blew it off my head. Mrs. Davis, who was outside her tent close by, is a living witness to the above.

At this juncture I was called by name from Doctor Carr, and Father Smyth, directed me by signs to come and help the wounded within the stockade.



Source:
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], page 74

Editor’s notes:
veritatem dico non mentior = (Latin) “I say the truth, I lie not”, or “I am telling the truth, I am not lying”; from 1 Timothy 2:7 in the Latin Bible [the same phrase (“veritatem dico, non mentior”) is used in chapters LVIII (58), LXXIII (73), and LXXIX (79) of The Eureka Stockade]; a similar phrase appears in Romans 9:1 in the Latin Bible, “veritatem dico in Christo, non mentior” (“I speak the truth in Christ, I lie not”, or “I am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying”)

[Editor: Corrected “menitor” to “mentior”, in line with the same phrase (“veritatem dico, non mentior”) used in chapters LXXIII (73) and LXXIX (79).]

References:
veritatem dico, non mentior:
1 Timothy 2:7”, New Advent (accessed 9 January 2013)
1 Timothy 2:7”, Online Multilingual Bible (accessed 9 January 2013)
1 Timothy 2:7 : Douay-Rheims Bible parallel: Christian Community, New Jerusalem, Clementine Latin Vulgate, Biblia Sacra Vulgatam”, Veritas Bible (accessed 9 January 2013)
Epistula Pauli AD ;Timotheum I”, The Latin Library (accessed 9 January 2013)

veritatem dico in Christo, non mentior:
Romans 9”, New Advent (accessed 9 January 2013)
Romans 9:1”, Online Multilingual Bible (accessed 9 January 2013)
Romans 9:1 : Douay-Rheims Bible parallel: Christian Community, New Jerusalem, Clementine Latin Vulgate, Biblia Sacra Vulgatam”, Veritas Bible (accessed 9 January 2013)
Epistula Pauli AD Romanos”, The Latin Library (accessed 9 January 2013)

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