Chapter 59 [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.]


Quis dabit capiti meo, aquam et oculis meis fontem lacrymarum et plorabo die ac nocte!

I hastened, and what a horrible sight! Old acquaintances crippled with shots, the gore protruding from the bayonet wounds, their clothes and flesh burning all the while. Poor Thonen had his mouth literally choked with bullets;* my neighbour and mate Teddy More, stretched on the ground, both his thighs shot, asked me for a drop of water. Peter Lalor, who had been concealed under a heap of slabs, was in the agony of death, a stream of blood from under the slabs, heavily forcing its way down hill.

The tears choke my eyes, I cannot write any further.

Americans! your Doctor Kenworthy was not there, as he should have been, according to Humffray’s letter.

Catholics! Father Smyth was performing his sacred duty to the dying, in spite of the troopers who threatened his life, and forced him at last to desist.

Protestants! spare us in future with your sabbath cant. Not one of your ministers was there, helping the digger in the hour of need.

John Bull! you wilfully bend your neck to any burden for palaver and war to protect you in your universal shop-keeping, and maintain your sacred rights of property; but human life is to you as it was to Napoleon: for him, fodder for the cannon; for you, tools to make money. A dead man needs no further care, and human kind breeds fast enough everywhere after all, — Cetera quando rursum scribam.

On my reaching the stockade with a pannikin of water for Teddy, I was amazed at the apathy showed by the diggers, who now crowded from all directions round the dead and wounded. None would stir a finger.

All on a sudden a fresh swarm of troopers cleared the stockade of all moving things with the mere threat of their pistols.

All the diggers scampered away and entered all available tents, crouching within the chimneys or under stretchers. The valorous, who had given such a proof of their ardour in smothering with stones, bats, and broken bottles, the 12th Regiment on their orderly way from Melbourne on Tuesday, November 28, at the same identical spot on the Eureka, now allowed themselves to be chained by dozens, by a handful of hated traps, who, a few days before, had been kept at bay on the whole of the diggings, by the mere shouting of “Joe!” A sad reflection, indeed; a very sad reflection.

Myself and a few neighbours now procured some stretchers, and at the direction of Doctor Carr, converted the London Hotel into an hospital, and took there the wounded.

Said Doctor Carr despatched me to fetch his box of surgical instruments from Dr. Glendinning’s hospital on Pennyweight-hill, a distance of a full mile.

I hastened to return, with Dr. Glendinning himself, and I did my best to assist the helpless, and dress their wounds.


IMPORTANT. — I must call the attention of my reader to the following fact:— When I entered the stockade with Dr. Carr’s surgical box, Mr. Binney, an old acquaintance since the times of Canadian Gully, took me warmly by the hand, and said, “Old fellow, I am glad to see you alive! everybody thinks (pointing to a dead digger among the heap) that’s poor Great Works!

The state of mind in which I was, gave me no time to take much notice of the circumstances, and must have answered, “Thank God, I am alive,” and proceeded to my duty.

The identical Mr. Binney, of the firm of Binney and Gillot, now storekeepers on the Ballaarat township, is a living witness to the above statement.

Solicitor Lynn told me, in propria persona, in the Ballaarat prison, that he would take care to bring forward evidence of the above, as he had heard it himself, that such was the case; but I forgot to fee this Lynn, and so he left me to the chance of being “lyn-ched.”


* Carl Wiesenhavern has one of the bullets in his possession.

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 75-76

Editor’s notes:
*cetera quando rursum scribam = (Latin) “I will write again when the rest”, or “other again when the secretary” (*rough translation) [this phrase appears in chapters LIX (59) and LXXIX (79)]

in propria persona = (Latin) “one’s own person”, or “in person”; in the legal field, “in propria persona” refers to someone appearing on their own behalf (not being represented by a lawyer)

quis dabit capiti meo, aquam et oculis meis fontem lacrymarum et plorabo die ac nocte = (Latin) “Oh that my head were waters and my eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night”, or “Who will give water to my head, and a fountain of tears to my eyes? And I will weep day and night”; from Jeremiah 9:1 in the Latin Bible

quis dabit capiti meo, aquam et oculis meis fontem lacrymarum et plorabo die ac nocte:
Jeremiah 9”, New Advent (accessed 9 January 2013)
Jeremiah 9:1”, Online Multilingual Bible (accessed 9 January 2013)
Jeremias 9:1 : Douay-Rheims Bible parallel: Christian Community, New Jerusalem, Clementine Latin Vulgate, Biblia Sacra Vulgatam”, Veritas Bible (accessed 9 January 2013)

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