Chapter 64 [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.]

LXIV.

Sic sinuerunt Fata.

On reaching the Camp, I recognized there the identical American Kenworthy. I gave him a fearful look. I suspected my doom to be sealed.

The soldiers were drinking ad libitum from a pannikin which they dipped into a pail-bucket full of brandy. I shall not prostitute my hand, and write down the vile exultations of a mob of drunkards. It was of the ordinary colonial sort, whenever in a fight the “ring” is over.

Inspector Foster, commanded us to strip to the bare shirt. They did not know how to spell my name. I pulled out a little bag containing some Eureka gold-dust, and my licence; Mr. Foster took care of my bag, and just as my name was copied from my licence; a fresh batch of prisoners had arrived, and Mr. Foster was called outside the room where I was stripping. Now, some accursed trooper pretended to recognize me as one of the “spouts” at the monster meeting. I wanted to keep my waistcoat on account of some money, and papers I had in the breast pocket; my clothes were literally torn into rags. I attempted to remonstrate, but I was kicked for my pains, knocked down in the bargain, and thrown naked and senseless into the lock-up.

The prison was crammed to suffocation. We had not space enough to lie down, and so it was taken in turns to stand or lie down. Some kind friend sent me some clothes, and my good angel had directed him to bury my hand-writings he had found in my tent, under a tent in Gravel-pits.

Fleas, lice, horse-stealers, and low thieves soon introduced themselves to my notice. This vermin, and the heat of the season, and the stench of the place, and the horror at my situation, had rendered life intolerable to me. Towards midnight of that Sunday I was delirious. Our growls and howling reached Commissioner Rede, and about two o’clock in the morning the doors were opened, and all the prisoners from the Eureka stockade, were removed between two files of soldiers to the Camp store-house a spacious room, well ventilated and clean. Commissioner Rede came in person to visit us. Far from any air of exultation, he appeared to me to feel for our situation. As he passed before me, I addressed him in French, to call his attention to my misery. He answered very kindly, and concluded thus:—

Je ne manquerai pas de parler au Docteur Carr, et si ce que vous venez de me dire e trouve vrai, je veux bien m’interesser pour vous.”

Vous etez bien bon, Monsieur le Commissionaire,” repondis-je.

Il faut donc que j’aie eu des ennemis bien cruels au Camp! Avaient-ils soif de mon sang, ou etaient-ils de mercenaires? Voila bien un secret, et je donnerai de coeur ma vie pour le percer. Dieu leur pardonne, moi, je le voudrais bien! mais je ne saurai les pardonner jamais.



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], pages 82-83

Editor’s notes:
ad libitum = (Latin) “at one’s pleasure” (literally “at pleasure”), commonly abbreviated to “ad lib”; in music it denotes a section which may be played according to the desire of the musician, and not necessarily in strict time, whilst in acting it refers to actors speaking without following a prepared script

*Il faut donc que j’aie eu des ennemis bien cruels au Camp! Avaient-ils soif de mon sang, ou etaient-ils de mercenaires? Voila bien un secret, et je donnerai de coeur ma vie pour le percer. Dieu leur pardonne, moi, je le voudrais bien! mais je ne saurai les pardonner jamais = (French) “Therefore I have been very cruel enemies to Camp! Had my thirst for blood, or were they mercenaries? Here is a secret, and I will give my life for the heart break. God forgive me, I would love to! but I know never forgive” (*rough translation)

*Je ne manquerai pas de parler au Docteur Carr, et si ce que vous venez de me dire e trouve vrai, je veux bien m’interesser pour vous = (French) “I will not fail to speak to Dr. Carr, and if what you just told me is true, I’m willing interest to you” (*rough translation)

*sic sinuerunt Fata = (Latin) “so bay Fates” or “it folds Fates” (*rough translation) [this phrase is used in chapters LXIV (64) and LXXXIII (83)]

**vous etez [etes] bien bon, Monsieur le Commissionaire, repondis-je = (French) “you are very kind, Mr. Commissionaire, I replied” (*rough translation)

References:
ad libitum:
Eliezer Edwards. Words, Facts, & Phrases: A Dictionary of Curious, Quaint, & Out-of-the-Way Matters, Chatto & Windus, London, 1897, page 6 (accessed 10 January 2013)
Chambers’s Encyclopedia: A Dictionary of Universal Knowledge for the People, J. B. Lippincott & Co., Philadelphia, 1871, page 45 (accessed 10 January 2013)
Samuel Seldon. First Steps in Acting, F. S. Crofts & Co., [USA], 1947, page 340 (accessed 10 January 2013)

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