Chapter 74 [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.]


Della vita lo spello dal mondo sciolto.

Al mondo vivo perche non son sepolto.

We were soon in Ballan. Good reader, please enter now within my mind. The lesson, if read, learned, and inwardly digested, will be of good use for the future. The troubles of this colony have begun.

It is eight o’clock of a fine morning; the spring season is in its full: the sun in his splendour is all there on the blue sky. Nature all around is life. The landscape is superb. It reminded me della Bella Cara Itallia. The bush around was crammed with parrots, crows, and other chattering birds of the south. They were not prevented from singing praises each in its own language to the Creator, and all was joy and happiness with them. Unfortunately those lands lay uncultivated by the hand of man; but were not left idle by nature. Lively, pretty little flowers of the finest blue, teemed here, there, and everywhere, through the splendid grass, wafted to and fro by a gentle wind.

Look now at the foot of the picture.

There were thirteen of us all healthy, honest, able-bodied men, chained together on three carts. A dozen of dragoons, strong, sound-looking men, were riding on horseback as sharp-shooters, in all directions, before our carts in the bush. Their horses were really splendid animals. A score of troopers of the accursed stamp we had then on Ballaarat, sword unsheathed, carbines cocked, kept so close to our carts that one of these Vandemonians was half jammed on riding by a large gum-tree; was thrown from his horse, and disabled, but not killed. We are at last in Ballan, for change of horses. Captain Thomas and a stout healthy-looking man, with a pair of the finest black whiskers I ever saw, in the garb of a digger, who gave such orders to the coachman, as were always attended to, with the usual colonial oaths as a matter of course, were regaling themselves with bottled porter on a stump of a tree outside the public-house. The dragoons and troopers had biscuit, cheese, and ale served to them, though paid for by themselves, before our teeth.

There was no breakfast for the poor state prisoners, in chains, and lying on the bare ground. They had some trouble before they could obtain from the red-coats watching over them, and blowing heaps of smoke from stump pipes, a drop of cold water — I mean actually a drop of cold water.

Good reader, you know WHOM I did bless, whom I did curse.

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 93-94

Editor’s notes:
*al mondo vivo perche non son sepolto = (Italian) “I live in the world because they are not buried” (*rough translation)

*della bella cara Itallia [Italia] = (Italian) “the beautiful beloved Italy” (*rough translation)

*della vita lo spello dal mondo sciolto = (Italian) “life of the peel loose from the world” (*rough translation) [Carboni uses the same phrase in chapters XXIV (24) and LXXIV (74)]

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