Chapter 79 [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.]

LXXIX.

‘Souvenirs’ de Melbourne.

Five things I wish to register: the first for shame; the second for encouragement; the third for duty; the fourth for information; the fifth for record.

1. We were one afternoon taken by surprise by the whole gang of turnkeys, ordered to strip, and subjected to an ignominious search. The very private parts were discovered and touched. Veritatem dico, non mentior.

2. Manning felt very much the want of a chew of tobacco. He and Tuhey would make me strike up some favourite piece out of the Italian opera, and the charm succeeded. A gentle tap at the door of our cell was the signal to get from a crack below a stick of tobacco, and then we were all jolly. We decreed and proclaimed that even in hell there must be some good devils.

3. Mr. Wintle, the governor, inclining to the John Bull in corporation, had preserved even in a Melbourne gaol, crammed as it is at the end of each month with the worst class of confirmed criminals, his good, kind heart. With us state prisoners, without relaxing discipline, he used no cruelty — spoke always kindly to us — was sorry at our position, and wished us well. He had regard for me, on account of my bad health; that I shall always remember.

4. Some day in January we received a New-Year’s Present — that is a copy of the indictment. I protest at once against recording it here: it is the coarsest fustian ever spun by Toorak Spiders. I solemnly declare that to my knowledge the name of Her Most Gracious Majesty was never mentioned in any way, shape, or form whatever, during the whole of the late transactions on Ballaarat. I devoured the whole of the indictment with both my eyes, expecting to meet with some count charging us with riot. The disappointment was welcome, and I considered myself safe. Not so, however, by a parcel of shabby solicitors. They said it would go hard with any one if found guilty. The government meant to make an example of some of us, as a lesson to the ill-affected, in the shape of some fifteen years in the hulks. They had learned from Lynn of Ballaarat that there were no funds collected from the diggers for the defence. Cetera quando rursum scribam — and thus they won some £200 out of the frightened state prisoners, who possessed ready cash.

“What will be the end of us, Joe?” was my question to the nigger-rebel.

“Why, if the jury lets us go, I guess we’ll jump our holes again on the diggings. If the jury won’t let us go, then” — and bowing his head over the left shoulder, poking his thumb between the windpipe and the collarbone, opened wide his eyes, and gave such an unearthly whistle, that I understood perfectly well what he meant.



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 100-101

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)]

souvenirs de Melbourne = (French) “souvenirs of Melbourne”

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”)

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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