Chapter 83 [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.]

LXXXIII.

Initium sapientie est timor Domini.

There are circumstances in life, so inexplicable for the understanding; so intricate for the counsel; so overwhelming for the judgment; so tempting for the soul; so clashing with common sense; so bewildering for the mind; so crushing for the heart; that even the honest man cannot help at moments to believe in FATE. Hence the “sic sinuerunt Fata,” will dash the fatalist a-head, and embolden him to knock down friend or foe, so as to carry out his conceit. If successful, he is a Caesar; if unsuccessful, ignominy and a violent grave are the reward of his worry.

If this be true, as far as it goes, whilst
Through living hosts and changing scenes we rove,
The mart, the court, the sea, the battle-plain,
As passions sway, or accident may move;

it holds not true in a gaol. There you must meet yourself, and you find that you are not your God. Hence these new strings in my harp.

TO THE POINT.

I.

Gay is the early bloom of life’s first dawn,
But darker colours tinge maturer years;
Our days as they advance grow more forlorn,
Hope’s brightest dreams dissolve away in tears
Which were the best, to be or not to have been?
The question may be asked, no answer can be seen.

II.

On earth we live, within our thoughts — the slaves,
Of our conceptions in each varied mood,
Gay or melancholy; — it is the waves
Of our imaginings, become the food
The spirit preys upon; and laughs or raves
With madness or with pleasure, as it would
If drunk with liquids. WE EXIST AND DWELL
AS THE MIND MAY DISPOSE, IN HEAVEN OR IN HELL.

THEME.
Death which we dread so much, is but a name.

SONNET.

He who never did eat his bread in tears;
Who never passed a dreary bitter night,
And in his bed of sorrow, the hard fight
Of pending troubles saw, with anxious fears:

Who never an exile forlorn for years,
And never wept with Israel “at the sight
Of the waters of Babylon” (Psalm 137), the might
Of Heaven’s word is unknown to his ears.

IS THERE A MORTAL EYE THAT NEVER WEPT?
WITH tears the child begins his wants to show
In tears the man out of the earth is swept.
Whether we bless or grumble here below,
HIM who ever in His hand the world has kept
In dark affliction’s school we learn to know.

(Of course my original is in Italian.)



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 105-106

Editor’s notes:
initium sapientie est timor Domini = (Latin) “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”; from Psalm 110:10 in the Latin Vulgate Bible [in various other Bibles, this is in Psalm 111:10, as the numbering of the Psalms varies between different versions of the Bible]; this phrase is very similar to that of Proverbs 9:10, “principium sapientiae timor Domini” (which also translates as “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”)

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

References:
initium sapientie est timor Domini:
Biblia Sacra Vulgatae Editionis, Nicolaum Pezzana [Nicolas Pezzana], Venetiis [Venice, Italy], 1669, page 432 (accessed 20 January 2013)
Psalm 111”, New Advent [“initium sapientiæ timor Domini”] (accessed 14 January 2013)
Psalm 111:10”, Online Multilingual Bible (accessed 14 January 2013)
Psalms 111:10 : Douay-Rheims Bible parallel: Christian Community, New Jerusalem, Clementine Latin Vulgate, Biblia Sacra Vulgatam”, Veritas Bible (accessed 14 January 2013)

principium sapientiae timor Domini:
Proverbs 9”, New Advent [“Principium sapientiæ timor Domini”] (accessed 14 January 2013)
Proverbs 9:10”, Online Multilingual Bible (accessed 14 January 2013)
Proverbs 9:10 : Douay-Rheims Bible parallel: Christian Community, New Jerusalem, Clementine Latin Vulgate, Biblia Sacra Vulgatam”, Veritas Bible (accessed 14 January 2013)

Speak Your Mind

*