Chapter 12 [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.]


Sufficit diei sua vexatio.

Either this chapter must be very short, or I had better give it up without starting it at all.

Up to the middle of September, 1854, the search for licences happened once a month; at most twice: perhaps once a week on the Gravel Pits, owing to the near neighbourhood of the Camp. Now, licence-hunting became the order of the day. Twice a week on every line; and the more the diggers felt annoyed at it, the more our Camp officials persisted in goading us, to render our yoke palatable by habit. I assert, as an eye-witness and a sufferer, that both in October and November, when the weather allowed it, the Camp rode out for the hunt every alternate day. True, one day they would hunt their game on Gravel-pits, another day, they pounced on the foxes of the Eureka; and a third day, on the Red-hill: but, though working on different leads, are we not all fellow diggers? Did not several of us meet again in the evening, under the same tent, belonging to the same party? It is useless to ask further questions.

Towards the latter end of October and the beginning of November we had such a set of scoundrels camped among us, in the shape of troopers and traps, that I had better shut up this chapter at once, or else whirl the whole manuscript bang down a shicer.

“Hold hard, though, take your time, old man: don’t let your Roman blood hurry you off like the hurricane, and thus damage the merits of your case. Answer this question first,” says my good reader.

“If it be a fair one, I will.”

“Was, then, the obnoxious mode of collecting the tax the sole cause of discontent: or was the tax itself (two pounds for three months) objected to at the same time?”

“I think the practical miner, who had been hard at work night and day, for the last four or six months, and, after all, had just bottomed a shicer, objected to the tax itself, because he could not possibly afford to pay it. And was it not atrocious to confine this man in the lousy lock-up at the Camp, because he had no luck?”

Allow me, now, in return, to put a very important question, of the old Roman stamp, Cui bono? that is, Where did our licence money go to? That’s a nut which will be positively cracked by-and-bye.

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], page 17

Editor’s notes:
cui bono = (Latin) “to whose benefit?” (literally “as a benefit to whom?”), a phrase used in legal circles which refers to the idea that the perpetrator of an act is likely to be someone who stands to gain from the event

sufficit diei sua vexatio = (Latin) “sufficient for the day his vexation”; from Matthew 6:34 in the Latin Bible; although the phrase in Matthew 6:34 is usually translated into Latin as “sufficit diei malitia sua” (“sufficient for the day is the evil [malice] thereof”, or “each day has enough trouble of its own”) [“malitia” being “malice”, “vexatio” being “vexation”]

sufficit diei sua vexatio:
[translated by y Théodore de Bèze.] Novum Testamentum Domini Nostri Jesu Christi, D. Appleton & Company, New York, 1863, page 7 [“sufficit diei sua vexatio”]
Matthew 6”, New Advent (accessed 30 December 2012)
Matthew 6:34”, Online Multilingual Bible (accessed 30 December 2012)
Matthew 6 : Douay-Rheims Bible parallel: Christian Community, New Jerusalem, Clementine Latin Vulgate, Biblia Sacra Vulgatam”, Veritas Bible (accessed 30 December 2012)

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