Chapter 16 [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.]

XVI.

Loquar in amaritudine animoe meoe.

Now my peace of mind being destroyed, I had recourse to the free British press, for information, wishing to hear what they said in Melbourne. At this time the Morning Herald was in good demand; but the Geelong Advertiser had the sway on the goldfields. Geelong had a rattling correspondent on Ballaarat, who helped to hasten the movement fast enough. As I did not know this correspondent of the Geelong Advertiser personally, so I can only guess at his frame of mind. I should say the following ingredients entered into the factory of his ideas:—

1st. The land is the Lord’s and all therein; but man must earn his bread by the sweat of his brow. Therefore, in the battle of life, every man must fight his way on the old ground, “help yourself and God will help you.”

2nd. In olden times, wherever there was a Roman there was life. In our times, wherever there is a Britain there is trade, and trade is life. But with the lazy, — who, either proud or mean, is always an incapable, because generally he is a drunkard, and therefore a beggar, there is no possible barter; and, inasmuch as man does not live on bread alone, for a fried sole is a nice thing for breakfast, so also it must be confessed that the loaves and fishes do not condescend to jump into one’s mouth all dressed as they ought to be. Therefore — and this is the zenith of the Geelong Advertiser’s practical correspondent — be not perplexed, if the loaves and fishes wont pop fast enough into your mouth particularly; let Mahomed’s example be instantly followed: go yourself to the loaves and fishes, and you will actually find that they are subject to the same laws of matter and motion as everything else on earth.

3rd. The application. For what did any one emigrate to this colony? To sweat more? Well, times were hard enough for the poor in old Europe. Let him sweat more, but for whom? For himself of course, and good luck to him. Is there not plenty of Victoria land for every white man or black man that intends to grow his potatoes? Oh! leave the greens-growing to the well-disposed, to the well affected, ye sturdy sons who pant after the yellow-boy. “Take your chance, out of a score of shicers, there is one ‘dead on it,’” says old Mother Earth from the deep.

Sum total. — With the hard-working gold-digger, there is a solid barter possible. Hurrah! for the diggers.

The Argus persisting in “our own conceit,” and misrepresenting, perverting, and slandering the cause of the diggers, ran foul, and went fast to leeward. Experience having instructed me at my own costs, that there cannot possibly exist much sympathy between flunkies and blueshirts, I can only guess at the compound materials hammered in the mortar of The Argus reporter on Ballaarat:—

lst. The land is the Queen’s, and the inheritance of the Crown.

2nd. Who dares to teach the golden-lace the idea how to shoot?

3rd. Let learning, commerce, even manners die,
But leave us our old nobility.

4th. Sotto voce:— In this colony, however, make money; honestly if possible, of course, but make money; or else the “vagabonds” here would humble down a gentleman to curry-powder diet.

5th. To put on a blue shirt, and rush in with the Eureka mob! fudge: odi profanum vulgus et arceo. There are millions of tons of gold dug out already, as much anyhow, as anyone can carry to Old England, and live as a lord, with an occasional trip to Paris and Naples, to make up for the time wasted in this colony.

Sum total.— Screw out of the diggers as much as circumstances will admit; they have plenty of money for getting drunk, and making beasts of themselves, the brutes!

To be serious; should a copy of this book be forgotten somewhere, and thereby be spared for the use of some southern Tacitus, let him bewail the perfidious mendacity of our times, whose characteristic is SLANDER, which proceeds from devil GROG; and the pair generate THE PROSPERITY OF THE WICKED. Here is a sample:—

On Saturday, September 29th, 1854, the members of the Local Court, Ballaarat, held a public meeting on the usual spot, Bakery-hill, for the purpose of taking the sense of their fellow miners, respecting the admittance or nonadmittance of the legal profession to advise or plead in said court.— See report in The Star, a new local paper, No. V, Tuesday, October 2nd.

Messrs. Ryce and Wall having addressed the meeting in their usual honest, matter-of-fact way:—

“Great Works” was shouted and immediately appeared C. Raffaello, member of the Local Court. He hoped, that if there were any Goodenough present that they would see and not mislay their notes while he briefly brought three things before the meeting; the first concerned the meeting and himself, the second concerned himself, and the third concerned those present. The first was easily disposed of — have I, as I promised, done my duty as member of the Local Court to your satisfaction? (Yes, and cheers.) Very well, the second matter concerns myself — personally he was under no obligations to the lawyers — the services he received at the trial was done to him as a state prisoner, and not to Carboni Raffaello individually; when individually, he requested to be supplied with six pennyworth of snuff by Mr. Dunne, it was promised, but it never came to him. It would not have cost much to have supplied him, and it would have greatly obliged him, as habit had rendered snuff-taking necessary to him. With the permission of those present he would take a pinch now. (He took a pinch amidst laughter and cheers.)

The admission of lawyers into the Local Court would give rise to endless feuds, where valuable interests were concerned, and so much time would be lost in useless litigation. As he had no wish through any personal obligation to see the lawyers in the Local Court, and as he considered that it was for the advantage of the miners that they should not be admitted, he opposed their entrance.

The third matter concerned those present. What did they come to Australia for? Why, to improve their prospects in reality, though on shipboard they might say it was to get rid of the ‘governor,’ or to get clear of an ugly wife, and now that you are here are you to allow the Ballaarat lawyers to fleece you of your hard earnings? Not being fond of yabber-yabber he would simply ask: are you fairly represented by us? (Yes, yes.) If so then support us, and if we do not represent you we will resign. Don’t say yes if you don’t mean it, for I do not like yabber-yabber.

I beg to assert, that the above report is correct, as far as it goes. Some five hundred diggers were present. Now for the perversion from the reporter of The Argus, Melbourne, Tuesday, October 2.

“Carboni Raffaello, a foreigner [a foreign anarchist, if you please, Mr. Editor], then spoke in his usual style [that is, sedition, revolution, and rebellion, that’s it], the principal (sic) points of his remarks being, that while incarcerated in the Melbourne gaol [was it for common felony, or high treason?] he was not supplied with snuff, though he had entreated his learned counsel, Mr. J. H. Dunne, for sixpenny worth. He [Please, Raffaello or Dunne? fine pair together] did not consider himself under any obligation to the lawyers: he [but who? Dunne or Raffaello?] was not fond of yabber-yabber.”

Thus an honest man is brayed at by asses in this colony! The fun is odious and ridiculous enough.

When such reporters of the British press prostitute British ink, the only ink that dares to register black on white the name, word and deed of any tyrant through the whole face of the earth, and for the sake of a pair of Yankee boots, lower themselves to the level of a scribbler, thus affording to be audacious because anonymous, the British press in the southern hemisphere will be brought to shame, and Victoria cannot possibly derive any benefit from it.

Let the above observation stand good, I proceed with my work.

The Age was then just budding, and was considered, on the diggings the organ of the new chum Governor. The Age soon mustered a Roman courage in the cause of the diggers, and jumped the claims both of The Herald and The Argus; and though the “own correspondent,” under the head of Ballaarat, be such a dry, soapy concern that will neither blubber nor blather, yet The Age remained the diggers’ paper.

The Ballaarat Times was all the go, on the whole extent of the diggings. Soon enough the reporter, aye, the editor himself, will both appear in propria persona.



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 23-26

Editor’s notes:
loquar in amaritudine animoe meoe [aniae meae] = (Latin) “I will speak in the bitterness of my soul”; from Job 10:1 in the Latin Bible

odi profanum vulgus et arceo = (Latin) “I hate the profane masses and keep them at a distance”, or “I hate the unholy rabble and keep them away”; from Odes, Book 3, section I (line 1), by Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus, 65 BC – 8 BC)

propria persona = (Latin) “one’s own person”; in the legal field, “in propria persona” refers to someone appearing on their own behalf (not being represented by a lawyer)

sotto voce = (Italian) “in a quite voice”, “under the breath” (literally, “under the voice”); in the theatre, “sotto voce” is used as a dramatic device by an actor saying something in a lowered voice or hushed tone

References:
loquar in amaritudine animoe meoe aniae meae:
Job 10”, New Advent (accessed 3 January 2013)
Job 10:1”, Online Multilingual Bible (accessed 3 January 2013)

odi profanum vulgus et arceo:
Jon R. Stone. The Routledge Dictionary of Latin Quotations: The Illiterati’s Guide to Latin Maxims, Mottoes, Proverbs, and Sayings, Routledge, New York, 2005, page 295 (accessed 29 December 2012)
Odi Profanvm Vvlgvs Et Arceo”, LatinR (accessed 29 December 2012)
Q. Horati Flacci Carminvm Liber Tertivs”, The Latin Library [“Odi profanum uolgus et arceo”] (accessed 29 December 2012)

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