[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.]
Arcane, impenetrabili, profonde, son le vie di chi die l’esser al niente.
When our southern sky is overloaded with huge, thick, dark masses, and claps of thunder warn us of the pending storm, then a gale of wind is roaring in space, doing battle with the bush, cowing down man and beast, sweeping away all manner of rottenness. This fury spares not, and desolation is the threat of the thunder.
A kind Providence must be blessed even in the whirlwind. Big, big drops of rain fight their way through the gale; soon the drops muster in legions, and the stronger the storm, the stronger those legions. At last they conquer; then it pours down — that is, the flood is made up of legions of torrents.
Is the end of the world now at hand? Look at the victorious rainbow! it reminds man of the covenant of our God with Noah, not far from this southern land. The sun restores confidence that all is right again as before, and nature, refreshed and bolder, returns again to her work.
Hence, the storm is life.
Not so is the case with fire. Devouring everything, devouring itself, fire seems to leave off its frenzy, only to devour the sooner any mortal thing that comes in the way to retard destruction. A few embers, then a handful of ashes, are the sole evidence of what was once kingly or beggarly.
Fire may destroy, consume, devour, but has no power to reduce to “nothing.”
Hence the calamity of fire is death.
The handful of ashes lie lifeless until a storm forces them into the living order of nature, which, when refreshed, has the power to ingraft those ashes to, and make them prosper with, the grain of mustard seed.
Hence death is life.
Such is the order of Providence. Now, good reader, watch the handful of ashes of what was once Bentley’s Eureka Hotel.
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 26
*arcane, impenetrabili, profonde, son le vie di chi die l’esser al niente = (Italian) “arcane, impenetrable, deep [profound], are the ways of those who die to be nothing” (*rough translation); from the works of Solomon Fiorentino (1743–1815), an Italian poet
Salomone Fiorentino. Poesie di Salomone Fiorentino [Poems of Solomon Fiorentino], Presso Molini, Landi, E.C., Firenze [Florence, Italy], 1806, page 11
Salomone Fiorentino. Poesie di Salomone Fiorentino [Poems of Solomon Fiorentino], Presso Leonardo Ciardetti, Firenze [Florence, Italy], 1823, page 17
“Salomone Fiorentino”, Wikipedia [Italian] (accessed 3 January 2013) [translated]
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