The Monster Meeting.
Bakery-hill, Wednesday, November 29th.
“All the diggings round about were deserted, and swelled the meeting, the greatest I ever witnessed in this Colony. At two o’clock there were about ten thousand men present! The Report of the Deputation appointed by the League to wait upon his Excellency, relative to the release of the three prisoners, M’Intyre, Fletcher, and Yorkie, was listened to with great anxiety.”
George Black was the man of the day, and was received by the people with three hearty cheers.
From his outward appearance, one would take him for a parson, a Christian one, I mean; not a prebendary or a bishop. His English is elegant, and conscious of having received an education, and being born a gentleman, he never prostitutes his tongue to colonial phraseology. His reading must have been sober from his youth, for in conversation he indulges in neither cant nor romance; though, in addressing the people, he may use a touch of declamation stronger than argument. From the paleness of his cheeks, and the dryness of his lips, you might see that the spirit was indeed willing, though the flesh was weak. The clearness of his eyes, the sharpness of his nose, the liveliness of his forehead, lend to his countenance a decided expression of his belief in the resurrection of life. His principles are settled, not so much because that is required for the happiness of a good conscience, but because the old serpent has crammed the ways of man with so many deceits in this world of vanity and vexation of spirit, that a heart of the honesty of George Black, cannot possibly have any sympathy with the crooked ways of rogues and vagabonds; and so he is afflicted at their number and audacity, especially in this Colony. His disposition of mind makes him enthusiastic for the virtuous, his benevolent heart prevents him from proceeding to extremities with the vicious. Hence the Diggers’ Advocate, of which he was the editor, though conducted with ability, failed, because he thought that gold-diggers interested themselves with true religion, as laid down in Saint James’ Catholic Epistle; but he made a greater mistake in not taking into consideration that men, though digging for gold, do still pretend to some religious denomination or other. However, let him now address the Monster Meeting.
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 36