Chapter 30 [The Eureka Stockade, by Raffaello Carboni, 1855]
The Reform League, grappling with the right ‘stars’.
Monster Meeting continued :—
Proposed and seconded by blather reformers; of course, Vern had his go :—
“That this meeting being convinced that the obnoxious licence-fee is an imposition and an unjustifiable tax on free labour, pledges itself to take immediate steps to abolish the same by at once burning all their licences; that in the event of any party being arrested for having no licence, that the united people will, under all circumstances, defend and protect them.”
“That this meeting will not feel bound to protect any man after the 15th of December who shall not be a member of the Reform League by that day.”
The Rev. Mr. Downing proposed as an amendment, that the licences should not be burned. Although the rev. gentleman was heard with patience and respect, a sullen excitement pervaded the whole assemblage while he spoke. Those even of his most devoted followers were of the opinion that his sentiments did not accord with the spirit of the times, and the result was that the rev. gentleman’s amendment fell to the ground.
Here must not be forgotten a peculiar colonial habit. There was on the platform a sly-grog seller, who plied with the black-bottle all the folks there, and the day was very hot, the sun was almost burning.
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 39-40
grappling with the right ‘stars’ = possibly a reference to a classical Greek poem which includes the line “Hast thou been fighting with the Stars, or with the Moon disputing”
grappling with the right ‘stars’:
Lucy M. J. Garnett and J. S. Stuart-Glennie. New Folklore Researches: Greek Folk Poesy: Annotated Translations, from the Whole Cycle of Romaic Folk-Verse and Folk-Prose by Lucy M. J. Garnett; Edited with Essays on the Science of Folklore, Greek Folkspeech, and the Survival of Paganism, by J. S. Stuart-Glennie, M.A.: Vol. I — Folk-Verse, David Nutt, London, 1896, pages page 170-171 (accessed 12 January 2013)