Chapter 49 [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.]


Taedet animam meam vitae meae.

The news of our private, though never acknowledged, disbandment must soon have reached the Camp.

The Lord God of Israel unravel the Mystery.

What a nonsense of mine to endeavour to swell up the Eureka stockade to the level of a Sebastopol!!

Good reader, I have to relate the story of a shocking murder, a disgrace to the Christian name.

I am a Catholic, and believe in the life everlasting. On the day of judgment it will go milder with the Emperor Nicholas, than with the man, whoever he may be, that prompted and counted on the Eureka massacre on the Sunday morning, December 3rd, 1854.

At four o’clock, the diggers crowded again towards the stockade. The divisions of Ross and Nealson had returned from their excursions and were under arms. The scene became soon animated, and the usual drilling was pushed on with more ardour than ever.

John Basson Humffray, of whom nothing was seen or heard since the previous Wednesday, now introduced, through a letter in his own handwriting; addressed — “To the Commander-in-Chief of the armed diggers, Eureka,” a Doctor Kenworthy, as surgeon, because he (Humffray) feared that a collision between the diggers and the military would soon take place.

Peters, the spy, was at the same time within the stockade.

The “surgeon” had his Yankee face under a bell-top (French hat): he entered into conversation with me in person. I had my sword in hand, and was on watch. We began to talk about Mazzini and Captain Forbes: this latter, a brave American officer, fought in the late struggle at Rome (1848). I perfectly recollect, that, pointing with a smile to our barricade, I told this Kenworthy, we had thrown them up for our defence against licence-hunting. There is a living witness to the above circumstance, a countryman of mine, whose name I do not remember just now, but he wore at the time a red shirt, with picks and shovels all over it.

Previous to this, Vern, whose silly vanity would by no means allow him to put up with his not having been elected Commander-in-Chief, all on a sudden cried out in his sort of bombast, “Here they are coming, boys: now I will lead you to death or victory!” — actually a band of men was tramping full speed towards the stockade.

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 62

Editor’s notes:
Mazzini = Giuseppe Mazzini (1805-1872), Italian revolutionary

taedet animam meam vitae meae = (Latin) “my soul is weary of my life”; from Job 10:1 in the Latin Bible

taedet animam meam vitae meae:
Job 10”, New Advent (accessed 9 January 2013)
Job 10:1 : Douay-Rheims Bible parallel: Christian Community, New Jerusalem, Clementine Latin Vulgate, Biblia Sacra Vulgatam”, Veritas Bible (accessed 9 January 2013)
Job 10:1”, Online Multilingual Bible (accessed 9 January 2013)

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