Chapter 50 [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.]


Narravere patres nostri et nos narravimus omnes.

Was it then the long, long-looked for German Rifle Brigade? Here is it’s four-horned name — I copy from a slip of paper I wrote in pencil on that very Saturday, as the name was too long and difficult for me to remember — “The Independent Californian Rangers’ Revolver Brigade.”

I should say they numbered a couple of hundred, looking Californian enough, armed with a Colt’s revolver of large size, and many had a Mexican knife at the hip.

Here is the very circumstance when M‘Gill made his appearance for the first time within the stockade; I recollect perfectly well the circumstance when a Mr. Smith, of the American Adams’s Express, was holding the bridle of the horse, from which said M‘Gill dismounted.

James M‘Gill is of the breed on the other side of the Pacific. He is thought to have been educated in a military academy, and certainly, he has the manners of a young gentleman of our days. He is rather short, not so much healthy-looking as wide awake. “What’s up?” is his motto. This colony will sober him down, and then he will attend more to “what’s to be done.” His complexion bears the stamp of one born of a good family, but you can read in the white of his eyes, in the colouring of his cheeks, in the paleness of his lips, that his heart is for violence. When he gets a pair of solid whiskers, he may pass for a Scotchman, for he has already a nose as if moulded in Scotland. He speaks the English language correctly, and when not prompted by the audacity of his heart, shows good sense, delicate feelings, a pleasing way of conversation. His honour was impeached by Vern, who never came up to the scratch, though; witness, Mr. John Campbell, of The Age office.

When a man is dead, there and then he is himself the horrible evidence of corruption; but, as long as he lives there is hopes for fair play, and hear his evidence on the resurrection of life: hence the moral courage to assert the truth, shuts out the physical strength for blather to shampoo the lie; and an honest upright man of education and a Christian leaves duelering to fools.

M‘Gill is not wicked in heart, though he may not yet have settled-principles. If this world be such a puzzle even for grey-heads, who have seen enough of it, what then must it be for one, come out of College and learning life on the gold-fields? Hence, if I say that he helped with others to draw the chestnuts out of the Eureka Stockade, for some old Fox, I cannot offend him. — Who was the accursed old Fox? Patience, there is a God. — When I was in gaol, I was not vexed at hearing him at liberty and happy: I could not possibly wish my misery to any one; but his boast on Ballaarat that his friend Dr. Kenworthy had procured him a “written free pardon” did smother me with bitterness.

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 63-64

Editor’s notes:
duelering = dueling

*narravere patres nostri et nos narravimus omnes = (Latin) “our fathers have told us, and we have described all the” (*rough translation) [note: the phrase “narravere patres et nos narrabimus” appears in Gotthold Ephraim Lessings: Samtliche Schriften, (1889)]

narravere patres et nos narrabimus:
Karl Lachmann (editor). Gotthold Ephraim Lessings: Samtliche Schriften [Gotthold Ephraim Lessing: All Writings and Letters], Goschen, 1889, page 223 (4th line)] (accessed 9 January 2013)
Gotthold Ephraim Lessing”, Wikipedia (accessed 9 January 2013)
Gotthold Ephraim Lessing: Bibliography”, Encyclopædia Britannica (accessed 9 January 2013)

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