[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.]
Ecce amaritudo mea amarissima.
We were frightened by the report that a gang of red-coats were sinking a large pit in the Camp.
“Are they going to bury us alive without any flogging? That’s not half so merciful as Haynau’s rule in Austria;” was my observation to a mate prisoner — a shrewd Irishman.
“Where did you read in history that the British Lion was ever merciful to a fallen foe?” was his sorrowfully earnest reply.
Oh! days and nights of the 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th of December, 1854, your remembrance will not end, no, not even in my grave.
They were happy days in my youth, when I thought with Rousseau, that the heart of man is from nature good. It was a sad fatality now that compelled me to feel the truth from the prophet Isaiah, that the heart of man is desperately wicked.
I was really thunderstruck at the savage eagerness with which spies and red-coats sprang out of their ranks to point me out. Though a British soldier was not ashamed to swear and confess his cowardice of running away from before my pike, which I never had on the stockade, where the fellow never could have seen me; I shall not prostitute my intelligence and comment on the “evidence” against me from a gang of bloodthirsty mercenary spies. The printer will copy my trial from the public newspaper, The Age.
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 86
ecce amaritudo mea amarissima = (Latin) “behold my bitterness most bitter”; from Isaiah 38:17 in the Latin Bible, “Ecce in pace amaritudo mea amarissima” (“Behold in peace is my bitterness most bitter”)
Haynau = Julius Jacob von Haynau (1786–1853), an Austrian general who had a reputation for brutality against revolutionaries
red-coats = British soldiers
“Julius Jacob von Haynau”, Wikipedia (accessed 10 January 2013)
ecce amaritudo mea amarissima:
“Isaiah 38”, New Advent (accessed 10 January 2013)
“Isaiah 38:17”, Online Multilingual Bible (accessed 10 January 2013)
“Isaias 38:17 : Douay-Rheims Bible parallel: Christian Community, New Jerusalem, Clementine Latin Vulgate, Biblia Sacra Vulgatam”, Veritas Bible (accessed 10 January 2013)
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