Is there a mortal eye that never wept?
On Sunday afternoon, we witnessed a solemn scene, which must be recorded with a tear wherever this book may find a reader.
The sun was far towards the west. All had felt severely the heat of the day. The red-coats themselves, that were of the watch, felt their ardour flagging. Of twelve prisoners, some gazed as in “a fix,” and were stationary; others, “acursing,” swept up and down the prison; the rest, cast down, desponding, doing violence to themselves, to dam their flooded eyes. I was among the broken-hearted.
Mrs. Hayes, who in the days of her youth must have made many young Irish hearts ache “for something,” had brought now a bundle of clean clothing, and a stock of provisions, to make her husband’s journey to Melbourne as comfortable as possible. There she was, holding her baby sucking at her breast; her eyes full on her husband, which spoke that she passionately loved him. Six children, neatly dressed, and the image of their father, were around. Timothy Hayes forced himself to appear as cheerful as his honourable heart and proud mind would allow. He pressed his little daughter, who wanted to climb his shoulder; he pronounced his blessing on the younger of his sons. The eldest (twelve years old) was kissing his father’s left hand, bathing it all the while with such big tears, that dropped down so one by one, and so after the other!
Good boy, your sorrows have begun soon enough for your sensible heart! Strengthen it by time with Christian courage, or else you will smother it with grief, long before your hair has turned grey! There are too many troubles to go through in this world. Take courage; there is a God, and therefore learn by heart the Psalm, “Beatus vir qui timet Dominum.” My head has still the red hair of my youth, and yet I am a living witness of many truths in that Psalm; meditate, therefore, especially on the last verse, ending “Desiderium peccatorum peribit.”
Had I in younger years cultivated painting, I feel satisfied that I could produce now such a tableau as to match any of my countryman, Raffaelle; so much an all-wise Providence has been pleased, perhaps for the trial of my heart, to endow me with a cast of mind that, on similar occasions as the solemn one above, whenever my electric fluid is called into action, it is actually a daguerreotype.
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 91-92
beatus vir qui timet Dominum = (Latin) “blessed is the man that fears the Lord”; from Psalm 111:1 in the Latin Vulgate Bible [in various other Bibles, this is in Psalm 112:1, as the numbering of the Psalms varies between different versions of the Bible]
desiderium peccatorum peribit = (Latin) “the desire of the wicked shall perish”; from Psalm 111:10 in the Latin Vulgate Bible [in various other Bibles, this is in Psalm 112:10, as the numbering of the Psalms varies between different versions of the Bible] (as noted by Carboni, this is the last verse of Psalm 111)
**Is there a mortal eye that never wept? = possibly a reference to a sentence in the sermons of John Donne, “And when God shall come to that last act in the glorifying of man, when he promises, to wipe all tears from his eyes, what shall God have to do with that eye that never wept?” (in the sermon “Sermon XIII. Preached at Whitehall, the first Friday in Lent, 1622. John xi. 35. Jesus wept.”)
Raffaelle = presumably a reference to the famous Italian painter of the Renaissance period Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino (known as Raphael) (1483-1520) [potentially, but not likely, a reference to the Italian artist Raffaelle Castellini (died 1864)]
beatus vir qui timet Dominum:
Biblia Sacra Vulgatae Editionis, Nicolaum Pezzana [Nicolas Pezzana], Venetiis [Venice, Italy], 1669, page 432 (accessed 20 January 2013)
“Psalm 112”, New Advent (accessed 10 January 2013)
“Psalm 112:1”, Online Multilingual Bible (accessed 10 January 2013)
“Psalms 111:1 : Douay-Rheims Bible parallelChristian Community, New Jerusalem, Clementine Latin Vulgate, Biblia Sacra Vulgatam”, Veritas Bible (accessed 10 January 2013)
desiderium peccatorum peribit:
Biblia Sacra Vulgatae Editionis, Nicolaum Pezzana [Nicolas Pezzana], Venetiis [Venice, Italy], 1669, page 433 (accessed 20 January 2013)
“Psalm 112”, New Advent (accessed 14 January 2013)
“Psalm 112:10”, Online Multilingual Bible (accessed 14 January 2013)
“Psalms 111:10 : Douay-Rheims Bible parallel: Christian Community, New Jerusalem, Clementine Latin Vulgate, Biblia Sacra Vulgatam”, Veritas Bible (accessed 14 January 2013)
Is there a mortal eye that never wept:
The Works of John Donne, D.D., Dean of Saint Paul’s, 1621-1631 (Volume 1), John W. Parker, London, 1839, page 259 [the sermon commences on page 251] (accessed 10 January 2013)
“Sermon XIII” (The Works of John Donne, Volume 1), Bible Study Tools Online (accessed 10 January 2013)