Judica me Deus, et discarne causam meam de gente non sancta; ab homine iniquo et doloso erue me.
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia Felix,
Wednesday, March 21st, 1855.
(Before his Honour Mr. Justice Barry.)
MY STATE TRIAL.
His Honour took his seat shortly after ten o’clock. The prisoner, that is myself, was placed in the dock, and the following Jury sworn (after the usual challenging):—
Phillip Bragg, Gore-street, Farmer,
Alexander Bartholomew, Brighton-road, Joiner,
James Black, Greville-street, Butcher,
Charles Butt, Lennox-street, Carpenter,
Thomas Bell, Lennox-street, Carpenter,
Frederick Baines, Richmond-road, Painter,
Charles Belford, Kew, Gardener,
William Broadhurst, Wellington-street, Grocer,
Joseph Berry, Hawthorne, Farmer,
David Boyle, Kew, Gardener,
William Barnett, Heidelberg, Gardener,
John Bates, Rowena-street, Baker.
Brava gente. Dio vi benedica. Mio Fratello desidera veder ciascuno di Voi, nella nostra Bella Itallia.
For the first time in my life (37 years old), I was placed in a felon’s dock, and before a British jury.
The first glance I gave to the foreman made me all serene. I was sure that the right man was in the right place.
James Macpherson Grant, my attorney for the defence, was “all there.”
Richard Davis Ireland, barrister, my counsel, was heavy with thunder. Thick, sound, robust, round-headed as he is, the glance of his eyes is irresistible. A pair of bushy whiskers frame in such a shrewd forehead, astute nose, thundering mouth; that one had better keep at a respectful distance from drakes. His whole head and strong-built frame tell that he is ready to settle at once with anybody; either with the tongue or with the fist. His eloquence savours pretty strongly of Daniel O’Connell, and is flavoured with colonial pepper; hence Mr. Ireland will always exercise a potent spell over a jury. If he were the Attorney-General, the colony would breath freer from knaves, rogues, and vagabonds. The “sweeps,” especially, could not possibly prosper with Ireland’s pepper.
According to promise, another lawyer, a man of flesh, had to be present: but, as he was not there, so he is not here.
Mr. Aspinall, barrister, totally unknown to me before, volunteered his services as my counsel to assist Mr. Ireland.
“In memoria eterna manet amicus” Butler Cole Aspinall. The print of generous frankness in your forehead, of benevolence in your eyes, of having no-two-ways in your nose, of sincere boldness in your mouth; your height, fine complexion, noble deportment, indicate in you the gentleman and the scholar. If now and then you fumble among papers, whilst addressing the jury, that is perhaps for fear it should be observed that you have no beard; in order that proper attention may be paid to your learning, which is that of a grey-headed man; and though it may be said, that the Eureka Stockade was hoggledy enough, yet your pop, pop, pop, was also doggledy.
You know a tree by its fruits; and so you may know, if you like, the Attorney-General by his High-Treason Indictment. I have not the patience to go through it a second time. There are too many Fosters, fostering and festering in this Victorian land.
Judge Barry presided; a man of the old-gentleman John Bull’s stamp. Nothing in his face of the cast of a Jefferies. He can manage his temper, even among the vexations of law.
His Honour addressed me always with kindness. If he shampooed his summing-up, with parson’s solemnity, indicating not little self-congratulation, His Honour had reason to be proud of the following remarks, which I here record for that purpose:—
“They had been told (said His Honour to the jury), that the prisoner in the dock had come sixteen thousand miles to get off from the Austrian rule — from the land of tyranny to that of liberty; and so he had, in the truest sense of the word, and that liberty which he enjoyed imposed upon him a local respect for Her Majesty, and a respect for her laws. He had the privilege of being tried by a jury, who would form their verdict solely from the facts adduced on the trial.”
A fair hint; equal to saying, that under the British flag I was not going to be tried before the Holy (read, Infernal) Inquisition.
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 107-108
Australia Felix = (Latin) “fortunate Australia” or “happy Australia” (“felix” can be translated as blessed, fortunate, happy, lucky, or successful)
*Brava gente. Dio vi benedica. Mio Fratello desidera veder ciascuno di Voi, nella nostra Bella Itallia. [Italia] = (Italian) “Good people. God bless you. My brother wants to see each of you in our beautiful Italy.” (*rough translation)
*in memoria eterna manet amicus = (Latin) “in eternal memory remains a friend” (*rough translation)
judica me Deus, et discarne causam meam de gente non sancta; ab homine iniquo et doloso erue me = (Latin) “judge me, O God, and distinguish my cause from the nation that is not holy; deliver me from the unjust and deceitful man”; from Psalm 42:1 in the Latin Vulgate Bible [in various other Bibles, this is in Psalm 43:1, as the numbering of the Psalms varies between different versions of the Bible] [“discarne” is usually given as “discerne”, which would render the chapter title as “Judica me Deus, et discerne causam meam de gente non sancta; ab homine iniquo et doloso erue me”]
judica me Deus, et discerne causam meam de gente non sancta; ab homine iniquo et doloso erue me:
Biblia Sacra Vulgatae Editionis, Nicolaum Pezzana [Nicolas Pezzana], Venetiis [Venice, Italy], 1669, page 406 (accessed 20 January 2013)
“Psalm 43”, New Advent (accessed 14 January 2013)
“Psalm 43:1”, Online Multilingual Bible (accessed 14 January 2013)