In Person I solicit no subscription - in writing I hereby
ask no favour from my reader. A book must stand or fall
by the truth contained in it.
What I wish to note is this: I was taught the English
language by the Very Reverend W. Vincent Eyre, Vice Rector
of the English College, Rome. It has cost me immense
pains to rear my English up to the mark; but I could never
master the language to perfection. Hence, now and then,
probably to the annoyance of my Readers, I could not help
the foreign idiom. Of course, a proper edition,
in Italian, will be published in Turin.
I have nothing further to say.
Prince Albert Hotel, Bakery Hill,, Ballaarat,
Anniversary of the Burning of Bentley's Eureka Hotel, 1855.
Mendacium sibi, sicut turbinis, viam augustam in urbe et orbe terrarum aperuit.
Stultus dicit in corde suo, "non est Deus."
Veritas vero lente passu passu sicut puer, tandem aliquando janunculat
Tunc justus ut palma florescit.*
[*Listen to me -
The lie, like the whirlwind, clears itself a royal road, either in town
or country, through the whole face of the earth.
The fool in his heart says, "There is no God."
The truth, however slow, step by step, like a little child, someday, at last,
finds a footpath to light.
Then the righteous flourish like a palm tree.]
I undertake to do what an honest man should do, let it thunder or rain.
He who buys this book to lull himself to sleep had better spend his money
in grog. He who reads this book to smoke a pipe over it, let him provide
himself with Plenty of tobacco - he will have to blow hard. A lover of truth -
that's the man I want - and he will have in this book the truth,
and nothing but the truth.
Facts, from the "stubborn-things" store, are here retailed and related -
contradiction is challenged from friend or foe. The observation on,
and induction from the facts, are here stamped with sincerity: I ask for no
other credit. I may be mistaken: I will not acknowledge the mistake
unless the contrary be proved.
When two boys are see-sawing on a plank, balanced on its centre, whilst
the world around them is "up" with the one it is "down" with the other.
The centre, however, is stationary. I was in the centre. I was an actor,
and therefore an eye-witness. The events I relate, I did see them pass
before me. The persons I speak of, I know them face to face. The words
I quote, I did hear them with my own ears. Others may know more or less
than I; I mean to tell all that I know, and nothing more.
Two reasons counsel me to undertake the task of publishing this work;
but a third reason is at the bottom of it, as the potent lever; and they are -
1st. An honourable ambition urging me to have my name remembered among
the illustrious of Rome. I have, on reaching the fortieth year of my age,
to publish a work at which I have been plodding the past eighteen years.
An ocean of grief would overwhelm me if then I had to vindicate my character:
how, under the hospitality of the British flag, I was put in the felon's dock
of a British Supreme Court to be tried for high treason.
2nd. I have the moral courage to show the truth of my text above,
because I believe in the resurrection of life.
3rd. Brave comrades in arms who fell on that disgraced Sabbath morning,
December 3rd, worthy of a better fate, and most certainly of a longer
remembrance, it is in my power to drag your names from an ignoble oblivion,
and vindicate the unrewarded bravery of one of yourselves! He was once
my mate, the bearer of our standard, the "Southern Cross." Shot down by
a murderous hand, he fell and died struggling like a man in the cause
of the diggers. But he was soon forgotten. That he was buried is known
by the tears of a few true friends! the place of his burial is little known,
and less cared for.
'Sunt tempora nostra; non mutabimur nec mutamur in illis; jam perdidi spem.'
The work will be published on the 1st of December next, and given to each
subscriber by the Author's own hand, on the site of the Eureka Stockade,
from the rising to the setting of the sun, on the memorable third.
A Jove Principum.
"Wanted a governor. Apply to the People of Victoria:" that was the
extraordinary advertisement, a new chum in want of employment, did meet
in the usual column of 'The Argus', December 1852. Many could afford to laugh
at it, the intelligent however, who had immigrated here, permanently to better
his condition, was forced to rip up in his memory a certain fable of Aesop.
Who would have dared then to warn the fatted Melbourne frogs weltering in grog,
their colonial glory, against their contempt for King Log? Behold King Stork
is your reward. 'Tout comme chez nous.'
One remark before I start for the gold-fields. As an old European traveller
I had set apart a few coppers for the poor at my landing. I had no opportunity
for them. "We shall do well in this land;" was my motto. Who is going to be
the first beggar? Not I! My care for the poor would have less disappointed
me, if I had prepared myself against falling in the unsparing clutches
of a shoal of land-sharks, who swarmed at that time the Yarra Yarra wharfs.
Five pounds for landing my luggage, was the A, followed by the old colonial C,
preceded by the double D. Rapacity in Australia is the alpha and omega.
Yet there were no poor! a grand reflection for the serious.