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  ― v ―


“Australia is the greatest accession to substantial power ever made by England. It is the gift of a continent, unstained by war, usurpation, or the sufferings of a people.”—Blackwood's Magazine.

“The land of The South that lies under our feet,
Deficient in mouths, overburthen'd with meat!” —Punch.

To publish a Book without a Preface, is like thrusting one's acquaintance, without the ceremony of introduction, upon some distinguished and formidable stranger. A few observations may be necessary, therefore, in submitting these Volumes to the Public.

Their contents, then, are taken from diaries extending over a period of more than five years,—five years of “Residence” in the city of Sydney, with various “Rambles,” on duty or during leisure, into the interior of New South Wales, as well as to the adjacent Colonies of New Zealand, Van Diemen's Land, and Victoria;—the latest of these excursions having for its object the newly-discovered Gold Field of the Bathurst district.

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The visit to New Zealand, its military posts and battle-fields, having been accomplished “on particular service,” a slight outline of the late Anglo-Maori war has, almost insensibly, linked itself with the personal narrative.

The Author would have the Public bear in mind that, during the whole of his sojourn in Australia, he was their paid and of course hard-working servant. They will be pleased to contemplate him as part and parcel of his office-desk, plodding through returns and reports, records and regulations, warrants and articles of war; exchanging an occasional dry word with his clerks perched on their long-legged stools, and enjoying only fugitive glimpses, over the rim of his spectacles, of more external and unprofessional affairs.

But although the reduction of his notes to what he would fain believe a readable form, constituted the recreation of his leisure hours, not the business of his days, he would beg to advance that no trouble nor care was on his part spared that he had time to devote to this object.note

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The Work is intended to be a light work; the Writer trusts it may prove so. Nevertheless he would cherish a hope that the opportunities he enjoyed of seeing more of these remote and interesting offshoots of his native land than has fallen to the lot of many Englishmen, may have enabled him to supply some share of information likely to be useful as well as amusing, and to furnish, in a familiar shape, a just conception, as far as it goes, of a portion of the world destined to become every year more important to the British Empire.

Such further motives as may have actuated the Writer he would leave to be developed in the course of the Work, rather than swell a Preface by dilating upon them.

If he addresses himself to his task with any advantages, they rest probably in the fact, that he is wholly unconnected with, and independent of the Colonies and communities he strives to delineate; and that he has neither pique, partiality, nor prejudice to indulge, in thus recording the impressions he imbibed amongst them.

   G. C. M.


March 31st, 1852.

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