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Australia, its history and present condition containing an account both of the bush and of the colonies, with their respective inhabitants   By: (1810-)

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Transcriber's Notes: 1) Morrumbidgee/Murrumbidgee each used on several occasions and left as in the original. 'Morrumbidgee' is the aboriginal name for the Murrumbidgee. 2) Used on numerous occasions, civilisation/civilization; civilised/civilized; civilising/civilizing; uncivilised/uncivilized: left as in the original. 3) Same with variations of colonisation/colonization, and a few other "z" words that should be "s" words in their English form.

The Englishman's Library. XXVI.

AUSTRALIA,

ITS HISTORY AND PRESENT CONDITION;

CONTAINING AN ACCOUNT BOTH OF THE BUSH AND OF THE COLONIES, WITH THEIR RESPECTIVE INHABITANTS.

BY THE REV. W. PRIDDEN, M.A. VICAR OF BROXTED, ESSEX.

" Truth , in her native calmness and becoming moderation, shall be the object of our homage and pursuit; and we will aim at the attainment of knowledge for the improvement of our reason, and not for the gratification of a passion for disputing." Address of the Bp of Australia in 1841 to the Church of England Book Society.

LONDON: JAMES BURNS, 17, PORTMAN STREET, PORTMAN SQUARE. 1843.

LONDON: PRINTED BY R. CLAY, BREAD STREET HILL.

[Illustration: Map of Australia]

PREFACE.

A few words by way of Preface are requisite, in order that the objects of the present Work may be stated to the reader, and that he may also be made acquainted with the sources whence the information here communicated is derived, and from consulting which he may still further inform himself concerning Australia. The aim of the writer of the following pages has been, while furnishing a description of some of the most flourishing and interesting settlements belonging to the British Crown, which, at the same time, exhibit in contrast to each other the two extremes of savage and civilised life; to call the attention of his countrymen, both at home and in the colonies, to the evils which have arisen from the absence of moral restraint and religious instruction in colonies of civilised and (nominally) christian men. And although it must in many ways be a disadvantage that the person professing to describe a particular country should have gained all his knowledge of it from the report of others, without ever having himself set foot upon its shores; yet, in one respect at least, this may operate advantageously. He is less likely to have party prejudices or private interests to serve in his account of the land to which he is a total stranger. In consequence, probably, of his being an indifferent and impartial observer, not one of our Australian colonies wears in his eye the appearance of a perfect paradise; but then, on the other hand, there is not one of those fine settlements which prejudice urges him to condemn, as though it were barren and dreary as the Great Sahara itself. And the same circumstance his never having breathed the close unwholesome air of colonial party politics will render it less likely that his judgment respecting persons and disputed opinions should be unduly biassed. There will be more probability of his judging upon right principles , and although his facts may (in some instances, unavoidably) be less minutely accurate than an inhabitant of the country would have given, yet they may be less coloured and less partially stated. Instead of giving his own observations as an eye witness, fraught with his own particular views, he can calmly weigh the opposite statements of men of different opinions, and between the two he is more likely to arrive at the truth. With regard to the present Work, however impartial the author has endeavoured to be, however free he may be from colonial passions and interests, he does not wish to deceive the reader by professing a total freedom from all prejudice. If this were desirable, it is impossible; it is a qualification which no writer, or reader either, possesses... Continue reading book >>




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