To my numerous colonial friends I wish to dedicate the following descriptions and experiences, because without their kindly assistance, advice, and directions, I could not have got along as I did, in the short time at my disposal, during my last tour through their land. Throughout the entire breadth and length of the great continent, and the two opposite islands, New Guinea and Tasmania, friends cropped up as thickly as the tares did in the scriptural devil-sown field (pardon the simile, but I could not, at the moment, think about anything of more phenomenal growth with the same sturdy qualities). But to continue ; friends sprang up at every turn, all eager, and, what was more to the purpose, mostly all able, to help me as I sped along. I took their advice when I could do so, and tried to benefit by their experience and as my former stay in the country enabled me to discriminate what was the most useful to my purpose, I now offer to them all the results, trusting that they may be fairly satisfied with my present efforts to please them.
It seems almost an invidious thing to particularise anyone, and I hope that those whose names I may forget to mention in this preface will discover throughout the pages that I have not forgotten to take full advantage of all that they so generously bestowed upon me in the shape of information ; I hope also, that, as they pardon my bad memory for names, they will not be so modest as to abstain from taking the credit to themselves when their own particular bit comes in. I want them to say, ` I put him up to that gag,' or ' I sent him to that spot ' ; and so we will all be honest, and mutually well pleased each with the other - they in their free gifts, and I in the using of them.