Past and Present, and Men of the Times.
Preface. — To My Readers
To My Readers.
I sit down to write the history of my pilgrimage through the Australian colonies, and the accompanying volume is a faithful record of my chequered career. There are now few people who have passed through sixty-eight years of colonial history, and possibly fewer still who can recall the experiences of over half a century. I have done so entirely from my memory, which, I am vain enough to think, has served me faithfully in this matter. Some author—Dr. Johnson, I believe—has remarked that the experiences of any man, if written truly, would be interesting. I think so, too; every man has a story of his own, and something has happened to him that never happened to anybody else. This being so, and my record true, it may be interesting to people one hundred years hence to see what sort of folks we were at this date, how we lived, how we employed ourselves, and so on. On perusing the pages of my work you may compare me to Charles Dickens's "Micawber," but I have always looked upon myself as the reverse of that celebrated character. I have never "waited for something to turn up," but have gone on turning up something; much on the same principle as a plough, however, leaving the furrow behind it. And thus Micawber and I, by different routes, arrived at the same goal, poverty. I will not apologise for my work; it is the production of an almost self-educated man; but I leave it in my readers' hands for their judgment. It is a true record of a life spent in "roughing it."
I remain, Dear Readers,
William Jackson Barry.