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Over The Hills, and Far Away: A Story of New Zealand


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In writing a story of New Zealand life, one great difficulty presents itself.

It is a life which in its social aspects is continually altering, as the country advances in prosperity and civilization. The colours in the kaleidoscope remain the same, but the pattern gradually changers.

In writing this story, I had in my mind the New Zealand of some years ago, with which I first made acquaintance. Since then much is altered. The land which lay waste and desolate is now fenced and under cultivation, and society has become more formal, and conforms more strictly to the rules in vogue in Europe.

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Charlotte Bronté says, at the end of one of her letters written on the Continent, to a friend at home, that it seems to her, while writing, as if the winds and waves of the Channel must drown the sound of what she is saying.

I too have the same odd fancy. Thinking of the mighty waste of waters which separates me from the home-country, I feel tempted to exclaim, “Oh, mighty ocean which divides us, hush your roar awhile! Oh, wild winds, cease to moan! and let them hear my voice in England!”