Fern Vale (Volume 1)

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Some fifteen years ago, when the first mention was made in the Imperial Parliament of the intention of Her Majesty to dismember the Northern districts of New South Wales, for the purpose of establishing a refuge for the expatriated felons of Great Britain, a certain noble lord rose to enquire where New South Wales was, and whether it was anywhere in the vicinity of Botany Bay.[iv]Since the time of this sapient patrician much has been said, and more has been written, respecting our antipodean empire; though I believe the mass of the English people are still as unacquainted with the characteristics of the colony, and the manners of colonial life, as if the vast continent of Australia remained in its primitive inanition. Poor as is the knowledge of our friends "at home" respecting their periecian brethren, I grieve to say, with regard to, or rather of, the Australian colonists, that knowledge is too frequently tinged with prejudice and erroneous impressions, formed from the writings of discontented colonists, who, without a sufficiently lengthened residence in the country, or opportunities to form correct opinions, have not only disregarded facts, but have presumed to pass judgment upon what they have never appreciated or under[v]stood, and have written statements decidedly false and scandalous.
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