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THE following pages were written in hours snatched from a laborious profession, often at wide intervals apart, and generally after a long and exhausting day's work. They were afterwards put together, and partly rewritten, on shipboard, on my way here from the Antipodes. These conditions are not very favourable to that concentration and continuity of thought which a subject of the kind here treated of requires, and this must be my excuse for any defects that may be found in them, which, I have no
doubt, are numerous enough.
There is only one thing I take credit for, and that is, that I have endeavoured to put my ideas in as concise a form as possible. There is not a paragraph, sentence,
or word, not absolutely necessary to explain my mean