The rapidly increasing prominence of the Australian colonies during the past ten or twenty years has led to the preparation of the volume of which this is the preface. Australia has a population numbering close upon five millions and it had prosperous and populous cities, all of them presenting abundant indications of collective and individual wealth. It possesses railways and telegraphs by thousands of miles, and the productions of its farms, mines, and plantations aggregate an enormous amount. It has many millions, of cattle and sheep, and their number is increasing annually at a prodigious rate.

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