Page:The History of Ballarat.djvu/18

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xiii
PREFACE TO SECOND EDITION.

interest and value. To Mr. Anderson, the head printer, I owe my thanks for many intelligent suggestions in the course of the revisal of proofs, and his vigilant eye detected some errors in Appendix A which had lain unnoticed ever since the issue of the edition of 1870. It is hoped that the present edition is nearly free from literal errors, but two or three have been noticed since the matter passed through the press. In the bottom line, page 61, the date 1855 should be 1854; in the heading to Chapter VI. "representative charges" should be "representative changes;" and in the bottom line, page 285, the date 1857 should be 1856.

A word to scholars, that they may not believe a lie. I am no Latinist. As a poor pavior on the high road of letters, I picked up some Roman tesseræ by the way side, and, to please my fancy and give bits of color and tone of reminiscence and meaning not else handy, inserted them here and there in the ruder work. Only that, my learned brothers of the great republic.

The writer of even so small a history as this, is but as the voice of one crying in a wilderness of facts and dates, in hope of reducing them in some sort to cosmic order. Like the life it essays to depict, history is only a drama, and the historian merely sets the scenes, and lifts the curtain, where else had been uncertainty or oblivion.

Our revels now are ended. The actors here, too, were all spirits. Many, as squatters Pettett, Waldie, Winter, Bacchus, one of the Learmonth's, besides a host of mining and civic pioneers, have melted into air since the first edition was issued. The veteran Thomas Hastie still lives at the Buninyong manse, and others still grace, or disgrace, with their corporal presence, the scenes of their exploits. There remain Humffray and Lalor, and, with other of Lalor's Stockade subalterns, the goldfinder Esmond, Humffray and Esmond are in the shallows, but Lalor, on whose "rebel" head a price was once set, floats proudly as the able and well-salaried Speaker of the Legislative Assembly. His political friends are not ashamed to plead for a retiring pension for him, after he has, for many years, been liberally paid for his services in a nominally pension-hating democracy; whilst