Habits of the Aborigines, has enabled him
to render that portion of his work which relates to them more
comprehensive and satisfactory than it otherwise would have been.
With respect to the second point, or the reasons which have led to this
work being published at all, the author would observe that he has been
led to engage in it rather from a sense of duty, and at the instance of
many of his friends, than from any wish of his own. The greater portion
of the country he explored was of so sterile and worthless a description,
and the circumstances which an attempt to cross such a desert region led
to, were of so distressing a character, that he would not willingly have
revived associations, so unsatisfactory and so painful.
It has been his fate, however, to cross, during the course of his
explorations, a far greater extent of country than any Australian
traveller had ever done previously, and as a very large portion of this
had never before been trodden by the foot of civilized man, and from its
nature is never likely to be so invaded again, it became a duty to record
the knowledge which was thus obtained, for the information of future
travellers and as a guide to the scientific world in their inquiries into
the character and formation of so singular and interesting a country.