[Editor: This is the introduction section of the novel Such is Life by Tom Collins (Joseph Furphy). A glossary has been provided to explain various words and phrases that may be unfamiliar to modern readers.]
Contrary to usage, these memoirs are published, not “in compliance with the entreaties of friends,” but in direct opposition thereto. It has been pointed out to me that the prizes of civilisation — Municipal dignity, Churchwardenship, the Honorary Bench, and so forth — do not wait upon avowed comradeship with people who by no management of hyperbole can be called respectable. But there is a grim, fakeer-like pleasure in any renunciation of desirable things, when the line of least resistance leads in a contrary direction : and, in my own case, the impulse of reminiscence, fatally governed by an inveterate truthfulness, is wayward enough to overbear all hope of like pre-eminence, as well as any hope of literary propriety. Hence these pages.
Tom Collins [Joseph Furphy]. Such is Life, The Bulletin Newspaper Company, Sydney, 1903