THE MYSTERIES OF THE FLOATING-CITY—CANTON THE ABODE OF PLEASURE—CHINESE BEAUTIES.
The floating-city presents itself under two very different aspects: during the day, it is an industrial hive, whose moving honeycombs are occupied by a laborious and intelligent race—ever active, never flinching from the severest exactions of incessant toil. By night, the same city is a rich and beautiful courtesan, crowned with flowers, decked with bright jewels, murmuring, with winsome voice, quaint melodies and songs of love-in-idleness, and plying, with little reticence, her voluptuous trade, under the shadow of the dark. Under the clear light of the sun, the matter-of-fact observer has perhaps contemplated with wonder this austerely unrelaxing population, so painfully greedy of gain, which in the pursuit of the means of physical well-being, of that very wealth which is the pledge of independence, contributes by its selfish activity to the pleasures of the whole world. By the trembling radiance of the stars, the reverist or the poet mingles in the astonishing festival the city nightly prepares for herself. He recognises with delight the realisation of his wildest fancies, his strangest