The morning after the above conversation the steamer arrived at Hong-kong, and dropped anchor in the harbor. She was immediately surrounded by a fleet of small boats, which competed eagerly among[Pg 401] themselves for the patronage of the passengers. Our friends selected one which was rowed by a couple of women, and had a group of children in a little pen at the stern. Doctor Bronson explained to the boys that in Southern China a great deal of the boating is done by women, and that entire families live on board the little craft on which they earn their existence. The boat population of Canton numbers more than sixty thousand persons. They are not allowed to live on shore, and their whole lives, from birth to death, are passed on the water. The most of the boatmen and boatwomen at Hong-kong come from Canton, which is only ninety miles away; and as they have privileges at the former place which are denied them in the latter, they are quite satisfied to stay where they are.