From the lens of two Macanese publics, this study rethinks cosmopolitanism as a diverse identity and pursuit that can vary from one individual to another. It complicates what we know about polyglot Asian publics often profiled as 'cosmopolitan' for their foreign education, middle-class status, social commitment, and internationalist visions. I argue that, while these subjects shared a common background, they diverged according to shifting global contexts, generational differences, and personal experience. On a par with imagining themselves as part of a global community, cosmopolitan publics navigated between personal worlds and communal networks, as well as between a narrower nationalist and/or urban context and a broader global framework. My first subject, Macao-born Lourenço Pereira Marques, saw Hong Kong as a liberal ground to disseminate Darwinism across southern China's Lusophone public sphere during the 1880s, whereas Hong Kong-born José Pedro Braga worked to preach an internationalist vision of racial equality through a wider Anglophone public sphere and an emerging transnational associational culture in the early twentieth century. This study also aims to further our understanding regarding Hong Kong as a vibrant port city and explore the diversity of cosmopolitan publics in the context of transitioning internal and external worlds.