I have read in some books of travels that certain tribes of Arabs have no name for the ocean, and that when they came to the shore for the first time, they asked with eager sadness, as if penetrated by the conviction of a superior beauty, "what is that desert of water more beautiful than the land?"-from the story "Sea From Shore" in Prue and ICity society and country bloom, the rambunctiousness of children and the loveliness of women, the elegant pleasure of dining out and the rustic charm of ancient ruins... George William Curtis's philosophical reveries on the simple delights of being alive have inspired readers to appreciate every moment to the fullest since they first appeared in book form in 1856. Each of these short stories, tender portraits of everyday life, is a wonderfully romantic trifle, a tiny treasure to be savored.American writer GEORGE WILLIAM CURTIS (1824-1892), briefly a follower of the Transcendental movement, traveled extensively in Europe and the Middle East before alighting in New York, where he became one of the liveliest figures on the city's literary scene in the mid-18th century. His work appeared in numerous publications including Harper's Monthly and Harper's Weekly, and he served as editor at the New York Tribune and Putnam's Monthly, positions in which he was an influential shaper of public opinion. Other works still highly regarded today include his From the Easy Chair and Literary and Social Essays.