MARK TWAIN -- to call him by the name held in affectionate regard by all Americans -- was a genuine product of the west and more particularly of the mining population of the Pacific slope. The broad, liberal spirit of humanity characteristic of "the early days" of California and Nevada found at the same time humorous and philosophical expression in his works. Nothing that was human was alien to his spirit and temperament. Although he pricked the follies of the time, his humor carried no sting and left no heart burnings.
Mr. Clemens was easily the premier of the illustrious school of California humorists and writers of fiction that includes Bret Harte, Samuel L. Clemens, Ambrose Bierce and others of less note. He may be said to have learned his trade in the newspaper offices of San Francisco and Virginia City.
It is an interesting and suggestive fact that California alone, of all the states, has produced a considerable body of literature racy of the soil. Other commonwealths and communities on this continent have produced writers of poetry, fiction and humor, but their product might have happened anywhere and is for the most part not rooted in the soil.
Mark Twain was even more philosopher than humorist. His work is everywhere inspired by a hatred of shams and he took a real pleasure in exposing the solemn humbug. No man in America has contributed more to the sane outlook upon life.