My personal association with Mr. Clemens, comparatively brief though it was--an ocean voyage, meetings here and there, a brief stay as a guest in his home--gave me at last the justification for paying the debt which, with the years, had grown greater and more insistently obligatory. I felt both relief and pleasure when he authorized me to pay that debt by writing an interpretation of his life and work.
rie fire and Western clay, and shows us that we are at one on all the main points, we feel that he has been appointed by Providence to see to it that the precious ordinary self of the Republic shall suffer no harm."
STUART P. SHERMAN: "MARK TWAIN." The Nation, May 12, 1910.
American literature, indeed I might say American life, can exhibit no example of supreme success from the humblest beginnings, so signal as the example of Mark Twain. Lincoln became President of the United States, as did Grant and Johnson. But assassination began for Lincoln an apotheosis which has gone to deplorable lengths of hero-worship and adulation. Grant was one of the great failures in American public life; and Johnson, brilliant but unstable, narrowly escaped impeachment. Mark Twain enjoys the unique distinction of exhibiting a progressive development, a deepening and broadening of forces, a ripening of intellectual and spiritual powers from the beginning to the end of his career. From the standpo