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H L Mencken QUOTES / QUOTATIONS
A bad man is the sort who weeps every time he speaks of a good woman.
Quotation of H L Mencken
A church is a place in which gentlemen who have never been to heaven brag about it to persons who will never get there.
Quotation of H L Mencken
A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin.
Quotation of H L Mencken
A good politician is quite as unthinkable as an honest burglar.
Quotation of H L Mencken
A judge is a law student who marks his own examination papers.
Quotation of H L Mencken
A man always remembers his first love with special tenderness, but after that he begins to bunch them.
Quotation of H L Mencken
A man may be a fool and not know it, but not if he is married.
Quotation of H L Mencken
A metaphysician is one who, when you remark that twice two makes four, demands to know what you mean by twice, what by two, what by makes, and what by four. For asking such questions metaphysicians are supported in oriental luxury in the universities, and respected as educated and intelligent men.
Quotation of H L Mencken
A national political campaign is better than the best circus ever heard of, with a mass baptism and a couple of hangings thrown in.
Quotation of H L Mencken
A newspaper is a device for making the ignorant more ignorant and the crazy crazier.
Quotation of H L Mencken
A politician is an animal which can sit on a fence and yet keep both ears to the ground.
Quotation of H L Mencken
A professor must have a theory as a dog must have fleas.
Quotation of H L Mencken
A prohibitionist is the sort of man one couldn't care to drink with, even if he drank.
Quotation of H L Mencken
A society made up of individuals who were all capable of original thought would probably be unendurable.
Quotation of H L Mencken
A Sunday school is a prison in which children do penance for the evil conscience of their parents.
Quotation of H L Mencken
Adultery is the application of democracy to love.
Quotation of H L Mencken
Alimony - the ransom that the happy pay to the devil.
Quotation of H L Mencken
All government, of course, is against liberty.
Quotation of H L Mencken
All men are frauds. The only difference between them is that some admit it. I myself deny it.
Quotation of H L Mencken
An idealist is one who, on noticing that roses smell better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup.
Quotation of H L Mencken
Archbishop - A Christian ecclesiastic of a rank superior to that attained by Christ.
Quotation of H L Mencken
As the arteries grow hard, the heart grows soft.
Quotation of H L Mencken
Bachelors know more about women than married men; if they didn't they'd be married too.
Quotation of H L Mencken
Before a man speaks it is always safe to assume that he is a fool. After he speaks, it is seldom necessary to assume it.
Quotation of H L Mencken
Communism, like any other revealed religion, is largely made up of prophecies.
Quotation of H L Mencken
Conscience is a mother-in-law whose visit never ends.
Quotation of H L Mencken
Conscience is the inner voice that warns us that someone might be looking.
Quotation of H L Mencken
Criticism is prejudice made plausible.
Quotation of H L Mencken
Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance.
Quotation of H L Mencken
Democracy is also a form of worship. It is the worship of Jackals by Jackasses.
Quotation of H L Mencken
Democracy is only a dream: it should be put in the same category as Arcadia, Santa Claus, and Heaven.
Quotation of H L Mencken
Democracy is the art and science of running the circus from the monkey cage.
Quotation of H L Mencken
Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.
Quotation of H L Mencken
Don't overestimate the decency of the human race.
Quotation of H L Mencken
Each party steals so many articles of faith from the other, and the candidates spend so much time making each other's speeches, that by the time election day is past there is nothing much to do save turn the sitting rascals out and let a new gang in.
Quotation of H L Mencken
Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under.
Quotation of H L Mencken
Every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods.
Quotation of H L Mencken
Every man is his own hell.
Quotation of H L Mencken
Every man sees in his relatives, and especially in his cousins, a series of grotesque caricatures of himself.
Quotation of H L Mencken
Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.
Quotation of H L Mencken
Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable.
Quotation of H L Mencken
For centuries, theologians have been explaining the unknowable in terms of the-not-worth-knowing.
Quotation of H L Mencken
For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.
Quotation of H L Mencken
For every problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong.
Quotation of H L Mencken
For it is mutual trust, even more than mutual interest that holds human associations together. Our friends seldom profit us but they make us feel safe. Marriage is a scheme to accomplish exactly that same end.
Quotation of H L Mencken
Giving every man a vote has no more made men wise and free than Christianity has made them good.
Quotation of H L Mencken
Have you ever watched a crab on the shore crawling backward in search of the Atlantic Ocean, and missing? That's the way the mind of man operates.
Quotation of H L Mencken
Historian: an unsuccessful novelist.
Quotation of H L Mencken
Honor is simply the morality of superior men.
Quotation of H L Mencken
Husbands never become good; they merely become proficient.
Quotation of H L Mencken
I believe in only one thing: liberty; but I do not believe in liberty enough to want to force it upon anyone.
Quotation of H L Mencken
I believe that all government is evil, and that trying to improve it is largely a waste of time.
Quotation of H L Mencken
I believe that it is better to tell the truth than a lie. I believe it is better to be free than to be a slave. And I believe it is better to know than to be ignorant.
Quotation of H L Mencken
I confess I enjoy democracy immensely. It is incomparably idiotic, and hence incomparably amusing.
Quotation of H L Mencken
I go on working for the same reason that a hen goes on laying eggs.
Quotation of H L Mencken
I hate all sports as rabidly as a person who likes sports hates common sense.
Quotation of H L Mencken
I never lecture, not because I am shy or a bad speaker, but simply because I detest the sort of people who go to lectures and don't want to meet them.
Quotation of H L Mencken
I never smoked a cigarette until I was nine.
Quotation of H L Mencken
I write in order to attain that feeling of tension relieved and function achieved which a cow enjoys on giving milk.
Quotation of H L Mencken
If a politician found he had cannibals among his constituents, he would promise them missionaries for dinner.
Quotation of H L Mencken
If I ever marry, it will be on a sudden impulse - as a man shoots himself.
Quotation of H L Mencken
If women believed in their husbands they would be a good deal happier and also a good deal more foolish.
Quotation of H L Mencken
If, after I depart this vale, you ever remember me and have thought to please my ghost, forgive some sinner and wink your eye at some homely girl.
Quotation of H L Mencken
Immorality: the morality of those who are having a better time.
Quotation of H L Mencken
In the duel of sex woman fights from a dreadnought and man from an open raft.
Quotation of H L Mencken
In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican.
Quotation of H L Mencken
In war the heroes always outnumber the soldiers ten to one.
Quotation of H L Mencken
Injustice is relatively easy to bear; what sting is justice.
Quotation of H L Mencken
It doesn't take a majority to make a rebellion; it takes only a few determined leaders and a sound cause.
Quotation of H L Mencken
It is even harder for the average ape to believe that he has descended from man.
Quotation of H L Mencken
It is hard for the ape to believe he descended from man.
Quotation of H L Mencken
It is hard to believe that a man is telling the truth when you know that you would lie if you were in his place.
Quotation of H L Mencken
It is impossible to imagine Goethe or Beethoven being good at billiards or golf.
Quotation of H L Mencken
It is impossible to imagine the universe run by a wise, just and omnipotent God, but it is quite easy to imagine it run by a board of gods.
Quotation of H L Mencken
It is inaccurate to say that I hate everything. I am strongly in favor of common sense, common honesty, and common decency. This makes me forever ineligible for public office.
Quotation of H L Mencken
It is not materialism that is the chief curse of the world, as pastors teach, but idealism. Men get into trouble by taking their visions and hallucinations too seriously.
Quotation of H L Mencken
It is now quite lawful for a Catholic woman to avoid pregnancy by a resort to mathematics, though she is still forbidden to resort to physics or chemistry.
Quotation of H L Mencken
Judge: a law student who marks his own examination-papers.
Quotation of H L Mencken
Legend: A lie that has attained the dignity of age.
Quotation of H L Mencken
Let's not burn the universities yet. After all, the damage they do might be worse.
Quotation of H L Mencken
Life is a constant oscillation between the sharp horns of dilemmas.
Quotation of H L Mencken
Life is a dead-end street.
Quotation of H L Mencken
Love is an emotion that is based on an opinion of women that is impossible for those who have had any experience with them.
Quotation of H L Mencken
Love is like war: easy to begin but very hard to stop.
Quotation of H L Mencken
Love is the delusion that one woman differs from another.
Quotation of H L Mencken
Love is the triumph of imagination over intelligence.
Quotation of H L Mencken
Man is a beautiful machine that works very badly.
Quotation of H L Mencken
Man is always looking for someone to boast to; woman is always looking for a shoulder to put her head on.
Quotation of H L Mencken
Man weeps to think that he will die so soon; woman, that she was born so long ago.
Quotation of H L Mencken
Marriage is a wonderful institution, but who would want to live in an institution?
Quotation of H L Mencken
Men have a much better time of it than women. For one thing, they marry later; for another thing, they die earlier.
Quotation of H L Mencken
Morality is the theory that every human act must be either right or wrong, and that 99 % of them are wrong.
Quotation of H L Mencken
Most people are unable to write because they are unable to think, and they are unable to think because they congenitally lack the equipment to do so, just as they congenitally lack the equipment to fly over the moon.
Quotation of H L Mencken
Most people want security in this world, not liberty.
Quotation of H L Mencken
Nevertheless, it is even harder for the average ape to believe that he has descended from man.
Quotation of H L Mencken
Nine times out of ten, in the arts as in life, there is actually no truth to be discovered; there is only error to be exposed.
Quotation of H L Mencken
No man ever quite believes in any other man. One may believe in an idea absolutely, but not in a man.
Quotation of H L Mencken
No married man is genuinely happy if he has to drink worse whisky than he used to drink when he was single.
Quotation of H L Mencken
No matter how happily a woman may be married, it always pleases her to discover that there is a nice man who wishes that she were not.
Quotation of H L Mencken
No matter how long he lives, no man ever becomes as wise as the average woman of forty-eight.
Quotation of H L Mencken
No one in this world has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people. Nor has anyone ever lost public office thereby.
Quotation of H L Mencken
Nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public.
Quotation of H L Mencken
Nothing is so abject and pathetic as a politician who has lost his job, save only a retired stud-horse.
Quotation of H L Mencken
One may no more live in the world without picking up the moral prejudices of the world than one will be able to go to hell without perspiring.
Quotation of H L Mencken
Opera in English is, in the main, just about as sensible as baseball in Italian.
Quotation of H L Mencken
Platitude: an idea (a) that is admitted to be true by everyone, and (b) that is not true.
Quotation of H L Mencken
Poetry has done enough when it charms, but prose must also convince.
Quotation of H L Mencken
Puritanism. The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.
Quotation of H L Mencken
Say what you will about the ten commandments, you must always come back to the pleasant fact that there are only ten of them.
Quotation of H L Mencken
Self-respect: the secure feeling that no one, as yet, is suspicious.
Quotation of H L Mencken
Strike an average between what a woman thinks of her husband a month before she marries him and what she thinks of him a year afterward, and you will have the truth about him.
Quotation of H L Mencken
Temptation is a woman's weapon and man's excuse.
Quotation of H L Mencken
Temptation is an irresistible force at work on a movable body.
Quotation of H L Mencken
The basic fact about human existence is not that it is a tragedy, but that it is a bore. It is not so much a war as an endless standing in line.
Quotation of H L Mencken
The capacity of human beings to bore one another seems to be vastly greater than that of any other animal.
Quotation of H L Mencken
The chief contribution of Protestantism to human thought is its massive proof that God is a bore.
Quotation of H L Mencken
The chief value of money lies in the fact that one lives in a world in which it is overestimated.
Quotation of H L Mencken
The common argument that crime is caused by poverty is a kind of slander on the poor.
Quotation of H L Mencken
The cynics are right nine times out of ten.
Quotation of H L Mencken
The difference between a moral man and a man of honor is that the latter regrets a discreditable act, even when it has worked and he has not been caught.
Quotation of H L Mencken
The first Rotarian was the first man to call John the Baptist, Jack.
Quotation of H L Mencken
The most costly of all follies is to believe passionately in the palpably not true. It is the chief occupation of mankind.
Quotation of H L Mencken
The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out... without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane, intolerable.
Quotation of H L Mencken
The older I grow the more I distrust the familiar doctrine that age brings wisdom.
Quotation of H L Mencken
The one permanent emotion of the inferior man is fear - fear of the unknown, the complex, the inexplicable. What he wants above everything else is safety.
Quotation of H L Mencken
The only cure for contempt is counter-contempt.
Quotation of H L Mencken
The only really happy folk are married women and single men.
Quotation of H L Mencken
The opera is to music what a bawdy house is to a cathedral.
Quotation of H L Mencken
The penalty for laughing in a courtroom is six months in jail; if it were not for this penalty, the jury would never hear the evidence.
Quotation of H L Mencken
The theory seems to be that as long as a man is a failure he is one of God's children, but that as soon as he succeeds he is taken over by the Devil.
Quotation of H L Mencken
The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.
Quotation of H L Mencken
The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false-face for the urge to rule it.
Quotation of H L Mencken
The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.
Quotation of H L Mencken
The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.
Quotation of H L Mencken
The worst government is often the most moral. One composed of cynics is often very tolerant and humane. But when fanatics are on top there is no limit to oppression.
Quotation of H L Mencken
Theology is the effort to explain the unknowable in terms of the not worth knowing.
Quotation of H L Mencken
There are men so philosophical that they can see humor in their own toothaches. But there has never lived a man so philosophical that he could see the toothache in his own humor.
Quotation of H L Mencken
There is a saying in Baltimore that crabs may be prepared in fifty ways and that all of them are good.
Quotation of H L Mencken
There is always an easy solution to every... problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.
Quotation of H L Mencken
Time is the great legalizer, even in the field of morals.
Quotation of H L Mencken
Time stays, we go.
Quotation of H L Mencken
To be in love is merely to be in a state of perceptual anesthesia - to mistake an ordinary young woman for a goddess.
Quotation of H L Mencken
To die for an idea; it is unquestionably noble. But how much nobler it would be if men died for ideas that were true!
Quotation of H L Mencken
Unquestionably, there is progress. The average American now pays out twice as much in taxes as he formerly got in wages.
Quotation of H L Mencken
War will never cease until babies begin to come into the world with larger cerebrums and smaller adrenal glands.
Quotation of H L Mencken
We are here and it is now. Further than that, all human knowledge is moonshine.
Quotation of H L Mencken
We must be willing to pay a price for freedom.
Quotation of H L Mencken
We must respect the other fellow's religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart.
Quotation of H L Mencken
Wealth - any income that is at least one hundred dollars more a year than the income of one's wife's sister's husband.
Quotation of H L Mencken
What men value in this world is not rights but privileges.
Quotation of H L Mencken
When a new source of taxation is found it never means, in practice, that the old source is abandoned. It merely means that the politicians have two ways of milking the taxpayer where they had one before.
Quotation of H L Mencken
When women kiss it always reminds one of prize fighters shaking hands.
Quotation of H L Mencken
Whenever a husband and wife begin to discuss their marriage they are giving evidence at a coroner's inquest.
Quotation of H L Mencken
Whenever you hear a man speak of his love for his country, it is a sign that he expects to be paid for it.
Quotation of H L Mencken
Women always excel men in that sort of wisdom which comes from experience. To be a woman is in itself a terrible experience.
Quotation of H L Mencken
Women have simple tastes. They get pleasure out of the conversation of children in arms and men in love.
Quotation of H L Mencken