Authors - H. L. Mencken
Henry Louis "H. L." Mencken (September 12, 1880 - January 29, 1956), was an American journalist, essayist, magazine editor, satirist, critic of American life and culture, and a scholar of American English. Known as the "Sage of Baltimore", he is regarded as one of the most influential American writers and prose stylists of the first half of the twentieth century. Many of his books still remain in print. - Wikipedia
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.
Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.
A man may be a fool and not know it, but not if he is married.
Democracy is the art and science of running the circus from the monkey cage.
Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under.
A judge is a law student who marks his own examination papers.
Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.
The essence of a self-reliant and autonomous culture is an unshakeable egoism.
Any man who afflicts the human race with ideas must be prepared to see them misunderstood.
A poet more than thirty years old is simply an overgrown child.
Love is like war: easy to begin but very hard to stop.
No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.
Imagine the Creator as a low comedian, and at once the world becomes explicable.
Giving every man a vote has no more made men wise and free than Christianity has made them good.
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.
All men are frauds. The only difference between them is that some admit it. I myself deny it.
Freedom of the press is limited to those who own one.
In the United States, doing good has come to be, like patriotism, a favorite device of persons with something to sell.
A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin.
Puritanism - the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.
The older I grow the more I distrust the familiar doctrine that age brings wisdom.
A Galileo could no more be elected president of the United States than he could be elected Pope of Rome. Both high posts are reserved for men favored by God with an extraordinary genius for swathing the bitter facts of life in bandages of self-illusion.
Conscience is the inner voice that warns us somebody may be looking.
To wage a war for a purely moral reason is as absurd as to ravish a woman for a purely moral reason.
Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration - courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and, above all, love of the truth.
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.
For centuries, theologians have been explaining the unknowable in terms of the-not-worth-knowing.
It is the dull man who is always sure, and the sure man who is always dull.
I believe that all government is evil, and that trying to improve it is largely a waste of time.
Love is the triumph of imagination over intelligence.
Marriage is a wonderful institution, but who would want to live in an institution?
The world always makes the assumption that the exposure of an error is identical with the discovery of truth--that the error and truth are simply opposite. They are nothing of the sort. What the world turns to, when it is cured on one error, is usually simply another error, and maybe one worse than the first one.
The chief value of money lies in the fact that one lives in a world in which it is overestimated.
The government consists of a gang of men exactly like you and me. They have, taking one with another, no special talent for the business of government; they have only a talent for getting and holding office.
Bachelors know more about women than married men; if they didn't they'd be married too.
Say what you will about the Ten Commandments, you must always come back to the pleasant fact that there are only ten of them.
The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
Criticism is prejudice made plausible.
Philosophy consists very largely of one philosopher arguing that all others are jackasses. He usually proves it, and I should add that he also usually proves that he is one himself.
Every government is a scoundrel.
Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable.
Wars are seldom caused by spontaneous hatreds between people, for peoples in general are too ignorant of one another to have grievances and too indifferent to what goes on beyond their borders to plan conquests. They must be urged to the slaughter by politicians who know how to alarm them.
We must repsect 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 are smart.
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.
Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule - and both commonly succeed, and are right.
All [zoos] actually offer to the public in return for the taxes spent upon them is a form of idle and witless amusement, compared to which a visit to a penitentiary, or even to a State legislature in session, is informing, stimulating and ennobling.
Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats.
Man is never honestly the fatalist, nor even the stoic. He fights his fate, often desperately. He is forever entering bold exceptions to the rulings of the bench of gods. This fighting, no doubt, makes for human progress, for it favors the strong and the brave. It also makes for beauty, for lesser men try to escape from a hopeless and intolerable world by creating a more lovely one of their own.
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.
The demagogue is one who preaches doctrines he knows to be untrue to men he knows to be idiots.
Men are the only animals that devote themselves, day in and day out, to making one another unhappy. It is an art like any other. Its virtuosi are called altruists.
Conscience is a mother-in-law whose visit never ends.
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.
Love is the delusion that one woman differs from another.
The only really happy folk are married women and single men.
War will never cease until babies begin to come into the world with larger cerebrums and smaller adrenal glands.
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.
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.
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.
Women have simple tastes. They get pleasure out of the conversation of children in arms and men in love.
Nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public.
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.
Women always excel men in that sort of wisdom which comes from experience. To be a woman is in itself a terrible experience.
Basically my wife was immature. I'd be at home in the bath and she'd come in and sink my boats.
Men have a much better time of it than women. For one thing, they marry later; for another thing, they die earlier.
Injustice is relatively easy to bear; what stings is justice.
Legend: A lie that has attained the dignity of age.
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.
Honor is simply the morality of superior men.
Historian: an unsuccessful novelist.
A home is not a mere transient shelter: its essence lies in the personalities of the people who live in it.
It is even harder for the average ape to believe that he has descended from man.