Authors - H. L. Mencken

Brief Biography

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

Quotes by H. L. MenckenBrowse all of these

Quote 177by Anonymous on 20/12/2010

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.
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    Quote 243by Anonymous on 23/12/2010

    Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.
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      Quote 291by Anonymous on 26/12/2010

      A man may be a fool and not know it, but not if he is married.
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        Quote 382by Anonymous on 01/01/2011

        Democracy is the art and science of running the circus from the monkey cage.
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          Quote 417by Anonymous on 02/01/2011

          Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under.
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            Quote 467by Anonymous on 04/01/2011

            A judge is a law student who marks his own examination papers.
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              Quote 747by Anonymous on 07/01/2011

              Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.
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                Quote 748by Anonymous on 07/01/2011

                The essence of a self-reliant and autonomous culture is an unshakeable egoism.
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                  Quote 818by Anonymous on 07/01/2011

                  Any man who afflicts the human race with ideas must be prepared to see them misunderstood.
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                    Quote 917by Anonymous on 08/01/2011

                    A poet more than thirty years old is simply an overgrown child.
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                      Quote 1007by Anonymous on 08/01/2011

                      Love is like war: easy to begin but very hard to stop.
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                        Quote 1021by Anonymous on 09/01/2011

                        No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.
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                          Quote 1113by Anonymous on 10/01/2011

                          Imagine the Creator as a low comedian, and at once the world becomes explicable.
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                            Quote 1199by Anonymous on 11/01/2011

                            Giving every man a vote has no more made men wise and free than Christianity has made them good.
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                              Quote 1286by Anonymous on 12/01/2011

                              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.
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                                Quote 1306by Anonymous on 12/01/2011

                                All men are frauds. The only difference between them is that some admit it. I myself deny it.
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                                  Quote 1556by Anonymous on 14/01/2011

                                  Freedom of the press is limited to those who own one.
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                                    Quote 1575by Anonymous on 14/01/2011

                                    In the United States, doing good has come to be, like patriotism, a favorite device of persons with something to sell.
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                                      Quote 1650by Anonymous on 15/01/2011

                                      A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin.
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                                        Quote 1718by Anonymous on 15/01/2011

                                        Puritanism - the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.
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                                          Quote 1924by Anonymous on 19/01/2011

                                          The older I grow the more I distrust the familiar doctrine that age brings wisdom.
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                                            Quote 2182by Anonymous on 24/01/2011

                                            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.
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                                              Quote 2264by Anonymous on 25/01/2011

                                              Conscience is the inner voice that warns us somebody may be looking.
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                                                Quote 2394by Anonymous on 28/01/2011

                                                To wage a war for a purely moral reason is as absurd as to ravish a woman for a purely moral reason.
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                                                  Quote 2474by Anonymous on 30/01/2011

                                                  Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration - courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and, above all, love of the truth.
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                                                    Quote 2796by Anonymous on 02/02/2011

                                                    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.
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                                                      Quote 2934by Anonymous on 02/02/2011

                                                      For centuries, theologians have been explaining the unknowable in terms of the-not-worth-knowing.
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                                                        Quote 2970by Anonymous on 02/02/2011

                                                        It is the dull man who is always sure, and the sure man who is always dull.
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                                                          Quote 3293by Anonymous on 05/02/2011

                                                          I believe that all government is evil, and that trying to improve it is largely a waste of time.
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                                                            Quote 3534by Anonymous on 06/02/2011

                                                            Love is the triumph of imagination over intelligence.
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                                                              Quote 3857by Anonymous on 11/02/2011

                                                              Marriage is a wonderful institution, but who would want to live in an institution?
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                                                                Quote 3880by Anonymous on 11/02/2011

                                                                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.
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                                                                  Quote 3883by Anonymous on 11/02/2011

                                                                  The chief value of money lies in the fact that one lives in a world in which it is overestimated.
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                                                                    Quote 4053by Anonymous on 13/02/2011

                                                                    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.
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                                                                      Quote 4304by Anonymous on 19/02/2011

                                                                      Bachelors know more about women than married men; if they didn't they'd be married too.
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                                                                        Quote 4345by Anonymous on 20/02/2011

                                                                        Say what you will about the Ten Commandments, you must always come back to the pleasant fact that there are only ten of them.
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                                                                          Quote 4416by Anonymous on 21/02/2011

                                                                          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.
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                                                                            Quote 4501by Anonymous on 22/02/2011

                                                                            Criticism is prejudice made plausible.
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                                                                              Quote 4564by Anonymous on 23/02/2011

                                                                              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.
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                                                                                Quote 4621by Anonymous on 25/02/2011

                                                                                Every government is a scoundrel.
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                                                                                  Quote 4680by Anonymous on 25/02/2011

                                                                                  Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable.
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                                                                                    Quote 4780by Anonymous on 27/02/2011

                                                                                    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.
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                                                                                      Quote 4803by Anonymous on 01/03/2011

                                                                                      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.
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                                                                                        Quote 4819by Anonymous on 01/03/2011

                                                                                        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.
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                                                                                          Quote 4872by Anonymous on 02/03/2011

                                                                                          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.
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                                                                                            Quote 5030by Anonymous on 08/05/2011

                                                                                            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.
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                                                                                              Quote 6000by Anonymous on 12/09/2011

                                                                                              Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats.
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                                                                                                Quote 6004by Anonymous on 12/09/2011

                                                                                                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.
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                                                                                                  Quote 6105by Anonymous on 14/09/2011

                                                                                                  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.
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                                                                                                    Quote 6547by Anonymous on 27/09/2011

                                                                                                    The demagogue is one who preaches doctrines he knows to be untrue to men he knows to be idiots.
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                                                                                                      Quote 6591by Anonymous on 01/10/2011

                                                                                                      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.
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                                                                                                        Quote 6614by Anonymous on 02/10/2011

                                                                                                        Conscience is a mother-in-law whose visit never ends.
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                                                                                                          Quote 7644by Anonymous on 08/01/2012

                                                                                                          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.
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                                                                                                            Quote 7818by Anonymous on 18/02/2012

                                                                                                            Love is the delusion that one woman differs from another.
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                                                                                                              Quote 9708by Anonymous on 15/08/2012

                                                                                                              The only really happy folk are married women and single men.
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                                                                                                                Quote 9895by Anonymous on 31/08/2012

                                                                                                                War will never cease until babies begin to come into the world with larger cerebrums and smaller adrenal glands.
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                                                                                                                  Quote 9912by Anonymous on 01/09/2012

                                                                                                                  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.
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                                                                                                                    Quote 10165by Anonymous on 16/09/2012

                                                                                                                    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.
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                                                                                                                      Quote 10286by Anonymous on 26/09/2012

                                                                                                                      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.
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                                                                                                                        Quote 10403by Anonymous on 01/10/2012

                                                                                                                        Women have simple tastes. They get pleasure out of the conversation of children in arms and men in love.
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                                                                                                                          Quote 10783by Anonymous on 28/10/2012

                                                                                                                          Nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public.
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                                                                                                                            Quote 10881by Anonymous on 06/11/2012

                                                                                                                            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.
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                                                                                                                              Quote 11140by Anonymous on 26/11/2012

                                                                                                                              Women always excel men in that sort of wisdom which comes from experience. To be a woman is in itself a terrible experience.
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                                                                                                                                Quote 11181by Anonymous on 29/11/2012

                                                                                                                                Basically my wife was immature. I'd be at home in the bath and she'd come in and sink my boats.
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                                                                                                                                  Quote 11308by Anonymous on 12/12/2012

                                                                                                                                  Men have a much better time of it than women. For one thing, they marry later; for another thing, they die earlier.
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                                                                                                                                    Quote 11608by Anonymous on 11/01/2013

                                                                                                                                    Injustice is relatively easy to bear; what stings is justice.
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                                                                                                                                      Quote 11810by Anonymous on 24/01/2013

                                                                                                                                      Legend: A lie that has attained the dignity of age.
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                                                                                                                                        Quote 11830by Anonymous on 25/01/2013

                                                                                                                                        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.
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                                                                                                                                          Quote 12546by Anonymous on 26/04/2013

                                                                                                                                          Honor is simply the morality of superior men.
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                                                                                                                                            Quote 13264by Anonymous on 03/07/2013

                                                                                                                                            Historian: an unsuccessful novelist.
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                                                                                                                                              Quote 13294by Anonymous on 04/07/2013

                                                                                                                                              A home is not a mere transient shelter: its essence lies in the personalities of the people who live in it.
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                                                                                                                                                Quote 13854by Anonymous on 10/09/2013

                                                                                                                                                It is even harder for the average ape to believe that he has descended from man.
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