Quotes by H. L. Mencken

Time stays, we go.
- H. L. Mencken
Every man is his own hell.
- H. L. Mencken
Life is a dead-end street.
- H. L. Mencken
Check our mobile app on:
Historian: an unsuccessful novelist.
- H. L. Mencken
Criticism is prejudice made plausible.
- H. L. Mencken
The cynics are right nine times out of ten.
- H. L. Mencken
I never smoked a cigarette until I was nine.
- H. L. Mencken
Honor is simply the morality of superior men.
- H. L. Mencken
All government, of course, is against liberty.
- H. L. Mencken
We must be willing to pay a price for freedom.
- H. L. Mencken
Follow us on:
The only cure for contempt is counter-contempt.
- H. L. Mencken
As the arteries grow hard, the heart grows soft.
- H. L. Mencken
Adultery is the application of democracy to love.
- H. L. Mencken
Man is a beautiful machine that works very badly.
- H. L. Mencken
Legend: A lie that has attained the dignity of age.
- H. L. Mencken
Love is the triumph of imagination over intelligence.
- H. L. Mencken
Conscience is a mother-in-law whose visit never ends.
- H. L. Mencken
Most people want security in this world, not liberty.
- H. L. Mencken
Alimony - the ransom that the happy pay to the devil.
- H. L. Mencken
Love is like war: easy to begin but very hard to stop.
- H. L. Mencken
Don't overestimate the decency of the human race.
- H. L. Mencken
It is hard for the ape to believe he descended from man.
- H. L. Mencken
A professor must have a theory as a dog must have fleas.
- H. L. Mencken
Love is the delusion that one woman differs from another.
- H. L. Mencken
Husbands never become good; they merely become proficient.
- H. L. Mencken
What men value in this world is not rights but privileges.
- H. L. Mencken
Temptation is a woman's weapon and man's excuse.
- H. L. Mencken
Judge: a law student who marks his own examination-papers.
- H. L. Mencken
The opera is to music what a bawdy house is to a cathedral.
- H. L. Mencken
In war the heroes always outnumber the soldiers ten to one.
- H. L. Mencken
The only really happy folk are married women and single men.
- H. L. Mencken
Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under.
- H. L. Mencken
Injustice is relatively easy to bear; what stings is justice.
- H. L. Mencken
A judge is a law student who marks his own examination papers.
- H. L. Mencken
A man may be a fool and not know it, but not if he is married.
- H. L. Mencken
Temptation is an irresistible force at work on a movable body.
- H. L. Mencken
God is a comedian, playing to an audience too afraid to laugh.
- H. L. Mencken
Immorality: the morality of those who are having a better time.
- H. L. Mencken
A good politician is quite as unthinkable as an honest burglar.
- H. L. Mencken
Every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods.
- H. L. Mencken
Life is a constant oscillation between the sharp horns of dilemmas.
- H. L. Mencken
I go on working for the same reason that a hen goes on laying eggs.
- H. L. Mencken
Self-respect: the secure feeling that no one, as yet, is suspicious.
- H. L. Mencken
Puritanism. The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.
- H. L. Mencken
Poetry has done enough when it charms, but prose must also convince.
- H. L. Mencken
A bad man is the sort who weeps every time he speaks of a good woman.
- H. L. Mencken
When women kiss it always reminds one of prize fighters shaking hands.
- H. L. Mencken
Nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public.
- H. L. Mencken
A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin.
- H. L. Mencken
Conscience is the inner voice that warns us that someone might be looking.
- H. L. Mencken
Democracy is the art and science of running the circus from the monkey cage.
- H. L. Mencken
I hate all sports as rabidly as a person who likes sports hates common sense.
- H. L. Mencken
In the duel of sex woman fights from a dreadnought and man from an open raft.
- H. L. Mencken
For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.
- H. L. Mencken
The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.
- H. L. Mencken
Communism, like any other revealed religion, is largely made up of prophecies.
- H. L. Mencken
There is always an easy solution to every problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.
- H. L. Mencken
We are here and it is now. Further than that, all human knowledge is moonshine.
- H. L. Mencken
Democracy is also a form of worship. It is the worship of Jackals by Jackasses.
- H. L. Mencken
Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance.
- H. L. Mencken
It is even harder for the average ape to believe that he has descended from man.
- H. L. Mencken
Opera in English is, in the main, just about as sensible as baseball in Italian.
- H. L. Mencken
It is impossible to imagine Goethe or Beethoven being good at billiards or golf.
- H. L. Mencken
Marriage is a wonderful institution, but who would want to live in an institution?
- H. L. Mencken
The older I grow the more I distrust the familiar doctrine that age brings wisdom.
- H. L. Mencken
Man weeps to think that he will die so soon; woman, that she was born so long ago.
- H. L. Mencken
Theology is the effort to explain the unknowable in terms of the not worth knowing.
- H. L. Mencken
A newspaper is a device for making the ignorant more ignorant and the crazy crazier.
- H. L. Mencken
Archbishop - A Christian ecclesiastic of a rank superior to that attained by Christ.
- H. L. Mencken
The common argument that crime is caused by poverty is a kind of slander on the poor.
- H. L. Mencken
Let's not burn the universities yet. After all, the damage they do might be worse.
- H. L. Mencken
Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable.
- H. L. Mencken
A politician is an animal which can sit on a fence and yet keep both ears to the ground.
- H. L. Mencken
Platitude: an idea (a) that is admitted to be true by everyone, and (b) that is not true.
- H. L. Mencken
A prohibitionist is the sort of man one couldn't care to drink with, even if he drank.
- H. L. Mencken
No matter how long he lives, no man ever becomes as wise as the average woman of forty-eight.
- H. L. Mencken
All men are frauds. The only difference between them is that some admit it. I myself deny it.
- H. L. Mencken
Nevertheless, it is even harder for the average ape to believe that he has descended from man.
- H. L. Mencken
I believe that all government is evil, and that trying to improve it is largely a waste of time.
- H. L. Mencken
Giving every man a vote has no more made men wise and free than Christianity has made them good.
- H. L. Mencken
The chief value of money lies in the fact that one lives in a world in which it is overestimated.
- H. L. Mencken
The chief contribution of Protestantism to human thought is its massive proof that God is a bore.
- H. L. Mencken
Bachelors know more about women than married men; if they didn't they'd be married too.
- H. L. Mencken
For centuries, theologians have been explaining the unknowable in terms of the-not-worth-knowing.
- H. L. Mencken
A Sunday school is a prison in which children do penance for the evil conscience of their parents.
- H. L. Mencken
I confess I enjoy democracy immensely. It is incomparably idiotic, and hence incomparably amusing.
- H. L. Mencken
Democracy is only a dream: it should be put in the same category as Arcadia, Santa Claus, and Heaven.
- H. L. Mencken
No man ever quite believes in any other man. One may believe in an idea absolutely, but not in a man.
- H. L. Mencken
A man always remembers his first love with special tenderness, but after that he begins to bunch them.
- H. L. Mencken
There is a saying in Baltimore that crabs may be prepared in fifty ways and that all of them are good.
- H. L. Mencken
Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.
- H. L. Mencken
Women have simple tastes. They get pleasure out of the conversation of children in arms and men in love.
- H. L. Mencken
A society made up of individuals who were all capable of original thought would probably be unendurable.
- H. L. Mencken
If women believed in their husbands they would be a good deal happier and also a good deal more foolish.
- H. L. Mencken
Man is always looking for someone to boast to; woman is always looking for a shoulder to put her head on.
- 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.
- H. L. Mencken
The capacity of human beings to bore one another seems to be vastly greater than that of any other animal.
- 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.
- H. L. Mencken
Morality is the theory that every human act must be either right or wrong, and that 99 % of them are wrong.
- H. L. Mencken
Every man sees in his relatives, and especially in his cousins, a series of grotesque caricatures of himself.
- H. L. Mencken
If a politician found he had cannibals among his constituents, he would promise them missionaries for dinner.
- 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.
- H. L. Mencken
It doesn't take a majority to make a rebellion; it takes only a few determined leaders and a sound cause.
- 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.
- H. L. Mencken
War will never cease until babies begin to come into the world with larger cerebrums and smaller adrenal glands.
- H. L. Mencken
Whenever a husband and wife begin to discuss their marriage they are giving evidence at a coroner's inquest.
- H. L. Mencken
Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.
- H. L. Mencken

Quotes Categories