H L Mencken
[quotations, quotes]
Henry Louis Mencken

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Henry Louis Mencken
Quotations & Quotes

H L Mencken ( Henry Louis Mencken ) and George Jean Nathan, his co-editor at The Smart Set, were well known for the numerous short epigrams that were a fixture of that magazine. The sayings were so popular they were featured in movie theaters as trailers before the main feature started. He remains ever quoteable. Here is a selection of delightful and wise quotations and quotes attributable to Mencken:-

I believe it is better to tell the truth than to lie. I believe that it is better to be free than to be a slave. And I believe that it is better to know than to be ignorant.


Conscience is the inner voice that warns us that someone may be looking.


Puritanism - The haunting fear that someone, somewhere may be happy.


Truth - Something somehow discreditable to someone.


A newspaper is a device for making the ignorant more ignorant and the crazy crazier.


No one in this world, so far as I know ... has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people.


Injustice is relatively easy to bear; what stings is justice.


Every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods.


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.


I believe that all government is evil, and that trying to improve it is largely a waste of time.


The men American people admire most extravagantly are the most daring liars; the men they detest most violently are those who try and tell them the truth .


Lawyer - One who protects us from robbers by taking away the temptation.


A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin.


For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong.


A man's women folk, whatever their outward show of respect for his merit and authority, always regard him secretly as an ass, and with something akin to pity. His most gaudy sayings and doings seldom deceive them; they see the actual man within, and know him for a shallow and pathetic fellow. In this fact, perhaps, lies one of the best proofs of feminine intelligence, or, as the common phase makes it, feminine intuition.


Suicide is a belated acquiescence in the opinion of one's wife's relatives.


Love is the triumph of imagination over intelligence.


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.


Life may not be exactly pleasant, but it is at least not dull. Heave yourself into Hell today, and you may miss, tomorrow or next day, another Scopes trial, or another War to End War, or perchance a rich and buxom widow with all her first husband's clothes. There are always more Hardings hatching. I advocate hanging on as long as possible.


The older I grow, the more I distrust the familiar doctrine that age brings wisdom.


Well, I tell you, if I have been wrong in my agnosticism, when I die I'll walk up to God in a manly way and say, Sir, I made an honest mistake.


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