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H. L. Mencken Quotes
  1. A celebrity is one who is known to many persons he is glad he doesn't know.
  2. A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin.
  3. A home is not a mere transient shelter: its essence lies in the personalities of the people who live in it.
  4. A judge is a law student who marks his own examination papers.
  5. A poet more than thirty years old is simply an overgrown child.
  6. All men are frauds. The only difference between them is that some admit it. I myself deny it.
  7. All successful newspapers are ceaselessly querulous and bellicose. They never defend anyone or anything if they can help it; if the job is forced on them, they tackle it by denouncing someone or something else.
  8. 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.
  9. An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup.
  10. Any man who afflicts the human race with ideas must be prepared to see them misunderstood.
  11. Conscience is a mother-in-law whose visit never ends.
  12. Conscience is the inner voice that warns us somebody may be looking.
  13. Criticism is prejudice made plausible.
  14. Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.
  15. Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under.
  16. Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats.
  17. Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable.
  18. For centuries, theologians have been explaining the unknowable in terms of the-not-worth-knowing.
  19. 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.
  20. Giving every man a vote has no more made men wise and free than Christianity has made them good.
  21. I believe that all government is evil, and that trying to improve it is largely a waste of time.
  22. 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.
  23. In the United States, doing good has come to be, like patriotism, a favorite device of persons with something to sell.
  24. Injustice is relatively easy to bear; what stings is justice.
  25. It is even harder for the average ape to believe that he has descended from man.
  26. 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.
  27. It is impossible to imagine Goethe or Beethoven being good at billiards or golf.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. It is the dull man who is always sure, and the sure man who is always dull.