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H. L. Mencken Quotes

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H. L. Mencken
September 12, 1880 - January 29, 1956
Nationality: American
Category: Writer
Subcategory: American Writer

There is a saying in Baltimore that crabs may be prepared in fifty ways and that all of them are good.


It is hard for the ape to believe he descended from man.


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


The worst government is often the most moral. One composed of cynics is often very tolerant and humane. But when fanatics are on top there is no limit to oppression.


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.


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


It is not materialism that is the chief curse of the world, as pastors teach, but idealism. Men get into trouble by taking their visions and hallucinations too seriously.


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.


Most people want security in this world, not liberty.


Giving every man a vote has no more made men wise and free than Christianity has made them good.


To be in love is merely to be in a state of perceptual anesthesia - to mistake an ordinary young woman for a goddess.


Nine times out of ten, in the arts as in life, there is actually no truth to be discovered; there is only error to be exposed.


Every man is his own hell.


Love is the delusion that one woman differs from another.


Life is a dead-end street.


Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable.


The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.


A Sunday school is a prison in which children do penance for the evil conscience of their parents.


I never smoked a cigarette until I was nine.


Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.


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