H. L. Mencken

H. L. Mencken

Henry Louis Mencken (September 12, 1880 – January 29, 1956) was an American journalist, satirist, cultural critic and 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.

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Love is like war: easy to begin but very hard to stop.

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

For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple and wrong.

I hate all sports as rabidly as a person who likes sports hates common sense.

Conscience is a mother-in-law whose visit never ends.

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.

The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out... without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane, intolerable.

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

A church is a place in which gentlemen who have never been to heaven brag about it to persons who will never get there.

Women have simple tastes. They get pleasure out of the conversation, of children in arms, and men in love.

Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance.

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

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.

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

A professor must have a theory as a dog must have fleas.

Self-respect: the secure feeling that no one as yet is suspicious.

Democracy is only a dream: it should be put in the same category as Arcadia, Santa Claus and Heaven.

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.

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.

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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