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Top 500 H. L. Mencken Quotes (2023 Update)
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H. L. Mencken Quote: “Fame: an embalmer trembling with stage fright.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “The law is a sort of hocus-pocus science that smiles in your face while it picks your pocket.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “The only good bureaucrat is one with a pistol at his head. Put it in his hand and it’s good-by to the Bill of Rights.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “What restrains us from killing is partly fear of punishment, partly moral scruple, and partly what may be described as a sense of humor.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “On the one hand, we may tell the truth, regardless of consequences, and on the other hand we may mellow it and sophisticate it to make it humane and tolerable.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “The learned are seldom pretty fellows, and in many cases their appearance tends to discourage a love of study in the young.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “There is a saying in Baltimore that crabs may be prepared in fifty ways and that all of them are good.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “The Christian always swears a bloody oath that he will never do it again. The civilized man simply resolves to be a bit more careful next time.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “Morality is nothing but a struggle for safety.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “Unquestionably, there is progress. The average American now pays out twice as much in taxes as he formerly got in wages.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “It is almost impossible for an Anglo-Saxon to write of sex without being dirty.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “If a sense of duty tortures a man, it also enables him to achieve prodigies.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “Debussy – A pretty girl with one blue eye and one brown one.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “The objection of the scandalmonger is not that she tells of racy doings, but that she pretends to be indignant about them.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “Richard Strauss – Old Home Week in Gomorrah.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “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.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “All I ask is equal freedom. When it is denied, as it always is, I take it anyhow.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “The effort to reconcile science and religion is almost always made, not by theologians, but by scientists unable to shake off altogether the piety absorbed with their mother’s milk.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “Any man who, having a child or children he can’t support, proceeds to have another should be sterilized at once.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “The average schoolmaster is, and always must be, an ass.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “The theory seems to be that as long as a man is a failure he is one of God’s children, but that as soon as he succeeds he is taken over by the Devil.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “I believe that any man who takes the liberty of another into his keeping is bound to become a tyrant, and that any man who yields up his liberty, in however slight the measure, is bound to become a slave.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “It takes no more actual sagacity to carry on the everyday hawking and haggling of the world, or to ladle out its normal doses of bad medicine and worse law, than it takes to operate a taxicab or fry a pan of fish.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “When I hear artists or authors making fun of businessmen, I think of a regiment in which the band makes fun of the cooks.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “We suffer most when the White House busts with ideas.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “During many a single week, I daresay, more money is spent in New York upon useless and evil things than would suffice to run the kingdom of Denmark for a year.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “Congress consists of one-third, more or less, scoundrels; two-thirds, more or less, idiots; and three-thirds, more or less, poltroons.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “Liberty and democracy are eternal enemies, and every one knows it who has ever given any sober reflection to the matter.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “The State is not force alone. It depends upon the credulity of man quite as much as upon his docility. Its aim is not merely to make him obey, but also to make him want to obey.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “Conscience is the accumulated sediment of ancestral faint- heartedness.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “I never smoked a cigarette until I was nine.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “Each party steals so many articles of faith from the other, and the candidates spend so much time making each other’s speeches, that by the time election day is past there is nothing much to do save turn the sitting rascals out and let a new gang in.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “The intelligent, like the unintelligent, are responsive to propaganda.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “Writing books is certainly a most unpleasant occupation. It is lonesome, unsanitary, and maddening. Many authors go crazy.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “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.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “A man who is an agnostic by inheritance, so that he doesn’t remember any time that he wasn’t, has almost no hatred for the religious.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “So few men are really worth knowing, that it seems a shameful waste to let an anthropoid prejudice stand in the way of free association with one who is.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “No normal man ever fell in love after thirty when the kidneys begin to disintegrate.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “Sunday: A day given over by Americans to wishing that they themselves were dead and in Heaven, and that their neighbors were dead and in Hell.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “A man is called a good fellow for doing things which, if done by a woman, would land her in a lunatic asylum.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “Socialism: nothing more than the theory that the slave is always more virtuous than his master.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “The capacity of human beings to bore one another seems to be vastly greater than that of any other animal.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “The function of a newspaper in a democracy is to stand as a sort of chronic opposition to the reigning quacks. The minute it begins to out-whoop them it forfeits its character and becomes ridiculous.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “A poet over 30 is pathetic.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “It is more blessed to give than receive; for example, wedding presents.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “One may no more live in the world without picking up the moral prejudices of the world than one will be able to go to hell without perspiring.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “No man of honor ever quite lives up to his code, any more than a moral man manages to avoid sin.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “Love begins like a triolet and ends like a college yell.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “Why do men delight in work? Fundamentally, I suppose, because there is a sense of relief and pleasure in getting something done – a kind of satisfaction not unlike that which a hen enjoys on laying an egg.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “Next to the semi-colon, quotation marks seem to be the chief butts of reformatory ardor.”
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