Top 100

Top 500 H. L. Mencken Quotes (2023 Update)
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H. L. Mencken Quote: “Puccini – silver macaroni, exquisitely tangled.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “If the American people really tire of democracy and want to make a trial of Fascism, I shall be the last person to object. But if that is their mood, then they had better proceed toward their aim by changing the Constitution and not by forgetting it.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “The common notion that free speech prevails in the United States always makes me laugh.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “I believe that religion, generally speaking, has been a curse to mankind.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “The penalty for laughing in a courtroom is six months in jail; if it were not for this penalty, the jury would never hear the evidence.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “The average schoolmaster is and always must be essentially an ass, for how can one imagine an intelligent man engaging in so puerile an avocation.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “The fact that a human brain of high amperage, otherwise highly efficient, may have a hole in it is surely not a secret.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “Taxation, for example, is eternally lively; it concerns nine-tenths of us more directly than either smallpox or golf, and has just as much drama in it; moreover, it has been mellowed and made gay by as many gaudy, preposterous theories.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “Every failure teaches a man something, to wit, that he will probably fail again.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “The Catholic clergy seldom bother to make their arguments plausible; it is plain that they have little respect for human intelligence, and indeed little belief in its existence.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “There are no mute, inglorious Miltons, save in the hallucinations of poets. The one sound test of a Milton is that he functions as a Milton.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “Only a jackass ever talks over his affairs with a woman, whether she be his sweetheart, wife, or sister, or mother.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “All the benefit that a New Yorker gets out of Kansas is no more than what he might get out of Saskatchewan, the Argentine pampas, of Siberia. But New York to a Kansan is not only a place where he may get drunk, look at dirty shows and buy bogus antiques; it is also a place where he may enforce his dunghill ideas upon his betters.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “Perhaps the most revolting character that the United States ever produced was the Christian Businessman.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “When a private citizen is robbed, a worthy man is deprived of the fruits of his industry and thrift; when the government is robbed, the worst that happens is that certain rogues and loafers have less money to play with than they had before.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “Capitalism under democracy has a further advantage: its enemies, even when it is attacked, are scattered and weak, and it is usually easily able to array one half of them against the other half, and thus dispose of both.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “Lying is not only excusable; it is not only innocent; it is, above all, necessary and unavoidable. Without the ameliorations that it offers, life would become a mere syllogism and hence too metallic to be borne.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “What is the professor’s function? To pass on to numskulls a body of so-called knowledge that is fragmentary, unimportant, and largely untrue.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “Not by accident, you may be sure, do the Christian Scriptures make the father of knowledge a serpent – slimy, sneaking and abominable.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “Government is actually the worst failure of civilized man.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “Let no one mistake it for comedy, farcical though it may be in all its details. It serves notice on the country that Neanderthal man is organizing in these forlorn backwaters of the land, led by a fanatic, rid of sense and devoid of conscience.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “The way to deal with superstition is not to be polite to it, but to tackle it with all arms, and so rout it, cripple it, and make it forever infamous and ridiculous.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “A woman usually respects her father, but her view of her husband is mingled with contempt, for she is of course privy to the transparent devices by which she snared him.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “Genius: the ability to prolong one’s childhood.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “The Old Testament, as everyone who has looked into it is aware, drips with blood; there is, indeed, no more bloody chronicle in all the literature of the world.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “The only guarantee of the Bill of Rights which continues to have any force and effect is the one prohibiting quartering troops on citizens in time of peace. All the rest have been disposed of by judicial interpretation and legislative whittling.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “The scent of frying astronomers long ago ceased to ascend to Yahweh.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “Why writers write I do not know. As well ask why a hen lays an egg or why a cow stands patiently while an underprivileged farmer burglarizes her.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “Living with a dog is easy- like living with an idealist.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “Richard Strauss – Old Home Week in Gomorrah.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “Liberals have many tails and chase them all.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “The net effect of Clarence Darrow’s great speech yesterday seemed to be precisely the same as if he had bawled it up a rainspout in the interior of Afghanistan.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “The life of man in this world is like the life of a fly in a room filled with 100 boys, each armed with a fly-swatter.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “The only way to reconcile science and religion is to set up something which is not science and something that is not religion.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “Psychotherapy is the theory that the patient will probably get well anyhow and is certainly a damn fool.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “The great difficulty about keeping the Ten Commandments is that no man can keep them and be a gentleman.”
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: “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: “Whatever the label on the parties, or the war cries issuing from the demagogues who lead them, the practical choice is between the plutocracy on the one side and a rabble of preposterous impossibilists on the other.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “Some boys go to college and eventually succeed in getting out. Others go to college and never succeed in getting out. The latter are called professors.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “Lawyer: one who protects us against robbery by taking away the temptation.”
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: “Men are the only animals that devote themselves, day in and day out, to making one another unhappy. It is an art like any other. Its virtuosi are called altruists.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “The worst government is the most moral.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “If experience teaches us anything at all, it teaches us this: that a good politician, under democracy, is quite as unthinkable as an honest burglar.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “Balloonists have an unsurpassed view of the scenery, but there is always the possibility that it may collide with them.”
H. L. Mencken Quote: “No matter how much a woman loved a man, it would still give her a glow to see him commit suicide for her.”
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: “Why assume so glibly that the God who presumably created the universe is still running it? It is certainly conceivable that He may have finished it and then turned it over to lesser gods to operate.”
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