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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Before a man speaks it is always safe to assume that he is a fool. After he speaks it is seldom necessary to assume it.

Strike an average between what a woman thinks of her husband a month before she marries him and what she thinks of him a year afterward and you will have the truth about him.

There are men so philosophical that they can see humor in their own toothaches. But there has never lived a man so philosophical that he could see the toothache in his own humor.

A bad man is the sort who weeps every time he speaks of a good woman.

Unquestionably there is progress. The average American now pays out twice as much in taxes as he formerly got in wages.

If a politician found he had cannibals among his constituents he would promise them missionaries for dinner.

Historian: an unsuccessful novelist.

Whenever you hear a man speak of his love for his country it is a sign that he expects to be paid for it.

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.

Temptation is an irresistible force at work on a movable body.

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.

Life is a dead-end street.

Man is always looking for someone to boast to, woman is always looking for a shoulder to put her head on.

For centuries theologians have been explaining the unknowable in terms of the-not-worth-knowing.

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

It is even harder for the average ape to believe that he has descended from man.

War will never cease until babies begin to come into the world with larger cerebrums and smaller adrenal glands.

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.

No matter how long he lives no man ever becomes as wise as the average woman of forty-eight.

Say what you will about the ten commandments you must always come back to the pleasant fact that there are only ten of them.

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