Quotations by Author

H. L. Mencken (1880 - 1956)
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Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.
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H. L. Mencken
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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H. L. Mencken
The capacity of human beings to bore one another seems to be vastly greater than that of any other animal.
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H. L. Mencken
The chief value of money lies in the fact that one lives in a world in which it is overestimated.
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H. L. Mencken
The demagogue is one who preaches doctrines he knows to be untrue to men he knows to be idiots.
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H. L. Mencken
The government consists of a gang of men exactly like you and me. They have, taking one with another, no special talent for the business of government; they have only a talent for getting and holding office.
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H. L. Mencken
The men the American people admire most extravagantly are the most daring liars; the men they detest most violently are those who try to tell them the truth.
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H. L. Mencken
The men the American public admire most extravagantly are the most daring liars; the men they detest most violently are those who try to tell them the truth.
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H. L. Mencken
The most common of all follies is to believe passionately in the palpably not true. It is the chief occupation of mankind.
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H. L. Mencken
The older I grow the more I distrust the familiar doctrine that age brings wisdom.
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H. L. Mencken
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.
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H. L. Mencken
The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
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H. L. Mencken
The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.
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H. L. Mencken
The world always makes the assumption that the exposure of an error is identical with the discovery of truth--that the error and truth are simply opposite. They are nothing of the sort. What the world turns to, when it is cured of one error, is usually simply another error, and maybe one worse than the first one.
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H. L. Mencken
To die for an idea; it is unquestionably noble. But how much nobler it would be if men died for ideas that were true!
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H. L. Mencken
Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule - and both commonly succeed, and are right.
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H. L. Mencken
Unquestionably, there is progress. The average American now pays out twice as much in taxes as he formerly got in wages.
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H. L. Mencken
We are here and it is now. Further than that all human knowledge is moonshine.
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H. L. Mencken
What the meaning of human life may be I don't know: I incline to suspect that it has none.
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H. L. Mencken
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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H. L. Mencken, 'Prejudices: Fourth Series,' 1924
Showing quotations 41 to 60 of 65 total.
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