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H. L. Mencken Quotes (241 Quotes)


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  • 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)

  • Platitude: an idea (a) that is admitted to be true by everyone, and (b) that is not true.
    (H. L. Mencken)

  • When women kiss it always reminds one of prize fighters shaking hands.
    (H. L. Mencken)

  • We must be willing to pay a price for freedom.
    (H. L. Mencken)

  • The cure for the evils of democracy is more democracy.
    (H. L. Mencken)


  • My guess is that well over 80 percent of the human race goes through life without having a single original thought.
    (H. L. Mencken)

  • There are two kinds of books those that no one reads and those that no one ought to read.
    (H. L. Mencken)

  • Legend: A lie that has attained the dignity of age.
    (H. L. Mencken)

  • 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)

  • The average man does not get pleasure out of an idea because he thinks it is true he thinks it is true because he gets pleasure out of it.
    (H. L. Mencken)

  • The common argument that crime is caused by poverty is a kind of slander on the poor.
    (H. L. Mencken)

  • Opera in English is, in the main, just about as sensible as baseball in Italian.
    (H. L. Mencken)

  • No man is genuinely happy, married, who has to drink worse gin than he used to drink when he was single.
    (H. L. Mencken)

  • Love is the delusion that one woman differs from another.
    (H. L. Mencken)

  • Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.
    (H. L. Mencken)


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