H. L. Mencken Quotes

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. He commented widely on the social scene, literature, music, prominent politicians and contemporary movements. His satirical reporting on the Scopes trial, which he dubbed the "Monkey Trial", also gained him attention.

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H. L. Mencken


Love is like war: easy to begin but very hard to stop.

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.

H. L. Mencken


I believe that it is better to tell the truth than a lie. I believe it is better to be free than to be a slave. And I believe it is better to know than to be ignorant.

H. L. Mencken


In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican.

H. L. Mencken


Love is the triumph of imagination over intelligence.

H. L. Mencken


Nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public.

H. L. Mencken


Marriage is a wonderful institution, but who would want to live in an institution?

H. L. Mencken


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

H. L. Mencken


Democracy is the art and science of running the circus from the monkey cage.

H. L. Mencken


A man may be a fool and not know it, but not if he is married.

H. L. Mencken


The only really happy folk are married women and single men.

H. L. Mencken


Honor is simply the morality of superior men.

H. L. Mencken


We must be willing to pay a price for freedom.

H. L. Mencken


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


An idealist is one who, on noticing that roses smell better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup.

H. L. Mencken