H(enry) L(ouis) Mencken

… essayist and editor, was born on September 12th in 1880.

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 …
  • It is impossible to imagine Goethe or Beethoven being good at billiards or golf.
  • Courtroom — A place where Jesus Christ and Judas Iscariot would be equals, with the betting odds in favor of Judas.
  • Injustice is relatively easy to bear; what stings is justice.
  • A judge is a law student who marks his own examination papers.
  • It is even harder for the average ape to believe that he has descended from man.
  • The first kiss is stolen by the man; the last is begged by the woman.
  • The only really happy folk are married women and single men.
  • It is now quite lawful for a Catholic woman to avoid pregnancy by a resort to mathematics, though she is still forbidden to resort to physics or chemistry.
  • Say what you will about the Ten Commandments, you must always come back to the pleasant fact that there are only ten of them.
  • No one in this world, so far as I know — and I have researched the records for years, and employed agents to help me — has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people. Nor has anyone ever lost public office thereby.
  • Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under.
  • I believe in only one thing: liberty; but I do not believe in liberty enough to want to force it upon anyone.
  • 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.