Henry Louis Mencken 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.
On Some Great And Glorious Day The Plain Folks Of The Land Will Reach Their Heart's Desire At Last, And The White House Will Be Adorned By A Downright Moron.
Man Is Always Looking For Someone To Boast To; Woman Is Always Looking For A Shoulder To Put Her Head On.
It Is Inaccurate To Say That I Hate Everything. I Am Strongly In Favor Of Common Sense, Common Honesty, And Common Decency. This Makes Me Forever Ineligible For Public Office.
The Capacity Of Human Beings To Bore One Another Seems To Be Vastly Greater Than That Of Any Other Animal.
The Only Really Happy Folk Are Married Women And Single Men.
The Most Costly Of All Follies Is To Believe Passionately In The Palpably Not True. It Is The Chief Occupation Of Mankind.
When Women Kiss It Always Reminds One Of Prize Fighters Shaking Hands.
War Will Never Cease Until Babies Begin To Come Into The World With Larger Cerebrums And Smaller Adrenal Glands.
I Go On Working For The Same Reason That A Hen Goes On Laying Eggs.
A Prohibitionist Is The Sort Of Man One Couldn't Care To Drink With, Even If He Drank.
Archbishop - A Christian Ecclesiastic Of A Rank Superior To That Attained By Christ.
Alimony - The Ransom That The Happy Pay To The Devil.
We Must Be Willing To Pay A Price For Freedom.
It Doesn't Take A Majority To Make A Rebellion; It Takes Only A Few Determined Leaders And A Sound Cause.
Let's Not Burn The Universities Yet. After All, The Damage They Do Might Be Worse.
Life Is A Dead-end Street.
Self-respect: The Secure Feeling That No One, As Yet, Is Suspicious.
I Believe In Only One Thing: Liberty; But I Do Not Believe In Liberty Enough To Want To Force It Upon Anyone.
Man Weeps To Think That He Will Die So Soon; Woman, That She Was Born So Long Ago.
A Good Politician Is Quite As Unthinkable As An Honest Burglar.
Morality Is The Theory That Every Human Act Must Be Either Right Or Wrong, And That 99 % Of Them Are Wrong.
Temptation Is A Woman's Weapon And Man's Excuse.
Bachelors Know More About Women Than Married Men; If They Didn't They'd Be Married Too.
No Matter How Long He Lives, No Man Ever Becomes As Wise As The Average Woman Of Forty-eight.
I Write In Order To Attain That Feeling Of Tension Relieved And Function Achieved Which A Cow Enjoys On Giving Milk.
Injustice Is Relatively Easy To Bear; What Stings Is Justice.
No Matter How Happily A Woman May Be Married, It Always Pleases Her To Discover That There Is A Nice Man Who Wishes That She Were Not.
A Politician Is An Animal Which Can Sit On A Fence And Yet Keep Both Ears To The Ground.
Whenever You Hear A Man Speak Of His Love For His Country, It Is A Sign That He Expects To Be Paid For It.
There Is A Saying In Baltimore That Crabs May Be Prepared In Fifty Ways And That All Of Them Are Good.
The Chief Contribution Of Protestantism To Human Thought Is Its Massive Proof That God Is A Bore.
Poetry Has Done Enough When It Charms, But Prose Must Also Convince.
One Of The Most Mawkish Of Human Delusions Is The Notion That Friendship Should Be Eternal, Or, At All Events, Life-long, And That Any Act Which Puts A Term To It Is Somehow Discreditable.
In War The Heroes Always Outnumber The Soldiers Ten To One.
The One Permanent Emotion Of The Inferior Man Is Fear - Fear Of The Unknown, The Complex, The Inexplicable. What He Wants Above Everything Else Is Safety.
Historian: An Unsuccessful Novelist.
I Hate All Sports As Rabidly As A Person Who Likes Sports Hates Common Sense.
Theology Is The Effort To Explain The Unknowable In Terms Of The Not Worth Knowing.
All Government, Of Course, Is Against Liberty.
Democracy Is Also A Form Of Worship. It Is The Worship Of Jackals By Jackasses.
A Society Made Up Of Individuals Who Were All Capable Of Original Thought Would Probably Be Unendurable.
Opera In English Is, In The Main, Just About As Sensible As Baseball In Italian.
Adultery Is The Application Of Democracy To Love.
The Opera Is To Music What A Bawdy House Is To A Cathedral.
Husbands Never Become Good; They Merely Become Proficient.
Criticism Is Prejudice Made Plausible.
Every Man Is His Own Hell.
Giving Every Man A Vote Has No More Made Men Wise And Free Than Christianity Has Made Them Good.
Judge: A Law Student Who Marks His Own Examination-papers.
A Man Always Remembers His First Love With Special Tenderness, But After That He Begins To Bunch Them.