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A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers,
by H. L. Mencken

A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers,
looks around for a coffin.
- H. L. Mencken

Related topics: Cynical

We must respect the other fellow's religion,
but only in the sense and to the extent
that we respect his theory that
his wife is beautiful and his children smart.
- 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

Legend: A lie that has attained the dignity of age.
- H. L. Mencken

 

It takes a long while for a naturally trustful person
to reconcile himself to the idea that
after all God will not help him
- H. L. Mencken

Conscience is a mother-in-law whose visit never ends.
- H. L. Mencken

The urge to save humanity is almost always
a false front for the urge to rule.
- H. L. Mencken

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Love is the delusion that one woman differs from another.
- H. L. Mencken

The worst government is often the most moral.
One composed of cynics is often very tolerant and humane.
But when fanatics are on top there is no limit to oppression.
- H. L. Mencken

The older I grow the more I distrust the familiar doctrine that age brings wisdom.
- H. L. Mencken

Love is like war: easy to begin but very hard to stop.
- H. L. Mencken

Love is the triumph of imagination over intelligence.
- H. L. Mencken

Men have a much better time of it than women.
For one thing, they marry later; for another thing,
they die earlier.
- H. L. Mencken

Bachelors know more about women than married men;
if they didn't they'd be married too.
- H. L. Mencken

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

It is impossible to imagine the universe run by a wise,
just and omnipotent God, but it is quite easy to imagine
it run by a board of gods.
- H. L. Mencken

Strike an average between what a woman thinks of her husband
a month before she marries him
and what she thinks of him a year afterward,
and you will have the truth about him.
- H. L. Mencken

War will never cease until babies begin to come into
the world with larger cerebrums and smaller adrenal glands.
- H. L. Mencken

For every complex problem,
there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong.
- H.L. Mencken

For centuries, theologians have been explaining
the unknowable in terms of the-not-worth-knowing.
- H. L. Mencken

Life is a constant oscillation
between the sharp horns of dilemmas.
- H. L. Mencken

Puritanism. The haunting fear that
someone, somewhere, may be happy.
- H. L. Mencken

Criticism is prejudice made plausible.
- H. L. Mencken

Happiness is the china shop; love is the bull.
- H. L. Mencken

The believing mind is eternally impervious to evidence.
- H. L. Mencken

Marriage is a wonderful institution,
but who would want to live in an institution?
- H. L. Mencken

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.
- H. L. Mencken

Nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public.
- H. L. Mencken

Morality is the theory that every human act
must be either right or wrong,
and that 99 % of them are wrong.
- 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

Democracy is the art and science of running the circus from the monkey cage.
- H. L. Mencken

Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief
in the occurrence of the improbable.
- H. L. Mencken

A good politician is quite as unthinkable as an honest burglar.
- H. L. Mencken

Historian: an unsuccessful novelist.
- H. L. Mencken

The objection to Puritans is not that
they try to make us think as they do,
but that they try to make us do as they think.
- H. L. Mencken

If a politician found he had cannibals among his constituents,
he would promise them missionaries for dinner.
- H. L. Mencken

Unquestionably, there is progress.
The average American now pays out twice as much in
taxes as he formerly got in wages.
- H. L. Mencken

Conscience is the inner voice that warns us that someone might be looking.
- H. L. Mencken

I write in order to attain that feeling of tension
relieved and function achieved which a cow enjoys on giving milk.
- H. L. Mencken

What men value in this world is not rights but privileges.
- H. L. Mencken

Democracy is also a form of worship.
It is the worship of Jackals by Jackasses.
- H. L. Mencken

Most people want security in this world,
not liberty.
- H. L. Mencken

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

A newspaper is a device for making the ignorant more
ignorant and the crazy crazier.
- H. L. Mencken

Giving every man a vote has no more made men wise and
free than Christianity has made them good.
- H. L. Mencken

I confess I enjoy democracy immensely.
It is incomparably idiotic, and hence incomparably amusing.
- H. L. Mencken

A prohibitionist is the sort of man one couldn't care to drink with,
even if he drank.
- H. L. Mencken

Love is an emotion that is based on an opinion of women
that is impossible for those who have had any experience with them.
- H. L. Mencken

If, after I depart this vale, you ever remember me
and have thought to please my ghost,
forgive some sinner and wink your eye at some homely girl.
- H. L. Mencken

I never smoked a cigarette until I was nine.
- H. L. Mencken

A national political campaign is better than the best circus ever heard of,
with a mass baptism and a couple of hangings thrown in.
- H. L. Mencken

No man ever quite believes in any other man.
One may believe in an idea absolutely,
but not in a man.
- H. L. Mencken

It is hard to believe that a man is telling the truth
when you know that you would lie if you were in his place.
- H. L. Mencken

It doesn't take a majority to make a rebellion;
it takes only a few determined leaders and a sound cause.
- H. L. Mencken

There is always an easy solution to every problem -
neat,
plausible, and wrong.
- H. L. Mencken

Alimony - the ransom that the happy pay to the devil.
- H. L. Mencken

There is a saying in Baltimore that crabs may be prepared
in fifty ways and that all of them are good.
- H. L. Mencken

In war the heroes always outnumber the soldiers ten to one.
- H. L. Mencken

Time stays, we go.
- H. L. Mencken

One may no more live in the world without picking up
the moral prejudices of the world than one will be
able to go to hell without perspiring.
- H. L. Mencken

Theology is the effort to explain the unknowable in
terms of the not worth knowing.
- H. L. Mencken

A judge is a law student who marks his own examination papers.
- H. L. Mencken

A professor must have a theory as a dog must have fleas.
- H. L. Mencken

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.
- H. L. Mencken

As the arteries grow hard, the heart grows soft.
- H. L. Mencken

There are men so philosophical that they can see humor in their own toothaches.
But there has never lived a man so philosophical that
he could see the toothache in his own humor.
- H. L. Mencken

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

Don't overestimate the decency of the human race.
- H. L. Mencken

It is not materialism that is the chief curse of the world,
as pastors teach, but idealism.
Men get into trouble by taking their visions and hallucinations too seriously.
- H. L. Mencken

Archbishop - A Christian ecclesiastic of a rank superior
to that attained by Christ.
- H. L. Mencken


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