Document: All > Quotations > [M] > H L Mencken
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"Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy."
"A judge is a law student who marks his own examination papers."
"An idealist is one who, on noticing that roses smell better than
a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup."
"Conscience is the inner voice that warns us that someone might be looking."
"We are here and it is now. Further than that all human knowledge is
"I never lecture, not because I am shy or a bad speaker, but simply
because I detest the sort of people who go to lectures and don't want to
"It is impossible to imagine Goethe or Beethoven being good at billiards
"The penalty for laughing in a courtroom is six months in jail; if it
were not for this penalty, the jury would never hear the evidence."
"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and
deserve to get it good and hard."
"Unquestionably, there is progress. The average American now pays out
twice as much in taxes as he formerly got in wages."
"Nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American
"The older I grow the more I distrust the familiar doctrine that age
"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."
"I believe that all government is evil, and that trying to improve it is
largely a waste of time."
"A celebrity is one who is known to many persons he is glad he doesn't know."
"Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying
to prove that the other party is unfit to rule - and both commonly
succeed, and are right."
"The capacity of human beings to bore one another seems to be vastly
greater than that of any other animal."
"It is even harder for the average ape to believe that he has descended from man."
"All men are frauds. The only difference between them is that some admit it. I myself deny it."
"The chief value of money lies in the fact that one lives in a world in which it is overestimated."