H. L. Mencken Sayings and Quotes

Below you will find our collection of inspirational, wise, and humorous old h. l. mencken quotes, h. l. mencken sayings, and h. l. mencken proverbs, collected over the years from a variety of sources.


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

H. L. Mencken

Women have simple tastes. They get pleasure out of the conversation of children in arms and men in love.     

H. L. Mencken

Every man sees in his relatives, and especially in his cousins, a series of grotesque caricatures of himself.     

H. L. Mencken

Love is the triumph of imagination over intelligence.     

H. L. Mencken

Equality before the law is probably forever unattainable. It is a noble ideal, but it can never be realized, for what men value in this world is not rights but privileges.     

H. L. Mencken

There are two kinds of books. Those that no one reads and those that no one ought to read.     

H. L. Mencken

Economic independence is the foundation of the only sort of freedom worth a damn.     

H. L. Mencken

The only cure for contempt is counter-contempt.     

H. L. Mencken

Lying is not only excusable; it is not only innocent; it is, above all, necessary and unavoidable. Without the ameliorations that it offers, life would become a mere syllogism and hence too metallic to be borne.     

H. L. Mencken

Human progress is furthered, not by conformity, but by aberration.     

H. L. Mencken

The theatre, when all is said and done, is not life in miniature, but life enormously magnified, life hideously exaggerated.     

H. L. Mencken

Adultery is the application of democracy to love.     

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

Love is the triumph of imagination over intelligence.     

H. L. Mencken

Husbands never become good; they merely become proficient.     

H. L. Mencken

Injustice is relatively easy to bear; what sting is justice.     

H. L. Mencken

The men the American people admire most extravagantly are the most daring liars; the men they detest most violently are those who try to tell them the truth.     

H. L. Mencken

When I mount the scaffold at last these will be my farewell words to the sheriff: Say what you will against me when I am gone, but don't forget to add, in common justice, that I was never converted to anything.     

H. L. Mencken

Whenever a husband and wife begin to discuss their marriage they are giving evidence at a coroner's inquest.     

H. L. Mencken

Liberty and democracy are eternal enemies, and every one knows it who has ever given any sober reflection to the matter.     

H. L. Mencken

The double standard of morality will survive in this world so long as the woman whose husband has been lured away is favoured with the sympathetic tears of other women, and a man whose wife has made off is laughed at by other men.     

H. L. Mencken

School days, I believe, are the unhappiest in the whole span of human existence.     

H. L. Mencken

It is hard for the ape to believe he descended from man.     

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

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

H. L. Mencken

The best teacher is not the one who knows most but the one who is most capable of reducing knowledge to that simple compound of the obvious and wonderful.     

H. L. Mencken

There is always an easy solution to every problem neat, plausible, and wrong.     

H. L. Mencken

In war the heroes always outnumber the soldiers ten to one.     

H. L. Mencken

Popularity--The capacity for listening sympathetically when men boast of their wives and women complain of their husbands.     

H. L. Mencken

In Baltimore, soft crabs are always fried (or broiled) in the altogether, with maybe a small jock-strap of bacon added.     

H. L. Mencken