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 :: 1880-1956, American Editor, Author, Critic, Humorist

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A celebrity is one who is known to many persons he is glad he doesn't know.
~ H. L. Mencken - [Fame]

 

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A church is a place in which gentlemen who have never been to heaven brag about it to persons who will never get there.
~ H. L. Mencken - [Churches]

 

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A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin.
~ H. L. Mencken - [Cynics and Cynicism]

 

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A gentlemen is one who never strikes a woman without provocation.
~ H. L. Mencken - [Gentlemen]

 

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A good politician is quite as unthinkable as an honest burglar.
~ H. L. Mencken - [Politicians and Politics]

 

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A judge is a law student who grades his own papers.
~ H. L. Mencken - [Law and Lawyers]

 

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A man's women folk, whatever their outward show of respect for his merit and authority, always regard him secretly as an ass, and with something akin to pity. His most gaudy sayings and doings seldom deceive them; they see the actual man within, and know him for a shallow and pathetic fellow. In this fact, perhaps, lies one of the best proofs of feminine intelligence, or, as the common phrase makes it, feminine intuition.
~ H. L. Mencken - [Men and Women]

 

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A metaphysician is one who, when you remark that twice two makes four, demands to know what you mean by twice, what by two, what by makes, and what by four. For asking such questions metaphysicians are supported in oriental luxury in the universities, and respected as educated and intelligent men.
~ H. L. Mencken - [Metaphysics]

 

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A nun, at best, is only half a woman, just as a priest is only half a man.
~ H. L. Mencken - [Nuns]

 

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

 

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A society made up of individuals who were all capable of original thought would probably be unendurable.
~ H. L. Mencken - [Originality]

 

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Adultery is the application of democracy to love.
~ H. L. Mencken - [Adultery]

 

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After all, all he did was string together a lot of old, well-known quotations.
~ H. L. Mencken - [Quotations]

 

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

 

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An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it is also more nourishing.
~ H. L. Mencken - [Ideals and Idealism]

 

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

 

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As the arteries grow hard, the heart grows soft.
~ H. L. Mencken - [Heart]

 

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Bachelors have consciences, married men have wives.
~ H. L. Mencken - [Bachelor]

 

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

 

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Before a man speaks, it is always safe to assume that he is a fool. After he speaks it is seldom necessary to assume.
~ H. L. Mencken - [Speakers and Speaking]

 

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