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

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

 

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Conscience is the inner voice which warns us that someone may be looking.
~ H. L. Mencken - [Conscience]

 

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Criticism is prejudice made plausible.
~ H. L. Mencken - [Critics and Criticism]

 

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Democracy is also a form of religion. It is the worship of jackals by jackasses.
~ H. L. Mencken - [Democracy]

 

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Democracy is the theory that the common people know what They want, and deserve to get it good and hard.
~ H. L. Mencken - [Democracy]

 

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Don't overestimate the decency of the human race.
~ H. L. Mencken - [Decency]

 

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Every man sees in his relatives, and especially in his cousins, a series of grotesque caricatures of himself.
~ H. L. Mencken - [Family]

 

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

 

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For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.
~ H. L. Mencken - [Problems]

 

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For it is mutual trust, even more than mutual interest that holds human associations together. Our friends seldom profit us but they make us feel safe. Marriage is a scheme to accomplish exactly that same end.
~ H. L. Mencken - [Marriage]

 

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

 

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God is the immemorial refuge of the incompetent, the helpless, the miserable. They find not only sanctuary in His arms, but also a kind of superiority, soothing to their macerated egos: He will set them above their betters.
~ H. L. Mencken - [God]

 

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Government is actually the worst failure of civilized man. There has never been a really good one, and even those that are most tolerable are arbitrary, cruel, grasping and unintelligent.
~ H. L. Mencken - [Government]

 

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Have you ever watched a crab on the shore crawling backward in search of the Atlantic Ocean, and missing? That's the way the mind of man operates.
~ H. L. Mencken - [Humankind]

 

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Historian -- an unsuccessful novelist.
~ H. L. Mencken - [History and Historians]

 

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Honor is simply the morality of superior men.
~ H. L. Mencken - [Honor]

 

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How little it takes to make life unbearable: a pebble in the shoe, a cockroach in the spaghetti, a woman's laugh.
~ H. L. Mencken - [Suffering]

 

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Husbands never become good; they merely become proficient.
~ H. L. Mencken - [Husbands]

 

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Hygiene is the corruption of medicine by morality. It is impossible to find a hygienist who does not debase his theory of the healthful with a theory of the virtuous. The true aim of medicine is not to make men virtuous; it is to safeguard and rescue them from the consequences of their vices.
~ H. L. Mencken - [Hygiene]

 

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I believe in only one thing: liberty; but I do not believe in liberty enough to want to force it upon anyone.
~ H. L. Mencken - [Liberty]

 

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