Quotes Categories

H. L. Mencken Quotes

(1880-1956), American Editor, Author, Critic, Humorist

The objection of the scandalmonger is not that she tells of racy doings, but that she pretends to be indignant about them.

Category: Gossip

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.

Category: Government

As the arteries grow hard, the heart grows soft.

Category: Heart

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

Category: Heroes And Heroism

Historian -- an unsuccessful novelist.

Category: History And Historians

Honor is simply the morality of superior men.

Category: Honor

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.

Category: Humankind

Man is a beautiful machine that works very badly.

Category: Humankind

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.

Category: Humankind

Husbands never become good; they merely become proficient.

Category: Husbands

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.

Category: Husbands

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.

Category: Hygiene

An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it is also more nourishing.

Category: Ideals And Idealism

There is nothing worse than an idle hour, with no occupation offering. People who have many such hours are simply animals waiting docilely for death. We all come to that state soon or late. It is the curse of senility.

Category: Idleness

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. If such a board actually exists it operates precisely like the board of a corporation that is losing money.

Category: Imagination