Author: H.L. Mencken

The best years are the forties; after fifty a man begins to deteriorate, but in the forties he is at the maximum of his villainy.

(1880 – 1956) journalist, essayist, editor & satirist

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

(1880 – 1956) journalist, essayist, editor & satirist

Opera in English is, in the main, just about as sensible as baseball in Italian.

(1880 – 1956) journalist, essayist, editor & satirist

Legend: A lie that has attained the dignity of age.

(1880 – 1956) journalist, essayist, editor & satirist

It is impossible to imagine Goethe or Beethoven being good at billiards or golf.

(1880 – 1956) journalist, essayist, editor & satirist

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.

(1880 – 1956) journalist, essayist, editor & satirist

A church is a place in which gentlemen who have never been to heaven brag about it to persons who will never get there.

(1880 – 1956) journalist, essayist, editor & satirist

It is now quite lawful for a Catholic woman to avoid pregnancy by a resort to mathematics, though she is still forbidden to resort to physics or chemistry.

(1880 – 1956) journalist, essayist, editor & satirist

A Sunday school is a prison in which children do penance for the evil conscience of their parents.

(1880 – 1956) journalist, essayist, editor & satirist

A celebrity is one who is known to many persons he is glad he doesn't know.

(1880 – 1956) journalist, essayist, editor & satirist

The penalty for laughing in a courtroom is six months in jail and if it were not for this penalty, the jury would never hear the evidence.

(1880 – 1956) journalist, essayist, editor & satirist

A professor must have a theory as a dog must have fleas.

(1880 – 1956) journalist, essayist, editor & satirist

Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.

(1880 – 1956) journalist, essayist, editor & satirist

In the duel of sex, woman fights from a dreadnought and man from an open raft.

(1880 – 1956) journalist, essayist, editor & satirist

The average American now pays out twice as much in taxes as he formerly got in wages.

(1880 – 1956) journalist, essayist, editor & satirist

Wife: A former sweetheart.

(1880 – 1956) journalist, essayist, editor & satirist

I hate all sports as rabidly as a person who likes sports hates common sense.

(1880 – 1956) journalist, essayist, editor & satirist

A politician is an animal which can sit on a fence and yet keep both ears to the ground.

(1880 – 1956) journalist, essayist, editor & satirist

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.

(1880 – 1956) journalist, essayist, editor & satirist

Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.

(1880 – 1956) journalist, essayist, editor & satirist

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.

(1880 – 1956) journalist, essayist, editor & satirist
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