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HENRY LOUIS MENCKEN
American journalist and literary critic
(1880 - 1956)
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Man is always looking for someone to boast to; woman is always looking for someone to complain to.
      - [Boasting]

Men become civilized not in proportion to their willingness to believe but in proportion to their readiness to doubt.
      - [Civilization]

Men have a much better time of it than women; for one thing they marry later; for another thing they die earlier.
      - [Men]

Mencken's Law: Whenever A annoys or injures B on the pretense of improving or saving X, A is a scoundrel.
      - [Laws of Life and Nature]

Neither sex, without some fertilization of the complimentary characters of the other, is capable of the highest reaches of human endeavor.
      - [Capacity]

No article of faith is proof against the disintegrating effects of increasing information; one might almost describe the acquirement of knowledge as a process of disillusion.
      - [Knowledge]

No man is genuinely happy, married, who has to drink worse whiskey than he used to drink when he was single.
      - [Wine and Spirits]

Of all escape mechanisms, death is the most efficient.
      - [Death]

One composed of cynics is often very tolerant and humane. But when fanatics are on top, there is no limit to repression.
      - [Government]

One seldom discovers a true believer that is worth knowing.
      - [Belief]

One yearns unspeakably for a composer who gives out his pair of honest themes, and then develops them unashamed, and then hangs a brisk coda to them, and then shuts up.
      - [Composers]

Only a government that is rich and safe can afford to be a democracy, for democracy is the most expensive and nefarious kind of government ever heard of on earth.
      - [Democracy]

Philosophy first constructs a scheme of happiness and then tries to fit the world to it.
      - [Philosophy]

Poetry has done enough when it charms, but prose must also convince.
      - [Poetry]

Puritanism--The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.
      - [Puritanism]

Remorse is regret that one waited so long to do it.
      - [Remorse]

School teachers, taking them by and large, are probably the most ignorant and stupid class of men in the whole group of mental workers.
      - [Teachers]

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.
      - [Marriage]

Suicide is belated acquiescence in the opinion of one's wife's relatives.
      - [Suicide]

Temptation is an irresistible force at work on a movable body.
      - [Temptation]

The average schoolmaster is, and always must be, an ass.
      - [Teachers]

The chief knowledge that a man gets from reading books is the knowledge that very few of them are worth reading.
      - [Books]

The chief value of money lies in the fact that one lives in a world in which it is overestimated.
      - [Money]

The common argument that crime is caused by poverty is a kind of slander on the poor.
      - [Crime]

The curse of man, and the cause of nearly all his woe, is his stupendous capacity for believing the incredible.
      - [Credulity]


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