Henry Lewis Mencken

(1880-1956 / Baltimore, Maryland)

Henry Lewis Mencken Quotes

  • ''A nun, at best, is only half a woman, just as a priest is only half a man.''
    H.L. (Henry Lewis) Mencken (1880-1956), U.S. journalist. Minority Report: H.L. Mencken's Notebooks, no. 221 (1956).
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  • ''Time is a great legalizer, even in the field of morals.''
    H.L. (Henry Lewis) Mencken (1880-1956), U.S. journalist. A Book of Prefaces, ch. 4, sct. 6 (1917).
  • ''The editors are committed to nothing save this: to keep common sense as fast as they can, to belabor sham as agreeably as possible, to give civilized entertainment.''
    H.L. (Henry Lewis) Mencken (18801956), U.S. journalist, critic. Originally published in American Mercury. A Carnival of Buncombe, Introduction, p. xiv, The Johns Hopkins Press (1956). Statement of purpose in first issue.
  • ''What ass first let loose the doctrine that the suffrage is a high boon and voting a noble privilege?''
    H.L. (Henry Lewis) Mencken (1880-1956), U.S. journalist, critic. Originally published in the Baltimore Evening Sun, November 1, 1920. A Carnival of Buncombe, p. 32, ed. by Malcolm Moos, Johns Hopkins University Press (1956). Article written on eve of election of President Harding.
  • ''The only cure for contempt is countercontempt.''
    H.L. (Henry Lewis) Mencken (1880-1956), U.S. journalist. Minority Report: H.L. Mencken's Notebooks, no. 99 (1956).
  • ''In every unbeliever's heart there is an uneasy feeling that, after all, he may awake after death and find himself immortal. This is his punishment for his unbelief. This is the agnostic's Hell.''
    H.L. (Henry Lewis) Mencken (18801956), U.S. journalist, critic. A Mencken Chrestomathy, ch. 30, p. 624, Knopf (1949).
  • ''Man is a beautiful machine that works very badly.''
    H.L. (Henry Lewis) Mencken (1880-1956), U.S. journalist. Minority Report: H.L. Mencken's Notebooks, no. 20 (1956).
  • ''When a woman says she won't, it's a good sign that she will. And when she says she will, it is an even better sign.''
    H.L. (Henry Lewis) Mencken (18801956), U.S. journalist, critic. A Mencken Chrestomathy, ch. 30, p. 619, Knopf (1949).
  • ''War will never cease until babies begin to come into the world with larger cerebrums and smaller adrenal glands.''
    H.L. (Henry Lewis) Mencken (1880-1956), U.S. journalist. Minority Report: H.L. Mencken's Notebooks, no. 164 (1956).
  • ''Lincoln becomes the American solar myth, the chief butt of American credulity and sentimentality.''
    H.L. (Henry Lewis) Mencken (1880-1956), U.S. journalist, critic. Originally published in the Smart Set (May 1920). The Vintage Mencken, ch. 15, p. 78, ed. Alistair Cooke, Vintage (1956).

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