Henry Lewis Mencken

(1880-1956 / Baltimore, Maryland)

Henry Lewis Mencken Quotes

  • ''Philosophy consists very largely of one philosopher arguing that all others are jackasses. He usually proves it, and I should add that he also usually proves that he is one himself.''
    H.L. (Henry Lewis) Mencken (1880-1956), U.S. journalist. Minority Report: H.L. Mencken's Notebooks, no. 57 (1956).
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  • ''Living with a dog is messy—like living with an idealist.''
    H.L. (Henry Lewis) Mencken (18801956), U.S. journalist, critic. A Mencken Chrestomathy, ch. 30, p. 616, Knopf (1949).
  • ''What men value in this world is not rights but privileges.''
    H.L. (Henry Lewis) Mencken (1880-1956), U.S. journalist. Minority Report: H.L. Mencken's Notebooks, no. 36 (1956).
  • ''Democracy is the art and science of running the circus from the monkey-cage.''
    H.L. (Henry Lewis) Mencken (18801956), U.S. journalist, critic. A Mencken Chrestomathy, ch. 30, p. 622, Knopf (1949).
  • ''In any combat between a rogue and a fool the sympathy of mankind is always with the rogue.''
    H.L. (Henry Lewis) Mencken (18801956), U.S. journalist, critic. A Mencken Chrestomathy, ch. 30, p. 616, Knopf (1949).
  • ''How little it takes to make life unbearable.... A pebble in the shoe, a cockroach in the spaghetti, a woman's laugh.''
    H.L. (Henry Lewis) Mencken (1880-1956), U.S. journalist, critic. The Vintage Mencken, ch. 47, p. 232, ed. Alistair Cooke, Vintage (1956).
  • ''Man weeps to think that he will die so soon; woman, that she was born so long ago.''
    H.L. (Henry Lewis) Mencken (18801956), U.S. journalist, critic. A Mencken Chrestomathy, ch. 30, p. 621, Knopf (1949).
  • ''A skeptic as to all ideas, including especially my own, I have never suffered a pang when the ideas of some other imbecile prevailed.''
    H.L. (Henry Lewis) Mencken (1880-1956), U.S. journalist, critic. Originally published in the Smart Set (April 1920). The Vintage Mencken, ch. 14, p. 76, ed. Alistair Cooke, Vintage (1956).
  • ''Suicide is a belated acquiescence in the opinion of one's wife's relatives.''
    H.L. (Henry Lewis) Mencken (18801956), U.S. journalist, critic. A Mencken Chrestomathy, ch. 30, p. 618, Knopf (1949).
  • ''What I admire most in any man is a serene spirit, a steady freedom from moral indignation, and all-embracing tolerance—in brief, what is commonly called sportsmanship.''
    H.L. (Henry Lewis) Mencken (1880-1956), U.S. journalist, critic. Originally published in the Smart Set (April 1920). The Vintage Mencken, ch. 14, p. 76, ed. Alistair Cooke, Vintage (1956).

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