Henry Lewis Mencken

(1880-1956 / Baltimore, Maryland)

Henry Lewis Mencken Quotes

  • ''Johann Strauss—Forty couples dancing ... one by one they slip from the hall ... sounds of kisses ... the lights go out''
    H.L. (Henry Lewis) Mencken (1880-1956), U.S. journalist, critic. Originally published in the Smart Set (May 1912). The Vintage Mencken, ch. 26, p. 141, ed. Alistair Cooke, Vintage (1956).
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  • ''When you sympathize with a married woman you either make two enemies or gain one wife and one friend.''
    H.L. (Henry Lewis) Mencken (18801956), U.S. journalist, critic. A Mencken Chrestomathy, ch. 30, p. 620, Knopf (1949).
  • ''The difference between a moral man and a man of honor is that the latter regrets a discreditable act, even when it has worked and he has not been caught.''
    H.L. (Henry Lewis) Mencken (1880-1956), U.S. journalist, critic. The Vintage Mencken, ch. 47, p. 231, ed. Alistair Cooke, Vintage (1956).
  • ''Every man is his own hell.''
    H.L. (Henry Lewis) Mencken (18801956), U.S. journalist, critic. A Mencken Chrestomathy, ch. 30, p. 617, Knopf (1949).
  • ''Jury—A group of twelve men who, having lied to the judge about their hearing, health, and business engagements, have failed to fool him.''
    H.L. (Henry Lewis) Mencken (1880-1956), U.S. journalist, critic. A Mencken Chrestomathy, ch. 30, p. 623, Knopf (1949).
  • ''Sunday—A day given over by Americans to wishing that they themselves were dead and in Heaven, and that their neighbors were dead and in Hell.''
    H.L. (Henry Lewis) Mencken (18801956), U.S. journalist, critic. A Mencken Chrestomathy, ch. 30, p. 624, Knopf (1949).
  • ''Debussy—A pretty girl with one blue eye and one brown one.''
    H.L. (Henry Lewis) Mencken (1880-1956), U.S. journalist, critic. Originally published in the Smart Set (May 1912). The Vintage Mencken, ch. 26, p. 141, ed. Alistair Cooke, Vintage (1956).
  • ''Evil is that which one believes of others. It is a sin to believe evil of others, but it is seldom a mistake.''
    H.L. (Henry Lewis) Mencken (18801956), U.S. journalist, critic. A Mencken Chrestomathy, ch. 30, p. 617, Knopf (1949).
  • ''... a tin-horn politician with the manner of a rural corn doctor and the mien of a ham actor.''
    H.L. (Henry Lewis) Mencken (1880-1956), U.S. journalist, critic. Originally published in the Baltimore Evening Sun, June 15, 1920. The Vintage Mencken, ch. 16, p. 82, ed. Alistair Cooke, Vintage (1956).
  • ''Alimony—The ransom that the happy pay to the devil.''
    H.L. (Henry Lewis) Mencken (1880-1956), U.S. journalist, critic. The Vintage Mencken, ch. 47, p. 232, ed. Alistair Cooke, Vintage (1956).

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