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date: 30 November 2020

H. L. Mencken 1880–1956
American journalist and literary critic 

  1. Love is the delusion that one woman differs from another.
    Chrestomathy (1949) ch. 30; see Shaw
  2. Puritanism. The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.
    Chrestomathy (1949) ch. 30
  3. Bachelors know more about women than married men. If they did not they would be married too.
    Chrestomathy (1949)
  4. Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.
    A Little Book in C major (1916)
  5. Conscience: the inner voice which warns us that someone may be looking.
    A Little Book in C major (1916)
  6. 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 and chemistry.
    Notebooks (1956) ‘Minority Report’
  7. The fact that I have no remedy for the sorrows of the world is no reason for my accepting yours. It simply supports the strong probability that yours is a fake.
    Notebooks (1956) ‘Minority Report’
  8. The chief contribution of Protestantism to human thought is its massive proof that God is a bore.
    Notebooks (1956) ‘Minority Report’
  9. Under democracy one party always devotes its energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule—and both commonly succeed and are right.
    Notebooks (1956) ‘Minority Report’
  10. The scientist who yields anything to theology, however slight, is yielding to ignorance and false pretences, and as certainly as if he granted that a horse-hair put into a bottle of water will turn into a snake.
    Notebooks (1956) ‘Minority Report’
  11. There is always a well-known solution to every human problem—neat, plausible, and wrong.
    Prejudices 2nd series (1920)
  12. Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable.
    Prejudices 3rd series (1922)
  13. Injustice is relatively easy to bear; what stings is justice.
    Prejudices 3rd series (1922)
  14. As democracy is perfected, the office [of president] represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people…On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.
    in Baltimore Evening Sun 26 July 1920
  15. No one in this world, so far as I know—and I have searched the records for years, and employed agents to help me—has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people.
    in Chicago Tribune 19 September 1926
  16. If there had been any formidable body of cannibals in the country he would have promised to provide them with free missionaries fattened at the taxpayer's expense.
    of Harry Truman's success in the 1948 presidential campaign
    in Baltimore Sun 7 November 1948