Famous Quotes from ...

Henry Louis Mencken



    You come into the world with nothing, and the purpose of your life is to make something out of nothing

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    How little it takes to make life unbearable: a pebble in the shoe, a cockroach in the spaghetti, a woman's laugh

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    Life is a constant oscillation between the sharp horns of dilemmas.

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    What is the function that a clergyman performs in the world? Answer: he gets his living by assuring idiots that he can save them from an imaginary hell

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    Living with a dog is messy - like living with an idealist

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    The demagogue is one who preaches doctrines he knows to be untrue to men he knows to be idiots

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    It is not materialism that is the chief curse of the world, as pastors teach, but idealism. Men get into trouble by taking their visions and hallucinations too seriously.

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    The allurement that women hold out to men is precisely the allurement that Cape Hatteras holds out to sailors: they are enormously dangerous and hence enormously fascinating

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    Man is always looking for someone to boast to; woman is always looking for a shoulder to put her head on.

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    The more a man dreams, the less he believes

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    The surest way to get on in politics in America is to play the leading part in a prosecution which attracts public notice

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    During many a single week, I daresay, more money is spent in New York upon useless and evil things than would suffice to run the kingdom of Denmark for a year

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    On one issue, at least, men and women agree: they both distrust women

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    Man is a natural polygamist: he always has one woman leading him by the nose, and another hanging on to his coattails.

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

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    We must respect the other fellow's religion,but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart.

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    If women believed in their husbands they would be a good deal happier - and also a good deal more foolish

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    The most dangerous man, to any government, is the man who Is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost invariably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable, and so, if he is romantic, he tries to change it. And if he is not romantic personally, he is apt to spread discontent among those who are.

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    Every man is thoroughly happy twice in his life: just after he has met his first love, and just after he has left his last one

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    For men become civilized, not in proportion to their willingness to believe, but in their readiness to doubt

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    Whenever a husband and wife begin to discuss their marriage they are giving evidence at a coroner's inquest

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    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.

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    The natural tendency of every government is to grow steadily worse - that is, to grow more satisfactory to those who constitute it and less satisfactory to those who support it

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    Love is an emotion that is based on an opinion of women that is impossible for those who have had any experience with them.

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    A man of active and resilient mind outwears his friendships just as certainly as he outwears his love affairs, his politics and his epistemology.

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    The thing which sets off the American from all other men, and gives peculiar color not only to the pattern of his daily life but also adds to the play of his inner ideas, is what, for want of a more exact term, may be called social aspiration

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    All men are frauds. The only difference between them is that some admit it. I myself deny it.

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    Nothing is more patent, indeed, than the fact that charity merely converts the unfit - who, in the course of nature, would soon die out and so cease to encumber the earth - into parasites - who live on indefinitely, a nuisance and a burden to their b

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    Government under democracy is thus government by orgy, almost by orgasm

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    It is more blessed to give than receive; for example, wedding presents

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    Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration - courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and above all, love of the truth

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    A man may be a fool and not know it, but not if he is married.

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    When women kiss, it always reminds one of prizefighters shaking hands

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