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The Book of Famous Quotes: The Complete Collection

 :: 1880-1956, American Editor, Author, Critic, Humorist

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Nothing is so abject and pathetic as a politician who has lost his job, save only a retired stud-horse.
~ H. L. Mencken - [Politicians and Politics]

 

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The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed [and Hence Clamorous To Be Led To Safety] by an endless series of hobgoblins.
~ H. L. Mencken - [Politicians and Politics]

 

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The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false face for the urge to rule it.
~ H. L. Mencken - [Power]

 

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One may no more live in the world without picking up the moral prejudices of the world than one will be able to go to hell without perspiring.
~ H. L. Mencken - [Prejudice]

 

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What men value in this world is not rights but privileges.
~ H. L. Mencken - [Privilege]

 

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For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.
~ H. L. Mencken - [Problems]

 

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The public, with its mob yearning to be instructed, edified and pulled by the nose, demands certainties; it must be told definitely and a bit raucously that this is true and that is false. But there are no certainties.
~ H. L. Mencken - [Public]

 

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Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.
~ H. L. Mencken - [Puritans]

 

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The truth is, as every one knows, that the great artists of the world are never Puritans, and seldom even ordinarily respectable. No virtuous man -- that is, virtuous in the Y.M.C.A. sense -- has ever painted a picture worth looking at, or written a symphony worth hearing, or a book worth reading, and it is highly improbable that the thing has ever been done by a virtuous woman.
~ H. L. Mencken - [Puritans]

 

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Unionism, seldom if ever, uses such powers as it has to ensure better work; almost always it devotes a large part of that power to safeguard bad work.
~ H. L. Mencken - [Quality]

 

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After all, all he did was string together a lot of old, well-known quotations.
~ H. L. Mencken - [Quotations]

 

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Remorse is regret that one waited so long to do it.
~ H. L. Mencken - [Remorse]

 

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Most people want security in this world, not liberty.
~ H. L. Mencken - [Safety]

 

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School-days, I believe, are the unhappiest in the whole span of human existence. They are full of dull, unintelligible tasks, new and unpleasant ordinances, brutal violations of common sense and common decency. It doesn't take a reasonably bright boy long to discover that most of what is rammed into him is nonsense, and that no one really cares very much whether he learns it or not.
~ H. L. Mencken - [School]

 

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The penalty for laughing in a courtroom is six months in jail; if it were not for this penalty, the jury would never hear the evidence.
~ H. L. Mencken - [Juries]

 

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Injustice is relatively easy to bear what stings is justice.
~ H. L. Mencken - [Justice]

 

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When women kiss it always reminds one of prize-fighters shaking hands.
~ H. L. Mencken - [Kisses and Kissing]

 

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One horse-laugh is worth ten thousand syllogisms. It is not only more effective; it is also vastly more intelligent.
~ H. L. Mencken - [Laughter]

 

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A judge is a law student who grades his own papers.
~ H. L. Mencken - [Law and Lawyers]

 

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Say what you will about the Ten Commandments, you must always come back to the pleasant fact that there are only ten of them.
~ H. L. Mencken - [Law and Lawyers]

 

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