One of the most mawkish of human delusions is the notion that friendship should be eternal, or, at all events, life-long, and that any act which puts a term to it is somehow discreditable.
— H. L. Mencken
Poetry has done enough when it charms, but prose must also convince.
In the duel of sex woman fights from a dreadnought and man from an open raft.
Women always excel men in that sort of wisdom which comes from experience. To be a woman is in itself a terrible experience.
A bad man is the sort who weeps every time he speaks of a good woman.
The worst government is often the most moral. One composed of cynics is often very tolerant and humane. But when fanatics are on top there is no limit to oppression.
Whenever you hear a man speak of his love for his country, it is a sign that he expects to be paid for it.
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.
A politician is an animal which can sit on a fence and yet keep both ears to the ground.
A professor must have a theory as a dog must have fleas.
Platitude: an idea (a) that is admitted to be true by everyone, and (b) that is not true.
In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican.
A Sunday school is a prison in which children do penance for the evil conscience of their parents.
Giving every man a vote has no more made men wise and free than Christianity has made them good.
Time stays, we go.
A good politician is quite as unthinkable as an honest burglar.
Morality is the theory that every human act must be either right or wrong, and that 99 % of them are wrong.
I confess I enjoy democracy immensely. It is incomparably idiotic, and hence incomparably amusing.
Nevertheless, it is even harder for the average ape to believe that he has descended from man.
Before a man speaks it is always safe to assume that he is a fool. After he speaks, it is seldom necessary to assume it.
Judge: a law student who marks his own examination-papers.
Every man is his own hell.
What men value in this world is not rights but privileges.
Life is a constant oscillation between the sharp horns of dilemmas.
Most people are unable to write because they are unable to think, and they are unable to think because they congenitally lack the equipment to do so, just as they congenitally lack the equipment to fly over the moon.
Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.
No matter how happily a woman may be married, it always pleases her to discover that there is a nice man who wishes that she were not.
Wealth - any income that is at least one hundred dollars more a year than the income of one's wife's sister's husband.
For centuries, theologians have been explaining the unknowable in terms of the-not-worth-knowing.
I write in order to attain that feeling of tension relieved and function achieved which a cow enjoys on giving milk.
I believe that it is better to tell the truth than a lie. I believe it is better to be free than to be a slave. And I believe it is better to know than to be ignorant.
Temptation is a woman's weapon and man's excuse.
Women have simple tastes. They get pleasure out of the conversation of children in arms and men in love.
Man weeps to think that he will die so soon; woman, that she was born so long ago.
Temptation is an irresistible force at work on a movable body.
The chief contribution of Protestantism to human thought is its massive proof that God is a bore.
There is a saying in Baltimore that crabs may be prepared in fifty ways and that all of them are good.
Every man sees in his relatives, and especially in his cousins, a series of grotesque caricatures of himself.
There are men so philosophical that they can see humor in their own toothaches. But there has never lived a man so philosophical that he could see the toothache in his own humor.
Whenever a husband and wife begin to discuss their marriage they are giving evidence at a coroner's inquest.
In war the heroes always outnumber the soldiers ten to one.
Every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods.
Injustice is relatively easy to bear; what stings is justice.
Unquestionably, there is progress. The average American now pays out twice as much in taxes as he formerly got in wages.
Legend: A lie that has attained the dignity of age.
Say what you will about the ten commandments, you must always come back to the pleasant fact that there are only ten of them.
No matter how long he lives, no man ever becomes as wise as the average woman of forty-eight.
If women believed in their husbands they would be a good deal happier and also a good deal more foolish.
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.
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.