portrait of Henry Louis Mencken
Autographed "For Lionel A. Aucoin, H. L. Mencken 1937"

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Quotes of the Day for 12 September 2002 – H. L. Mencken

Henry Louis Mencken was born at Baltimore on this day in 1880. The son of a cigar merchant, he worked for his father's company but gave it up for journalism when his father died, although he never gave up cigars. His clear writing, insight, and wit puts him in the same class with Shaw and Voltaire, and for the same reasons a great many of his quotes have been saved.

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You will find an expanded profile, photo, additional biographical links, and all quotes from this author on the author's Notable Quotable page.


The quotes:

Democracy is the art of running the circus from the monkey cage.

Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.

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.

The average man does not get pleasure out of an idea because he thinks it is true; he thinks it is true because he gets pleasure out of it.

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed - and hence clamorous to be led to safety - by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

It is hard to believe that a man is telling the truth when you know that you would lie if you were in his place.
     - Today's quotes are all from Henry Louis Mencken, 1880 - 1956


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