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I never smoked a cigarette until I was nine.
– H. L. Mencken
Unquestionably, there is progress. The average American now pays out twice as much in taxes as he formerly got in wages.
Temptation is a woman’s weapon and man’s excuse.
Honor is simply the morality of superior men.
A professor must have a theory as a dog must have fleas.
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.
A judge is a law student who marks his own examination papers.
Women always excel men in that sort of wisdom which comes from experience. To be a woman is in itself a terrible experience.
I confess I enjoy democracy immensely. It is incomparably idiotic, and hence incomparably amusing.
A society made up of individuals who were all capable of original thought would probably be unendurable.
Men have a much better time of it than women. For one thing, they marry later; for another thing, they die earlier.
Every man sees in his relatives, and especially in his cousins, a series of grotesque caricatures of himself.
When women kiss it always reminds one of prize fighters shaking hands.
An idealist is one who, on noticing that roses smell better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup.
We are here and it is now. Further than that, all human knowledge is moonshine.
What men value in this world is not rights but privileges.
I believe that all government is evil, and that trying to improve it is largely a waste of time.
If, after I depart this vale, you ever remember me and have thought to please my ghost, forgive some sinner and wink your eye at some homely girl.
The only cure for contempt is counter-contempt.
It is hard for the ape to believe he descended from man.
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.
The cynics are right nine times out of ten.
Puritanism. The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.
I never lecture, not because I am shy or a bad speaker, but simply because I detest the sort of people who go to lectures and don’t want to meet them.
Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.
Theology is the effort to explain the unknowable in terms of the not worth knowing.
Love is the delusion that one woman differs from another.
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.
Love is an emotion that is based on an opinion of women that is impossible for those who have had any experience with them.
Love is like war: easy to begin but very hard to stop.