A cynic is a man who, when he smells flowers, looks around for a coffin.

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More from H. L. Mencken

Every election is a sort of advance auction sale of stolen goods.

Prejudices, First Series (1919)

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 are smart.

No man ever quite believes in any other man.
One may believe in an idea absolutely, but not in a man.

It is a sin to believe evil of others, but it is seldom a mistake.

Explanations exist; they have existed for all times, for there is always an easy solution to every human problem – neat, plausible, and wrong.

'The Divine Afflatus,' in the New York Evening Mail, November 15, 1917