Mr Mencken Takes A Vacation

From the Free Lance of April 11, 1914:

“Rising to a question of personal privilege, I announce my withdrawal from these cloistered shades for a brief space. No; I am not ill. No; I am not worn out by overwork. No; I have not been fired. No; I have not got a better job in New York, or Chicago, or Philadelphia, or anywhere else. No; I am not chased out of town by forward-lookers. No; I am not to be married to a wealthy widow. No; I have no reason to fear the grand jury. No; I have not run out of ideas. No; I have not reached the age limit.”

“My actual reasons for withdrawing from labor are two in number, to wit: (a) no sane man works if he can help it, and (b) at the moment I can help it. This capacity for escape, of course, is not permanent; if it were, the science of prose would know me no more. But now and then, as one may say, it pulls itself together and is ready for business, and on such occasions the prudent man turns it to his uses. So I depart for a space, and devote myself to the noble art of idling—the noblest of them all. I shall eat heartily, sleep soundly and move at will from place to place–and all without any thought or obligation of work. In brief, I shall inhabit the heaven of all who can’t get into it, and the hell, perhaps, of all who can’t get out of it.”

Postings will continue May 29.