On the Decay of the Art of Lying - Mark Twain

On the Decay of the Art of Lying

By Mark Twain

  • Release Date: 1910-04-21
  • Genre: Literary
4.5 Score: 4.5 (From 184 Ratings)


In the essay, Twain laments the four ways in which men of America's Gilded Age employ man's 'most faithful friend'. He concludes by insisting that: the wise thing is for us diligently to train ourselves to lie thoughtfully, judiciously; to lie with a good object, and not an evil one; to lie for others' advantage, and not our own; to lie healingly, charitably, humanely, not cruelly, hurtfully, maliciously; to lie gracefully and graciously, not awkwardly and clumsily; to lie firmly, frankly, squarely, with head erect, not haltingly, tortuously, with pusillanimous mien, as being ashamed of our high calling.


  • 9 pages well worth reading.

    By TheNthMouse
    Truly an essay for our time (whatever time that might happen to be).
  • Another gem

    By Johnny Garlic
    Twain is brilliant. This is a short but profound piece. Highly recommended.
  • The Decay of Lying

    By Medic3396
    So far the book has been great. Whitty yet with alot of humor. I think it shall be a good read.
  • Educate yourself

    By RESmith
    "“What chance has the ignorant uncultivated liar against the educated expert?” (Reference the following expert industries: political, food industry, medical industry, educational industry, financial industry, news media industry...)
  • Interesting

    By Tah_pang_uh
    Very interesting. Almost convincing argument that lying is a 'virtue'.
  • On Decay of The Art of Lying

    By Jaden Lynn
    A truly hard hitting essay on the ancient art of lying done by Mark Twain