a liar ought to have a good memory

Cf. QUINTILIAN Institutio Oratoria IV. ii. mendacem memorem esse oportet, a liar ought to have a good memory.

a 1542 T. WYATT in Poetical Works (1858) p. xxxvii. They say, ‘He that will lie well must have a good remembrance, that he agree in all points with himself, lest he be spied.’

c 1690 R. SOUTH Twelve Sermons (1722) IV. 167 Indeed, a very rational Saying, That a lyar ought to have a good Memory.

1721 J. KELLY Scottish Proverbs 50 A Lyar should have a good Memory. Lest he tell the same Lye different ways.

1945 F. THOMPSON Lark Rise xiii. ‘A liar ought to have a good memory,’ they would say.

1999 C. HITCHENS No One Left To Lie To (2000) i. 19 Just as the necessary qualification for a good liar is a good memory, so the essential equipment of a would-be lie detector is a good timeline, and a decent archive.


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