Honesty is the best policy
Literal meaning .
This proverb is first found in the writings of Sir Edwin Sandys, the English politician and colonial entrepreneur, who was prominent in the Virginia Company which founded the first English settlement in America, at Jamestown, Virginia. In Europae Speculum, 1599, Sandys wrote:
Our grosse conceipts, who think honestie the best policie.
See also: the List of Proverbs.