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[ Also see Bribery Candor Corruption Dishonesty Equity Equivocation Fidelity Frankness Honor Integrity Morality Public Trust Right Sincerity Truth ]

The root of honesty is an honest intention, the distinct and deliberate purpose to be true, to handle facts as they are, and not as we wish them to be. Facts lend themselves to manipulation. Many a butcher's hand is worth more than its weight in gold. What we want things to be, we come to see them to be; and the tailor pulls the coat and the truth into a perfect fit from his point of view.
      - Maltbie Davenport Babcock

Honest and courageous people have very little to say about either their courage or their honesty. The sun has no need to boast of his brightness, nor the moon of her effulgence.
      - Hosea Ballou

Honest minds are pleased with honest things.
      - Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher

Honesty is as rare as a man without self-pity.
      - Stephen Vincent Benet

The first step toward greatness is to be honest, says the proverb; but the proverb fails to state the case strong enough. Honesty is not only "the first step toward greatness,"--it is greatness itself.
      - Christian Nestell Bovee

No one can earn a million dollars honestly.
      - William Jennings Bryan

Honest men are the gentlemen of nature.
      - Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton

An honest man's word is as good as his bond.
      - Cervantes (Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra)

Honesty is the best policy.
      - Cervantes (Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra),
        Don Quixote (pt. II, ch. XXXIII)

A honest man's word is as good as his bond.
      - Cervantes (Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra),
        Don Quixote
         (vol. III, pt. II, ch. XXXIV)

What is becoming is honest, and whatever is honest must always be becoming.
      - Cicero (Marcus Tullius Cicero) (often called "Tully" for short)

Everything that thou reprovest in another, thou must most carefully avoid in thyself.
  [Lat., Omnia quae vindicaris in altero, tibi ipsi vehementer fugienda sunt.]
      - Cicero (Marcus Tullius Cicero) (often called "Tully" for short),
        In Verrem (II, 3, 2)

Honesty is not only the deepest policy, but the highest wisdom; since, however difficult it may be for integrity to get on, it is a thousand times more difficult for knavery to get off; and no error is more fatal than that of those who think that Virtue has no other reward because they have heard that she is her own.
      - Charles Caleb Colton

It is much easier to ruin a man of principle than a man of none, for he may be ruined through his scruples. Knavery is supple and can bend; but honesty is firm and upright, and yields not.
      - Charles Caleb Colton

It is with honesty in one particular as with wealth,--those that have the thing care less about the credit of it than those who have it not. No poor man can well afford to be thought so, and the less of honesty a finished rogue possesses the less he can afford to be supposed to want it.
      - Charles Caleb Colton

Nothing more completely baffles one who is full of trick and duplicity himself than straightforward and simple integrity in another. A knave would rather quarrel with a brother-knave than with a fool, but he would rather avoid a quarrel with one honest man than with both.
      - Charles Caleb Colton

The man of upright life is obeyed before he speaks.
      - Confucius

A few honest men are better than numbers.
      - Oliver Cromwell

A rich man is an honest man, no thanks to him, for he would be a double knave to cheat mankind when he had no need of it.
      - Daniel Defoe

Honesty is a warrant of far more safety than fame.
      - Owen Felltham (Feltham)

There is no man but for his own interest hath an obligation to be honest. There may be sometimes temptations to be otherwise; but, all cards cast up, he shall find it the greatest ease, the highest profit, the best pleasure, the most safety, and the noblest fame, to hold the horns of this altar, which, in all assays, can in himself protect him.
      - Owen Felltham (Feltham)

Let honesty be as the breath of thy soul, and never forget to have a penny, when all thy expenses are enumerated and paid: then shalt thou reach the point of happiness and independence shall be thy shield and buckler, thy helmet and crown; then shall thy soul walk upright nor stoop to the silken wretch because he hath riches, nor pocket an abuse because the hand which offers it wears a ring set with diamonds.
      - Benjamin Franklin

Being entirely honest with oneself is a good exercise.
      - Sigmund Freud

He is one that will not plead that cause wherein his tongue must be confuted by his conscience.
      - Thomas Fuller (1),
        Holy and Profane States--The Good Advocate
         (bk. II, ch. I)

When rogues fall out, honest men get into their own.
      - Sir Matthew Hale

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