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“With regard to citing books and authorities in the margins from where you got the maxims and sayings you put in your history, all you have to do is locate some aphorisms and Latin phrases that fit, and that you already know by heart, or that at least won’t be hard to find. For example, when you’re dealing with freedom and captivity, use: Non bene pro toto libertas venditur auro; and then in the margin cite Horace, or whoever said it. If you’re talking about the power of death, use: Pallida Mors æquo pulsat pede pauperum tabernas regumque turres. If it’s friendship and the love that God commands you to have for your enemy, just go into Holy Scripture, which you can do with minimal research, and say the words used by God himself: Ego autem dico vobis, diligite inimicos vestros. If you’re dealing with evil thoughts, go to the New Testament: De corde exeunt cogitationes malæ. If it’s the inconstancy of friends, there’s Cato, who can give you this couplet: Donec eris felix, multos numerabis amicos, tempora si fuerint nubila, solus eris. And with these Latin phrases, and others like them, you’ll at least be taken for a professor of grammar, and being that nowadays is of no little honor and worth.

“As far as putting notes at the end of the book goes, surely you can do it this way—if you mention some giant in your book, make sure it’s Goliath, and with this, which won’t take any work at all, you can say: ‘The giant Goliath, a Philistine whom the shepherd David slew with a large stone in the valley of Terebinth, as cited in the Book of Kings,’ in the chapter where you’ll identify it’s written. After this, to show that you’re a scholar in human letters and geography, arrange it so that you name the Tajo River in your history, and you’ll have another great citation by writing: ‘The River Tajo, which was so named by a King of Spain, starting in such-and-such a place and flowing into the Ocean Sea, kissing the walls of the celebrated City of Lisbon, and it is held that it has golden sands,’ etc. If you speak about thieves, I’ll tell you the story of Cacus, which I know by heart; if prostitutes, there’s the Bishop of Mondoñedo, who’ll lend you Lamia, Laida, and Flora, the note for which will increase your reputation; if cruel people, Ovid will hand over Medea; and if it’s about enchanters and w itches, Homer has Calypso, and Virgil Circe; if brave captains, Julius Cæsar will lend himself to you in his Commentaries, and Plutarch will give you a thousand Alexanders. If you speak of love, with the two ounces you know of Italian, you’ll come upon León Hebreo, who will satisfy you completely. And if you don’t want to go into other countries, you have Fonseca right here, in his Of the Love of God, where you’ll find everything you and the most fastidious person could possibly desire on that subject. So, you have only to try to list these people or use these histories I’ve mentioned in your own story, and by Jove, you’ll fill your margins and use up thirty-two pages at the end of the book.

“Now, let’s come to the bibliography that other books have and yours doesn’t. The cure is very simple—all you have to do is look for a book that lists references from A to Z, as you say. You can put this list in your book as is, and even though the deception can be clearly seen, since you really didn’t need it in the first place, it doesn’t make any difference. Maybe some simpleton will think that you actually used those sources in your simple book. And if it serves for nothing else, that catalogue of authorities will give instant credibility to the book.
--From "Prologue", Don Quixote
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