A curious thing to consider is an author.
This is commonly the writer of a book, & c.; or the originator of an event, policy or state of affairs. The term derives from the Latin augeo, to increase or promote. There is thus a natural inflation built into an author.
From this extends authority, a power, or right, to enforce obedience. The root is auto -- from the Greek autos: self, own, of or by oneself. Related, then, in Greek is authentes: one who does something by himself. Thus our authentic: trustworthy, entitled to acceptance (of a statement); genuine, not forged (of documents, pictures, etc.).
Johnson, in his Dictionary, calls an author "the first beginner of a thing; the writer of a book, opposed to a compiler." And he gives the related terms:
authentick: genuine, original, provable.
authenticate: to establish.
authenticity: authority, genuineness.
authoritative: having authority.
authority: legal power, influence, role.
authorize: to give authority, to justify.
Your author, then, is someone who produces himself as an authority, by puffing himself up, or bigging up, as is sometimes now said.
What he produces would thus naturally be trustworthy, as it is he who has produced it.
There is perhaps something a bit circular in all this, one murmurs. And the author replies firmly: just trust me.
But a very few of the better authors (most of them are dead, of course) say it with a conspiratorial wink that for a moment takes you into the joke.
Johnson was an author and an authority. He was to be trusted. Yet one wonders. Alone, Johnson suffered terribly from strange guilts that seem to have caused him to do physical harm to himself. It may be thought the burden of his own authority was terrible for this great author. He is to be trusted, perhaps, because his example teaches us that the most solid exterior often conceals something that should not be completely trusted.
The poet Horace -- a noted author -- put the problem thus:
Nil fuit unquam
Sic impar sibi
or: Surely such a various creature -- as an author, Horace means -- never was known. That is: There never was known a creature less worth trusting.
The author lies to tell the truth and tells the truth to lie, flatters to deceive and deceives to flatter, yet is widely received as wise and thought good.
Nevertheless those brilliant and intriguing features the public habitually attributes to an author often evaporate upon contact with the atmosphere of planet Earth. Loving an author, one has pressed a ghost to one's bosom, it is too often found.
Still authors run deep. The seas are smooth, the wind fair for the author, like one who, upon land, teaches the art of navigation.