Kung Fu-tzeIt is hard now, even for me, to distinguish my words from those later attributed by clever minds seeking convenient authority. I was no epigrammist, only a civil servant during civil wars, and not particularly successful. Like the Italian, I was better, perhaps, at theory than practice: neither of us was steadily employed, except in the search for a position. At that, I outstripped, for I served several in succession, and had no time to leave a written corpus. Perhaps he was the wiser, if not the more honoured, for, though he left no school, and few would dare claim him, he is known by his face, and by his clear and focussed obsession. My face is unpainted, my name on every tongue, chanted like an ordinary spell, to conjure vulgar common sense. His lack of simple competence has given him serene mastery, while I remain itinerant, unteachable, in search perpetually of some comfortable allegiance.