[W]ith respect to the universe, it is everlasting and boundless, and in it we find people of all types. He who wants to stand out above the others must depend on his intelligence. Time is fleeting and life itself is transitory. If a man really wants to achieve fame, his only chance is to devote himself to writing. In his appearance, man resembles heaven and earth, and he is naturally endowed with five talents; his ears and eyes are comparable to the sun and moon; his voice and breath are like the wind and thunder; yet, as he transcends all things, he is really spiritual. His physical form may be as fragile as the grasses and trees, but his fame is more substantial than metal and stone. Therefore, a man of virtue, in his relationship with the people of the world, aims at establishing both his character and his words. So it is not that I simply happen to be fond of argument; it is that I cannot do otherwise than write.
Fame, like a wayward girl, will still be coy
To those who woo her with too slavish knees,
But makes surrender to some thoughtless boy,
And dotes the more upon a heart at ease;
She is a Gipsey,—will not speak to those
Who have not learnt to be content without her;
A Jilt, whose ear was never whisper’d close,
Who thinks they scandal her who talk about her;
A very Gipsey is she, Nilus-born,
Sister-in-law to jealous Potiphar;
Ye love-sick Bards! repay her scorn for scorn;
Ye Artists lovelorn! madmen that ye are!
Make your best bow to her and bid adieu,
Then, if she likes it, she will follow you.