The following interview with Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware may or may not have taken place, depending on whether he knew what he said or was on automatic pilot.

Q. Senator Biden, you have been accused of using British Labor Party leader Neil Kinnock's speech almost word for word during a recent debate in Iowa without giving him credit. It is said that you borrowed his coal-mining ancestors as well as his gestures and lyrical Welsh syntax. One of your advisers said that you didn't know what you were doing and that you were on "automatic pilot." Would you care to comment on that?

A. No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. Any man's death diminishes me because I am involved in mankind.

Q. But are you afraid that this accusation will hurt your presidential campaign?

A. The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. This generation of Americans has a rendezvous with destiny.

Q. Do you think this borrowing of other persons' material will help you with American voters across the country?

A. Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.

Q. Just what can you do for the country?

A. I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.

Q. Gosh, Senator, do you think that the American people are ready for such a Spartan political program?

A. I have a dream.

Q. But do you think you are doing the right thing, Senator?

A. It is a far, far better thing that I do than I have ever done. It is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.

Q. Thank you, Senator Biden. -- An editorial in The Boston Globe