118 University of Texas Bulletin
some malicious remarks. The company returned but missed Victor. He had rounded the corner and, in walking along the garden, had come up to the country home. The doors of a garden-room facing the lawn were open, and likewise a window. Very probably he had seeri something which attracted his attention. He leapt into the window, and leapt out again just as the party were approaching, for they had been looking for him. Triumphantly he held up some papers in his hand and exclaimed : "One of the judge's manuscripts!^ Seeing that I edited his other works it is no more than my duty that I should edit this one too." He put it into his pocket; or, rather, he was about to do so; for as he was bending his arm and already had his hand with the manuscript half-way down in his pocket I managed to steal it from him.
But who, then, am I ? Let no one ask ! If it hasn't oc- curred to you before to ask about it I am over the difficulty ; lor now the worst is behind me. For that matter, I am not worth asking about, for I am the least of all things, people woyld put me in utter confusion by asking about me. I am pure existence, and therefore smaller, almost, than noth- ing. I am "pure existence" which is present everywhere but still is never noticed; for I am ever vanishing. I am like the line above which stands the summa summar'um â€” who cares about the line? By my own strength I can ac- complish nothing, for even the idea to steal the manuscript from Victor was not my own idea ; for this very idea which, as a thief would say, induced me to "borrow" the manu- script, was borrowed from him. And now, when editing this manuscript, I am, again, nothing at all ; for it rightly belongs to the judge. And as editor, I am in my nothing- ness only a kind of nemesis on Victor, who imagined that he had the prescriptive right to do so.
-â€¢Containing the second part of "Stages on Life's Road," entitled 'Reflections on Marriage in Refutation of Objections."