The Worlds Wit and Humor: An Encyclopedia in 15 Volumes. 1906. Vol. XII: German
By Heinrich Heine (17971856)
MY mother told me that, shortly before I was born, she had a great desire for a beautiful apple in a strangers garden, but would not take it for fear her child might become a thief. All my life have I had a secret desire after beautiful apples, but always combined with respect for the property of others and a horror of theft.
I am the most peaceable of mortals. My wishes are: A modest dwelling, a thatched roof, but a good bed, good fare, milk and butter (the latter very fresh), flowers at the window, and a few fine trees before my gate. And if the Lord would fill the cup of my happiness, He would let me live to see the day when six or seven of my enemies are hung on the trees. With softened heart I would then forgive them all the evil they have done me. Yes, one must forgive ones enemies, but not before they are hung.