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Violin Unused

Bits & Pieces, June 25, 1992

The great violinist, Nicolo Paganini, willed his marvelous violin to Genoa&md;the city of his birth&md;but only on condition that the instrument never be played upon. It was an unfortunate condition, for it is a peculiarity of wood that as long as it is used and handled, it shows little wear. As soon as it is discarded, it begins to decay. The exquisite, mellow-toned violin has become worm-eaten in its beautiful case, valueless except as a relic. The moldering instrument is a reminder that a life withdrawn from all service to others loses its meaning.