One foggy night in London, many years ago, a ragged unkempt man shuffled into a little music shop, owned by a Mr. Betts. Clutched under the man's arm was a violin.
"Will you buy this old violin from me?" the man muttered. I'm starving. I need money to buy something to eat."
"Well, I already have several violins," Mr. Betts replied. "But I don't want to see you go hungry. Will a guinea ($5.00 at the time) help you out?"
"Oh, yes," said the man. "Thank you. Thank you." He took the money and disappeared into the night.
Mr. Betts picked up the violin, took the bow and drew it across the strings. The violin gave forth a deep mellow tone. Surprised, Mr. Betts took a light and peered into the inside of the violin. He could hardly believe what he saw. There, carved into the wood were these words:
1704." Mr. Betts ran out into the street to find the old man, to pay him more for the violin. But he had gone.