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Instrument Not Used Began to Decay

The great violinist, Nicolo Paganini, willed his marvelous violin to Genoa—the city of his birth—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 The moldering instrument is a reminder that a life withdrawn from all service to others loses its meaning.

Bits & Pieces, June 25, 1992

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