Paganini's Violin

One day the virtuoso violinist Niccolo Paganini was horrified to learn that his prized violin required repair and would have to be opened. He reluctantly agreed to allow the Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume to attend to the procedure, provided that he was allowed to watch.

Paganini sat at the opposite end of the room and mopped sweat from his brow as a chisel was introduced between the table and the rib. Each cracking noise sent him jumping from his chair. "It was as if the chisel," he later recalled, "were entering my own flesh."

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