The Five Thousand Dollar Violin

The Five Thousand Dollar Violin

It had been announced for weeks that on a certain night in a large public hall a famous violinist was to play on his five thousand dollar violin. A large crowd had gathered to hear the famous musician play such an expensive instrument.

In the audience sat Mary who had been taking violin lessons for a long time. She sat between her father and mother. Although Mary had had many lessons, and although her parents urged her to practice, she did not have much interest in violin playing. As a result she did not play well.
But on this night Mary was all attention. They were seated near the front so that

Mary could be as close as possible in order to get a good look at the five thousand dollar violin. The time had come for the concert to begin. As the famous violinist stepped on the platform, the large audience rose to its feet and greeted him with a thundering applause. The great musician bowed to show his appreciation. The audience sat down, and then there was a deep silence.

With straining eyes Mary looked at the violin which the musician held in his hand. Then turning to her mother she whispered, "If I had a violin like that I, too, could play so that others would want to listen to me. How can I get good music out of my twenty-five dollar violin?"

Mary could say no more, the musician was placing his violin into position and raised the bow to draw it across the strings. Sweet, soft and mellow strains filled the large hall. Everyone sat in rapt attention. They had never heard such music before. The people hung on every note. The famous musician carried them all into a new world of enchanting music. Mary forgot herself completely; it seemed as if she had entered some fairy land.

Then at the moment when some were leaning forward in their seats and others had tears in their eyes, then, then, suddenly in the midst of this inspiring music something terrible happened. The music stopped, the musician dropped his bow and began to adjust the pegs that tune the strings. Then he drew the bow across the strings, but evidently something had gone wrong. He adjusted the pegs again and yet again. Everyone saw that the violinist was becoming greatly disturbed. He drew the bow across the strings once more, and then, then, in what seemed to be a rage of anger, he smashed the violin over the back of a chair, and it fell to the floor in splinters.

The audience was greatly excited; some jumped to their feet as if to rebuke the musician for his temper and the destruction of such an expensive violin. But when all was quiet and everyone was wondering what would happen next, a friend of his on the platform rose to his feet and spoke to the audience. This is what he said, "Do not be disturbed and excited. This famous violinist has only tried to teach us a lesson which I hope we will never forget. The violin which he broke over the chair cost only a dollar and fifty cents. He got grand music such as most of us have never heard from a cheap violin. It should teach us that the wonderful music we are to hear tonight is not in the violin but in his heart and soul. He will now play for us on his five thousand dollar instrument." Everyone sat back greatly relieved. Mary had learned something that night which she was never to forget. She repeated to herself: "The music is in his soul not in the violin."

What is true of music is true of all the finest and best things in life. Mary did not play well because she thought the music was in the violin; she did not realize that if it was not in her heart, she would never get it out of the violin.

This is also true of happiness. If happiness is not in our hearts, nothing in all the world can make us happy. The best radio, the biggest automobile, and the finest clothes will not make us happy, if there is no happiness in our hearts.

The famous musician got good music out of a very cheap violin because there was music in his heart. We can get great happiness out of the small things of life if we have happiness in our hearts.

Not only music but everything we do comes from our hearts. We cannot speak kind words unless there is kindness first of all in our hearts. We cannot give and do good unless there is love in our hearts. Our lives are either good or bad depending on what is in our hearts. The Bible tells us, that as a man thinks in his heart so is he.

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