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When fitted and completed, the bridge must be as near perpendicular as possible; if there be any inclination, it must tend to the tailpiece, and very slightly, thus checking the certain tendency of the strings to pull it forward, which must be always closely watched, as if it fall on the belly of the violin, it is most liable to break not only so, but to crack that same soundboard.

This is the soundboard of the instrument that which, I suppose, vibrates as fourteen to ten as compared with the back that is to say, it is recorded that, given equal conditions, such will be the case.

The wrest-plank is bridged, and has its bearing like the soundboard; but the wrest-plank has no vibrations to transfer, and should, as far as possible, offer perfect insensibility to them.

This question of thicknesses is an important one, but applies more to the belly than the back; and I shall have more to say on this head when I get to that soundboard, merely adding now that the back must never be weak in wood, yet, at the same time, never so strong that a woody tone is the result, inevitable, as the timbre quality is scarcely developed, and without that I never care for it.

No matter how good be his back or his ribs, or the sweep of his lines or curves, or quality of his varnish and its elasticity or its superb colour, the selection of wood for his upper table or belly, or soundboard, must be his chief concern, and neither money nor energy spared to secure the best.

We now arrive at this joining of the wood for the soundboard, and the glue to be used must be of the best. Not too thin, but sufficiently so to drop freely from the brush used, and clear whilst being tenacious, as felt by pressure between finger and thumb.

For no matter how well your back may be gauged, finished, and finally adjusted; or your ribs, how equally balanced one with another or in relative proportions with the whole: if your tell-tale soundboard be defectively wrought, cheeks too much hollowed, or the thicknesses carelessly seen to, there will be beats in your tone, strings irregular, weak notes and strong ones, and a general unsatisfactory result which could easily have been avoided.