Because of these tragedies, he decided to give up composing. However, Verdi returned more than a year later and wrote the successful opera Nabucco (1842). Giuseppina Streponni, Verdi?s friend, mistress, was in the cast of the first performance and eventually became his second wife. Giuseppina and Verdi quietly married in 1859. Characterized as one of the most distinguished Italian citizens, in addition to being recognized as the leader of Italian theater, Verdi became a member of the Italian Chamber of Deputies in 1860. Not only because of his musical achievements, Verdi?s fame prevailed throughout Italy by the use of his name as a phrase-V (ittorio) E (mmanuele), R (e) D?l (talia), that is, ?Victor Emmanuel, King of Italy?. It was often cried out in the streets as a revolutionary expression during the battle for Italian independence and unification.