[Footnote 1: I do not remember that little Bice ever consoled herself under the disgrace of such captivity as my present wife has confessed to me that she did when suffering under the same condemnation. Her method of combining the maintenance of personal dignity with revenge on the oppressor, was to say to the first person who came to take her out of prison: “No! you can’t come into my parlour!”]
But that her worth, her talent, her social qualities, were recognised by a wider world than that of her own family, or her own circle of friends, is testified by the recording stone, which the Municipality placed on my house at the corner of the Piazza dell’ Independenza, where it may still be seen. Indeed the honour was not undeserved. For during the whole of her residence in Italy, which nearly synchronised with the struggle of Italy for her independence and unity, she had adopted the Italian cause heart and soul, and done what was in her to do, for its advancement. The honour was rendered the more signal, and the more acceptable, from the fact that the same had recently been rendered by the same body to Elizabeth Barrett Browning.
The house in the Piazza dell’ Independenza, which was known in the city as “Villino Trollope,” and of which I have spoken at the close of the last chapter, was my property, and I had lived in it nearly the whole of my married life. During that time four deaths had occurred among its inmates.
The first to happen was that of the old and highly valued servant of whom I had occasion to speak when upon the subject of Mr. Hume’s spiritualistic experiences at my house. She had been for many years a much trusted and beloved servant in the family of Mr. Garrow at Torquay, and had accompanied them abroad. Her name was Elizabeth Shinner. Her death was felt by all of us as that of a member of our family, and she lies in the Protestant cemetery at Florence by the side of her former master, and of the young mistress whom she had loved as a child of her own.