* School friends
|LIFE OF CARDINAL MEZZOFANTI|
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But although barren in details, all the accounts of his school-days concur in describing his uniform success in all his classes, and the extraordinary quickness of his memory. One of his feats of memory is recorded by M. Manavit Note 1.
A folio volume of the works of St. John Chrysostom being put into his hand, he was desired to read a page of the treatise "De Sacerdotio" in the original Greek. After a single reading, the volume was closed, and he repeated the entire page, without mistaking or displacing a single word ! His manners and dispositions as a boy were exceedingly engaging ; and the friendships which he formed at school continued uninterrupted during life. Among his school companions there is one who deserves to be especially recorded—the well-known naturalist, Abate Camillo Ranzani, for many years afterwards Mezzofanti's fellow-professor in the university. Ranzani, like his friend, was of very humble origin, and like him owed his withdrawal from obscurity to the enlightened benevolence of the good Oratorian, F. Respighi Note 2.
Young Ranzani was about the same age with Mezzofanti; and as their homes immediately adjoined each other, Note 3 they had been daily companions almost from infancy, and particularly from the time when they began to frequent the Scuole Pie in company. The constant allusions to Ranzani which occur in Mezzofanti's letters, will show how close and affectionate their intimacy continued to be.
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