At the same time negotiations took place with Great Britain for an Italian occupation of Massawa, and Mancini, dreaming of a vast Anglo-Italian enterprise against the Mahdi, expatiated in.
And as he thus expatiated, he grew in nobility of aspect with his enthusiasm.
But we have to picture him as anon coming out and gathering about him a tatterdemalion company, and jesting with them until they were in fits of laughter, for the sake of observing their burlesque physiognomies; anon as eagerly frequenting the society of men of science and learning of an older generation like the mathematician Benedetto Aritmetico, the physician, geographer and astronomer Paolo Toscanelli, the famous Greek Aristotelian Giovanni Argiropoulo; or as out-rivalling all the youth of the city now by charm of recitation, now by skill in music and now by feats of strength and horsemanship; or as stopping to buy caged birds in the market that he might set them free and watch them rejoicing in their flight; or again as standing radiant in his rose-coloured cloak and his rich gold hair among the throng of young and old on the piazza, and holding them spellbound while he expatiated on the great projects in art and mechanics that were teeming in his mind.
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