If I perish, I hope the thirty-five issues of Il Monitore will survive me; each issue had about four hundred copies. We sent copies to France regularly, I trust they will not disappear. I'd like to think my political persona will outshine the ages. Like the Neapolitan sunshine: it will remain here, even if I succumb. Like Mount Vesuvius: it will stay here even if I depart. I always had a pedagogical intent; I never incited people to violence.
I came up with a plan. I wrote a letter to the celebrated friar D. Manuel do Cenáculo for I knew that when Joseph had returned to Portugal, he had lived briefly at Cenáculo's house. Toward the end of my letter, I ask the friar casually: "What is the Academy of Natural History, in Lisbon, doing under the auspices of the Duke of Lafões? With such an illustrious president, it is certainly not idle…
Our two families had known each other for many years; we had left Rome for Naples at the same time. Our move had been forced. The prime minister of Portugal, the famed Marquis de Pombal, had expelled the Jesuits from Portuguese territories, and the Papal State had retaliated by ordering its Portuguese colony to leave. We all felt insecure, fearful of the uncertain future.