What I do in my room alone at night

When evening arrives, I return home and go into my study, and at the threshold, I take off my everyday clothes, full of mud and filth, and put on regal and courtly garments; and decorously dressed answer, I enter the ancient courts of ancient men, where, lovingly received by them, I feed myself on the food that is mine alone and for which I was born, where I am not ashamed to speak with them and to ask them about the reasons for their actions, and they, in their humanity, respond to me. And for four hours at a time, I do not feel any boredom, I forget every difficulty, I do not fear poverty, I am not terrified at death; I transfer myself into them completely.

Niccoló Machiavelli, letter to Francesco Vettori, in The Prince and Other Writings, pg. 151

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