Come evening, I walk home and go into my study. In the passage I take off my ordinary clothes, caked with mud and slime, and put on my formal palace gowns. Then when I am properly dressed I take my place in the courts of the past where the ancients welcome me kindly and I eat my fill of the only food that is really mine and that I was born for, I’m quite at ease talking to them and asking them why they did the things they did, and they are generous with their answers. So for four hours at a time I feel no pain, I forget all my worries. I’m not afraid of poverty and death doesn’t frighten me. I put myself entirely in their minds.
– Machiavelli, private letter to a friend