Machiavelli, rupt de viața politică florentină, îi scrie o scrisoare prietenului Francesco Vettori, în care îi povestește în detaliu cum își petrece zilele în exil:
I rise in the morning with the sun, and go into a wood that I am having cut, where I remain two hours in order to check the work done the day before and to pass the time with the woodcutters, who always have some argument at hand among themselves or with their neighbors.
Leaving the wood, I go to a spring and from there to my birdsnare. I have a book with me, Dante or Petrarch or one of the lesser poets like Tibullus, Ovid or the like. I read about their amorous passions and their loves, I remember my own, and I revel in these thoughts for a while. I then move on up the road to the inn. I speak with those who pass, and I ask for news of their area; I learn many things and note the different and diverse tastes and ways of thinking of men. Lunchtime comes, when my family and I eat that food which this poor farm and my meager patrimony permit.
After eating, I return to the inn; there I usually find the innkeeper, a butcher, a miller and two bakers. With these men I waste my time playing cards all day, and from these games a thousand disagreements and countless offensive words arise, and most of the time our arguments are over a few cents; nevertheless, we can be heard yelling from as far away as San Casciano. Caught this way among these lice, I wipe the mold from my brain and release my feeling of being ill-treated by Fate; I am happy to be driven along this road by her, as I wait to see if she will be ashamed of doing so.
When evening has come, I return to my house and go into my study. At the door I take off my clothes of the day, which are covered with mud and mire, and I put on my regal and courtly garments; and decently reclothed, I enter the ancient courts of ancient men, where, received by them kindly, I feed on the food that alone is mine, and that I was born for. There I am not ashamed to speak to them and to ask them the reasons for their actions; and they, in their humanity, reply to me. And for the space of four hours I feel no boredom, I forget every pain, I no longer fear poverty, death does not frighten me. I deliver myself entirely to them.