I recall a dream Machiavelli was supposed to have had a little while before he died:
Machiavelli is standing in the brush beside a mountain path. At the top of the mountain he can see a bright light, about the equivalent of the sun. As he stands beside the path, a large multitude of people pass by.
None of these people are very well off. In fact, almost all of them are the poverty-stricken. Machiavelli can recognize no one. He taps a passerby on the shoulder and asks, "Where is this place? Who are all of you?"
The beggar (for that is what Machiavelli sees him to be) responds, "We are those who followed Jesus, and we now are ascending Purgatory to be with the Master."
At this point, the scene changes. Machiavelli is standing at the gates of Hell, watching a crowd pass through. However, this crowd is the polar opposite of the first: it is full of nobles, princes, politicians, soldiers of every rank, and many, many of Niccolo's friends. Stricken with grief, he rushes up to a friend and asks, "Why are you all here?"
His friend responds, "We are here because we challenged God. We are condemned here."
After Machiavelli awoke, he related this dream to a son, with this final bit: "I would rather dwell in the Depths Of Hell with all those I know and love than ascend to the highest Sphere of Holiness. For those condemned to Hell, are those I most relate to."
Somehow I don't think Machiavelli cares about being called "Old Nick".
I paraphrased all of this. I probably did
botch a thing or two.