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man of little worth

Figaro, valet to the Spanish Count Almaviva, addresses his absent employer in a soliloquy:

'My Lord Count, because you are a great nobleman, you think you are a great genius. Nobility, fortune, rank, position! How proud they make a man feel! What have you done to deserve such advantages? Put yourself to the trouble of being born - nothing more! Whereas I, lost among the obscure crowd, have had to deploy more knowledge, more calculation and skill to survive than has sufficed to rule all the provinces of Spain for a century'.

Beaumarchais The Marriage of Figaro, translated John Wood, Penguin 1964, page 199

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