"no man is a hero to his valet"

A portait of Michel de Montaigne by Thomas de Leu (c. 1600)
Public DomainA portait of Michel de Montaigne by Thomas de Leu (c. 1600)

This phrase, perhaps the most famous in the book, derives from Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592), who wrote “Peu dʹhommes ont esté admirés par leurs domestiques” (few men are admired by their domestic staff). You can also find a similar sentiment in the New Testament of The Bible: “A prophet is not without honour save in … his own house” (Matthew, Chapter XIII, Verse 57).