Meaning: the quality of having little or no significance
All the lesser lights paled into insignificance
All their insignificance did not prevent their being an element of the greatest power to those who cultivated them, alike in revenue and in dominion.
Then the caller, no matter how important or what his mission, is likely to realize his utter insignificance and be sent away without accomplishing his object.
The importance of having Congress and its officials in a given city represented more at that time, in spite of the small size of the body and the relative insignificance of the interests before it, than would be the case to-day with either of the great commercial cities of New York, Boston, or Philadelphia.