Excerpt | Civilized People

Civilized people must, I believe, satisfy the following criteria:

5/ They don't run themselves down in order to provoke the sympathy of others.
They don't play on other people's heartstrings to be sighed over and cosseted; that sort of thing is just cheap striving for effects, it's vulgar, old hat and false.

§ From a letter to Nikolay Chekhov, March 1886

Chekhov, A. (2004) A Life in Letters