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