Medicine is my lawful wife and literature my mistress; when I get tired of one, I spend the night with the other.
Anton Pavlovich Chekhov was a Russian physician, short story writer, and playwright. He was born in Taganrog, southern Russia, on 29 January 1860 [O.S. 17 January], and died of tuberculosis at the health spa of Badenweiler, Germany, on 15 July 1904 [O.S. 2 July]. His brief playwriting career produced four classics of the repertoire, while his best short stories are regarded as masterpieces by many writers and critics. Chekhov continued to practise as a doctor throughout his life: "Medicine is my lawful wife," he once said, "and literature is my mistress".