dreadfully touching
Note from W.B. Yeats, a Chapter from Anecdotes about 19th Century Authors Born After 1829

The meaning of these words is that Sir Max Beerbohm considered himself so important that he pitied ordinary people; a silly claim that matches the inanity of the whole anecdote, which is the long-winded and tedious expression of the conceited delusions of Sir Max Beerbohm.