At one point E, knowing I was in a state of nastiness, said to me at the lousy Italian restaurant we went to: ‘Come on Richard, hold my hand.’ Me: ‘I do not wish to touch your hands. They are large and ugly and red and masculine.’
After that, my mind was like a malignant cancer — I was incurable. I either remained stupidly silent or managed an insult a second.
What the hell’s the matter with me? I love milady more than my life.
I’m very contrite this morning but one of these days it’s going to be too late cock, too late. E has just said that I really must get her that 69-carat ring to make her ugly big hands look smaller and less ugly!
Nobody turns insults to her advantage more swiftly or more cleverly than Lady Elizabeth. That insult last night is going to cost me. Betcha!
October 2, 1969, Richard Burton’s diary