Each morning when shaving I look at my reflection and a small and depressingly accurate mirror presents me with an image from which I have never derived any satisfaction. That is not to say that I am disappointed. I have never expected anything. If I were asked to write a short essay describing my face, the description would be unrecognisable to anyone who knew me well. I will not distress myself by offering descriptions of individual items of the entire contour. I well recollect on one occasion, after giving a lecture, seeing a report of it from a young woman which said that ‘the lecturer (a singularly ugly man) came into the room’ – but then I must with vanity add her further words: ‘and with a few well chosen sentences induced oblivion about his appearance that remained until the lecture ended and thereafter was immediately restored.’ I have any number of vanities. In the whole of this diary, in the whole of this issue, it would be impossible to compress the catalogue. I shall not gratify my enemies with this material, but it does enable me to say that common sense has always precluded personal vanity as one of my weaknesses.
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