What’s a Bavarian poke? Another Bavarian when he’s irate.
Sorry, that was dreadful. A Bavarian poke is in fact an obsolete term for a goitre (first cite in OED, 1621 R. BURTON Anat. Melancholy I. II. II. i. 95 Aubanus Bohemus referres that Struma, or poke of the Bauarians & Styrians to the nature of their waters.) and this whole thread is nothing but a transparent attempt to pass on my sheer delight with another passage of Burton I’ve just read. (Not without good reason did Johnson say that the Anatomy was “the only book that ever took him out of bed two hours sooner than he wished to rise.")
Burton wishes to convey that lovers are often blind to the defects of their mistresses. Here’s how he puts it:
Every lover admires his mistress, though she be very deformed of herself, ill-favoured, wrinkled, pimpled, pale, red, yellow, tanned, tallow-faced, have a swollen juggler’s platter face, or a thin, lean, chitty face, have clouds in her face, be crooked, dry, bald, goggle-eyed, blear-eyed, or with staring eyes, she looks like a squissed cat, hold her head still awry, heavy, dull, hollow-eyed, black or yellow about the eyes, or squint-eyed, sparrow-mouthed, Persian hook-nosed, have a sharp fox nose, a red nose, China flat, great nose, nare simo patuloque, a nose like a promontory, gubber-tushed, rotten teeth, black, uneven, brown teeth, beetle browed, a witch’s beard, her breath stink all over the room, her nose drop winter and summer, with a Bavarian poke under her chin, a sharp chin, lave eared, with a long crane’s neck, which stands awry too, pendulis mammis, her dugs like two double jugs, or else no dugs, in that other extreme, bloody fallen fingers, she have filthy, long unpared nails, scabbed hands or wrists, a tanned skin, a rotten carcass, crooked back, she stoops, is lame, splay-footed, as slender in the middle as a cow in the waist, gouty legs, her ankles hang over her shoes, her feet stink, she breed lice, a mere changeling, a very monster, an oaf imperfect, her whole complexion savours, a harsh voice, incondite gesture, vile gait, a vast virago, or an ugly tit, a slug, a fat fustilugs, a truss, a long lean rawbone, a skeleton, a sneaker (si qua latent meliora puta), and to thy judgment looks like a merd in a lantern, whom thou couldst not fancy for a world, but hatest, loathest, and wouldst have spit in her face, or blow thy nose in her bosom, remedium amoris to another man, a dowdy, a slut, a scold, a nasty, rank, rammy, filthy, beastly quean, dishonest peradventure, obscene, base, beggarly, rude, foolish, untaught, peevish, Irus’ daughter, Thersites’ sister, Grobians’ scholar, if he love her once, he admires her for all this, he takes no notice of any such errors, or imperfections of body or mind, Ipsa haec—delectant, veluti Balbinum Polypus Agnae,; he had rather have her than any woman in the world.
Pt 3, Sect. 2, Mem. 3
I felt like standing up and applauding after reading this! Wonderful!