26 MARCH 1892, Page 14



SIR,—I venture to suggest a new interpretation of the word "translated" in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Act iii., Scene I,. where Quince, suddenly coming upon Bottom newly furnished with his ass's head, exclaims : "Bless thee, Bottom, bless thee t thou art translated." "Translated," of course, in Shakespearian language means "transformed," and no further explanation, as far as I am aware, has been offered with regard to this pas- sage. I am, however, informed that "to translate" is used as a technical term for a special industry carried on in some parts of London (and probably elsewhere), whereby new tops or " uppers " are put to old boots. If this information is correct, Quince's observation would have a good deal more point than is commonly supposed. A new top had been put to an old Bottom : possibly also, for Shakespeare's fancy in punning allusions was exuberant, a new top had been given to an old soul (sole). It would be interesting if any of your readers could give a more definite confirmation of this usage.—I am,