"Bless thee, Bottom! Bless thee! Thou art translated."
The character Nick Bottom in Shakespeare's comedy A Midsummer Night's Dream is famous for being transformed into an ass.
That's fitting, of course, since he's something of an ass anyway and is named "Bottom." Actually, only his head is transformed, but he's all 'Bottom' below the neck, so we're not wrong to say he's an entire ass!
The character Peter Quince is famous for the expression of surprise upon seeing the transformed Bottom in Act 3, Scene 1, lines 118-119:
"Bless thee, Bottom! Bless thee! Thou art translated."He means "transformed," but is "translated" wrong? No, because "translation" can mean "transformation":
II. 3. Transformation, alteration, change . . . (OED, Vol 2, 1971, p. 266c)This usage dates from 1382. Unfortunately, the British variant "ass" meaning "arse" dates officially only to 1721 (OED, Vol. 1, 1971, p. 498b), so there appears to be no Shakespearean pun on "Bottom" as "ass."
Unless Shakespeare's choice of "Bottom" as name of the character fated to receive the ass's head is itself evidence of an earlier date for "ass" as "arse" . . .