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Bottom, subst., 1) the lowest part of any cavity: “the b. poison, and the top o'erstrawed with sweets,” Ven. 1143. “ebbing men most often do so near the b. run,” Tp. II, 1, 227. Wiv. III, 5, 13. As IV, 1, 211. H4A I, 3, 203. H5 I, 2, 164. H4B V, 3, 57. R3 I, 4, 28. R3 I, 4, 28 Troil. III, 3, 198. Rom. III, 5, 56. Cymb. II, 2, 39. Figuratively: “it concerns me to look into the b. of my place,” Meas. I, 1, 79 (i. e. to know it throughout). “it shall be called Bottom's dream, because it hath no b.” Mids. IV, 1, 222. “now I see the b. of your purpose,” All's III, 7, 29. “I do see the b. of Justice Shallow,” H4B III, 2, 324. “you are too shallow, to sound the b. of the after times,” IV, 2, 51. Troil. III, 3, 312. Cor. IV, 5, 209. Tit. III, 1, 217. Rom. III, 5, 199. Mcb. IV, 3, 60. Cymb. IV, 2, 204. Per. V, 1, 166. “when your lordship sees the b. of his success in it,” All's III, 6, 38 (i. e. when you see the whole stretch and issue of his enterprise). “therein should we read the very b. and the soul of hope,” H4A IV, 1, 50 (we should try our fortune, as it were, to the lees, and there were nothing left to hope). “we then should see the b. of all our fortunes,” H6B V, 2, 78. -- “Now to the b. dost thou search my wound,” Tit. II, 3, 262, i. e. thou touchest upon my deepest grief. cf. “mirth doth search the b. of annoy,” Lucr. 1109. “the tent that searches to the b. of the worst,” Troil. II, 2, 17. “mine ear, therein false struck, can take no greater wound, nor tent to b. that,” Cymb. III, 4, 118.
2) a ship: “my ventures are not in one b. trusted,” Merch. I, 1, 42. “with the most noble b. of our fleet,” Tw. V, 60. John II, 73. H5 III Chor. H5 III Chor.
3) a low ground, a valley: “west of this place, down in the neighbour b.” As IV, 3, 79. “to rob me of so rich a b.” H4A III, 1, 105.
4) a ball of thread: “beat me to death with a b. of brown thread,” Shr. IV, 3, 138.
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