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Plead, 1) intr. to argue, to speak by way of persuasion (often very nearly == to speak): “impatience chokes her --ing tongue,” Ven. 217. “that love-sick Love by --ing may be blest,” Ven. 217 “her --ing hath deserved a greater fee,” Ven. 217 “all orators are dumb when beauty --eth,” Lucr. 268. “while she --s to the rough beast that knows no gentle right,” Lucr. 268 “there --ing might you see grave Nestor stand,” Lucr. 268 “I will so p. that you shall say my cunning drift excels,” Gent IV, 2, 82. “p. no more,” Err. I, 1, 3. “p. you to me?” II, 2, 149. “that he did p. in earnest,” IV, 2, 3. “if he were mad, he would not p. so coldly,” V, 272. “--s he in earnest?” R2 V, 3, 100. “--ing so wisely in excuse of it,” H4B IV, 5, 181. “it fitteth not a prelate so to p.” H6A III, 1, 57 (quite == speak). “do not hear him p.” R3 I, 3, 347. “the golden fee for which I p.” III, 5, 96. if you p. as well for them (== in their place) “as I can say nay for myself,” III, 7, 52. “in that name doth nature p.” Tit. I, 370. “go successantly and p. to him,” IV, 4, 113. “I will be deaf to --ing and excuses,” Rom. III, 1, 197. With against: “I will p. against it with my life,” Meas. IV, 2, 192. “his virtues will p. against the deep damnation of his taking off,” Mcb. I, 7, 19. With for (== in favour of, or in order to obtain): “the colour in thy face shall p. for me,” Lucr. 480. “no rightful plea might p. for justice there,” Lucr. 480 “who p. for love,” Sonn. 23, 11. Gent. I, 2, 48. IV, 4, 105. Meas. II, 2, 31. Meas. II, 2, 31 Err. IV, 2, 11. Mids. III, 2, 113. Shr. I, 2, 155. II, 1, 15. All's I, 2, 10. John IV, 1, 99. V, 2, 165. H6B III, 2, 289. H6B III, 2, 289 IV, 1, 122. IV, 7, 113. R3 I, 3, 87. II, 1, 130 (Ff beg). Tit. I, 356. Tit. I, 356 III, 1, 30. Oth. II, 3, 361 (to).
2) tr. a) to speak for, to defend: “to p. Hortensio's passion,” Shr. III, 1, 74. “p. his love-suit to her gentle heart,” H5 V, 2, 101. “our swords shall p. it in the field,” H6C I, 1, 103. “assembled to p. your cause,” H8 II, 4, 61. “the lustre in your eye --s your fair usage,” Troil. IV, 4, 121. “p. my successive title with your swords,” Tit. I, 4. “and p. my passions for Lavinia's love,” II, 1, 36. “that he may never more false title p.” Tim. IV, 3, 154.
b) to allege in support or favour of something: “I here p. a new state in thy unrivalled merit,” Gent. V, 4, 144. “he cannot p. his estimation with you; he hath been a bawd,” Meas. IV, 2, 27. “her sober virtue, years and modesty p. on her part some cause to you unknown,” Err. III, 1, 91. All's IV, 5, 95. H8 I, 1, 208. Tit. I, 45. Tit. I, 45 With a subordinate clause: “my heart doth p. that thou in him dost lie,” Sonn. 46, 5. “p. what I will be, not what I have been,” R3 IV, 4, 414.
c) to expose, to declare as in a law-suit: “in such a presence here to p. my thoughts,” Mids. I, 1, 61. “if he suppose that I have --ed truth,” H6A II, 4, 29. “where to his accusations he --ed still not guilty,” H8 II, 1, 13.
d) to demand as in a court of justice: “when good will is showed, the actor may p. pardon,” Ant. II, 5, 9.
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