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Prefer, 1) to like better than, to choose before another: “have I not reason to p. mine own?” Gent. II, 4, 156. “in our opinions she should be --ed,” H6A V, 5, 61. “why Somerset should be --ed,” H6B I, 3, 117. “thou --est thy life before thine honour,” H6C I, 1, 246. “p. a noble life before a long,” Cor. III, 1, 152. “this before all the world do I p.” Tit. IV, 2, 109. “--ing you before her father,” Oth. I, 3, 187. “you must not so far p. her fore ours of Italy,” Cymb. I, 4, 70. Refl.: “our haste from hence is of so quick condition that it --s itself and leaves unquestioned matters of needful value,” Meas. I, 1, 55 (== that it --s itself before the most important matters, which it leaves unquestioned).
2) to present, to lay before, to show: “that strong-bonded oath that shall p. and undertake my troth,” Compl. 280. “our play is --ed,” Mids. IV, 2, 39 (given in among others for the duke's option). “although in writing I --ed the manner of thy vile outrageous crimes,” H6A III, 1, 10. “why then --ed you not your sums and bills, when your false masters eat of my lord's meat?” Tim. III, 4, 49. “and ne'er p. his injuries to his heart,” III, 5, 34. “let him go and presently p. his suit to Caesar,” Caes. III, 1, 28. “I'll have --ed him a chalice for the nonce,” Hml. IV, 7, 160 (Ff prepared). “without more wider and more overt test than these thin habits and poor likelihoods of modern seeming do p. against him,” Oth. I, 3, 109. “who is the first that doth p. himself?” Per. II, 2, 17.
3) to address, to direct: “if you know any such, p. them hither,” Shr. I, 1, 97. “fellow, wilt thou bestow thy time with me? Ay, if Messala will p. me to you. Do so, good Messala,” Caes. V, 5, 62.* “stood I within his grace, I would p. him to a better place,” Lr. I, 1, 277.
4) to recommend: “to call her bad, whose sovereignty so oft thou hast --ed with twenty thousand soul-confirming oaths,” Gent. II, 6, 15. “Shylock hath --ed thee,” Merch. II, 2, 155. “who --eth peace more than I do?” H6A III, 1, 33. H6A III, 1, 33 “my book --ed me to the king,” H6B IV, 7, 77. “who lets go by no vantages that may p. you to his daughter,” Cymb. II, 3, 51. “the emperor's letters should not sooner than thine own worth p. thee,” IV, 2, 386. “he is --ed by thee to us,” IV, 2, 386
5) to promote, to advance: “I will help thee to p. her too,” Gent. II, 4, 157. “under the colour of commending him I have access my own love to p.” IV, 2, 4. “I will love thee and p. thee too,” R3 IV, 2, 82. (a bishop) “newly --ed from the king's secretary,” H8 IV, 1, 102. “so shall you have a shorter journey to your desires by the means I shall then have to p. them,” Oth. II, 1, 286. “to be styled the under-hangman of his kingdom and hated for being --ed so well,” Cymb. II, 3, 136. “ere I arise, I will p. my sons,” V, 5, 326.
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