Seeing himself placed next the Priest, and noting the ceremony, and thinking himself—being Captain of a ship—as having plain precedence over a mere island King, especially in the King’s own house—the Captain coolly proceeds to wash his hands in the punchbowl;—taking it I suppose for a huge finger-glass.
There are no more uses of "precedence" in the book.
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Rationality is the recognition of the fact that nothing can alter the truth and nothing can take precedence over that act of perceiving it.
However, a sick mother took precedence even over my scientific needs — though I am still at a loss to understand how Mike knew his mother was ill.