It is in active civil life that men get his broad air of importance, his dignified expectation of deference, his determinate mouth disarmed and refined since the hour of his success by the withdrawal of opposition and the concession of comfort and precedence and power.
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.