neltpou raper fette me jianne sofifri alle mine men to leose.
Ibid. i62/ I943-'4, Deth ichullc wel fain take . . . rapur ]>ane heo (= holi churche) spille.
Ibid. 164/2017, rapur ichullc him Jter-to helpe: so muche so ich mai.
•377 Piers PI- B IV 5 (= C V. 5), But resoun rede me [ler-to rather wil I deye.
i379-'83 Chaucer, Troil. & Cris. V 47, Why nil I rather vvith a man or two Stele hir a-vvey ?
1386-? Id. Cant. T. B 225, rather than I lese Custance I wol be cristned.
c. 1450 Compendious Olde Treatyse, p. 175, Also Paul saith in the same Chapter. I will rather fyue wordes to be spoken to the vnderstanding of men then ten thousand yat they vnderstand not, Cf. Auth. Vers. 1 Corinth. XIV 19, I had rather speak five words with my understanding... than...
1481 Caxton, Reynard, p. 18, I wyl rather be the messager my self for to goo and paye hym.
' 553 Roister Doister p. 38, I will rather haue my Cote twentie times swinged, Than on the naughtie wag not to be auenged; cf.
Ascham, Works I, II, p. 333, / had rather it ( = mine old living, compared with acoat) turned than any new provided.
1559 Ascham, Works II, 21, / will rather teil you then how it ( = medicine) did comfort me, than... Id. Ibid. II, 145, take heed of such men, yea, and of me too, if you should understand me to be of that sort that rather will seek yours than you, ani rather will seek by you to bear and face out a ruffling... than &c.
1593 Marlowe, Edward the Sec. V VI 52, / will rather die, Than sue for life, unto a paltry boy. Shakespeare, Merry Wives, II II 3 '6. I will rather trust a Fleming with my butter... then my wife with her selfe.
Id. Merch. of Ven. I III 156, You shall not seale