Would you be kind enough to give me your considered opinion concerning the interpretation of the expression in bold in the following sentence?
For four years I have been serving in a newspaper office as a proof-reader but have never pleaded with the proprietor for a rise in my wages. (Kwaja Ahmad Abbas, The Umbrella”)
to plead with somebody = to make a serious appeal
Your interpretation is technically correct, but when it comes to salary negotiations "pleading" for an increase is more akin to begging, or in other words, baring your emotions and relying on the compassion of your employer.