late Old English tacan , from a Scandinavian source (. Old Norse taka "take, grasp, lay hold," past tense tok , past participle tekinn ; Swedish ta , past participle tagit ), from Proto-Germanic *tækanan (cf. Middle Low German tacken , Middle Dutch taken , Gothic tekan "to touch"), of uncertain origin, perhaps originally meaning "to touch."
Gradually replaced Middle English nimen as the verb for "to take," from Old English niman , from the usual West Germanic *nem- root (cf. German nehmen , Dutch nemen ; see nimble ). OED calls it "one of the elemental words of the language;" take up alone has 55 varieties of meaning in that dictionary's 2nd print edition. Basic sense is "to lay hold of," which evolved to "accept, receive" (as in take my advice ) ; "absorb" ( she can take a punch ) ; "to choose, select" ( take the long way home ) late 13c.; "to make, obtain" ( take a shower ) late 14c.; "to become affected by" ( take sick ) .
Take five is 1929, from the approximate time it takes to smoke a cigarette. Take it easy first recorded 1880; take the plunge "act decisively" is from 1876; take the rap "accept (undeserved) punishment" is from 1930. Phrase take it or leave it is recorded from 1897.
"...Slavery destroyed Roman civilization, the force and dignity of which we so much admire. I fear it will destroy that of my native land.....There are those who expect, and not only expect but threaten, the dissolution of the Union of the American states. The Union is not so easily dissolved. The wisest men of the South, where it is talked of most, do not desire to, even if it were possible. The Free States are too powerful to allow the slave section to withdraw from the Union without their consent. The dissolution of the Union, logically speaking, means civil war....