take post

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take post (third-person singular simple present takes post, present participle taking post, simple past took post, past participle taken post)

  1. (intransitive, archaic) To travel (somewhere) by posthorse or post chaise; to go (somewhere) as quickly as possible.
    • c. 1591–1595, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Romeo and Ivliet”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act V, scene i]:
      I saw her laid low in her kindred’s vault,
      And presently took post to tell it you:
    • 1629, Zachary Boyd, The Last Battell of the Soule in Death, Edinburgh: the heirs of Andro Hart, p. 1253,[1]
      No man can [te]ll how soone hee shall bee arraigned in the great Iudge his Consistorie: The day of this life wherein onelie wee can worke, declineth a pace: The fearfull night cloud hath taken post. So soone as it shall come, man shall bee discharged to worke any more.
    • 1650, William Beech, A View of Englands Present Distempers Occasioned by the Late Revolution of Government in This Nation, London: William Raybould, p. 121,[2]
      I shall leave these directions and take post to a conclusion.
    • 1722 March, H[enry] F[oe] [pseudonym; Daniel Defoe], A Journal of the Plague Year: [], London: [] E[lizabeth] Nutt []; J. Roberts []; A. Dodd []; and J. Graves [], OCLC 753219777, page 14:
      [] I had my Health and Limbs [] and might, with Ease, travel a Day or two on foot, and having a good Certificate of being in perfect Health, might either hire a Horse, or take Post on the Road, as I thought fit.
    • 1937, Nathan Schachner, Aaron Burr: A Biography, New York: A.S. Barnes, 1961, Chapter 2, p. 17,[3]
      He took ill with a fever when he finally returned to Princeton, but, scorning mundane ailments, he took post to Philadelphia, once more on behalf of his beloved College.
  2. (intransitive, archaic) To arrive in and occupy a position (somewhere), often a military one; to establish or station oneself in a (defensive or offensive) position.
    • 1687, Roger Manley, The Turkish History [] by Richard Knolles with a Continuation to This Present Year MDCLXXXVII, London: Tho. Basset, p. 323,[4]
      The besieged sprung a Mine under the Assailants first line, which buried Captain Kalkreiter, and some Souldiers. But seeing they could not take post for want of Earth [] it was thought expedient to make a retreat;
    • 1785, Edmund Burke, Mr. Burke’s speech, on the motion made for papers relative to the directions for charging the Nabob of Arcot’s private debts to Europeans, London: J. Dodsley, pp. 59-60,[5]
      [] through their whole controversy with the Court of Directors, they do not so much as hint at their ever having seen any other paper from lord Macartney, or any other estimate of revenue, than this of 1781. To this they hold. Here they take post; here they entrench themselves.
    • 1792, Richard Cumberland, Calvary: or the Death of Christ, London: C. Dilly, Book 2, p. 52,[6]
      ISCARIOT at the table’s lowest foot
      Took post, where best he might escape that glance,
      From whose intelligence no heart could hide
      Its guilty meditations:
    • 1897, Mark Twain, Following the Equator, Hartford: American Publishing Co., Chapter 51, p. 494,[7]
      Benares is a religious Vesuvius. In its bowels the theological forces have been heaving and tossing, rumbling, thundering and quaking, boiling, and weltering and flaming and smoking for ages. But a little group of missionaries have taken post at its base, and they have hopes.
    • 1926, T. E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom, Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1936, Chapter 105, p. 571,[8]
      Our watchers took post on the crest, looking out over the harvested plains to the Hejaz Railway.