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TO COMPASS. To imagine; to contrive.
     2. In England, to compass the death of the king is high treason. Bract. 1. 3, c. 2 Britt. c. 8; Mirror, c. 1, s. 4.

References in classic literature ?
Under that, the miscellany began--a quadrant, a tin canikin, several sticks of tobacco, two brace of very handsome pistols, a piece of bar silver, an old Spanish watch and some other trinkets of little value and mostly of foreign make, a pair of compasses mounted with brass, and five or six curious West Indian shells.
And, after a few convulsive efforts, the red legs tok the shape of a pair of compasses, and the intelligent pupil triumphantly shouted, "It's a We, Dranpa, it's a We
Barbicane did not answer, but after a rapid glance at the captain, took a pair of compasses wherewith to measure the angular distance of the terrestrial globe; then from the lower window he took an exact observation, and noticed that the projectile was apparently stationary.