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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 ?
At times it rose to the fullest compass of the rich voices of the females, who hung over their little book in holy excitement, and again it sank so low, that the rushing of the waters ran through their melody, like a hollow accompaniment.
Those laws were his chart; his course was marked out on it; if he swerved from it by so much as half a point of the compass, it meant shipwreck to his honor; that is to say, degradation from his rank as a gentleman.
The glaring insincerity of these sermons was not sufficient to compass the banishment of the fashion from the schools, and it is not sufficient to-day; it never will be sufficient while the world stands, perhaps.
It was necessary to the happiness of both; for however dissimilar in temper and outward behaviour, they strongly resembled each other in that total want of talent and taste which confined their employments, unconnected with such as society produced, within a very narrow compass.
The thought of her sister, which had turned her from the scene of her meditated deception, which had made the consciousness of her own disguise hateful to her, was now the thought which sanctioned that means, or any means, to compass her end; the thought which set wings to her feet, and hurried her back nearer and nearer to the fatal house.
So with the three passengers shut up in the narrow compass of one lumbering old mail coach; they were mysteries to one another, as complete as if each had been in his own coach and six, or his own coach and sixty, with the breadth of a county between him and the next.
He was for any description of policy, in the compass of a week; and nailed all sorts of colours to every denomination of mast.
But all ye Gods, Adore him, who to compass all this dies, Adore the Son, and honour him as mee.
Art had taught him to soften the faults of a voice which had little compass, and was naturally rough rather than mellow, and, in short, had done all that culture can do in supplying natural deficiencies.
A few small coins, a thimble, and some thread and big needles, a piece of pigtail tobacco bitten away at the end, his gully with the crooked handle, a pocket compass, and a tinder box were all that they contained, and I began to despair.
Imagination, fancy, and invention, they are wholly strangers to, nor have any words in their language, by which those ideas can be expressed; the whole compass of their thoughts and mind being shut up within the two forementioned sciences.
In the first part the greatest freedom has been used in reducing the narration into a narrow compass, so that it is by no means a translation but an epitome, in which, whether everything either useful or entertaining be comprised, the compiler is least qualified to determine.