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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 ?
He first took my altitude by a quadrant, and then, with a rule and compasses, described the dimensions and outlines of my whole body, all which he entered upon paper; and in six days brought my clothes very ill made, and quite out of shape, by happening to mistake a figure in the calculation.
If on Friday night you had taken a pair of compasses and drawn a circle with a radius of five miles round the Woking sand pits, I doubt if you would have had one human being outside it, unless it were some relation of Stent or of the three or four cyclists or London people lying dead on the common, whose emotions or habits were at all affected by the new-comers.
My compasses, of course, were thrown out, my bow was struck twice, and I received two brisk shocks from the lower platform-rail.
The fruit is ripe already -except that he must learn his distances and his pacings, and his rods and his compasses.