power of directing

See: pressure
References in classic literature ?
Well, then, see, here is a gentleman who had none of these resources at his disposal -- a gentleman, only a simple magistrate, who learned more than you with all your police, and who would have saved my crown, if, like you, he had the power of directing a telegraph.
It hinted to him that he might, without meaning it, turn aside a trustfulness beneficial to a mis-shapen young mind and perhaps to his own power of directing and improving it.