Watch


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WATCH, police. To watch is, properly speaking, to stand sentry and attend guard during the night time: certain officers called watchmen are appointed in most of the United States, whose duty it is to arrest all persons who are violating the law, or breaking the peace. (q.v.) Vide 1 Bl. Com. 356; 1 Chit. Cr. Law, 14, 20.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in classic literature ?
"Now that is my story, and I have told it in the interest of your trumpery science; but if on any evening hereafter you observe me wearing this damnable watch, and you have the thoughtfulness to ask me the hour, I shall beg leave to put you to the inconvenience of being knocked down."
Seeing myself unobserved, I took the old-fashioned key that dangled from the chain and quickly turned back the hands of the watch a full hour; then, closing the case, I handed Bartine his property and saw him replace it on his person.
The result was one that, if only I had considered the thing carefully, I might have foreseen: as the hand of the Watch touched the mark, the spring-cart--which had driven off, and was by this time half-way down the street, was back again at the door, and in the act of starting, while--oh woe for the golden dream of world-wide benevolence that had dazzled my dreaming fancy!--the wounded youth was once more reclining on the heap of pillows, his pale face set rigidly in the hard lines that told of pain resolutely endured.
Rosa watched over her tulip as a mother over her child, or a dove over her eggs.
You cannot expect me to believe that you have read all this from his old watch! It is unkind, and, to speak plainly, has a touch of charlatanism in it."
"Von!" said his watch also; "von!" said the watch of his vrow; and "von!" said the watches of the boys, and the little gilt repeaters on the tails of the cat and pig.
The children of the town steal round to watch them, wondering; and brawny country wenches, laughing, draw near to bandy ale- house jest and jibe with the swaggering troopers, so unlike the village swains, who, now despised, stand apart behind, with vacant grins upon their broad, peering faces.
It is needless to say that the dead steersman has been reverently removed from the place where he held his honourable watch and ward till death, a steadfastness as noble as that of the young Casabianca, and placed in the mortuary to await inquest.
And as he watched he envied the birds, and wondered why he should be a thrall while they were free.
Each new and nerve-twitched pose, Fingering a watch whose little ticks
In spite of themselves all the players watched him closely.
It would, doubtless, fare none too well for the man who had permitted the arch enemy of them all aboard the ship in the watches of the night, where later he might set an infernal machine to blow them all to kingdom come.