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On Chastising the Colonies


A Certain Judge, at an Assize, declared it from the Bench, as his Opinion, that every man had a legal right to chastise his wife, if she was stubborn and obstinate; but then he observed, that his right ought to be exercised with great lenity and moderation.

It seems our Lawyers are of opinion, that England has an indisputable right to correct her refractory children of North America. But then, as the Judge observed, it ought to be done with temper and moderation; lest, like an unskilful Surgeon, we should exasperate and inflame the wound we ought to mollify. It is an old maxim, but not the less true, that it is much easier to lead than to drive. If the Duke d’Alva had treated the people of the Netherlands with gentleness and humanity, they would never have revolted. Thank God, we have no Duke d’Alva in England.

The Great Commoner is, at least in the present instance, a Friend to Peace, and for healing measures: So are the late King’s old and faithful servants. The same Apostle who says, Children, obey your Parents; says also, Fathers, provoke not your Children to wrath. PACIFICUS.

The London Chronicle, February 13, 1766