his duty to his children or servants could rarely be reached by the civil authority.
The duty of the master to his slaves as social beings is to give them laws within the limits prescribed by the civil government, and to govern them according to the principles of justice and equity.
As his empire is constantly under his eye, or the eye of his immediate agent, it is not necessary that he have recourse to a code of laws definitely drawn up and formally announced.
As the teacher in his room, and the mother in her nursery, may have their rules, and have them obeyed without these formalities, so may the master.
But these rules should not relate merely to the economical use of the slave's time and labor, but should be adapted to his character as a social being.
Hence, it is not proposed to give a code of laws for the plantation, but to discuss certain principles which should influence the conduct of the master in the government of his domestic empire.
1. In regard to punishments
. Neither the magistrate, the parent, nor the master, should bear the sword in vain.
Disobedience, which, in all wise governments, is wickedness, must be restrained, and in extreme cases by severe punishments.
It would be great weakness to forbear.
But one law, however, should govern in the infliction