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Paine is saying that he had strongly hoped that the colonies and the British government would be able to work out their differences ("wisher for reconciliation") until he heard the news about the events that occurred in Lexington on April 19, 1775. Upon learning of the "massacre," he changed his mind and gave up any consideration of ever reconciling with the King ("the hardened, sullen tempered Pharaoh of England"). He contends that the King no longer has any right to claim the title of "Father of his people" because of his merciless conduct in sending soldiers to fight the colonists, and that the deaths of the colonists are his direct responsibility.
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