be severe

See: castigate
References in classic literature ?
And I here say that if I am slow to be severe to David, the reason thereof is that I dare not be severe to Porthos, and I have ever sought to treat the one the same with the other.
Tom, like every one of us, was imprisoned within the limits of his own nature, and his education had simply glided over him, leaving a slight deposit of polish; if you are inclined to be severe on his severity, remember that the responsibility of tolerance lies with those who have the wider vision.
Miss Temple is full of goodness; it pains her to be severe to any one, even the worst in the school: she sees my errors, and tells me of them gently; and, if I do anything worthy of praise, she gives me my meed liberally.
Conductive hearing loss may be severe, depending on the degree of malformation and the possibility of additional middle ear defects such as ossicular chain malformations.