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Not satisfied with judicial proceedings in the Senate: the emperor would sit at one end of the Prætor's tribunal, but so as not to displace him from the official seat. Many decisions were given in his presence, in opposition to improper influence and the solicitations of great men. This, though it promoted justice, ruined freedom. Pius Aurelius, for example, a senator, complained that the foundations of his house had been weakened by the pressure of a public road and aqueduct, and he appealed to the Senate for assistance. He was opposed by the prætors of the treasury, but the emperor helped him, and paid him the value of his house, for he liked to spend money on a good purpose, a virtue which he long retained, when he cast off all others. To Propertius Celer, an ex-prætor, who sought because of his indigence to be excused from his rank as a senator, he gave a million sesterces, having ascertained that he had inherited poverty. He bade others, who attempted the same, prove their case to the Senate, as from his love of strictness he was harsh even where he acted on right grounds. Consequently every one else preferred silence and poverty to confession and relief.

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