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As the city populace complained of the cruel dearness of corn, he fixed a price for grain to be paid by the purchaser, promising himself to add two sesterces on every peck for the traders. But he would not therefore accept the title of "father of the country" which once before too had been offered him, and he sharply rebuked those who called his work "divine" and himself "lord." Consequently, speech was restricted and perilous under an emperor who feared freedom while he hated sycophancy.