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On the 14th of March, after commending the State to the care of the Senate, he presented to those who had
DISTRESS IN ROME; OTHO DEPARTS
been recalled from exile what was left of the Neronian confiscations, or had not yet been paid into the Imperial treasury, a most equitable and apparently most splendid piece of liberality, but practically worthless, as the property had been hastily realized long before. Soon afterwards he summoned an assembly, and enlarged on the dignity of the capital and the unanimity of the Senate and people in his favour. Of the party of Vitellius he spoke with moderation, charging the legions with ignorance rather than with crime, and making no mention of Vitellius himself. This moderation was either his own, or was due to the writer of the speech, who, fearing for himself, abstained from invectives against Vitellius. For Otho was believed to avail himself of the abilities of Galerius Trachalus in civil matters, just as he employed those of Celsus and Paullinus in war. There were some who recognized the very style of speaking, which was well known from his constant pleading at the bar, and which sought to fill the popular ear with a copious and sonorous diction. The acclamations and cries which habitual flattery prompted in the people were at once extravagant and false. As if they were applauding a Dictator like Cæsar, or an Emperor like Augustus, they vied with each other in their zeal and good wishes. They acted not from fear or affection, but from the mere love of servitude; as it might be in some private household, each had his own motives, and the public honour now went for nothing. Otho set out, leaving the peace of the city and the cares of empire in the charge of his brother Salvius Titianus.

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