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About the same time, M. Caelius Rufus, pretor at Rome for foreign affairs, having undertaken the cause of the debtors, on his entrance into his office, ordered his tribunal to be fixed near that of the city pretor, C. Trebonius, and promised to receive the complaints of such as should appeal to him, in regard to the estimation and payments, made in consequence of Caesar's late regulation. But such was the equity of the decree, and the humanity of Trebonius, who, in so nice and critical an affair, thought it necessary to conduct himself with the utmost clemency and moderation, that no pretence of appeal could be found. For to plead poverty, personal losses, the hardness of the times, and the difficulty of bringing their effects to sale, is usual enough even with reasonable minds: but to own themselves indebted, and yet aim at keeping their possessions entire, would have argued a total want both of honesty and shame. Accordingly not a man was found who had made any such demand. Caelius's whole severity, therefore, was pointed against those, to whom the inheritance of the debtor was adjudged; and having once embarked in the affair, that he might not seem to have engaged himself to no purpose in an unjustifiable cause, he published a law, by which he allowed the debtors six years for the discharge of their debts, wihch they were to clear at equal payments, without interest.
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