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Another matter which had been lost sight of for a similar length of time was brought up by M. Valerius Laevinus. It was only just and right, he said, that the sums which were contributed by private individuals in the year when he and M. Claudius were the consuls should at last be repaid.  No one ought to be surprised that he was particularly anxious for the State to meet its obligations honourably, for, apart from the fact that it specially concerned the consul for that year, it was he himself who advocated these contributions at a time when the treasury was exhausted, and the plebeians were unable to pay their war-tax.  The senators were glad to be reminded of the incident, and the consuls were instructed to submit a resolution to the House. They made a decree that the loans should be repaid in three instalments, the first, immediately by the consuls then in office, the second and third by the consuls who should be in office in two and four years' time, respectively.  A subject was afterwards brought up which absorbed all other interests, namely the terrible state of things at Locri. Up to that time nothing had been heard of it, but since the arrival of the delegates it had become generally known.  Deep resentment was felt at the criminal conduct of Pleminius, but still more at the partiality or the indifference shown by Scipio.  The delegates from Locri, presenting a picture of grief and misery, approached the consuls, who were on their tribunals in the comitium, and holding out in Greek fashion olive-branches as tokens of suppliants prostrated themselves on the ground with tears and groans.  In reply to the consuls' enquiry as to who they were, they stated that they were Locrians, and that they had experienced at the hands of Pleminius and his Roman soldiers such treatment as the Roman people would not wish even the Carthaginians to undergo. They craved permission to appear before the senate and unfold their tale of woe.
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