It is not intended by these reflections to exculpate the rest of the army, and especially its officers, from their share in the infamy of the transaction. But Pizarro, as commander of the army, was mainly responsible for its measures. For he was not a man to allow his own authority to be wrested from his grasp, or to yield timidly to the impulses of others. He did not even yield to his own. His whole career shows him, whether for good or for evil, to have acted with a cool and calculating policy. A story has been often repeated, which refers the motives of Pizarro's conduct, in some degree at least, to personal resentment. The Inca had requested one of the Spanish soldiers to write the name of God on his nail. This the monarch showed to several of his guards successively, and, as they read it, and each pronounced the same word, the sagacious mind of the barbarian was delighted with what seemed to him little short of a miracle, - to which the science of his own nation afforded no analogy. On showing the writing to Pizarro, that chief remained silent; and the Inca, finding he could not read, conceived a contempt for the commander who was even less informed than his soldiers. This he did not wholly conceal, and Pizarro, aware of the cause of it, neither forgot nor forgave it. *43 The anecdote is reported not on the highest authority. It may be true; but it is unnecessary to look for the motives of Pizarro's conduct in personal pique, when so many proofs are to be discerned of a dark and deliberate policy.
[Footnote 43: The story is to be found in Garcilasso de la Vega, (Com. Real., Parte 2, cap. 38,) and in no other writer of the period, so far as I am aware.]
Yet the arts of the Spanish chieftain failed to reconcile his countrymen to the atrocity of his proceedings. It is singular to observe the difference between the tone assumed by the first chroniclers of the transaction, while it was yet fresh, and that of those who wrote when the lapse of a few years had shown the tendency of public opinion. The first boldly avow the deed as demanded by expediency, if not necessity; while they deal in no measured terms of reproach with the character of their unfortunate victim. *44 The latter, on the other hand, while they extenuate the errors of the Inca, and do justice to his good faith, are unreserved in their condemnation of the Conquerors, on whose conduct, they say, Heaven set the seal of its own reprobation, by bringing them all to an untimely and miserable end. *45 The sentence of contemporaries has been fully ratified by that of posterity; *46 and the persecution of Atahuallpa is regarded with justice as having left a stain, never to be effaced, on the Spanish arms in the New World.
[Footnote 44: I have already noticed the lavish epithets heaped by Xerez on the Inca's cruelty. This account was printed in Spain, in 1534, the year after the execution. "The proud tyrant," says the other secretary, Sancho, "would have repaid the kindness and good treatment he had received from the governor and every one of us with the same coin with which he usually paid his own followers, without any fault on their part, - by putting them to death." (Ped. Sancho, Rel., ap. Ramusio, tom. III. fol. 399.) "He deserved to die," says the old Spanish Conqueror before quoted, "and all the country was rejoiced that he was put out of the way." Rel. d'un Capitano Spagn., ap. Ramusio, tom. III. fol. 377.]
[Footnote 45: "Las demostraciones que despues se vieron bien manifiestan lo mui injusta que fue, . . . . puesto que todos quantos entendieron en ella tuvieron despues mui desastradas muertes." (Naharro, Relacion Sumaria, Ms.) Gomara uses nearly the same language. "No ai que reprehender a los que le mataron, pues el tiempo, i sus pecados los castigaron despues; ca todos ellos acabaron mal." (Hist. de las Ind., cap. 118.) According to the former writer, Felipillo paid the forfeit of his crimes sometime afterwards, - being hanged by Almagro on the expedition to Chili, - when, as "some say, he confessed having perverted testimony given in favor of Atahuallpa's innocence, directly against that monarch." Oviedo, usually ready enough to excuse the excesses of his countrymen, is unqualified in his condemnation of this whole proceeding, (see Appendix, No. 10,) which, says another contemporary, "fills every one with pity who has a spark of humanity in his bosom." Conq. i Pob. del Piru, Ms.]
[Footnote 46: The most eminent example of this is given by Quintana in his memoir of Pizarro, (Espanoles Celebres, tom. II.,) throughout which the writer, rising above the mists of national prejudice, which too often blind the eyes of his countrymen, holds the scale of historic criticism with an impartial hand, and deals a full measure of reprobation to the actors in these dismal scenes.]
Disorders In Peru. - March To Cuzco. - Encounter With The Natives. - Challcuchima Burnt. - Arrival In Cuzco. - Description Of The City. - Treasure Found There.
The Inca of Peru was its sovereign in a peculiar sense. He received an obedience from his vassals more implicit than that of any despot; for his authority reached to the most secret conduct, - to the thoughts of the individual. He was reverenced as more than human. *1 He was not merely the head of the state, but the point to which all its institutions converged, as to a common centre, - the keystone of the political fabric, which must fall to pieces by its own weight when that was withdrawn. So it fared on the death of Atahuallpa. *2 His death not only left the throne vacant, without any certain successor, but the manner of it announced to the Peruvian people that a hand stronger than that of their Incas had now seized the sceptre, and that the dynasty of the Children of the Sun had passed away for ever.
[Footnote 1: "Such was the awe in which the Inca was held," says Pizarro, "that it was only necessary for him to intimate his commands to that effect, and a Peruvian would at once jump down a precipice, hang himself, or put an end to his life in any way that was prescribed." Descub. y Conq., Ms.]
[Footnote 2: Oviedo tells us, that the Inca's right name was Atabaliva, and that the Spaniards usually misspelt it, because they thought much more of getting treasure for themselves, than they did of the name of the person who owned it. (Hist. de las Indias, Ms., Parte 3, lib. 8, cap. 16.) Nevertheless, I have preferred the authority of Garcilasso, who, a Peruvian himself, and a near kinsman of the Inca, must be supposed to have been well informed. His countrymen, he says, pretended that the cocks imported into Peru by the Spaniards, when they crowed, uttered the name of Atahuallpa; "and I and the other Indian boys," adds the historian, "when we were at school, used to mimic them." Com. Real., Parte 1, lib. 9, cap. 23.] The natural consequences of such a conviction followed. The beautiful order of the ancient institutions was broken up, as the authority which controlled it was withdrawn. The Indians broke out into greater excesses from the uncommon restraint to which they had been before subjected. Villages were burnt, temples and palaces were plundered, and the gold they contained was scattered or secreted. Gold and silver acquired an importance in the eyes of the Peruvian, when he saw the importance attached to them by his conquerors. The precious metals, which before served only for purposes of state or religious decoration, were now hoarded up and buried in caves and forests. The gold and silver concealed by the natives were affirmed greatly to exceed in quantity that which fell into the hands of the Spaniards. *3 The remote provinces now shook off their allegiance to the Incas. Their great captains, at the head of distant armies, set up for themselves. Ruminavi, a commander on the borders of Quito, sought to detach that kingdom from the Peruvian empire, and to reassert its ancient independence. The country, in short, was in that state, in which old things are passing away, and the new order of things has not yet been established. It was in a state of revolution.
[Footnote 3: "That which the Inca gave the Spaniards, said some of the Indian nobles to Benalcazar, the conqueror of Quito, was but as a kernel of corn, compared with the heap before him." (Oviedo, Hist. de las Indias, Ms., Parte 3, lib. 8 cap. 22.) See also Pedro Pizarro Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Relacion del Primer. Descub., Ms.]
The authors of the revolution, Pizarro and his followers, remained meanwhile at Caxamalca. But the first step of the Spanish commander was to name a successor to Atahuallpa. It would be easier to govern under the venerated authority to which the homage of the Indians had been so long paid; and it was not difficult to find a successor. The true heir to the crown was a second son of Huayna Capac, named Manco, a legitimate brother of the unfortunate Huascar. But Pizarro had too little knowledge of the dispositions of this prince; and he made no scruple to prefer a brother of Atahuallpa, and to present him to the Indian nobles as their future Inca. We know nothing of the character of the young Toparca, who probably resigned himself without reluctance to a destiny which, however humiliating in some points of view, was more exalted than he could have hoped to obtain in the regular course of events. The ceremonies attending a Peruvian coronation were observed, as well as time would allow; the brows of the young Inca were encircled with the imperial borla by the hands of his conqueror, and he received the homage of his Indian vassals. They were the less reluctant to pay it, as most of those in the camp belonged to the faction of Quito. All thoughts were now eagerly turned towards Cuzco, of which the most glowing accounts were circulated among the soldiers, and whose temples and royal palaces were represented as blazing with gold and silver. With imaginations thus excited, Pizarro and his entire company, amounting to almost five hundred men, of whom nearly a third, probably, were cavalry, took their departure early in September from Caxamalca, - a place ever memorable as the theatre of some of the most strange and sanguinary scenes recorded in history. All set forward in high spirits, - the soldiers of Pizarro from the expectation of doubling their present riches, and Almagro's followers from the prospect of sharing equally in the spoil with "the first conquerors." *4 The young Inca and the old chief Challcuchima accompanied the march in their litters, attended by a numerous retinue of vassals, and moving in as much state and ceremony as if in the possession of real power. *5
[Footnote 4: The "first conquerors," according to Garcilasso, were held in especial honor by those who came after them, though they were, on the whole, men of less consideration and fortune than the later adventurers. Com. Real., Parte 1 lib. 7, cap. 9.]
[Footnote 5: Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Naharro, Relacion Sumaria, Ms. - Ped. Sancho Rel., ap. Ramusio, tom. III. fol. 400.]
Their course lay along the great road of the Incas, which stretched across the elevated regions of the Cordilleras, all the way to Cuzco. It was of nearly a uniform breadth, though constructed with different degrees of care, according to the ground. *6 Sometimes it crossed smooth and level valleys, which offered of themselves little impediment to the traveller; at other times, it followed the course of a mountain stream that flowed round the base of some beetling cliff, leaving small space for the foothold; at others, again, where the sierra was so precipitous that it seemed to preclude all further progress, the road, accommodated to the natural sinuosities of the ground, wound round the heights which it would have been impossible to scale directly. *7
[Footnote 6: "Va todo el camino de una traza y anchura hecho a mano." Relacion del Primer. Descub., Ms.]
[Footnote 7: "En muchas partes viendo lo que esta adelante, parece cosa impossible poderlo pasar." Ibid., Ms.]
But although managed with great address, it was a formidable passage for the cavalry. The mountain was hewn into steps, but the rocky ledges cut up the hoofs of the horses; and, though the troopers dismounted and led them by the bridle, they suffered severely in their efforts to keep their footing. *8 The road was constructed for man and the light-footed llama; and the only heavy beast of burden at all suited to it was the sagacious and sure-footed mule, with which the Spanish adventurers were not then provided. It was a singular chance that Spain was the land of the mule; and thus the country was speedily supplied with the very animal which seems to have been created for the difficult passes of the Cordilleras.
[Footnote 8: Ped. Sancho, Rel. ap. Ramusio, tom. III. fol. 404.] Another obstacle, often occurring, was the deep torrents that rushed down in fury from the Andes. They were traversed by the hanging bridges of osier, whose frail materials were after a time broken up by the heavy tread of the cavalry, and the holes made in them added materially to the dangers of the passage. On such occasions, the Spaniards contrived to work their way across the rivers on rafts, swimming their horses by the bridle. *9
[Footnote 9: Ibid., ubi supra. - Relacion del Primer. Descub., Ms.]
All along the route they found post-houses for the accommodation of the royal couriers, established at regular intervals; and magazines of grain and other commodities, provided in the principal towns for the Indian armies. The Spaniards profited by the prudent forecast of the Peruvian government. Passing through several hamlets and towns of some note, the principal of which were Guamachucho and Guanuco, Pizarro, after a tedious march, came in sight of the rich valley of Xauxa. The march, though tedious, had been attended with little suffering, except in crossing the bristling crests of the Cordilleras, which occasionally obstructed their path, - a rough setting to the beautiful valleys, that lay scattered like gems along this elevated region. In the mountain passes they found some inconvenience from the cold; since, to move more quickly, they had disencumbered themselves of all superfluous baggage, and were even unprovided with tents. *10 The bleak winds of the mountains penetrated the thick harness of the soldiers; but the poor Indians, more scantily clothed and accustomed to a tropical climate, suffered most severely. The Spaniard seemed to have a hardihood of body, as of soul, that rendered him almost indifferent to climate.
[Footnote 10: "La notte dormirono tutti in quella campagna senza coperto alcuno, sopra la neue, ne pur hebber souuenimento di legne ne da man giare." Ped. Sancho, Rel. ap. Ramusio, tom. III. fol. 401.]
On the march they had not been molested by enemies. But more than once they had seen vestiges of them in smoking hamlets and ruined bridges. Reports, from time to time, had reached Pizarro of warriors on his track; and small bodies of Indians were occasionally seen like dusky clouds on the verge of the horizon, which vanished as the Spaniards approached. On reaching Xauxa, however, these clouds gathered into one dark mass of warriors, which formed on the opposite bank of the river that flowed through the valley. The Spaniards advanced to the stream, which, swollen by the melting of the snows, was now of considerable width, though not deep. The bridge had been destroyed; but the Conquerors, without hesitation, dashing boldly in, advanced, swimming and wading, as they best could, to the opposite bank. The Indians, disconcerted by this decided movement, as they had relied on their watery defences, took to flight, after letting off an impotent volley of missiles. Fear gave wings to the fugitives; but the horse and his rider were swifter, and the victorious pursuers took bloody vengeance on their enemy for having dared even to meditate resistance.
Xauxa was a considerable town. It was the place already noticed as having been visited by Hernando Pizarro. It was seated in the midst of a verdant valley, fertilized by a thousand little rills, which the thrifty Indian husbandman drew from the parent river that rolled sluggishly through the meadows. There were several capacious buildings of rough stone in the town, and a temple of some note in the times of the Incas. But the strong arm of Father Valverde and his countrymen soon tumbled the heathen deities from their pride of place, and established, in their stead, the sacred effigies of the Virgin and Child.
Here Pizarro proposed to halt for some days, and to found a Spanish colony. It was a favorable position, he thought, for holding the Indian mountaineers in check, while, at the same time, it afforded an easy communication with the sea-coast. Meanwhile he determined to send forward De Soto, with a detachment of sixty horse, to reconnoitre the country in advance, and to restore the bridges where demolished by the enemy. *11
[Footnote 11: Carta de la Justicia y Regi miento de la Ciudad de Xauja, Ms - Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq. Ms. - Conq. i Pob. del Piru, Ms - Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 5 lib. 4, cap. 10. - Relacion de Primer. Descub., Ms.]
That active cavalier set forward at once, but found considerable impediments to his progress. The traces of an enemy became more frequent as he advanced. The villages were burnt, the bridges destroyed, and heavy rocks and trees strewed in the path to impede the march of the cavalry. As he drew near to Bilcas, once an important place, though now effaced from the map, he had a sharp encounter with the natives, in a mountain defile, which cost him the lives of two or three troopers. The loss was light; but any loss was felt by the Spaniards, so little accustomed, as they had been of late, to resistance.
Still pressing forward, the Spanish captain crossed the river Abancay, and the broad waters of the Apurimac; and, as he drew near the sierra of Vilcaconga, he learned that a considerable body of Indians lay in wait for him in the dangerous passes of the mountains. The sierra was several leagues from Cuzco; and the cavalier, desirous to reach the further side of it before nightfall, incautiously pushed on his wearied horses. When he was fairly entangled in its rocky defiles, a multitude of armed warriors, springing, as it seemed, from every cavern and thicket of the sierra, filled the air with their war-cries, and rushed down, like one of their own mountain torrents, on the invaders, as they were painfully tolling up the steeps. Men and horses were overturned in the fury of the assault, and the foremost files, rolling back on those below, spread ruin and consternation in their ranks. De Soto in vain endeavoured to restore order, and, if possible, to charge the assailants. The horses were blinded and maddened by the missiles, while the desperate natives, clinging to their legs, strove to prevent their ascent up the rocky pathway. De Soto saw, that, unless he gained a level ground which opened at some distance before him, all must be lost. Cheering on his men with the old battle-cry, that always went to the heart of a Spaniard, he struck his spurs deep into the sides of his wearied charger, and, gallantly supported by his troop, broke through the dark array of warriors, and, shaking them off to the right and left, at length succeeded in placing himself on the broad level.
Here both parties paused, as if by mutual consent, for a few moments. A little stream ran through the plain, at which the Spaniards watered their horses; *12 and the animals, having recovered wind, De Soto and his men made a desperate charge on their assailants. The undaunted Indians sustained the shock with firmness; and the result of the combat was still doubtful, when the shades of evening, falling thicker around them, separated the combatants. [Footnote 12: Ped. Sancho, Rel., ap. Ramusio, tom. III. fol. 405.]
Both parties then withdrew from the field, taking up their respective stations within bow-shot of each other, so that the voices of the warriors on either side could be distinctly heard in the stillness of the night. But very different were the reflections of the two hosts. The Indians, exulting in their temporary triumph, looked with confidence to the morrow to complete it. The Spaniards, on the other hand, were proportionably discouraged. They were not prepared for this spirit of resistance in an enemy hitherto so tame. Several cavaliers had fallen; one of them by a blow from a Peruvian battle-axe, which clove his head to the chin, attesting the power of the weapon, and of the arm that used it. *13 Several horses, too, had been killed; and the loss of these was almost as severely felt as that of their riders, considering the great cost and difficulty of transporting them to these distant regions. Few either of the men or horses escaped without wounds, and the Indian allies suffered still more severely.
[Footnote 13: Ibid., loc cit.]
It seemed probable, from the pertinacity and a certain order maintained in the assault, that it was directed by some leader of military experience; perhaps the Indian commander Quizquiz, who was said to be hanging round the environs of Cuzco with a considerable force.
Notwithstanding the reasonable cause of apprehension for the morrow, De Soto, like a stout-hearted cavalier, as he was, strove to keep up the spirits of his followers. If they had beaten off the enemy when their horses were jaded, and their own strength nearly exhausted, how much easier it would be to come off victorious when both were restored by a night's rest; and he told them to "trust in the Almighty, who would never desert his faithful followers in their extremity." The event justified De Soto's confidence in this seasonable succour.
From time to time, on his march, he had sent advices to Pizarro of the menacing state of the country, till his commander, becoming seriously alarmed, was apprehensive that the cavalier might be over powered by the superior numbers of the enemy. He accordingly detached Almagro, with nearly all the remaining horse, to his support, - unencumbered by infantry, that he might move the lighter. That efficient leader advanced by forced marches, stimulated by the tidings which met him on the road; and was so fortunate as to reach the foot of the sierra of Vilcaconga the very night of the engagement.
There hearing of the encounter, he pushed forward without halting, though his horses were spent with travel. The night was exceedingly dark, and Almagro, afraid of stumbling on the enemy's bivouac, and desirous to give De Soto information of his approach, commanded his trumpets to sound, till the notes, winding through the defiles of the mountains, broke the slumbers of his countrymen, sounding like blithest music in their ears. They quickly replied with their own bugles, and soon had the satisfaction to embrace their deliverers. *14
[Footnote 14: Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Herrera, Hist. General, sec. 3, lib. 5, cap. 3.]
Great was the dismay of the Peruvian host, when the morning light discovered the fresh reinforcement of the ranks of the Spaniards. There was no use in contending with an enemy who gathered strength from the conflict, and who seemed to multiply his numbers at will. Without further attempt to renew the fight, they availed themselves of a thick fog, which hung over the lower slopes of the hills, to effect their retreat, and left the passes open to the invaders. The two cavaliers then continued their march until they extricated their forces from the sierra, when, taking up a secure position, they proposed to await there the arrival of Pizarro. *15
[Footnote 15: The account of De Soto's affair with the natives is given in more or less detail, by Ped. Sancho Rel., ap. Ramusio, tom. III. fol. 405, - Conq. i Pob. del Piru, Ms., - Relacion del Primer. Descub., Ms., -Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms, - parties al present in the army.]
The commander-in-chief, meanwhile, lay at Xauxa, where he was greatly disturbed by the rumors which reached him of the state of the country. His enterprise, thus far, had gone forward so smoothly, that he was no better prepared than his lieutenant to meet with resistance from the natives. He did not seem to comprehend that the mildest nature might at last be roused by oppression; and that the massacre of their Inca, whom they regarded with such awful veneration, would be likely, if any thing could do it, to wake them from their apathy.
The tidings which he now received of the retreat of the Peruvians were most welcome; and he caused mass to be said, and thanksgivings to be offered up to Heaven, "which had shown itself thus favorable to the Christians throughout this mighty enterprise." The Spaniard was ever a Crusader. He was, in the sixteenth century, what Coeur de Lion and his brave knights were in the twelfth, with this difference; the cavalier of that day fought for the Cross and for glory, while gold and the Cross were the watchwords of the Spaniard. The spirit of chivalry had waned somewhat before the spirit of trade; but the fire of religious enthusiasm still burned as bright under the quilted mail of the American Conqueror, as it did of yore under the iron panoply of the soldier of Palestine.
It seemed probable that some man of authority had organized, or at least countenanced, this resistance of the natives, and suspicion fell on the captive chief Challcuchima, who was accused of maintaining a secret correspondence with his confederate, Quizquiz. Pizarro waited on the Indian noble, and, charging him with the conspiracy, reproached him, as he had formerly done his royal master, with ingratitude towards the Spaniards, who had dealt with him so liberally. He concluded by the assurance, that, if he did not cause the Peruvians to lay down their arms, and tender their submission at once, he should be burnt alive, so soon as they reached Almagro's quarters. *16
[Footnote 16: Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Ped. Sancho, Rel., ap Ramusio, tom. III. fol. 406.]
The Indian chief listened to the terrible menace with the utmost composure. He denied having had any communication with his countrymen, and said, that, in his present state of confinement, at least, he could have no power to bring them to submission. He then remained doggedly silent, and Pizarro did not press the matter further. *17 But he placed a strong guard over his prisoner, and caused him to be put in irons. It was an ominous proceeding, and had been the precursor of the death of Atahuallpa.
[Footnote 17: Ibid., ubi supra.]
Before quitting Xauxa, a misfortune befell the Spaniards in the death of their creature, the young Inca Toparca. Suspicion, of course, fell on Challcuchima, now selected as the scape-goat for all the offences of his nation. *18 It was a disappointment to Pizarro, who hoped to find a convenient shelter for his future proceedings under this shadow of royalty. *19
[Footnote 18: It seems, from the language of the letter addressed to the Emperor by the municipality of Xauxa, that the troops themselves were far from being convinced of Challcuchima's guilt. "Publico fue, aunque dello no ubo averiguacion in certenidad, que el capitan Chaliconiman le abia dado ierbas o a beber con que murio." Carta de la Just. v Reg. de Xauja, Ms.]
[Footnote 19: According to Velasco, Toparsa, whom, however, he calls by another name, tore off the diadem bestowed on him by Pizarro, with disdain, and died in a few weeks of chagrin. (Hist. de Quito, tom. I. p. 377.) This writer, a Jesuit of Quito, seems to feel himself bound to make out as good a case for Atahuallpa and his family, as if he had been expressly retained in their behalf. His vouchers - when he condescends to give any - too rarely bear him out in his statements to inspire us with much confidence in his correctness.]
The general considered it most prudent not to hazard the loss of his treasures by taking them on the march, and he accordingly left them at Xauxa, under a guard of forty soldiers, who remained there in garrison. No event of importance occurred on the road, and Pizarro, having effected a junction with Almagro, their united forces soon entered the vale of Xaquixaguana, about five leagues from Cuzco. This was one of those bright spots, so often found embosomed amidst the Andes, the more beautiful from contrast with the savage character of the scenery around it. A river flowed through the valley, affording the means of irrigating the soil, and clothing it in perpetual verdure; and the rich and flowering vegetation spread out like a cultivated garden. The beauty of the place and its delicious coolness commended it as a residence for the Peruvian nobles, and the sides of the hills were dotted with their villas, which afforded them a grateful retreat in the heats of summer. *20 Yet the centre of the valley was disfigured by a quagmire of some extent, occasioned by the frequent overflowing of the waters; but the industry of the Indian architects had constructed a solid causeway, faced with heavy stone, and connected with the great road, which traversed the whole breadth of the morass. *21
[Footnote 20: "Auia en este valle muy sumptuosos aposentos y ricos adonde los senores del Cuzco salian a tomar sus plazeres y solazes.' Cieza de Leon, Cronica, cap. 91.]
[Footnote 21: Ibid., ubi supra.]
In this valley Pizarro halted for several days, while he refreshed his troops from the well-stored magazines of the Incas. His first act was to bring Challcuchima to trial; if trial that could be called, where sentence may be said to have gone hand in hand with accusation. We are not informed of the nature of the evidence. It was sufficient to satisfy the Spanish captains of the chieftain's guilt. Nor is it at all incredible that Challcuchima should have secretly encouraged a movement among the people, designed to secure his country's freedom and his own. He was condemned to be burnt alive on the spot. "Some thought it a hard measure," says Herrera; "but those who are governed by reasons of state policy are apt to shut their eyes against every thing else." *22 Why this cruel mode of execution was so often adopted by the Spanish Conquerors is not obvious; unless it was that the Indian was an infidel, and fire, from ancient date, seems to have been considered the fitting doom of the infidel, as the type of that inextinguishable flame which awaited him in the regions of the damned.
[Footnote 22: Hist. General, dec. 5, lib. 6 cap. 3.]
Father Valverde accompanied the Peruvian chieftain to the stake. He seems always to have been present at this dreary moment, anxious to profit by it, if possible, to work the conversion of the victim. He painted in gloomy colors the dreadful doom of the unbeliever, to whom the waters of baptism could alone secure the ineffable glories of paradise. *23 It does not appear that he promised any commutation of punishment in this world. But his arguments fell on a stony heart, and the chief coldly replied, he "did not understand the religion of the white men." *24 He might be pardoned for not comprehending the beauty of a faith which, as it would seem, had borne so bitter fruits to him. In the midst of his tortures, he showed the characteristic courage of the American Indian, whose power of endurance triumphs over the power of persecution in his enemies, and he died with his last breath invoking the name of Pachacamac. His own followers brought the fagots to feed the flames that consumed him. *25
[Footnote 23: Ped. Sancho, Rel., ap. Ramusio, tom. III. fol. 406.]
[Footnote 24: Ibid., loc. cit.]
[Footnote 25: Ibid. loc. cit. - Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms.
The Ms. of the old Conqueror is so much damaged in this part of it that much of his account is entirely effaced.]
Soon after this tragic event, Pizarro was surprised by a visit from a Peruvian noble, who came in great state, attended by a numerous and showy retinue. It was the young prince Manco, brother of the unfortunate Huascar, and the rightful successor to the crown. Being brought before the Spanish commander, he announced his pretensions to the throne, and claimed the protection of the strangers. It is said he had meditated resisting them by arms, and had encouraged the assaults made on them on their march; but, finding resistance ineffectual, he had taken this politic course, greatly to the displeasure of his more resolute nobles. However this may be, Pizarro listened to his application with singular contentment, for he saw in this new scion of the true royal stock, a more effectual instrument for his purposes than he could have found in the family of Quito, with whom the Peruvians had but little sympathy. He received the young man, therefore, with great cordiality, and did not hesitate to assure him that he had been sent into the country by his master, the Castilian sovereign, in order to vindicate the claims of Huascar to the crown, and to punish the usurpation of his rival. *26
[Footnote 26: Ped. Sancho, Rel., ap. Ramusio, tom. III. fol. 406. - Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms.]
Taking with him the Indian prince, Pizarro now resumed his march. It was interrupted for a few hours by a party of the natives, who lay in wait for him in the neighbouring sierra. A sharp skirmish ensued, in which the Indians behaved with great spirit, and inflicted some little injury on the Spaniards; but the latter, at length, shaking them off, made good their passage through the defile, and the enemy did not care to follow them into the open country. It was late in the afternoon when the Conquerors came in sight of Cuzco. *27 The descending sun was streaming his broad rays full on the imperial city, where many an altar was dedicated to his worship. The low ranges of buildings, showing in his beams like so many lines of silvery light, filled up the bosom of the valley and the lower slopes of the mountains, whose shadowy forms hung darkly over the fair city, as if to shield it from the menaced profanation. It was so late, that Pizarro resolved to defer his entrance till the following morning.
[Footnote 27: "Y dos horas antes que el Sol se pusiese, llegaron a vista de la ciudad del Cuzco. "Relacion del Primer. Descub., Ms]
That night vigilant guard was kept in the camp, and the soldiers slept on their arms. But it passed away without annoyance from the enemy, and early on the following day, November 15, 1533, Pizarro prepared for his entrance into the Peruvian capital. *28
[Footnote 28: The chronicles differ as to the precise date. There can be no better authorities than Pedro Sancho's narrative and the Letter of the Magistrates of Xauxa, which have followed in the text]
The little army was formed into three divisions, of which the centre, or "battle," as it was called, was led by the general. The suburbs were thronged with a countless multitude of the natives, who had flocked from the city and the surrounding country to witness the showy, and, to them, startling pageant. All looked with eager curiosity on the strangers, the fame of whose terrible exploits had spread to the remotest parts of the empire. They gazed with astonishment on their dazzling arms and fair complexions, which seemed to proclaim them the true Children of the Sun; and they listened with feelings of mysterious dread, as the trumpet sent forth its prolonged notes through the streets of the capital, and the solid ground shook under the heavy tramp of the cavalry.
The Spanish commander rode directly up the great square. It was surrounded by low piles of buildings, among which were several palaces of the Incas. One of these, erected by Huayna Capac, was surmounted by a tower, while the ground-floor was occupied by one or more immense halls, like those described in Caxamalca, where the Peruvian nobles held their fetes in stormy weather. These buildings afforded convenient barracks for the troops, though, during the first few weeks, they remained under their tents in the open plaza, with their horses picketed by their side, ready to repulse any insurrection of the inhabitants. *29
[Footnote 29: Ped. Sancho, Rel., ap. Ramusio, tom. III. fol. 407. - Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 1, lib. 7, cap. 10. - Relacion del Primer. Descub., Ms.]
The capital of the Incas, though falling short of the El Dorado which had engaged their credulous fancies, astonished the Spaniards by the beauty of its edifices, the length and regularity of its streets, and the good order and appearance of comfort, even luxury, visible in its numerous population. It far surpassed all they had yet seen in the New World. The population of the city is computed by one of the Conquerors at two hundred thousand inhabitants, and that of the suburbs at as many more. *30 This account is not confirmed, as far as I have seen, by any other writer. But however it may be exaggerated, it is certain that Cuzco was the metropolis of a great empire, the residence of the Court and the chief nobility; frequented by the most skilful mechanics and artisans of every description, who found a demand for their ingenuity in the royal precincts; while the place was garrisoned by a numerous soldiery, and was the resort, finally, of emigrants from the most distant provinces. The quarters whence this motley population came were indicated by their peculiar dress, and especially their head-gear, so rarely found at all on the American Indian, which, with its variegated colors, gave a picturesque effect to the groups and masses in the streets. The habitual order and decorum maintained in this multifarious assembly showed the excellent police of the capital, where the only sounds that disturbed the repose of the Spaniards were the noises of feasting and dancing, which the natives, with happy insensibility, constantly prolonged to a late hour of the night. *31
[Footnote 30: "Esta ciudad era muy grande i mui populosa de grandes edificios i comarcas, quando los Eespanoles entraron la primera vex en ella havia gran cantidad de gente, seria pueblo de mas de 40 mill. vecinos solamente lo que tomaba la ciudad, que arravalles i comarca en deredor del Cuzco a 10 o 12 leguas creo yo que havia docientos mill. Indios porque esto era lo mas poblado de todos estos reinos." (Conq. i Pob. del Peru, Ms.) The vecino or "householder" is computed, usually, as representing five individuals. - Yet Father Valverde, in a letter written a few years after tis, speaks of the city as having only three or four thousand houses at the time of its occupation, and the suburbs as having nineteen or twenty thousand. (Cart al Emperador, Ms., 20 de Marzo, 1539.) It is possible that he took into the account only the better kind of houses, not considering the mud huts, or rather hovels, which made so large a part of a Peruvian town, as deserving notice.]
[Footnote 31: "Heran tantos los atambores que de noche se oian por todas cartes bailando y cantando y belendo que toda la mayor parte de la noche se les pasava en esto cotidianamente." Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms.]
The edifices of the better sort - and they were very numerous - were of stone, or faced with stone. *32 Among the principal were the royal residences; as each sovereign built a new palace for himself, covering, though low, a large extent of ground. The walls were sometimes stained of painted with gaudy tints, and the gates, we are assured, were sometimes of colored marble. *33 In the delicacy of the stone-work," says another of the Conquerors, "the natives far excelled the Spaniards, though the roofs of their dwellings, instead of tiles, were only of thatch, but put together with the nicest art." *34 The sunny climate of Cuzco did not require a very substantial material for defence against the weather.
[Footnote 32: "La maggior parte di queste case sono di pietra, et l'altre hano la meta della facciata di pietra." Ped. Sancho, Rel., ap. Ramusio, tom. III. fol. 413.]
[Footnote 33: The buildings were usually of freestone. There may have been porphyry from the neighbouring mountains mixed with this, which the Spaniards mistook for marble.]
[Footnote 34: "Todo labrado de piedra muy prima, que cierto toda la canteria desta cibdad hace gran ventaja a la de Espana, aunque carecen de teja que todas las casas sino es la fortaleza, que era hecha de azoteas son cubiertas de paja, aunque tan primamente puesta, que parece bien." Relacion del Primer. Descub., Ms.]
The most important building was the fortress, planted on a solid rock, that rose boldly above the city. It was built of hewn stone, so finely wrought that it was impossible to detect the line of junction between the blocks; and the approaches to it were defended by three semicircular parapets, composed of such heavy masses of rock, that it bore resemblance to the kind of work known to architects as the Cyclopean. The fortress was raised to a height rare in Peruvian architecture; and from the summit of the tower the eye of the spectator ranged over a magnificent prospect, in which the wild features of the mountain scenery, rocks, woods, and waterfalls, were mingled with the rich verdure of the valley, and the shining city filling up the foreground, - all blended in sweet harmony under the deep azure of a tropical sky.
The streets were long and narrow. They were arranged with perfect regularity, crossing one another at right angles; and from the great square diverged four principal streets connecting with the high roads of the empire. The square itself, and many parts of the city, were paved with a fine pebble. *35 Through the heart of the capital ran a river of pure water, if it might not be rather termed a canal, the banks or sides of which, for the distance of twenty leagues, were faced with stone *36 Across this stream, bridges, constructed of similar broad flags, were thrown, at intervals, so as to afford an easy communication between the different quarters of the capital. *37 [Footnote 35: Ped. Sancho, Rel., ap. Ramusio, tom. III., ubi supra.
A passage in the Letter of the Municipality of Xauxa is worth quoting, as confirming on the best authority some of the interesting particulars mentioned in the text. 'Esta cibdad es la mejor e maior que en la tierra se ha visto, i aun en Yndias; e decimos a V. M. ques tan hermosa i de tan buenos edeficios que en Espana seria muy de ver; tiene las calles por mucho concierto en pedradas i por medio dellas un cano enlosado. la plaza es hecha en cuadra i empedrada de quijas pequenas todas, todas las mas de las casas son de Senores Principales hechas de canteria. esta en una ladera de un zerro en el cual sobre el pueblo esta una fortaleza mui bien obrada de canteria, tan de ver que por Espanoles que han andado Reinos estranos, dicen no haver visto otro edeficio igual al della." Carta de la Just. y Reg. de Xauja, Ms.]
[Footnote 36: "Un rio, el cual baja por medio de la cibdad y desde que nace, mas de veinte leguas por aquel valle abajo donde hay muchas poblaciones, va enlosado todo por el suelo, y las varrancas de una parte y de otra hechas de canteria labrada, cosa nunca vista, ni oida." Relacion del Primer. Descub., Ms.]
[Footnote 37: The reader will find a few repetitions in this chapter of what I have already said, in the Introduction, of Cuzco under the Incas. But the facts here stated are for the most part drawn from other sources, and some repetition was unavoidable in order to give a distinct image of the capital.] The most sumptuous edifice in Cuzco, in the times of the Incas, was undoubtedly the great temple dedicated to the Sun, which, studded with gold plates, as already noticed, was surrounded by convents and dormitories for the priests, with their gardens and broad parterres sparkling with gold. The exterior ornaments had been already removed by the Conquerors, - all but the frieze of gold, which, imbedded in the stones, still encircled the principal building. It is probable that the tales of wealth, so greedily circulated among the Spaniards, greatly exceeded the truth. If they did not, the natives must have been very successful in concealing their treasures from the invaders. Yet much still remained, not only in the great House of the Sun, but in the inferior temples which swarmed in the capital.
Pizarro, on entering Cuzco, had issued an order forbidding any soldier to offer violence to the dwellings of the inhabitants. *38 But the palaces were numerous, and the troops lost no time in plundering them of their contents, as well as in despoiling the religious edifices. The interior decorations supplied them with considerable booty. They stripped off the jewels and rich ornaments that garnished the royal mummies in the temple of Coricancha. Indignant at the concealment of their treasures, they put the inhabitants, in some instances, to the torture, and endeavoured to extort from them a confession of their hiding-places. *39 They invaded the repose of the sepulchres, in which the Peruvians often deposited their valuable effects, and compelled the grave to give up its dead. No place was left unexplored by the rapacious Conquerors, and they occasionally stumbled on a mine of wealth that rewarded their labors.
[Footnote 38: "Pues mando el marquez dar vn pregon que ningun espanol fuese a entrar en las casas de los naturales o tomalles nada." Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms.]
[Footnote 39: Gomara, Hist. de las Ind., cap 123.]
In a cavern near the city they found a number of vases of pure gold, richly embossed with the figures of serpents, locusts, and other animals. Among the spoil were four golden llamas and ten or twelve statues of women, some of gold, others of silver, "which merely to see," says one of the Conquerors, with some naivete, "was truly a great satisfaction." The gold was probably thin, for the figures were all as large as life; and several of them, being reserved for the royal fifth, were not recast, but sent in their original form to Spain. *40 The magazines were stored with curious commodities; richly tinted robes of cotton and feather-work, gold sandals, and slippers of the same material, for the women, and dresses composed entirely of beads of gold. *41 The grain and other articles of food, with which the magazines were filled, were held in contempt by the Conquerors, intent only on gratifying their lust for gold. *42 The time came when the grain would have been of far more value.
[Footnote 40: "Et fra l'altre cose singolari, era veder quattro castrati di fin oro molto grandi, et 10 o 12 statue di done, della grandezza delle done di quel paese tutte d'oro fino, cosi belle et ben fatte come se fossero viue. . . . . . Queste furono date nel quinto che toccaua a S. M." (Ped. Sancho, Rel., ap. Ramusio, tom. III fol.409.) "Muchas estatuas y figuras de oro y plata enteras, hecha la forma toda de una muger, y del tamano della, muy bien labradas." Relacion del Primer. Descub., Ms.]
[Footnote 41: "Avia ansi mismo miscmo otras muchas plumas de diferentes colores para este efecto de hacer rropas que vestian los senores y senoras y no otto otro en los tiempos de sus fiestas; avia tambien mantas hechas de chaquira, de oro, y de plata, que heran vnas quentecitas muy delicadas, que parecia cosa de espanto ver su hechura." Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms.]
[Footnote 42: Ondegardo, Rel. Prim., Ms.]
Yet the amount of treasure in the capital did not equal the sanguine expectations that had been formed by the Spaniards. But the deficiency was supplied by the plunder which they had collected at various places on their march. In one place, for example, they met with ten planks or bars of solid silver, each piece being twenty feet in length, one foot in breadth, and two or three inches thick. They were intended to decorate the dwelling of an Inca noble. *43
[Footnote 43: "Pues andando yo buscando mahiz o otras cosas para comer, acaso entre en vn buhio donde halle estos tablones de plata que tengo dicho que heran hasta diez y de largo tenian veinte pies y de anchor de vno y de gordor de tres dedos, di noticia dello al marquez y el y todos los demas que con e. estavan entraron a vello." Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms.] The whole mass of treasure was brought into a common heap, as in Caxamalca; and after some of the finer specimens had been deducted for the Crown, the remainder was delivered to the Indian goldsmiths to be melted down into ingots of a uniform standard. The division of the spoil was made on the same principle as before. There were four hundred and eighty soldiers, including the garrison of Xauxa, who were each to receive a share, that of the cavalry being double that of the infantry. The amount of booty is stated variously by those present at the division of it. According to some, it considerably exceeded the ransom of Atahuallpa. Others state it as less. Pedro Pizarro says that each horseman got six thousand pesos de oro, and each one of the infantry half that sum; *44 though the same discrimination was made by Pizarro as before, in respect to the rank of the parties, and their relative services. But Sancho, the royal notary, and secretary of the commander, estimates the whole amount as far less, - not exceeding five hundred and eighty thousand and two hundred pesos de oro, and two hundred and fifteen thousand marks of silver. *45 In the absence of the official returns, it is impossible to determine which is correct. But Sancho's narrative is countersigned, it may be remembered, by Pizarro and the royal treasurer Riquelme, and doubtless, therefore, shows the actual amount for which the Conquerors accounted to the Crown.
[Footnote 44: Descub. y Conq., Ms.]
[Footnote 45: Ped. Sancho, Rel., ap. Ramusio, tom. III. fol. 409.]
Whichever statement we receive, the sum, combined with that obtained at Caxamalca, might well have satisfied the cravings of the most avaricious. The sudden influx of so much wealth, and that, too, in so transferable a form, among a party of reckless adventures little accustomed to the possession of money, had its natural effect. It supplied them with the means of gaming, so strong and common a passion with the Spaniards, that it may be considered a national vice. Fortunes were lost and won in a single day, sufficient to render the proprietors independent for life; and many a desperate gamester, by an unlucky throw of the dice or turn of the cards, saw himself stripped in a few hours of the fruits of years of toil, and obliged to begin over again the business of rapine. Among these, one in the cavalry service is mentioned, named Leguizano, who had received as his share of the booty the image of the Sun, which, raised on a plate of burnished gold, spread over the walls in a recess of the great temple, and which, for some reason or other, - perhaps because of its superior fineness, - was not recast like the other ornaments. This rich prize the spendthrift lost in a single night; whence it came to be a proverb in Spain, Juega el Sol antes que amanezca, "Play away the Sun before sunrise." *46
[Footnote 46: Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 1 lib. 3, cap. 20] The effect of such a surfeit of the precious metals was instantly felt on prices. The most ordinary articles were only to be had for exorbitant sums. A quire of paper sold for ten pesos de oro; a bottle of wine, for sixty; a sword, for forty or fifty; a cloak, for a hundred, - sometimes more; a pair of shoes cost thirty or forty pesos de oro, and a good horse could not be had for less than twenty-five hundred. *47 Some brought a still higher price. Every article rose in value, as gold and silver, the representatives of all, declined. Gold and silver, in short, seemed to be the only things in Cuzco that were not wealth. Yet there were some few wise enough to return contented with their present gains to their native country. Here their riches brought them consideration and competence, and, while they excited the envy of their countrymen, stimulated them to seek their own fortunes in the like path of adventure.
[Footnote 47: Xerez, Conq. del Peru, ap. Barcia, tom. III. p. 233.]
New Inca Crowned. - Municipal Regulations. - Terrible March Of Alvarado. - Interview With Pizarro. - Foundation Of Lima. - Hernando Pizarro Reaches Spain. - Sensation At Court. - Feuds Of Almagro And The Pizarros. 1534-1535.
The first care of the Spanish general, after the division of the booty, was to place Manco on the throne, and to obtain for him the recognition of his countrymen. He, accordingly, presented the young prince to them as their future sovereign, the legitimate son of Huayna Capac, and the true heir of the Peruvian sceptre. The annunciation was received with enthusiasm by the people, attached to the memory of his illustrious father, and pleased that they were still to have a monarch rule over them of the ancient line of Cuzco.
Every thing was done to maintain the illusion with the Indian population. The ceremonies of a coronation were studiously observed. The young prince kept the prescribed fasts and vigils; and on the appointed day, the nobles and the people, with the whole Spanish soldiery, assembled in the great square of Cuzco to witness the concluding ceremony. Mass was publicly performed by Father Valverde, and the Inca Manco received the fringed diadem of Peru, not from the hand of the high-priest of his nation, but from his Conqueror, Pizarro. The Indian lords then tendered their obeisance in the customary form; after which the royal notary read aloud the instrument asserting the supremacy of the Castilian Crown, and requiring the homage of all present to its authority. This address was explained by an interpreter, and the ceremony of homage was performed by each one of the parties waving the royal banner of Castile twice or thrice with his hands. Manco then pledged the Spanish commander in a golden goblet of the sparkling chicha; and, the latter having cordially embraced the new monarch, the trumpets announced the conclusion of the ceremony. *1 But it was not the note of triumph, but of humiliation; for it proclaimed that the armed foot of the stranger was in the halls of the Peruvian Incas; that the ceremony of coronation was a miserable pageant; that their prince himself was but a puppet in the hands of his Conqueror; and that the glory of the Children of the Sun had departed for ever!
[Footnote 1: Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Ped. Sancho, Rel., ap Ramusio, tom. III. fol. 407.]
Yet the people readily gave in to the illusion, and seemed willing to accept this image of their ancient independence. The accession of the young monarch was greeted by all the usual fetes and rejoicings. The mummies of his royal ancestors, with such ornaments as were still left to them, were paraded in the great square. They were attended each by his own numerous retinue, who performed all the menial offices, as if the object of them were alive and could feel their import. Each ghostly form took its seat at the banquet-table - now, alas! stripped of the magnificent service with which it was wont to blaze at these high festivals - and the guests drank deep to the illustrious dead. Dancing succeeded the carousal, and the festivities, prolonged to a late hour, were continued night after night by the giddy population, as if their conquerors had not been intrenched in the capital! *2 - What a contrast to the Aztecs in the conquest of Mexico!
[Footnote 2: Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms
"Luego por la manana iba al enterramiento donde estaban cada uno por orden embalsamados como es dicho, y asentados en sus sillas, y con mucha veneracion y respeto, todos por orden los sacaban de alli y los trahian a la ciudad, teniendo cada uno su litera, y hombres con su librea, que le trujesen, y ansi desta manera todo el servicio y aderezos como si estubiera vivo." Relacion del Primer. Descub, Ms.]
Pizarro's next concern was to organize a municipal government for Cuzco, like those in the cities of the parent country. Two alcaldes were appointed, and eight regidores, among which last functionaries were his brothers Gonzalo and Juan. The oaths of office were administered with great solemnity, on the twenty-fourth of March, 1534, in presence both of Spaniards and Peruvians, in the public square; as if the general were willing by this ceremony to intimate to the latter, that, while they retained the semblance of their ancient institutions, the real power was henceforth vested in their conquerors. *3 He invited Spaniards to settle in the place by liberal grants of land and houses, for which means were afforded by the numerous palaces and public buildings of the Incas; and many a cavalier, who had been too poor in his own country to find a place to rest in, now saw himself the proprietor of a spacious mansion that might have entertained the retinue of a prince. *4 From this time, says an old chronicler, Pizarro, who had hitherto been distinguished by his military title of "Captain-General," was addressed by that of "Governor." *5 Both had been bestowed on him by the royal grant. [Footnote 3: Ped. Sancho, Rel., ap. Ramusio, tom. III. fol. 409. - Montesinos, Annales, Ms., ano 1534. - Actto de la fundacion del Cuzco, Ms.
This instrument, which belongs to the collection of Munoz, records not only the names of the magistrates, but of the vecinos who formed the first population of the Christian capital.]
[Footnote 4: Actto de la fundacion del Cuzco, Ms. - Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 1, lib. 7, cap. 9, et seq.
When a building was of immense size, as happened with some of the temples and palaces, it was assigned to two or even three of the Conquerors, who each took his share of it. Garcilasso, who describes the city as it was soon after the Conquest, commemorates with sufficient prolixity the names of the cavaliers among whom the buildings were distributed.]
[Footnote 5: Montesinos, Annales, ano 1534.]
Nor did the chief neglect the interests of religion. Father Valverde, whose nomination as Bishop of Cuzco not long afterwards received the Papal sanction, prepared to enter on the duties of his office. A place was selected for the cathedral of his diocese, facing the plaza. A spacious monastery subsequently rose on the ruins of the gorgeous House of the Sun; its walls were constructed of the ancient stones; the altar was raised on the spot where shone the bright image of the Peruvian deity, and the cloisters of the Indian temple were trodden by the friars of St. Dominic. *6 To make the metamorphosis more complete, the House of the Virgins of the Sun was replaced by a Roman Catholic nunnery. *7 Christian churches and monasteries gradually supplanted the ancient edifices, and such of the latter as were suffered to remain, despoiled of their heathen insignia, were placed under the protection of the Cross.
[Footnote 6: Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 1, lib. 3, cap. 20; lib. 6, cap. 21. - Naharro, Relacion Sumaria, Ms.]
[Footnote 7: Ulloa, Voyage to S. America, book 7, ch. 12.
"The Indian nuns," says the author of the Relacion del Primer. Descub., "lived chastely and in a holy manner." - "Their chastity was all a feint," says Pedro Pizarro, "for they had constant amours with the attendants on the temple." (Descub. y Conq., Ms.) - What is truth? - In statements so contradictory, we may accept the most favorable to the Peruvian. The prejudices of the Conqueror certainly did not lie on that side.] The Fathers of St. Dominic, the Brethren of the Order of Mercy, and other missionaries, now busied themselves in the good work of conversion. We have seen that Pizarro was required by the Crown to bring out a certain number of these holy men in his own vessels; and every succeeding vessel brought an additional reinforcement of ecclesiastics. They were not all like the Bishop of Cuzco, with hearts so seared by fanaticism as to be closed against sympathy with the unfortunate natives. *8 They were, many of them, men of singular humility, who followed in the track of the conqueror to scatter the seeds of spiritual truth, and, with disinterested zeal, devoted themselves to the propagation of the Gospel. Thus did their pious labors prove them the true soldiers of the Cross, and showed that the object so ostentatiously avowed of carrying its banner among the heathen nations was not an empty vaunt.
[Footnote 8: Such, however, it is but fair to Valverde to state, is not the language applied to him by the rude soldiers of the Conquest. The municipality of Xauxa, in a communication to the Court, extol the Dominican as an exemplary and learned divine, who had afforded much serviceable consolation to his countrymen. "Es persona de mucho exemplo i Doctrina i con quien todos los Espanoles an tenido mucho consuelo." (Carta de la Just. y Reg. de Xauxa, Ms.) And yet this is not incompatible with a high degree of insensibility to the natural rights of the natives.]
The effort to Christianize the heathen is an honorable characteristic of the Spanish conquests. The Puritan, with equal religious zeal, did comparatively little for the conversion of the Indian, content, as it would seem, with having secured to himself the inestimable privilege of worshipping God in his own way. Other adventurers who have occupied the New World have often had too little regard for religion themselves, to be very solicitous about spreading it among the savages. But the Spanish missionary, from first to last, has shown a keen interest in the spiritual welfare of the natives. Under his auspices, churches on a magnificent scale have been erected, schools for elementary instruction founded, and every rational means taken to spread the knowledge of religious truth, while he has carried his solitary mission into remote and almost inaccessible regions, or gathered his Indian disciples into communities, like the good Las Casas in Cumana, or the Jesuits in California and Paraguay. At all times, the courageous ecclesiastic has been ready to lift his voice against the cruelty of the conqueror, and the no less wasting cupidity of the colonist; and when his remonstrances, as was too often the case, have proved unavailing, he has still followed to bind up the broken-hearted, to teach the poor Indian resignation under his lot, and light up his dark intellect with the revelation of a holier and happier existence. - In reviewing the blood-stained records of Spanish colonial history, it is but fair, and at the same time cheering, to reflect, that the same nation which sent forth the hard-hearted conqueror from its bosom sent forth the missionary to do the work of beneficence, and spread the light of Christian civilization over the farthest regions of the New World.
While the governor, as we are henceforth to style him, lay at Cuzco, he received repeated accounts of a considerable force in the neighbourhood, under the command of Atahuallpa's officer, Quizquiz. He accordingly detached Almagro, with a small body of horse and a large Indian force under the Inca Manco to disperse the enemy, and, if possible, to capture their leader. Manco was the more ready to take part in the expedition, as the enemy were soldiers of Quito, who, with their commander, bore no good-will to himself. Almagro, moving with his characteristic rapidity, was not long in coming up with the Indian chieftain. Several sharp encounters followed, as the army of Quito fell back on Xauxa, near which a general engagement decided the fate of the war by the total discomfiture of the natives. Quizquiz fled to the elevated plains of Quito, where he still held out with undaunted spirit against a Spanish force in that quarter, till at length his own soldiers, wearied by these long and ineffectual hostilities, massacred their commander in cold blood. *9 Thus fell the last of the two great officers of Atahuallpa, who, if their nation had been animated by a spirit equal to their own, might long have successfully maintained their soil against the invader.
[Footnote 9: Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Naharro, Relacion Sumaria, Ms. - Oviedo, Hist. de las Indias, Ms., Parte 3, lib. 8, cap. 20. - Ped. Sancho, Rel., ap Ramusio, tom. III. fol. 408. - Relacion del Primer. Descub., Ms.]
Some time before this occurrence, the Spanish governor, while in Cuzco, received tidings of an event much more alarming to him than any Indian hostilities. This was the arrival on the coast of a strong Spanish force, under command of Don Pedro de Alvarado, the gallant officer who had served under Cortes with such renown in the war of Mexico. That cavalier, after forming a brilliant alliance in Spain, to which he was entitled by his birth and military rank, had returned to his government of Guatemala, where his avarice had been roused by the magnificent reports he daily received of Pizarro's conquests. These conquests, he learned, had been confined to Peru; while the northern kingdom of Quito, the ancient residence of Atahuallpa, and, no doubt, the principal depository of his treasures, yet remained untouched. Affecting to consider this country as falling without the governor's jurisdiction, he immediately turned a large fleet, which he had intended for the Spice Islands, in the direction of South America; and in March, 1534, he landed in the bay of Caraques, with five hundred followers, of whom half were mounted, and all admirably provided with arms and ammunition. It was the best equipped and most formidable array that had yet appeared in the southern seas. *10
[Footnote 10: The number is variously reported by historians. But from a egal investigation made in Guatemala, it appears that the whole force amounted to 500, of which 230 were cavalry. - Informacion echa en Santiago, Set. 15, 1536 Ms.]
Although manifestly an invasion of the territory conceded to Pizarro by the Crown, the reckless cavalier determined to march at once on Quito. With the assistance of an Indian guide, he proposed to take the direct route across the mountains, a passage of exceeding difficulty, even at the most favorable season.
After crossing the Rio Dable, Alvarado's guide deserted him, so that he was soon entangled in the intricate mazes of the sierra; and, as he rose higher and higher into the regions of winter, he became surrounded with ice and snow, for which his men taken from the warm countries of Guatemala, were but ill prepared. As the cold grew more intense, many of them were so benumbed, that it was with difficulty they could proceed. The infantry, compelled to make exertions, fared best. Many of the troopers were frozen stiff in their saddles. The Indians, still more sensible to the cold, perished by hundreds. As the Spaniards huddled round their wretched bivouacs, with such scanty fuel as they could glean, and almost without food, they waited in gloomy silence the approach of morning. Yet the morning light, which gleamed coldly on the cheerless waste, brought no joy to them. It only revealed more clearly the extent of their wretchedness. Still struggling on through the winding Puertos Nevados, or Snowy Passes, their track was dismally marked by fragments of dress, broken harness, golden ornaments, and other valuables plundered on their march, - by the dead bodies of men, or by those less fortunate, who were left to die alone in the wilderness. As for the horses, their carcasses were not suffered long to cumber the ground, as they were quickly seized and devoured half raw by the starving soldiers, who, like the famished condors, now hovering in troops above their heads, greedily banqueted on the most offensive offal to satisfy the gnawings of hunger. Alvarado, anxious to secure the booty which had fallen into his hands at an earlier part of his march, encouraged every man to take what gold he wanted from the common heap, reserving only the royal fifth. But they only answered, with a ghastly smile of derision, "that food was the only gold for them." Yet in this extremity, which might seem to have dissolved the very ties of nature, there are some affecting instances recorded of self-devotion; of comrades who lost their lives in assisting others, and of parents and husbands (for some of the cavaliers were accompanied by their wives) who, instead of seeking their own safety, chose to remain and perish in the snows with the objects of their love.
To add to their distress, the air was filled for several days with thick clouds of earthy particles and cinders, which blinded the men, and made respiration exceedingly difficult. *11 This phenomenon, it seems probable, was caused by an eruption of the distant Cotopaxi, which, about twelve leagues southeast of Quito, rears up its colossal and perfectly symmetrical cone far above the limits of eternal snow, - the most beautiful and the most terrible of the American volcanoes. *12 At the time of Alvarado's expedition, it was in a state of eruption, the earliest instance of the kind on record, though doubtless not the earliest. *13 Since that period, it has been in frequent commotion, sending up its sheets of flame to the height of half a mile, spouting forth cataracts of lava that have overwhelmed towns and villages in their career, and shaking the earth with subterraneous thunders, that, at the distance of more than a hundred leagues, sounded like the reports of artillery! *14 Alvarado's followers, unacquainted with the cause of the phenomenon, as they wandered over tracts buried in snow, - the sight of which was strange to them, - in an atmosphere laden with ashes, became bewildered by this confusion of the elements, which Nature seemed to have contrived purposely for their destruction. Some of these men were the soldiers of Cortes, steeled by many a painful march, and many a sharp encounter with the Aztecs. But this war of the elements, they now confessed, was mightier than all.
[Footnote 11: "It began to rain earthy particles from the heavens," says Oviedo, "that blinded the men and horses, so that the trees and bushes were full of dirt." Hist. de las Indias, Ms., Parte 3, lib. 8, cap. 20.]
[Footnote 12: Garcilasso says the shower of ashes came from the "volcano of Quito." (Com. Real., Parte 2, lib. 2, cap. 2.) Cieza de Leon only says from one of the volcanoes in that region. (Cronica, cap. 41.) Neither of them specify the name. Humboldt accepts the common opinion, that Cotopaxi was intended. Researches, I. 123.]
[Footnote 13: A popular tradition among the natives states, that a large fragment of porphyry near the base of the cone was thrown out in an eruption, which occurred at the moment of Atahuallpa's death. - But such tradition will hardly pass for history.]
[Footnote 14: A minute account of this formidable mountain is given by M. de Humboldt, (Researches, I. 118, et seq.,) and more circumstantially by Condamine. (Voyage a l'Equateur, pp. 48 - 56 156 - 160.) The latter philosopher would have attempted to scale the almost perpendicular walls of the volcano, but no one was hardy enough to second him.]
At length, Alvarado, after sufferings, which even the most hardy, probably, could have endured but a few days longer, emerged from the Snowy Pass, and came on the elevated table-land, which spreads out, at the height of more than nine thousand feet above the ocean, in the neighbourhood of Riobamba. But one fourth of his gallant army had been left to feed the condor in the wilderness, besides the greater part, at least two thousand, of his Indian auxiliaries. A great number of his horses, too, had perished; and the men and horses that escaped were all of them more or less injured by the cold and the extremity of suffering. - Such was the terrible passage of the Puertos Nevados, which I have only briefly noticed as an episode to the Peruvian conquest, but the account of which, in all its details, though it occupied but a few weeks in duration, would give one a better idea of the difficulties encountered by the Spanish cavaliers, than volumes of ordinary narrative. *15
[Footnote 15: By far the most spirited and thorough record of Alvarado's march is given by Herrera, who has borrowed the pen of Livy describing the Alpine march of Hannibal. (Hist. General, dec. 5, lib. 6, cap. 1, 2, 7, 8, 9.) See also Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms., - Oviedo, Hist. de las Indias, Ms., Parte 3, lib. 8, cap. 20, - and Carta de Pedro de Alvarado al Emperador, San Miguel, 15 de Enero, 1535, Ms.
Alvarado, in the letter above cited, which is preserved in the Munoz collection, explains to the Emperor the grounds of his expedition, with no little effrontery. In this document he touches very briefly on the march, being chiefly occupied by the negotiations with Almagro, and accompanying his remarks with many dark suggestions as to the policy pursued by the Conquerors]
As Alvarado, after halting some time to restore his exhausted troops, began his march across the broad plateau, he was astonished by seeing the prints of horses' hoofs on the soil. Spaniards, then, had been there before him, and, after all his toil and suffering, others had forestalled him in the enterprise against Quito! It is necessary to say a few words in explanation of this.
When Pizarro quitted Caxamalca, being sensible of the growing importance of San Miguel, the only port of entry then in the country, he despatched a person in whom he had great confidence to take charge of it. This person was Sebastian Benalcazar, a cavalier who afterwards placed his name in the first rank of the South American conquerors, for courage, capacity, - and cruelty. But this cavalier had hardly reached his government, when, like Alvarado, he received such accounts of the riches of Quito, that he determined, with the force at his command, though without orders, to undertake its reduction.
At the head of about a hundred and forty soldiers, horse and foot, and a stout body of Indian auxiliaries, he marched up the broad range of the Andes, to where it spreads out into the table-land of Quito, by a road safer and more expeditious than that taken by Alvarado. On the plains of Riobamba, he encountered the Indian general Ruminavi. Several engagements followed, with doubtful success, when, in the end, science prevailed where courage was well matched, and the victorious Benalcazar planted the standard of Castile on the ancient towers of Atahuallpa. The city, in honor of his general, Francis Pizarro, he named San Francisco del Quito. But great was his mortification on finding that either the stories of its riches had been fabricated, or that these riches were secreted by the natives. The city was all that he gained by his victories, - the shell without the pearl of price which gave it its value. While devouring his chagrin, as he best could, the Spanish captain received tidings of the approach of his superior, Almagro. *16
[Footnote 16: Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 5, lib. 4, cap. 11, 18; lib. 6, cap. 5, 6. - Oviedo, Hist. de las Indias, Ms., Parte 3, lib. 8, cap. 19. - Carta de Benalcazar, Ms.]
No sooner had the news of Alvarado's expedition reached Cuzco, than Almagro left the place with a small force for San Miguel, proposing to strengthen himself by a reinforcement from that quarter, and to march at once against the invaders. Greatly was he astonished, on his arrival in that city, to learn the departure of its commander. Doubting the loyalty of his motives, Almagro, with the buoyancy of spirit which belongs to youth, though in truth somewhat enfeebled by the infirmities of age, did not hesitate to follow Benalcazar at once across the mountains. With his wonted energy, the intrepid veteran, overcoming all the difficulties of his march, in a few weeks placed himself and his little company on the lofty plains which spread around the Indian city of Riobamba; though in his progress he had more than one hot encounter with the natives, whose courage and perseverance formed a contrast sufficiently striking to the apathy of the Peruvians. But the fire only slumbered in the bosom of the Peruvian. His hour had not yet come.
At Riobamba, Almagro was soon joined by the commander of San Miguel, who disclaimed, perhaps sincerely, any disloyal intent in his unauthorized expedition. Thus reinforced, the Spanish captain coolly awaited the coming of Alvarado. The forces of the latter, though in a less serviceable condition, were much superior in number and appointments to those of his rival. As they confronted each other on the broad plains of Riobamba, it seemed probable that a fierce struggle must immediately follow, and the natives of the country have the satisfaction to see their wrongs avenged by the very hands that inflicted them. But it was Almagro's policy to avoid such an issue.
Negotiations were set on foot, in which each party stated his claims to the country. Meanwhile Alvarado's men mingled freely with their countrymen in the opposite army, and heard there such magnificent reports of the wealth and wonders of Cuzco, that many of them were inclined to change their present service for that of Pizarro. Their own leader, too, satisfied that Quito held out no recompense worth the sacrifices he had made, and was like to make, by insisting on his claim, became now more sensible of the rashness of a course which must doubtless incur the censure of his sovereign. In this temper, it was not difficult for them to effect an adjustment of difficulties; and it was agreed, as the basis of it, that the governor should pay one hundred thousand pesos de oro to Alvarado, in consideration of which the latter was to resign to him his fleet, his forces, and all his stores and munitions. His vessels, great and small, amounted to twelve in number, and the sum he received, though large, did not cover his expenses. This treaty being settled, Alvarado proposed, before leaving the country, to have an interview with Pizarro. *17
[Footnote 17: Conq. i Pob. del Piru, Ms. - Naharro, Relacion Sumaria, Ms. - Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 5, lib. 6, cap. 8 - 10. - Oviedo, Hist. de las Indias, Ms., Parte 3, lib. 8, cap 20. - Carta de Benalcazar, Ms.
The amount of the bonus paid to Alvarado is stated very differently by writers. But both that cavalier and Almagro, in their letters to the Emperor, which have hitherto been unknown to historians, agree in the sum given in the text. Alvarado complains that he had no choice but to take it, although it was greatly to his own loss, and, by defeating his expedition, as he modestly intimates, to the loss of the Crown. (Carta de Alvarado al Emperador, Ms.) - Almagro, however, states that the sum paid was three times as much as the armament was worth; "a sacrifice," he adds, "which he made to preserve peace, never dear at any price." - Strange sentiment for a Castilian conqueror! Carta de Diego de Almagro al Emperador, Ms., Oct. 15, 1534.]
The governor, meanwhile, had quitted the Peruvian capital for the sea-coast, from his desire to repel any invasion that might be attempted in that direction by Alvarado, with whose real movements he was still unacquainted. He left Cuzco in charge of his brother Juan, a cavalier whose manners were such as, he thought, would be likely to gain the good-will of the native population. Pizarro also left ninety of his troops, as the garrison of the capital, and the nucleus of his future colony. Then, taking the Inca Manco with him, he proceeded as far as Xauxa. At this place he was entertained by the Indian prince with the exhibition of a great national hunt, - such as has been already described in these pages, - in which immense numbers of wild animals were slaughtered, and the vicunas, and other races of Peruvian sheep, which roam over the mountains, driven into inclosures and relieved of their delicate fleeces. *18
[Footnote 18: Carta de la Just. y Reg. de Xauja, Ms. - Relacion del Primer. Descub., Ms. - Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 5, lib. 6, cap. 16. - Montesinos, Annales, Ms., ano 1534.
At this place, the author of the Relacion del Primer Descubrimiento del Peru, the Ms. so often quoted in these pages, abruptly terminates his labors. He is a writer of sense and observation; and, though he has his share of the national tendency to exaggerate and overcolor, he writes like one who means to be honest, and who has seen what he describes.
At Xauxa, also, the notary Pedro Sancho ends his Relacion, which embraces a much shorter period than the preceding narrative, but which is equally authentic. Coming from the secretary of Pizarro, and countersigned by that general himself, this Relation, indeed, may be regarded as of the very highest authority. And yet large deductions must obviously be made for the source whence it springs; for it may be taken as Pizarro's own account of his doings, some of which stood much in need of apology. It must be added, in justice both to the general and to his secretary, that the Relation does not differ substantially from other contemporary accounts, and that the attempt to varnish over the exceptionable passages in the conduct of the Conquerors is not obtrusive.
For the publication of this journal, we are indebted to Ramusio, whose enlightened labors have preserved to us more than one contemporary production of value, though in the form of translation]
The Spanish governor then proceeded to Pachacamac, where he received the grateful intelligence of the accommodation with Alvarado; and not long afterward he was visited by that cavalier himself, previously to his embarkation.
The meeting was conducted with courtesy and a show, at least, of good-will, on both sides, as there was no longer real cause for jealousy between the parties; and each, as may be imagined, looked on the other with no little interest, as having achieved such distinction in the bold path of adventure. In the comparison, Alvarado had somewhat the advantage; for Pizarro, though of commanding presence, had not the brilliant exterior, the free and joyous manner, which, no less than his fresh complexion and sunny locks, had won for the conqueror of Guatemala, in his campaigns against the Aztecs, the sobriquet of Tonatiuh, or "Child of the Sun."
Blithe were the revels that now rang through the ancient city of Pachacamac; where, instead of songs, and of the sacrifices so often seen there in honor of the Indian deity, the walls echoed to the noise of tourneys and Moorish tilts of reeds, with which the martial adventurers loved to recall the sports of their native land. When these were concluded, Alvarado reembarked for his government of Guatemala, where his restless spirit soon involved him in other enterprises that cut short his adventurous career. His expedition to Peru was eminently characteristic of the man. It was founded in injustice, conducted with rashness, and ended in disaster. *19
[Footnote 19: Naharro, Relacion Sumaria, Ms. - Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Carta Francisco Pizarro al Senor de Molina, Ms.
Alvarado died in 1541, of an injury received from a horse which rolled down on him as he was attempting to scale a precipitous hill in New Galicia. In the same year, by a singular coincidence, perished his beautiful wife, at her own residence in Guatemala, which was overwhelmed by a torrent from the adjacent mountains.]
The reduction of Peru might now be considered as, in a manner, accomplished. Some barbarous tribes in the interior, it is true, still held out, and Alonso de Alvarado, a prudent and able officer, was employed to bring them into subjection. Benalcazar was still at Quito, of which he was subsequently appointed governor by the Crown. There he was laying deeper the foundation of the Spanish power, while he advanced the line of conquest still higher towards the north. But Cuzco, the ancient capital of the Indian monarchy, had submitted. The armies of Atahuallpa had been beaten and scattered. The empire of the Incas was dissolved; and the prince who now wore the Peruvian diadem was but the shadow of a king, who held his commission from his conqueror.
The first act of the governor was to determine on the site of the future capital of this vast colonial empire. Cuzco, withdrawn among the mountains, was altogether too far removed from the sea-coast for a commercial people. The little settlement of San Miguel lay too far to the north. It was desirable to select some more central position, which could be easily found in one of the fruitful valleys that bordered the Pacific. Such was that of Pachacamac, which Pizarro now occupied. But, on further examination, he preferred the neighbouring valley of Rimac, which lay to the north, and which took its name, signifying in the Quichua tongue "one who speaks," from a celebrated idol, whose shrine was much frequented by the Indians for the oracles it delivered. Through the valley flowed a broad stream, which, like a great artery, was made, as usual by the natives, to supply a thousand finer veins that meandered through the beautiful meadows.
On this river Pizarro fixed the site of his new capital, at somewhat less than two leagues' distance from its mouth, which expanded into a commodious haven for the commerce that the prophetic eye of the founder saw would one day - and no very distant one - float on its waters. The central situation of the spot recommended it as a suitable residence for the Peruvian viceroy, whence he might hold easy communication with the different parts of the country, and keep vigilant watch over his Indian vassals. The climate was delightful, and, though only twelve degrees south of the line, was so far tempered by the cool breezes that generally blow from the Pacific, or from the opposite quarter down the frozen sides of the Cordilleras, that the heat was less than in corresponding latitudes on the continent. It never rained on the coast; but this dryness was corrected by a vaporous cloud, which, through the summer months, hung like a curtain over the valley, sheltering it from the rays of a tropical sun, and imperceptibly distilling a refreshing moisture, that clothed the fields in the brightest verdure.
The name bestowed on the infant capital was Ciudad de los Reyes, or City of the Kings, in honor of the day, being the sixth of January, 1535, - the festival of Epiphany, - when it was said to have been founded, or more probably when its site was determined, as its actual foundation seems to have been twelve days later. *20 But the Castilian name ceased to be used even within the first generation, and was supplanted by that of Lima, into which the original Indian name of Rimac was corrupted by the Spaniards. *21
[Footnote 20: So says Quintana, who follows in this what he pronounces a sure authority, Father Bernabe Cobo, in his book entitled Fundacion de Lima. Espanoles Celebres, tom. II. p. 250, nota.]
[Footnote 21: The Mss. of the old Conquerors show how, from the very first, the name of Lima superseded the original Indian title. "Y el marquez se passo a Lima y fundo la ciudad de los rreyes que agora es." (Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms.) "Asimismo ordenaron que se pasasen el pueblo que tenian en Xauxa poblado a este Valle de Lima donde agora es esta ciudad de los i aqui se poblo." Conq. i Pob. del Piru, Ms.]
The city was laid out on a very regular plan. The streets were to be much wider than usual in Spanish towns, and perfectly straight, crossing one another at right angles, and so far asunder as to afford ample space for gardens to the dwellings, and for public squares. It was arranged in a triangular form, having the river for its base, the waters of which were to be carried, by means of stone conduits, through all the principal streets, affording facilities for irrigating the grounds around the houses. No sooner had the governor decided on the site and on the plan of the city, than he commenced operations with his characteristic energy. The Indians were collected from the distance of more than a hundred miles to aid in the work. The Spaniards applied themselves with vigor to the task, under the eye of their chief. The sword was exchanged for the tool of the artisan. The camp was converted into a hive of diligent laborers; and the sounds of war were succeeded by the peaceful hum of a busy population. The plaza, which was extensive, was to be surrounded by the cathedral, the palace of the viceroy, that of the municipality, and other public buildings; and their foundations were laid on a scale, and with a solidity, which defied the assaults of time, and, in some instances, even the more formidable shock of earthquakes, that, at different periods, have laid portions of the fair capital in ruins. *22
[Footnote 22: Montesinos, Annales, Ms. ano 1535. - Conq. i Pob. del Piru, Ms.
The remains of Pizarro's palace may still be discerned in the Callejon de Petateros, says Stevenson, who gives the best account of Lima to be found in any modern book of travels which I have consulted. Residence in South America, vol II. chap. 8.]
While these events were going on, Almagro, the Marshal, as he is usually termed by chroniclers of the time, had gone to Cuzco, whither he was sent by Pizarro to take command of that capital. He received also instructions to undertake, either by himself or by his captains, the conquest of the countries towards the south, forming part of Chili. Almagro, since his arrival at Caxamalca, had seemed willing to smother his ancient feelings of resentment towards his associate, or, at least, to conceal the expression of them, and had consented to take command under him in obedience to the royal mandate. He had even, in his despatches, the magnanimity to make honorable mention of Pizarro, as one anxious to promote the interests of government. Yet he did not so far trust his companion, as to neglect the precaution of sending a confidential agent to represent his own services, when Hernando Pizarro undertook his mission to the mother-country.
That cavalier, after touching at St. Domingo, had arrived without accident at Seville, in January, 1534. Besides the royal fifth, he took with him gold, to the value of half a million of pesos, together with a large quantity of silver, the property of private adventurers, some of whom, satisfied with their gains, had returned to Spain in the same vessel with himself. The custom-house was filled with solid ingots, and with vases of different forms, imitations of animals, flowers, fountains, and other objects, executed with more or less skill, and all of pure gold, to the astonishment of the spectators, who flocked from the neighbouring country to gaze on these marvellous productions of Indian art. *23 Most of the manufactured articles were the property of the Crown; and Hernando Pizarro, after a short stay at Seville, selected some of the most gorgeous specimens, and crossed the country to Calatayud, where the emperor was holding the cortes of Aragon.
[Footnote 23: Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 5, ib. 6, cap. 13. - Lista de todo lo que Hernando Pizarro trajo del Peru, ap. Mss. de Munoz.]
Hernando was instantly admitted to the royal presence, and obtained a gracious audience. He was more conversant with courts than either of his brothers, and his manners, when in situations that imposed a restraint on the natural arrogance of his temper, were graceful and even attractive. In a respectful tone, he now recited the stirring adventures of his brother and his little troop of followers, the fatigues they had endured, the difficulties they had overcome, their capture of the Peruvian Inca, and his magnificent ransom. He had not to tell of the massacre of the unfortunate prince, for the tragic event, which had occurred since his departure from the country, was still unknown to him. The cavalier expatiated on the productiveness of the soil, and on the civilization of the people, evinced by their proficiency in various mechanic arts; in proof of which he displayed the manufactures of wool and cotton, and the rich ornaments of gold and silver. The monarch's eyes sparkled with delight as he gazed on these last. He was too sagacious not to appreciate the advantages of a conquest which secured to him a country so rich in agricultural resources. But the returns from these must necessarily be gradual and long deferred; and he may be excused for listening with still greater satisfaction to Pizarro's tales of its mineral stores; for his ambitious projects had drained the imperial treasury, and he saw in the golden tide thus unexpectedly poured in upon him the immediate means of replenishing it.
Charles made no difficulty, therefore, in granting the petitions of the fortunate adventurer. All the previous grants to Francis Pizarro and his associates were confirmed in the fullest manner; and the boundaries of the governor's jurisdiction were extended seventy leagues further towards the south. Nor did Almagro's services, this time, go unrequited. He was empowered to discover and occupy the country for the distance of two hundred leagues, beginning at the southern limit of Pizarro's territory. *24 Charles, in proof, still further, of his satisfaction, was graciously pleased to address a letter to the two commanders, in which he complimented them on their prowess, and thanked them for their services. This act of justice to Almagro would have been highly honorable to Hernando Pizarro, considering the unfriendly relations in which they stood to each other, had it not been made necessary by the presence of the marshal's own agents at court, who, as already noticed, stood ready to supply any deficiency in the statements of the emissary.
[Footnote 24: The country to be occupied received the name of New Toledo, in the royal grant, as the conquests of Pizarro had been designated by that of New Castile. But the present attempt to change the Indian name was as ineffectual as the former, and the ancient title of Chili still designates that narrow strip of fruitful land between the Andes and the ocean, which stretches to the south of the great continent.]
In this display of the royal bounty, the envoy, as will readily be believed, did not go without his reward. He was lodged as an attendant of the Court; was made a knight of Santiago, the most prized of the chivalric orders in Spain; was empowered to equip an armament, and to take command of it; and the royal officers at Seville were required to aid him in his views and facilitate his embarkation for the Indies. *25
[Footnote 25: Ibid., loc. cit.]
The arrival of Hernando Pizarro in the country, and the reports spread by him and his followers, created a sensation among the Spaniards such as had not been felt since the first voyage of Columbus. The discovery of the New World had filled the minds of men with indefinite expectations of wealth, of which almost every succeeding expedition had proved the fallacy. The conquest of Mexico, though calling forth general admiration as a brilliant and wonderful exploit, had as yet failed to produce those golden results which had been so fondly anticipated. The splendid promises held out by Francis Pizarro on his recent visit to the country had not revived the confidence of his countrymen, made incredulous by repeated disappointment. All that they were assured of was the difficulties of the enterprise; and their distrust of its results was sufficiently shown by the small number of followers, and those only of the most desperate stamp, who were willing to take their chance in the adventure.
But now these promises were realized. It was no longer the golden reports that they were to trust; but the gold itself, which was displayed in such profusion before them. All eyes were now turned towards the West. The broken spendthrift saw in it the quarter where he was to repair his fortunes as speedily as he had ruined them. The merchant, instead of seeking the precious commodities of the East, looked in the opposite direction, and counted on far higher gains, where the most common articles of life commanded so exorbitant prices. The cavalier, eager to win both gold and glory at the point of his lance, thought to find a fair field for his prowess on the mountain plains of the Andes. Ferdinand Pizarro found that his brother had judged rightly in allowing as many of his company as chose to return home, confident that the display of their wealth would draw ten to his banner for every one that quitted it.
In a short time that cavalier saw himself at the head of one of the most numerous and well-appointed armaments, probably, that had left the shores of Spain since the great fleet of Ovando, in the time of Ferdinand and Isabella. It was scarcely more fortunate than this. Hardly had Ferdinand put to sea, when a violent tempest fell on the squadron, and compelled him to return to port and refit. At length he crossed the ocean, and reached the little harbour of Nombre de Dios in safety. But no preparations had been made for his coming, and, as he was detained here some time before he could pass the mountains, his company suffered greatly from scarcity of food. In their extremity, the most unwholesome articles were greedily devoured, and many a cavalier spent his little savings to procure himself a miserable subsistence. Disease, as usual, trod closely in the track of famine, and numbers of the unfortunate adventurers, sinking under the unaccustomed heats of the climate, perished on the very threshold of discovery.
It was the tale often repeated in the history of Spanish enterprise. A few, more lucky than the rest, stumble on some unexpected prize, and hundreds, attracted by their success, press forward in the same path. But the rich spoil which lay on the surface has been already swept away by the first comers, and those who follow are to win their treasure by long-protracted and painful exertion. - Broken in spirit and in fortune, many returned in disgust to their native shores, while others remained where they were, to die in despair. They thought to dig for gold; but they dug only their graves.
Yet it fared not thus with all Pizarro's company. Many of them, crossing the Isthmus with him to Panama, came in time to Peru, where, in the desperate chances of its revolutionary struggles, some few arrived at posts of profit and distinction. Among those who first reached the Peruvian shore was an emissary sent by Almagro's agents to inform him of the important grant made to him by the Crown. The tidings reached him just as he was making his entry into Cuzco, where he was received with all respect by Juan and Gonzalo Pizarro, who, in obedience to their brother's commands, instantly resigned the government of the capital into the marshal's hands. But Almagro was greatly elated on finding himself now placed by his sovereign in a command that made him independent of the man who had so deeply wronged him; and he intimated that in the exercise of his present authority he acknowledged no superior. In this lordly humor he was confirmed by several of his followers, who insisted that Cuzco fell to the south of the territory ceded to Pizarro, and consequently came within that now granted to the marshal. Among these followers were several of Alvarado's men, who, though of better condition than the soldiers of Pizarro, were under much worse discipline, and had acquired, indeed, a spirit of unbridled license under that unscrupulous chief. *26 They now evinced little concern for the native population of Cuzco; and, not content with the public edifices, seized on the dwellings of individuals, where it suited their convenience, appropriating their contents without ceremony, - showing as little respect, in short, for person or property, as if the place had been taken by storm. *27