Meanwhile, the Peruvians, who had witnessed the conference between the soldiers of the opposite camps, suspected some secret understanding between the parties, which would compromise the safety of the Inca. They communicated their distrust to Manco, and the latter, adopting the same sentiments, or perhaps, from the first, meditating a surprise of the Spaniards, suddenly fell upon the latter in the valley of Yucay with a body of fifteen thousand men. But the veterans of Chili were too familiar with Indian tactics to be taken by surprise. And though a sharp engagement ensued, which lasted more than an hour, in which Orgonez had a horse killed under him, the natives were finally driven back with great slaughter, and the Inca was so far crippled by the blow, that he was not likely for the present to give further molestation. *8 [Footnote 8: Zarate, Conq. del Peru, lib. 3, cap. 4. - Conq. i Pob. del Piru, Ms., Parte 3, lib. 8, cap. 21.]
Almagro, now joining the division left at Urcos, saw no further impediment to his operations on Cuzco. He sent, at once, an embassy to the municipality of the place, requiring the recognition of him as its lawful governor, and presenting at the same time a copy of his credentials from the Crown. But the question of jurisdiction was not one easy to be settled, depending, as it did, on a knowledge of the true parallels of latitude, not very likely to be possessed by the rude followers of Pizarro. The royal grant had placed under his jurisdiction all the country extending two hundred and seventy leagues south of the river of Santiago, situated one degree and twenty minutes north of the equator. Two hundred and seventy leagues on the meridian, by our measurement, would fall more than a degree short of Cuzco, and, indeed, would barely include the city of Lima itself. But the Spanish leagues, of only seventeen and a half to a degree, *9 would remove the southern boundary to nearly half a degree beyond the capital of the Incas, which would thus fall within the jurisdiction of Pizarro. *10 Yet the division-line ran so close to the disputed ground, that the true result might reasonably be doubted, where no careful scientific observations had been made to obtain it; and each party was prompt to assert, as they always are in such cases, that its own claim was clear and unquestionable. *11
[Footnote 9: "Contando diez i siete leg as i media por grado." Herrera Hist. General, dec. 6, lib. 3, cap. 5.]
[Footnote 10: The government had endeavoured early to provide against any dispute in regard to the limits of the respective jurisdictions. The language of the original grants gave room to some misunderstanding; and, as early as 1536, Fray Jomas de Berlanga, Bishop of Tierra Firme, had been sent to Lima with full powers to determine the question of boundary, by fixing the latitude of the river of Santiago, and measuring two hundred and seventy leagues south on the meridian. But Pizarro, having engaged Almagro in his Chili expedition, did not care to revive the question, and the Bishop returned, re infecta, to his diocese, with strong feelings of disgust towards the governor. Ibid., dec. 6, lib. 3, cap. 1.] [Footnote 11: "All say," says Oviedo, in a letter to the emperor, "that Cuzco falls within the territory of Almagro." Oviedo was, probably, the best-informed man in the colonies. Yet this was an error. Carta desde Sto. Domingo, Ms., 25 de Oct. 1539.]
Thus summoned by Almagro, the authorities of Cuzco, unwilling to give umbrage to either of the contending chiefs, decided that they must wait until they could take counsel - which they promised to do at once - with certain pilots better instructed than themselves in the position of the Santiago. Meanwhile, a truce was arranged between the parties, each solemnly engaging to abstain from hostile measures, and to remain quiet in their present quarters.
The weather now set in cold and rainy. Almagro's soldiers, greatly discontented with their position, flooded as it was by the waters, were quick to discover that Hernando Pizarro was busily employed in strengthening himself in the city, contrary to agreement. They also learned with dismay, that a large body of men, sent by the governor from Lima, under command of Alonso de Alvarado, was on the march to relieve Cuzco. They exclaimed that they were betrayed, and that the truce had been only an artifice to secure their inactivity until the arrival of the expected succours. In this state of excitement, it was not very difficult to persuade their commander - too ready to surrender his own judgment to the rash advisers around him - to violate the treaty, and take possession of the capital. *12
[Footnote 12: According to Zarate, Almagro, on entering the capital, found no appearance of the designs imputed to Hernando, and exclaimed that "he had been deceived." (Conq. del Peru, lib. 3, cap. 4.) He was probably easy of faith in the matter.]
Under cover of a dark and stormy night (April 8th, 1537), he entered the place without opposition, made himself master of the principal church, established strong parties of cavalry at the head of the great avenues to prevent surprise, and detached Orgonez with a body of infantry to force the dwelling of Hernando Pizarro. That captain was lodged with his brother Gonzalo in one of the large halls built by the Incas for public diversions, with immense doors of entrance that opened on the plaza. It was garrisoned by about twenty soldiers, who, as the gates were burst open, stood stoutly to the defence of their leader. A smart struggle ensued, in which some lives were lost, till at length Orgonez, provoked by the obstinate resistance, set fire to the combustible roof of the building. It was speedily in flames, and the burning rafters falling on the heads of the inmates, they forced their reluctant leader to an unconditional surrender. Scarcely had the Spaniards left the building, when the whole roof fell in with a tremendous crash. *13
[Footnote 13: Carta de Espinall, Tesorero de N. Toledo, 15 de Junio, 1539. - Conq. i Pob. del Piru, Ms. - Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Oviedo, Hist. de las Indias, Ms., Parte 3, lib. 8, cap. 21.] Almagro was now master of Cuzco. He ordered the Pizarros, with fifteen or twenty of the principal cavaliers, to be secured and placed in confinement. Except so far as required for securing his authority, he does not seem to have been guilty of acts of violence to the inhabitants, *14 and he installed one of Pizarro's most able officers, Gabriel de Rojas, in the government of the city. The municipality, whose eyes were now open to the validity of Almagro's pretensions, made no further scruple to recognize his title to Cuzco.
[Footnote 14: So it would appear from the general testimony; yet Pedro Pizarro, one of the opposite faction, and among those imprisoned by Almagro, complains that that chief plundered them of their horses and other property. Descub. y Conq., Ms.]
The marshal's first step was to send a message to Alonso de Alvarado's camp, advising that officer of his occupation of the city, and requiring his obedience to him, as its legitimate master. Alvarado was lying, with a body of five hundred men, horse and foot, at Xauxa, about thirteen leagues from the capital. He had been detached several months previously for the relief of Cuzco; but had, most unaccountably, and, as it proved, most unfortunately for the Peruvian capital, remained at Xauxa with the alleged motive of protecting that settlement and the surrounding country against the insurgents. *15 He now showed himself loyal to his commander; and, when Almagro's ambassadors reached his camp, he put them in irons, and sent advice of what had been done to the governor at Lima. [Footnote 15: Pizarro's secretary Picado had an encomienda in that neighbourhood, and Alvarado, who was under personal obligations to him, remained there, it is said, at his instigation. (Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 5, lib. 8, cap. 7.) Alvarado was a good officer, and largely trusted, both before and after, by the Pizarros; and we may presume there was some explanation of his conduct, of which we are not possessed.] Almagro, offended by the detention of his emissaries, prepared at once to march against Alonso de Alvarado, and take more effectual means to bring him to submission. His lieutenant, Orgonez, strongly urged him before his departure to strike off the heads of the Pizarros, alleging, "that, while they lived, his commander's life would never be safe"; and concluding with the Spanish proverb, "Dead men never bite." *16 But the marshal, though he detested Hernando in his heart, shrunk from so violent a measure; and, independently of other considerations, he had still an attachment for his old associate, Francis Pizarro, and was unwilling to sever the ties between them for ever. Contenting himself, therefore, with placing his prisoners under strong guard in one of the stone buildings belonging to the House of the Sun, he put himself at the head of his forces, and left the capital in quest of Alvarado.
[Footnote 16: "El muerto no mordia." Ibid., dec. 6, lib. 2, cap. 8.] That officer had now taken up a position on the farther side of the Rio de Abancay, where he lay, with the strength of his little army, in front of a bridge, by which its rapid waters are traversed, while a strong detachment occupied a spot commanding a ford lower down the river. But in this detachment was a cavalier of much consideration in the army, Pedro de Lerma, who, from some pique against his commander, had entered into treasonable correspondence with the opposite party. By his advice, Almagro, on reaching the border of the river, established himself against the bridge in face of Alvarado, as if prepared to force a passage, thus concentrating his adversary's attention on that point. But, when darkness had set in, he detached a large body under Orgonez to pass the ford, and operate in concert with Lerma. Orgonez executed this commission with his usual promptness. The ford was crossed, though the current ran so swiftly, that several of his men were swept away by it, and perished in the waters. Their leader received a severe wound himself in the mouth, as he was gaining the opposite bank, but, nothing daunted, he cheered on his men, and fell with fury on the enemy. He was speedily joined by Lerma, and such of the soldiers as he had gained over, and, unable to distinguish friend from foe, the enemy's confusion was complete.
Meanwhile, Alvarado, roused by the noise of the attack on this quarter, hastened to the support of his officer, when Almagro, seizing the occasion, pushed across the bridge, dispersed the small body left to defend it, and, falling on Alvarado's rear, that general saw himself hemmed in on all sides. The struggle did not last long; and the unfortunate chief, uncertain on whom he could rely, surrendered with all his force, - those only excepted who had already deserted to the enemy. Such was the battle of Abancay, as it was called, from the river on whose banks it was fought, on the twelfth of July, 1537. Never was a victory more complete, or achieved with less cost of life; and Almagro marched back, with an array of prisoners scarcely inferior to his own army in number, in triumph to Cuzco. *17
[Footnote 17: Carta de Francisco Pizarro al Obispo de Tierra Firme, Ms., 28 de Agosto, 1539. - Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Oviedo, Hist. de las Indias, Ms., ubi supra. - Conq. i Pob. del Piru, Ms. - Carta de Espinall, Ms.]
While the events related in the preceding pages were passing, Francisco Pizarro had remained at Lima, anxiously awaiting the arrival of the reinforcements which he had requested, to enable him to march to the relief of the beleaguered capital of the Incas. His appeal had not been unanswered. Among the rest was a corps of two hundred and fifty men, led by the Licentiate Gaspar de Espinosa, one of the three original associates, it may be remembered, who engaged in the conquest of Peru. He had now left his own residence at Panama, and came in person, for the first time, it would seem, to revive the drooping fortunes of his confederates. Pizarro received also a vessel laden with provisions, military stores, and other necessary supplies, besides a rich wardrobe for himself, from Cortes, the Conqueror of Mexico, who generously stretched forth his hand to aid his kinsman in the hour of need. *18 [Footnote 18: "Fernando Cortes embio con Rodrigo de Grijalva en vn proprio Navio suio, desde la Nueva Espana, muchas Armas, Tiros, Jaeces, Aderecos, Vestidos de Seda, i vna Ropa de Martas." Gomara, Hist de las Ind., cap. 136.]
With a force amounting to four hundred and fifty men, half of them cavalry, the governor quitted Lima, and began his march on the Inca capital. He had not advanced far, when he received tidings of the return of Almagro, the seizure of Cuzco, and the imprisonment of his brothers; and, before he had time to recover from this astounding intelligence, he learned the total defeat and capture of Alvarado. Filled with consternation at these rapid successes of his rival, he now returned in all haste to Lima, which he put in the best posture of defence, to secure it against the hostile movements, not unlikely, as he thought, to be directed against that capital itself. Meanwhile, far from indulging in impotent sallies of resentment, or in complaints of his ancient comrade, he only lamented that Almagro should have resorted to these violent measures for the settlement of their dispute, and this less - if we may take his word for it - from personal considerations than from the prejudice it might do to the interests of the Crown. *19
[Footnote 19: Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 6, lib. 2, cap. 7] But, while busily occupied with warlike preparations, he did not omit to try the effect of negotiation. He sent an embassy to Cuzco, consisting of several persons in whose discretion he placed the greatest confidence, with Espinosa at their head, as the party most interested in an amicable arrangement.
The licentiate, on his arrival, did not find Almagro in as favorable a mood for an accommodation as he could have wished. Elated by his recent successes, he now aspired not only to the possession of Cuzco, but of Lima itself, as falling within the limits of his jurisdiction. It was in vain that Espinosa urged the propriety, by every argument which prudence could suggest, of moderating his demands. His claims upon Cuzco, at least, were not to be shaken, and he declared himself ready to peril his life in maintaining them. The licentiate coolly replied by quoting the pithy Castilian proverb, El vencido vencido, y el vencidor perdido; "The vanquished vanquished, and the victor undone."
What influence the temperate arguments of the licentiate might eventually have had on the heated imagination of the soldier is doubtful; but unfortunately for the negotiation, it was abruptly terminated by the death of Espinosa himself, which took place most unexpectedly, though, strange to say, in those times, without the imputation of poison. *20 He was a great loss to the parties in the existing fermentation of their minds; for he had the weight of character which belongs to wise and moderate counsels, and a deeper interest than any other man in recommending them.
[Footnote 20: Carta de Pizarro al Obispo de Tierra Firme, Ms. - Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 6, lib. 2, cap. 13. - Carta de Espinall, Ms.] The name of Espinosa is memorable in history from his early connection with the expedition to Peru, which, but for the seasonable, though secret, application of his funds, could not then have been compassed. He had long been a resident in the Spanish colonies of Tierra Firme and Panama, where he had served in various capacities, sometimes as a legal functionary presiding in the courts of justice, *21 and not unfrequently as an efficient leader in the early expeditions of conquest and discovery. In these manifold vocations he acquired high reputation for probity, intelligence, and courage, and his death at the present crisis was undoubtedly the most unfortunate event that could befall the country.
[Footnote 21: He incurred some odium as presiding officer in the trial and condemnation of the unfortunate Vasco Nunez de Balboa. But it must be allowed, that he made great efforts to resist the tyrannical proceedings of Pedrarias, and he earnestly recommended the prisoner to mercy. See Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 2, lib. 2, cap. 21, 22.]
All attempt at negotiation was now abandoned; and Almagro announced his purpose to descend to the sea-coast, where he could plant a colony and establish a port for himself. This would secure him the means, so essential, of communication with the mother-country, and here he would resume negotiations for the settlement of his dispute with Pizarro. Before quitting Cuzco, he sent Orgonez with a strong force against the Inca, not caring to leave the capital exposed in his absence to further annoyance from that quarter.
But the Inca, discouraged by his late discomfiture, and unable, perhaps, to rally in sufficient strength for resistance, abandoned his strong-hold at Tambo, and retreated across the mountains. He was hotly pursued by Orgonez over hill and valley, till, deserted by his followers, and with only one of his wives to bear him company, the royal fugitive took shelter in the remote fastnesses of the Andes. *22
[Footnote 22: Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Conq. i Pob. de Piru Ms.]
Before leaving the capital, Orgonez again urged his commander to strike off the heads of the Pizarros, and then march at once upon Lima. By this decisive step he would bring the war to an issue, and for ever secure himself from the insidious machinations of his enemies. But, in the mean time, a new friend had risen up to the captive brothers. This was Diego de Alvarado, brother of that Pedro, who, as mentioned in a preceding chapter, had conducted the unfortunate expedition to Quito. After his brother's departure, Diego had attached himself to the fortunes of Almagro, had accompanied him to Chili, and, as he was a cavalier of birth, and possessed of some truly noble qualities, he had gained deserved ascendency over his commander. Alvarado had frequently visited Hernando Pizarro in his confinement, where, to beguile the tediousness of captivity, he amused himself with gaming, - the passion of the Spaniard. They played deep, and Alvarado lost the enormous sum of eighty thousand gold castellanos. He was prompt in paying the debt, but Hernando Pizarro peremptorily declined to receive the money. By this politic generosity, he secured an important advocate in the council of Almagro. It stood him now in good stead. Alvarado represented to the marshal, that such a measure as that urged by Orgonez would not only outrage the feelings of his followers, but would ruin his fortunes by the indignation it must excite at court. When Almagro acquiesced in these views, as in truth most grateful to his own nature, Orgonez, chagrined at his determination, declared that the day would come when he would repent this mistaken lenity. "A Pizarro," he said, "was never known to forget an injury; and that which they had already received from Almagro was too deep for them to forgive." Prophetic words!
On leaving Cuzco, the marshal gave orders that Gonzalo Pizarro and the other prisoners should be detained in strict custody. Hernando he took with him, closely guarded, on his march. Descending rapidly towards the coast, he reached the pleasant vale of Chincha in the latter part of August. Here he occupied himself with laying the foundations of a town bearing his own name, which might serve as a counterpart to the City of the Kings, - thus bidding defiance, as it were, to his rival on his own borders. While occupied in this manner, he received the unwelcome tidings, that Gonzalo Pizarro, Alonso de Alvarado, and the other prisoners, having tampered with their guards, had effected their escape from Cuzco, and he soon after heard of their safe arrival in the camp of Pizarro.
Chafed by this intelligence, the marshal was not soothed by the insinuations of Orgonez, that it was owing to his ill-advised lenity; and it might have gone hard with Hernando, but that Almagro's attention was diverted by the negotiation which Francisco Pizarro now proposed to resume.
After some correspondence between the parties, it was agreed to submit the arbitration of the dispute to a single individual, Fray Francisco de Bovadilla, a Brother of the Order of Mercy. Though living in Lima, and, as might be supposed, under the influence of Pizarro, he had a reputation for integrity that disposed Almagro to confide the settlement of the question exclusively to him. In this implicit confidence in the friar's impartiality, Orgonez, of a less sanguine temper than his chief, did not participate. *23
[Footnote 23: Carta de Gutierrez al Emperador, Ms., 10 de Feb. 1539. - Carta de Espinall, Ms. - Oviedo, Hist. de las Ind., Ms., ubi supra. - Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 6 lib. 2, cap. 8-14. - Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y. Conq., Ms. - Zarate, Conq. del Peru, lib. 3, cap. 8. - Naharro, Relacion Sumaria, Ms.]
An interview was arranged between the rival chiefs. It took place at Mala, November 13th, 1537; but very different was the deportment of the two commanders towards each other from that which they had exhibited at their former meetings. Almagro, indeed, doffing his bonnet, advanced in his usual open manner to salute his ancient comrade; but Pizarro, hardly condescending to return the salute, haughtily demanded why the marshal had seized upon his city of Cuzco, and imprisoned his brothers. This led to a recrimination on the part of his associate. The discussion assumed the tone of an angry altercation, till Almagro, taking a hint - or what he conceived to be such - from an attendant, that some treachery was intended, abruptly quitted the apartment, mounted his horse, and galloped back to his quarters at Chincha. *24 The conference closed, as might have been anticipated from the heated temper of their minds when they began it, by widening the breach it was intended to heal. The friar, now left wholly to himself, after some deliberation, gave his award. He decided that a vessel, with a skilful pilot on board, should be sent to determine the exact latitude of the river of Santiago, the northern boundary of Pizarro's territory, by which all the measurements were to be regulated. In the mean time, Cuzco was to be delivered up by Almagro, and Hernando Pizarro to be set at liberty, on condition of his leaving the country in six weeks for Spain. Both parties were to retire within their undisputed territories, and to abandon all further hostilities. *25
[Footnote 24: It was said that Gonzalo Pizarro lay in ambush with a strong force in the neighbourhood to intercept the marshal, and that the latter was warned of his danger by an honorable cavalier of the opposite party, who repeated a distich of an old ballad,
"Tiempo es el Caballero Tiempo es de andar de aqui."
(Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 6, lib. 3, cap. 4.) Pedro Pizarro admits the truth of the design imputed to Gonzalo, which he was prevented from putting into execution by the commands of the governor, who, the chronicler, with edifying simplicity, or assurance, informs us, was a man that scrupulously kept his word. "Porque el marquez don Francisco Picarro hera hombre que guardava mucho su palabra." Descub. y Conq., Ms.]
[Footnote 25: Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Carta de Espinall, Ms.] This award, as may be supposed, highly satisfactory to Pizarro, was received by Almagro's men with indignation and scorn. They had been sold, they cried, by their general, broken, as he was, by age and infirmities. Their enemies were to occupy Cuzco and its pleasant places, while they were to be turned over to the barren wilderness of Charcas. Little did they dream that under this poor exterior were hidden the rich treasures of Potosi. They denounced the umpire as a hireling of the governor, and murmurs were heard among the troops, stimulated by Orgonez, demanding the head of Hernando. Never was that cavalier in greater danger. But his good genius in the form of Alvarado again interposed to protect him. His life in captivity was a succession of reprieves. *26
[Footnote 26: Espinall, Almagro's treasurer, denounces the friar "as proving himself a very devil" by this award. (Carta al Emperador, Ms.) And Oviedo, a more dispassionate judge, quotes, without condemning, a cavalier who told the father, that "a sentence so unjust had not been pronounced since the time of Pontius Pilate"! Hist. de las Indias, Ms., Parte 3, lib. 8, cap. 21.] Yet his brother, the governor, was not disposed to abandon him to his fate. On the contrary, he was now prepared to make every concession to secure his freedom. Concessions, that politic chief well knew, cost little to those who are not concerned to abide by them. After some preliminary negotiation, another award, more equitable, or, at all events, more to the satisfaction of the discontented party, was given. The principal articles of it were, that, until the arrival of some definitive instructions on the point from Castile, the city of Cuzco, with its territory, should remain in the hands of Almagro; and that Hernando Pizarro should be set at liberty, on the condition, above stipulated, of leaving the country in six weeks. - When the terms of this agreement were communicated to Orgonez, that officer intimated his opinion of them, by passing his finger across his throat, and exclaiming, "What has my fidelity to my commander cost me!" *27
[Footnote 27: "I tomando la barba con la mano izquierda, con la derecha hico senal de cortarse la cabeca, diciendo: Orgonez, Orgonez, por el amistad de Don Diego de Almagro te han de cortar esta." Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 6, lib. 3, cap. 9.]
Almagro, in order to do greater honor to his prisoner, visited him in person, and announced to him that he was from that moment free. He expressed a hope, at the same time, that "all past differences would be buried in oblivion, and that henceforth they should live only in the recollection of then ancient friendship." Hernando replied, with apparent cordiality, that "he desired nothing better for himself." He then swore in the most solemn manner, and pledged his knightly honor, - the latter, perhaps, a pledge of quite as much weight in his own mind as the former, - that he would faithfully comply with the terms stipulated in the treaty. He was next conducted by the marshal to his quarters, where he partook of a collation in company with the principal officers; several of whom, together with Diego Almagro, the general's son, afterward escorted the cavalier to his brother's camp, which had been transferred to the neighbouring town of Mala. Here the party received a most cordial greeting from the governor, who entertained them with a courtly hospitality, and lavished many attentions, in particular, on the son of his ancient associate. In short, such, on their return, was the account of their reception, that it left no doubt in the mind of Almagro that all was at length amicably settled. *28 - He did not know Pizarro.
[Footnote 28: Ibid., loc. cit. - Carta de Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Zarate Gutierrez, Ms. - Pedro Pizarro, Conq. del Peru, lib. 3, cap. 9.]
First Civil War. - Almagro Retreats To Cuzco. - Battle Of Las Salinas. - Cruelty Of The Conquerors. - Trial And Execution Of Almagro. - His Character. 1537-1538.
Scarcely had Almagro's officers left the governor's quarters, when the latter, calling his little army together, briefly recapitulated the many wrongs which had been done him by his rival, the seizure of his capital, the imprisonment of his brothers, the assault and defeat of his troops; and he concluded with the declaration, - heartily echoed back by his military audience, - that the time had now come for revenge. All the while that the negotiations were pending, Pizarro had been busily occupied with military preparations. He had mustered a force considerably larger than that of his rival, drawn from various quarters, but most of them familiar with service. He now declared, that, as he was too old to take charge of the campaign himself, he should devolve that duty on his brothers; and he released Hernando from all his engagements to Almagro, as a measure justified by necessity. That cavalier, with graceful pertinacity, intimated his design to abide by the pledges he had given, but, at length yielded a reluctant assent to the commands of his brother, as to a measure imperatively demanded by his duty to the Crown. *1
[Footnote 1: Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 6, lib. 3, cap. 10.] The governor's next step was to advise Almagro that the treaty was at an end. At the same time, he warned him to relinquish his pretensions to Cuzco, and withdraw into his own territory, or the responsibility of the consequences would lie on his own head.
Reposing in his false security, Almagro was now fully awakened to the consciousness of the error he had committed; and the warning voice of his lieutenant may have risen to his recollection. The first part of the prediction was fulfilled. And what should prevent the latter from being so? To add to his distress, he was laboring at this time under a grievous malady, the result of early excesses, which shattered his constitution, and made him incapable alike of mental and bodily exertion. *2
[Footnote 2: "Cayo enfermo i estuvo malo a punto de muerte de bubas i dolores" (Carta de Espinall, Ms.) It was a hard penalty, occurring at this crisis, for the sins, perhaps, of earlier days; but
"The gods are just, and of our pleasant vices Make instruments to scourge us."]
In this forlorn condition, he confided the management of his affairs to Orgonez, on whose loyalty and courage he knew he might implicitly rely. The first step was to secure the passes of the Guaitara, a chain of hills that hemmed in the valley of Zangalla, where Almagro was at present established. But, by some miscalculation, the passes were not secured in season; and the active enemy, threading the dangerous defiles, effected a passage across the sierra, where a much inferior force to his own might have taken him at advantage. The fortunes of Almagro were on the wane. His thoughts were now turned towards Cuzco, and he was anxious to get possession of this capital before the arrival of the enemy. Too feeble to sit on horseback, he was obliged to be carried in a litter; and, when he reached the ancient town of Bilcas, not far from Guamanga, his indisposition was so severe that he was compelled to halt and remain there three weeks before resuming his march.
The governor and his brothers, in the mean time, after traversing the pass of Guaitara, descended into the valley of Ica, where Pizarro remained a considerable while, to get his troops into order and complete his preparations for the campaign. Then, taking leave of the army, he returned to Lima, committing the prosecution of the war, as he had before announced, to his younger and more active brothers. Hernando, soon after quitting Ica, kept along the coast as far as Nasca, proposing to penetrate the country by a circuitous route in order to elude the enemy, who might have greatly embarrassed him in some of the passes of the Cordilleras. But unhappily for him, this plan of operations, which would have given him such manifest advantage, was not adopted by Almagro; and his adversary, without any other impediment than that arising from the natural difficulties of the march, arrived, in the latter part of April, 1538, in the neighbourhood of Cuzco.
But Almagro was already in possession of that capital, which he had reached ten days before. A council of war was held by him respecting the course to be pursued. Some were for making good the defence of the city. Almagro would have tried what could be done by negotiation. But Orgonez bluntly replied, - "It is too late; you have liberated Hernando Pizarro, and nothing remains but to fight him." The opinion of Orgonez finally prevailed, to march out and give the enemy battle on the plains. The marshal, still disabled by illness from taking the command, devolved it on his trusty lieutenant, who, mustering his forces, left the city, and took up a position at Las Salinas, less than a league distant from Cuzco. The place received its name from certain pits or vats in the ground, used for the preparation of salt, that was obtained from a natural spring in the neighbourhood. It was an injudicious choice of ground, since its broken character was most unfavorable to the free action of cavalry, in which the strength of Almagro's force consisted. But, although repeatedly urged by the officers to advance into the open country, Orgonez persisted in his position, as the most favorable for defence, since the front was protected by a marsh, and by a little stream that flowed over the plain. His forces amounted in all to about five hundred, more than half of them horse. His infantry was deficient in fire-arms, the place of which was supplied by the long pike. He had also six small cannon, or falconets, as they were called, which, with his cavalry, formed into two equal divisions, he disposed on the flanks of his infantry. Thus prepared, he calmly awaited the approach of the enemy.
It was not long before the bright arms and banners of the Spaniards under Hernando Pizarro were seen emerging from the mountain passes. The troops came forward in good order, and like men whose steady step showed that they had been spared in the march, and were now fresh for action. They advanced slowly across the plain, and halted on the opposite border of the little stream which covered the front of Orgonez. Here Hernando, as the sun had set, took up his quarters for the night, proposing to defer the engagement till daylight. *3
[Footnote 3: Carta de Gutierrez, Ms. - Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 6, lib. 4, cap. 1 - 5. - Carta de Espinall, Ms. - Zarate, Conq. del Peru, lib. 3, cap. 10, 11. - Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 2 lib. 2, cap. 36, 37.]
The rumors of the approaching battle had spread far and wide over the country; and the mountains and rocky heights around were thronged with multitudes of natives, eager to feast their eyes on a spectacle, where, whichever side were victorious, the defeat would fall on their enemies. *4 The Castilian women and children, too, with still deeper anxiety, had thronged out from Cuzco to witness the deadly strife in which brethren and kindred were to contend for mastery. *5 The whole number of the combatants was insignificant; though not as compared with those usually engaged in these American wars It is not, however, the number of the players, but the magnitude of the stake, that gives importance and interest to the game; and in this bloody game, they were to play for the possession of an empire.
[Footnote 4: Herrera, Hist. General, dec 6, lib. 4, cap. 5, 6.] [Footnote 5: Ibid., ubi supra.]
The night passed away in silence, unbroken by the vast assembly which covered the surrounding hill-tops. Nor did the soldiers of the hostile camps, although keeping watch within hearing of one another, and with the same blood flowing in their veins, attempt any communication. So deadly was the hate in their bosoms! *6
[Footnote 6: "I fue cosa de notar, que se estuvieron toda la Noche, sin que nadie de la vna i otra parte pensase en mover tratos de Paz: tanta era la ira i aborrecimiento de ambas partes." Ibid., cap. 6.]
The sun rose bright, as usual in this beautiful climate, on Saturday, the twenty-sixth day of April, 1538. *7 But long before his beams were on the plain, the trumpet of Hernando Pizarro had called his men to arms. His forces amounted in all to about seven hundred. They were drawn from various quarters, the veterans of Pizarro, the followers of Alonso de Alvarado, - many of whom, since their defeat, had found their way back to Lima, - and the late reinforcement from the isles, most of them seasoned by many a toilsome march in the Indian campaigns, and many a hard-fought field. His mounted troops were inferior to those of Almagro; but this was more than compensated by the strength of his infantry, comprehending a well-trained corps of arquebusiers, sent from St. Domingo, whose weapons were of the improved construction recently introduced from Flanders. They were of a large calibre, and threw double-headed shot, consisting of bullets linked together by an iron chain. It was doubtless a clumsy weapon compared with modern fire-arms, but, in hands accustomed to wield it, proved a destructive instrument. *8 [Footnote 7: A church dedicated to Saint Lazarus was afterwards erected on the battle-ground, and the bodies of those slain in the action were interred within its walls. This circumstance leads Garcilasso to suppose that the battle took place on Saturday, the sixth, - the day after the Feast of Saint Lazarus, - and not on the twenty-sixth of April, as commonly reported. Com. Real., Parte 2, lib. 2, cap 38. See also Montesinos, (Annales, Ms., ano 1538,) - an indifferent authority for any thing]
[Footnote 8: Zarate, Conq. del Peru, lib. 3, cap. 8. - Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 2, lib. 2, cap. 36.]
Hernando Pizarro drew up his men in the same order of battle as that presented by the enemy, - throwing his infantry into the centre, and disposing his horse on the flanks; one corps of which he placed under command of Alonso de Alvarado, and took charge of the other himself. The infantry was headed by his brother Gonzalo, supported by Pedro de Valdivia, the future hero of Arauco, whose disastrous story forms the burden of romance as well as of chronicle. *9
[Footnote 9: The Araucana of Ercilla may claim the merit, indeed, - if it be a merit, - of combining both romance and history in one. Surely never did the Muse venture on such a specification of details, not merely poetical, but political, geographical, and statistical, as in this celebrated Castilian epic. It is a military journal done into rhyme.]
Mass was said, as if the Spaniards were about to fight what they deemed the good fight of the faith, instead of imbruing their hands in the blood of their countrymen. Hernando Pizarro then made a brief address to his soldiers. He touched on the personal injuries he and his family had received from Almagro; reminded his brother's veterans that Cuzco had been wrested from their possession; called up the glow of shame on the brows of Alvarado's men as he talked of the rout of Abancay, and, pointing out the Inca metropolis that sparkled in the morning sunshine, he told them that there was the prize of the victor. They answered his appeal with acclamations; and the signal being given, Gonzalo Pizarro, heading his battalion of infantry, led it straight across the river. The water was neither broad nor deep, and the soldiers found no difficulty in gaining a landing, as the enemy's horse was prevented by the marshy ground from approaching the borders. But, as they worked their way across the morass, the heavy guns of Orgonez played with effect on the leading files, and threw them into disorder. Gonzalo and Valdivia threw themselves into the midst of their followers, menacing some, encouraging others, and at length led them gallantly forward to the firm ground. Here the arquebusiers, detaching themselves from the rest of the infantry, gained a small eminence, whence, in their turn, they opened a galling fire on Orgonez, scattering his array of spearmen, and sorely annoying the cavalry on the flanks.
Meanwhile, Hernando, forming his two squadrons of horse into one column, crossed under cover of this well-sustained fire, and, reaching the firm ground, rode at once against the enemy. Orgonez, whose infantry was already much crippled, advancing his horse, formed the two squadrons into one body, like his antagonist, and spurred at full gallop against the assailants. The shock was terrible; and it was hailed by the swarms of Indian spectators on the surrounding heights with a fiendisn yell of triumph, that rose far above the din of battle, till it was lost in distant echoes among the mountains. *10 [Footnote 10: Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 6, lib. 4, cap. 6. - Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Carta de Espinall, Ms. - Zarate, Conq. del Peru, lib. 3, cap. 11.
Every thing relating to this battle, - the disposition of the forces, the character of the ground, the mode of attack, are told as variously and confusedly, as if it had been a contest between two great armies, instead of a handful of men on either side. It would seem that truth is nowhere so difficult to come at, as on the battle-field.]
The struggle was desperate. For it was not that of the white man against the defenceless Indian, but of Spaniard against Spaniard; both parties cheering on their comrades with their battle-cries of "El Rey y Almagro," or "El Rey y Pizarro," - while they fought with a hate, to which national antipathy was as nothing; a hate strong in proportion to the strength of the ties that had been rent asunder.
In this bloody field well did Orgonez do his duty, fighting like one to whom battle was the natural element. Singling out a cavalier, whom, from the color of the sobre-vest on his armour, he erroneously supposed to be Hernando Pizarro, he charged him in full career, and overthrew him with his lance. Another he ran through in like manner, and a third he struck down with his sword, as he was prematurely shouting "Victory!" But while thus doing the deeds of a paladin of romance, he was hit by a chain-shot from an arquebuse, which, penetrating the bars of his visor, grazed his forehead, and deprived him for a moment of reason. Before he had fully recovered, his horse was killed under him, and though the fallen cavalier succeeded in extricating himself from the stirrups, he was surrounded, and soon overpowered by numbers. Still refusing to deliver up his sword, he asked "if there was no knight to whom he could surrender." One Fuentes, a menial of Pizarro, presenting himself as such, Orgonez gave his sword into his hands, - and the dastard, drawing his dagger, stabbed his defenceless prisoner to the heart! His head, then struck off, was stuck on a pike, and displayed, a bloody trophy, in the great square of Cuzco, as the head of a traitor. *11 Thus perished as loyal a cavalier, as decided in council, and as bold in action, as ever crossed to the shores of America. [Footnote 11: Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Herrera Hist. General, ubi supra. - Zarate, Conq. del Peru, ubi supra.] The fight had now lasted more than an hour, and the fortune of the day was turning against the followers of Almagro. Orgonez being down, their confusion increased. The infantry, unable to endure the fire of the arquebusiers, scattered and took refuge behind the stone-walls, that here and there straggled across the country. Pedro de Lerma, vainly striving to rally the cavalry, spurred his horse against Hernando Pizarro, with whom he had a personal feud. Pizarro did not shrink from the encounter. The lances of both the knights took effect. That of Hernando penetrated the thigh of his opponent, while Lerma's weapon, glancing by his adversary's saddle-bow, struck him with such force above the groin, that it pierced the joints of his mail, slightly wounding the cavalier, and forcing his horse back on his haunches. But the press of the fight soon parted the combatants, and, in the turmoil that ensued, Lerma was unhorsed, and left on the field covered with wounds. *12
[Footnote 12: Herrera, Hist. General, ubi supra. - Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 2, lib. 2, cap. 36.
Hernando Pizarro wore a surcoat of orange-colored velvet over his armour, according to Garcilasso, and before the battle sent notice of it to Orgonez, that the latter might distinguish him in the melee. But a knight in Hernando's suite also wore the same colors, it appears, which led Orgonez into error.]
There was no longer order, and scarcely resistance, among the followers of Almagro. They fled, making the best of their way to Cuzco, and happy was the man who obtained quarter when he asked it. Almagro himself, too feeble to sit so long on his horse, reclined on a litter, and from a neighbouring eminence surveyed the battle, watching its fluctuations with all the interest of one who felt that honor, fortune, life itself, hung on the issue. With agony not to be described, he had seen his faithful followers, after their hard struggle, borne down by their opponents, till, convinced that all was lost, he succeeded in mounting a mule, and rode off for a temporary refuge to the fortress of Cuzco. Thither he was speedily followed, taken, and brought in triumph to the capital, where, ill as he was, he was thrown into irons, and confined in the same in the same apartment of the stone building in which he had imprisoned the Pizarros.
The action lasted not quite two hours. The number of killed, variously stated, was probably not less than a hundred and fifty, - one of the combatants calls it two hundred, *13 - a great number, considering the shortness of the time, and the small amount of forces engaged. No account is given of the wounded. Wounds were the portion of the cavalier. Pedro de Lerma is said to have received seventeen, and yet was taken alive from the field! The loss fell chiefly on the followers of Almagro But the slaughter was not confined to the heat of the action. Such was the deadly animosity of the parties, that several were murdered in cold blood, like Orgonez, after they had surrendered. Pedro de Lerma himself, while lying on his sick couch in the quarters of a friend in Cuzco, was visited by a soldier, named Samaniego, whom he had once struck for an act of disobedience. This person entered the solitary chamber of the wounded man, took his place by his bed-side, and then, upbraiding him for the insult, told him that he had come to wash it away in his blood! Lerma in vain assured him, that, when restored to health, he would give him the satisfaction he desired. The miscreant, exclaiming "Now is the hour!" plunged his sword into his bosom. He lived several years to vaunt this atrocious exploit, which he proclaimed as a reparation to his honor. It is some satisfaction to know that the insolence of this vaunt cost him his life. *14 - Such anecdotes, revolting as they are, illustrate not merely the spirit of the times, but that peculiarly ferocious spirit which is engendered by civil wars, - the most unforgiving in their character of any, but wars of religion.
[Footnote 13: "Murieron en esta Batalla de las Salinas casi dozientos hombres de vna parte y de otra." (Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms.) Most authorities rate the loss at less. The treasurer Espinall, a partisan of Almagro, says they massacred a hundred and fifty after the fight, in cold blood. "Siguiecon el alcanze la mas cruelmente que en el mundo se ha visto, porque matavan a los hombres rendidos e desarmados, e por les quitar las armas los mataban si presto no se las quitaban, e trayendo a las ancas de un caballo a un Ruy Diaz viniendo rendido e desarmado le mataron, i desta manera mataron mas de ciento e cinquenta hombres" Carta, Ms.]
[Footnote 14: Carta de Espinall, Ms. - Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 2, lib. 2, cap. 38.
He was hanged for this very crime by the governor of Puerto Viejo, about five years after this time, having outraged the feelings of that officer and the community by the insolent and open manner in which he boasted of his atrocious exploit.]
In the hurry of the flight of one party, and the pursuit by the other, all pouring towards Cuzco, the field of battle had been deserted. But it soon swarmed with plunderers, as the Indians, descending like vultures from the mountains, took possession of the bloody ground, and, despoiling the dead, even to the minutest article of dress, left their corpses naked on the plain. *15 It has been thought strange that the natives should not have availed themselves of their superior numbers to fall on the victors after they had been exhausted by the battle. But the scattered bodies of the Peruvians were without a leader; they were broken in spirits, moreover, by recent reverses, and the Castilians, although weakened for the moment by the struggle, were in far greater strength in Cuzco than they had ever been before. [Footnote 15: "Los Indios viendo la Batalla fenescida, ellos tambien se dejaron de la suia, iendo los vnos i los otros a desnudar los Espanoles muertos, i aun algunos vivos, que por sus heridas no se podian defender, porque como paso el tropel de la Gente, siguiendo la Victoria, no huvo quien se lo impidiese; de manera que dexaron en cueros a todos los caidos." Zarate, Conq. del Peru, lib. 3, cap. 11]
Indeed, the number of troops now assembled within its walls, amounting to full thirteen hundred, composed, as they were, of the most discordant materials, gave great uneasiness to Hernando Pizarro. For there were enemies glaring on each other and on him with deadly though smothered rancor, and friends, if not so dangerous, not the less troublesome from their craving and unreasonable demands. He had given the capital up to pillage, and his followers found good booty in the quarters of Almagro's officers. But this did not suffice the more ambitious cavaliers; and they clamorously urged their services, and demanded to be placed in charge of some expedition, nothing doubting that it must prove a golden one. All were in quest of an El Dorado. Hernando Pizarro acquiesced as far as possible in these desires, most willing to relieve himself of such importunate creditors. The expeditions, it is true, usually ended in disaster; but the country was explored by them. It was the lottery of adventure; the prizes were few, but they were splendid; and in the excitement of the game, few Spaniards paused to calculate the chances of success.
Among those who left the capital was Diego, the son of Almagro. Hernando was mindful to send him, with a careful escort, to his brother the governor, desirous to remove him at this crisis from the neighbourhood of his father. Meanwhile the marshal himself was pining away in prison under the combined influence of bodily illness and distress of mind. Before the battle of Salinas, it had been told to Hernando Pizarro that Almagro was like to die. "Heaven forbid," he exclaimed, "that this should come to pass before he falls into my hands!" *16 Yet the gods seemed now disposed to grant but half of this pious prayer, since his captive seemed about to escape him just as he had come into his power. To console the unfortunate chief, Hernando paid him a visit in his prison, and cheered him with the assurance that he only waited for the governor's arrival to set him at liberty; adding, 'that, if Pizarro did not come soon to the capital, he himself would assume the responsibility of releasing him, and would furnish him with a conveyance to his brother's quarters." At the same time, with considerate attention to his comfort, he inquired of the marshal "what mode of conveyance would be best suited to his state of health." After this he continued to send him delicacies from his own table to revive his faded appetite. Almagro, cheered by these kind attentions, and by the speedy prospect of freedom, gradually mended in health and spirits. *17
[Footnote 16: "Respondia Hernando Pizarro, que no le haria Dios tan gran mal, que le dexase morir, sin que le huviese a las manos." Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 6 lib. 4, cap. 5.]
[Footnote 17: Ibid., dec. 6, lib. 4, cap. 9.]
He little dreamed that all this while a process was industriously preparing against him. It had been instituted immediately on his capture, and every one, however humble, who had any cause of complaint against the unfortunate prisoner, was invited to present it. The summons was readily answered; and many an enemy now appeared in the hour of his fallen fortunes, like the base reptiles crawling into light amidst the ruins of some noble edifice; and more than one, who had received benefits from his hands, were willing to court the favor of his enemy by turning on their benefactor. From these loath some sources a mass of accusations was collected which spread over four thousand folio pages! Yet Almagro was the idol of his soldiers! *18 [Footnote 18: "De tal manera que los Escrivanos no se davan manos, i ia tenian oscritas mas de dos mil hojas." Ibid., dec. 6, lib. 4, cap. 7. Naharro, Relacion Sumaria, Ms. - Conq. i Pob. del Piru, Ms. - Carta de Gutierrez, Ms. - Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Carta de Espinall, Ms.] Having completed the process, (July 8th, 1538,) it was not difficult to obtain a verdict against the prisoner. The principal charges on which he was pronounced guilty were those of levying war against the Crown, and thereby occasioning the death of many of his Majesty's subjects; of entering into conspiracy with the Inca; and finally, of dispossessing the royal governor of the city of Cuzco. On these charges he was condemned to suffer death as a traitor, by being publicly beheaded in the great square of the city. Who were the judges, or what was the tribunal that condemned him, we are not informed. Indeed, the whole trial was a mockery; if that can be called a trial, where the accused himself is not even aware of the accusation.
The sentence was communicated by a friar deputed for the purpose to Almagro. The unhappy man, who all the while had been unconsciously slumbering on the brink of a precipice, could not at first comprehend the nature of his situation. Recovering from the first shock, "It was impossible," he said, "that such wrong could be done him, - he would not believe it." He then besought Hernando Pizarro to grant him an interview. That cavalier, not unwilling, it would seem, to witness the agony of his captive, consented; and Almagro was so humbled by his misfortunes, that he condescended to beg for his life with the most piteous supplications. He reminded Hernando of his ancient relations with his brother, and the good offices he had rendered him and his family in the earlier part of their career. He touched on his acknowledged services to his country, and besought his enemy "to spare his gray hairs, and not to deprive him of the shore remnant of an existence from which he had now nothing more to fear." - To this the other coldly replied, that "he was surprised to see Almagro demean himself in a manner so unbecoming a brave cavalier; that his fate was no worse than had befallen many a soldier before him; and that, since God had given him the grace to be a Christian, he should employ his remaining moments in making up his account with Heaven!" *19 [Footnote 19: "I que pues tuvo tanta gracia de Dios, que le hico Christiano, ordenase su Alma, i temiese a Dios." Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 6, lib. 5, cap. 1.]
But Almagro was not to be silenced. He urged the service he had rendered Hernando himself. "This was a hard requital," he said, "for having spared his life so recently under similar circumstances, and that, too, when he had been urged again and again by those around him to take it away." And he concluded by menacing his enemy with the vengeance of the emperor, who would never suffer this outrage on one who had rendered such signal services to the Crown to go unrequited. It was all in vain; and Hernando abruptly closed the conference by repeating, that "his doom was inevitable, and he must prepare to meet it." *20 [Footnote 20: Ibid., ubi supra.
The marshal appealed from the sentence of his judges to the Crown, supplicating his conqueror, (says the treasurer Espinall, in his letter to the emperor,) in terms that would have touched the heart of an infidel. "De la qual el dicho Adelantado apelo para ante V. M. i le rogo que por amor de Dios hincado de rodillas le otorgase el apelacion, diciendole que mirase sus canas e vejez e quanto havia servido a V. M. i qe el havia sido el primer escalon para que el 1 sus hermanos subiesen en el estado en que estavan, i diciendole otras muchas palabras de dolor e compasion que despues de muerto supe que dixo, que a qualquier hombre, aunque fuera infiel, moviera a piedad." Carta, Ms.]
Almagro, finding that no impression was to be made on his iron-hearted conqueror, now seriously addressed himself to the settlement of his affairs. By the terms of the royal grant he was empowered to name his successor. He accordingly devolved his office on his son, appointing Diego de Alvarado, on whose integrity he had great reliance, administrator of the province during his minority. All his property and possessions in Peru, of whatever kind, he devised to his master the emperor, assuring him that a large balance was still due to him in his unsettled accounts with Pizarro. By this politic bequest, he hoped to secure the monarch's protection for his son, as well as a strict scrutiny into the affairs of his enemy.
The knowledge of Almagro's sentence produced a deep sensation in the community of Cuzco. All were amazed at the presumption with which one, armed with a little brief authority, ventured to sit in judgment on a person of Almagro's station. There were few who did not call to mind some generous or good-natured act of the unfortunate veteran. Even those who had furnished materials for the accusation, now startled by the tragic result to which it was to lead, were heard to denounce Hernando's conduct as that of a tyrant. Some of the principal cavaliers, and among them Diego de Alvarado, to whose intercession, as we have seen Hernando Pizarro, when a captive, had owed his own life, waited on that commander, and endeavoured to dissuade him from so high-handed and atrocious a proceeding. It was in vain. But it had the effect of changing the mode of execution, which, instead of the public square, was now to take place in prison. *21
[Footnote 21: Carta de Espinall, Ms. - Montesinos, Annales, Ms., ano 1538. Bishop Valverde, as he assures the emperor, remonstrated with Francisco Pizarro in Lima, against allowing violence towards the marshal; urging it on him, as an imperative duty, to go himself at once to Cuzco, and set him at liberty. "It was too grave a matter," he rightly added, "to trust to a third party." (Carta al Emperador, Ms.) The treasurer Espinall, then in Cuzco, made a similar ineffectual attempt to turn Hernando from his purpose.]
On the day appointed, a strong corps of arquebusiers was drawn up in the plaza. The guards were doubled over the houses were dwelt the principal partisans of Almagro. The executioner, attended by a priest, stealthily entered his prison; and the unhappy man, after confessing and receiving the sacrament, submitted without resistance to the garrote. Thus obscurely, in the gloomy silence of a dungeon, perished the hero of a hundred battles! His corpse was removed to the great square of the city, where, in obedience to the sentence, the head was severed from the body. A herald proclaimed aloud the nature of the crimes for which he had suffered; and his remains, rolled in their bloody shroud, were borne to the house of his friend Hernan Ponce de Leon, and the next day laid with all due solemnity in the church of Our Lady of Mercy. The Pizarros appeared among the principal mourners. It was remarked, that their brother had paid similar honors to the memory of Atahuallpa. *22 [Footnote 22: Carta de Espinall, Ms. - Herrera, Hist. General, loc. cit. - Carta de Valverde al Emperador, Ms. - Carta de Gutierrez, Ms. - Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Montesinos, Annales, Ms., ano 1538. The date of Almagro's execution is not given; a strange omission; but of little moment, as that event must have followed soon on the condemnation.]
Almagro, at the time of his death, was probably not far from seventy years of age. But this is somewhat uncertain; for Almagro was a foundling, and his early history is lost in obscurity. *23 He had many excellent qualities by nature; and his defects, which were not few, may reasonably be palliated by the circumstances of his situation. For what extenuation is not authorized by the position of a foundling, - without parents, or early friends, or teacher to direct him, - his little bark set adrift on the ocean of life, to take its chance among the rude billows and breakers, without one friendly hand stretched forth to steer or to save it! The name of "foundling" comprehends an apology for much, very much, that is wrong in after life. *24
[Footnote 23: Ante, vol. I. p. 207.]
[Footnote 24: Montesinos, for want of a better pedigree, says, - "He was the son of his own great deeds, and such has been the parentage of many a famous hero!" (Annales, Ms., ano 1538.) It would go hard with a Castilian, if he could not make out something like a genealogy, - however shadowy.] He was a man of strong passions, and not too well used to control them. *25 But he was neither vindictive nor habitually cruel. I have mentioned one atrocious outrage which he committed on the natives. But insensibility to the rights of the Indian he shared with many a better-instructed Spaniard. Yet the Indians, after his conviction, bore testimony to his general humanity, by declaring that they had no such friend among the white men. *26 Indeed, far from being vindictive, he was placable, and easily yielded to others. The facility with which he yielded, the result of good-natured credulity, made him too often the dupe of the crafty; and it showed, certainly, a want of that self-reliance which belongs to great strength of character. Yet his facility of temper, and the generosity of his nature, made him popular with his followers. No commander was ever more beloved by his soldiers. His generosity was often carried to prodigality. When he entered on the campaign of Chili, he lent a hundred thousand gold ducats to the poorer cavaliers to equip themselves, and afterwards gave them up the debt. *27 He was profuse to ostentation. But his extravagance did him no harm among the roving spirits of the camp, with whom prodigality is apt to gain more favor than a strict and well-regulated economy.
[Footnote 25: "Hera vn hombre muy profano, de muy mala lengua, que en enojandose tratava muy mal a todos los que con el andavan aunque fuesen cavalleros. "(Descub. y Conq., Ms.) It is the portrait drawn by an enemy.]
[Footnote 26: "Los Indios lloraban amargamente, diciendo, que de el nunca recibieron mal tratamiento." Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 6, lib. 5, cap. 1.]
[Footnote 27: If we may credit Herrera, he distributed a hundred and eighty roads of silver and twenty of gold among his followers! "Mando sacar de su Posada mas de ciento i ochenta cargas de Plata i veinte de Oro, i las repartio." (Dec. 5, lib. 7, cap. 9.) A load was what a man could easily carry. Such a statement taxes our credulity, but it is difficult to set the proper limits to one's credulity, in what relates to this land of gold.] He was a good soldier, careful and judicious in his plans, patient and intrepid in their execution. His body was covered with the scars of his battles, till the natural plainness of his person was converted almost into deformity. He must not be judged by his closing campaign, when, depressed by disease, he yielded to the superior genius of his rival; but by his numerous expeditions by land and by water for the conquest of Peru and the remote Chili. Yet it may be doubted whether he possessed those uncommon qualities, either as a warrior or as a man, that, in ordinary circumstances, would have raised him to distinction. He was one of the three, or, to speak more strictly, of the two associates, who had the good fortune and the glory to make one of the most splendid discoveries in the Western World. He shares largely in the credit of this with Pizarro; for, when he did not accompany that leader in his perilous expeditions, he contributed no less to their success by his exertions in the colonies.
Yet his connection with that chief can hardly be considered a fortunate circumstance in his career. A partnership between individuals for discovery and conquest is not likely to be very scrupulously observed, especially by men more accustomed to govern others than to govern themselves. If causes for discord do not arise before, they will be sure to spring up on division of the spoil. But this association was particularly ill-assorted. For the free, sanguine, and confiding temper of Almagro was no match for the cool and crafty policy of Pizarro; and he was invariably circumvented by his companion, whenever their respective interests came in collision.
Still the final ruin of Almagro may be fairly imputed to himself. He made two capital blunders. The first was his appeal to arms by the seizure of Cuzco. The determination of a boundary-line was not to be settled by arms. It was a subject for arbitration; and, if arbitrators could not be trusted, it should have been referred to the decision of the Crown. But, having once appealed to arms, he should not then have resorted to negotiation, - above all, to negotiation with Pizarro. This was his second and greatest error. He had seen enough of Pizarro to know that he was not to be trusted. Almagro did trust him, and he paid for it with his life.
Pizarro Revisits Cuzco. - Hernando Returns To Castile. - His long Imprisonment. - Commissioner Sent To Peru. - Hostilities With The Inca. -Pizarro's Active Administration. - Gonzalo Pizarro.
On the departure of his brother in pursuit of Almagro, the Marquess Francisco Pizarro, as we have seen, returned to Lima. There he anxiously awaited the result of the campaign; and on receiving the welcome tidings of the victory of Las Salinas, he instantly made preparations for his march to Cuzco. At Xauxa, however, he was long detained by the distracted state of the country, and still longer, as it would seem, by a reluctance to enter the Peruvian capital while the trial of Almagro was pending.
He was met at Xauxa by the marshal's son Diego, who had been sent to the coast by Hernando Pizarro. The young man was filled with the most gloomy apprehensions respecting his father's fate, and he besought the governor not to allow his brother to do him any violence. Pizarro, who received Diego with much apparent kindness, bade him take heart, as no harm should come to his father; *1 adding, that he trusted their ancient friendship would soon be renewed. The youth, comforted by these assurances, took his way to Lima, where, by Pizarro's orders, he was received into his house, and treated as a son.
[Footnote 1: "I dixo, que no tuviese ninguna pena, porque no consentiria, que su Padre fuese muerto." Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 6, lib. 6, cap. 3.] The same assurances respecting the marshal's safety were given by the governor to Bishop Valverde, and some of the principal cavaliers who interested themselves in behalf of the prisoner. *2 Still Pizarro delayed his march to the capital; and when he resumed it, he had advanced no farther than the Rio de Abancay when he received tidings of the death of his rival. He appeared greatly shocked by the intelligence, his whole frame was agitated, and he remained for some time with his eyes bent on the ground, showing signs of strong emotion. *3
[Footnote 2: "Que lo haria asi como lo decia, i que su de seo no era otro, sino ver el Reino en paz; i que en lo que tocaba al Adelantado, perdiese cuidado, que bolveria a tener el antigua amistad con el." Ibid., dec. 6, lib. 4, cap. 9.]
[Footnote 3: Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms.
He even shed many tears, derramo muchas lagrimas, according to Herrera, who evidently gives him small credit for them. Ibid., dec. 6, lib. 6, cap. 7. - Conf. lib 5 cap. 1.]
Such is the account given by his friends. A more probable version of the matter represents him to have been perfectly aware of the state of things at Cuzco. When the trial was concluded, it is said he received a message from Hernando, inquiring what was to be done with the prisoner. He answered in a few words: - "Deal with him so that he shall give us no more trouble." *4 It is also stated that Hernando, afterwards, when laboring under the obloquy caused by Almagro's death, shielded himself under instructions affirmed to have been received from the governor. *5 It is quite certain, that, during his long residence at Xauxa, the latter was in constant communication with Cuzco; and that had he, as Valverde repeatedly urged him, *6 quickened his march to that capital, he might easily have prevented the consummation of the tragedy. As commander-in-chief, Almagro's fate was in his hands; and, whatever his own partisans may affirm of his innocence, the impartial judgment of history must hold him equally accountable with Hernando for the death of his associate. [Footnote 4: "Respondio, que hiciese de manera, que el Adelantado no los pusiese en mas alborotos." (Ibid., dec. 6, lib. 6, cap. 7.) "De todo esto," says Espinall, "fue sabidor el dicho Governador Pizarro a lo que mi juicio i el de otros que en ello quisieron mirar alcanzo." Carta de Espinall, Ms.] [Footnote 5: Ibid., dec. 6, lib. 5, cap. 1.
Herrera's testimony is little short of that of a contemporary, since it was derived, he tells us, from the correspondence of the Conquerors, and the accounts given him by their own sons. Lib. 6, cap. 7.]
[Footnote 6: Carta de Valverde al Emperador, Ms.]
Neither did his subsequent conduct show any remorse for these proceedings. He entered Cuzco, says one who was present there to witness it, amidst the flourish of clarions and trumpets, at the head of his martial cavalcade, and dressed in the rich suit presented him by Cortes, with the proud bearing and joyous mien of a conqueror. *7 When Diego de Alvarado applied to him for the government of the southern provinces, in the name of the young Almagro, whom his father, as we have seen, had consigned to his protection, Pizarro answered, that "the marshal, by his rebellion, had forfeited all claims to the government." And, when he was still further urged by the cavalier, he bluntly broke off the conversation by declaring that "his own territory covered all on this side of Flanders"! *8 - intimating, no doubt, by this magnificent vaunt, that he would endure no rival on this side of the water.
[Footnote 7: "En este medio tiempo vino a la dicha cibdad del Cuzco el Gobernador D. Franco Pizarro, el qual entro con tronpetas i chirimias vestido con ropa de martas que fue e luto con que entro." Carta de Espinall, Ms.]
[Footnote 8: Carta de Espinall, Ms.
"Mui asperamente le respondio el Governador, diciendo, que su Governacion no tenia Termino, i que llegaba hasta Flandes." Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 6, lib. 6, cap. 7.]
In the same spirit, he had recently sent to supersede Benalcazar, the conqueror of Quito, who, he was informed, aspired to an independent government. Pizarro's emissary had orders to send the offending captain to Lima; but Benalcazar, after pushing his victorious career far into the north, had returned to Castile to solicit his guerdon from the emperor. To the complaints of the injured natives, who invoked his protection, he showed himself strangely insensible, while the followers of Almagro he treated with undisguised contempt. The estates of the leaders were confiscated, and transferred without ceremony to his own partisans. Hernando had made attempts to conciliate some of the opposite faction by acts of liberality, but they had refused to accept any thing from the man whose hands were stained with the blood of their commander. *9 The governor held to them no such encouragement; and many were reduced to such abject poverty, that, too proud to expose their wretchedness to the eyes of their conquerors, they withdrew from the city, and sought a retreat among the neighbouring mountains. *10
[Footnote 9: "Avia querido hazer amigos de los principales de Chile, y ofrecidoles daria rrepartimientos y no lo avian aceptado ni querido." Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms.]
[Footnote 10: "Viendolas oy en dia, muertos de ambre, fechos pedazos e adeudados, andando por los montes desesperados por no parecer ante gentes, porque no tienen otra cosa que se vestir sino ropa de los Indios, ni dineros con que lo comprar" Carta de Espinall, Ms.]
For his own brothers he provided by such ample repartimientos, as excited the murmurs of his adherents. He appointed Gonzalo to the command of a strong force destined to act against the natives of Charcas, a hardy people occupying the territory assigned by the Crown to Almagro. Gonzalo met with a sturdy resistance, but, after some severe fighting, succeeded in reducing the province to obedience. He was recompensed, together with Hernando, who aided him in the conquest, by a large grant in the neighbourhood of Porco, the productive mines of which had been partially wrought under the Incas. The territory, thus situated, embraced part of those silver hills of Potosi which have since supplied Europe with such stores of the precious metals. Hernando comprehended the capabilities of the ground, and he began working the mines on a more extensive scale than that hitherto adopted, though it does not appear that any attempt was then made to penetrate the rich crust of Potosi. *11 A few years more were to elapse before the Spaniards were to bring to light the silver quarries that lay hidden in the bosom of its mountains. *12
[Footnote 11: "Con la quietud," writes Hernando Pizarro to the emperor, "questa tierra agora tiene han descubierto i descubren cada dia los vecinos muchas minas ricas de oro i plata, de que los quintos i rentas reales de V. M. cada dia se le ofrecen i hacer casa a todo el Mundo." Carta al Emperador, Ms., de Puerto Viejo, 6 de Julii, 1539.] [Footnote 12: Carta de Carbajal al Emperador, Ms., del Cuzco, 3 de Nov. 1539. - Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Montesinos, Annales, Ms., ano 1539.
The story is well known of the manner in which the mines of Potosi were discovered by an Indian, who pulled a bush out of the ground to the fibres of which a quantity of silver globules was attached. The mine was not registered till 1545. The account is given by Acosta, lib. 4, cap. 6.] It was now the great business of Hernando to collect a sufficient quantity of treasure to take with him to Castile. Nearly a year had elapsed since Almagro's death; and it was full time that he should return and present himself at court, where Diego de Alvarado and other friends of the marshal, who had long since left Peru, were industriously maintaining the claims of the younger Almagro, as well as demanding redress for the wrongs done to his father. But Hernando looked confidently to his gold to dispel the accusations against him.
Before his departure, he counselled his brother to beware of the "men of Chili," as Almagro's followers were called; desperate men, who would stick at nothing, he said, for revenge. He besought the governor not to allow them to consort together in any number within fifty miles of his person; if he did, it would be fatal to him. And he concluded by recommending a strong body-guard; "for I," he added, "shall not be here to watch over you." But the governor laughed at the idle fears, as he termed them, of his brother, bidding the latter take no thought of him, "as every hair in the heads of Almagro's followers was a guaranty for his safety." *13 He did not know the character of his enemies so well as Hernando.
[Footnote 13: Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 6, lib. 6, cap. 10. - Zarate, Conq. del Peru, lib. 3, cap. 12. - Gomara, Hist de las Ind., cap. 142. "No consienta vuestra senoria que se junten diez juntos en cinquenta leguas alrrededor de adonde vuestra senoria estuviere, porque si los dexa juntar le an de matar. Si a Vuestra Senoria matan, yo negociare mal y de vuestra senoria no quedara memoria. Estas palabras dixo Hernando Picarro altas que todos le oymos. Y abracando al marquez se partio y se fue." Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms.]
The latter soon after embarked at Lima in the summer of 1539. He did not take the route of Panama, for he had heard that it was the intention of the authorities there to detain him. He made a circuitous passage, therefore, by way of Mexico, landed in the Bay of Tecoantepec, and was making his way across the narrow strip that divides the great oceans, when he was arrested and taken to the capital. But the Viceroy Mendoza did not consider that he had a right to detain him, and he was suffered to embark at Vera Cruz, and to proceed on his voyage. Still he did not deem it safe to trust himself in Spain without further advices. He accordingly put in at one of the Azores, where he remained until he could communicate with home. He had some powerful friends at court, and by them he was encouraged to present himself before the emperor. He took their advice, and, shortly after, reached the Spanish coast in safety. *14 [Footnote 14: Carta de Hernando Pizarro al Emperador, Ms. - Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 6, lib. 6, cap. 10. - Montesinos, Annales, Ms., ano 1539.] The Court was at Valladolid; but Hernando, who made his entrance into that city, with great pomp and a display of his Indian riches, met with a reception colder than he had anticipated. *15 For this he was mainly indebted to Diego de Alvarado, who was then residing there, and who, as a cavalier of honorable standing, and of high connections, had considerable influence. He had formerly, as we have seen, by his timely interposition, more than once saved the life of Hernando; and he had consented to receive a pecuniary obligation from him to a large amount. But all were now forgotten in the recollection of the wrong done to his commander; and, true to the trust reposed in him by that chief in his dying hour, he had come to Spain to vindicate the claims of the young Almagro. [Footnote 15: Gomara, Hist. de las Ind., cap. 143.]
But although coldly received at first, Hernando's presence, and his own version of the dispute with Almagro, aided by the golden arguments which he dealt with no stinted hand, checked the current of indignation, and the opinion of his judges seemed for a time suspended. Alvarado, a cavalier more accustomed to the prompt and decisive action of a camp than to the tortuous intrigues of a court, chafed at the delay, and challenged Hernando to settle their quarrel by single combat. But his prudent adversary had no desire to leave the issue to such an ordeal; and the affair was speedily terminated by the death of Alvarado himself, which happened five days after the challenge. An event so opportune naturally suggested the suspicion of poison. *16
[Footnote 16: "Pero todo lo atajo la repentina muerte de Diego de Alvarado, que sucedio luego en cinco dias, no sin sospecha de veneno." Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 6, lib. 8, cap. 9.]
But his accusations had not wholly fallen to the ground; and Hernando Pizarro had carried measures with too high a hand, and too grossly outraged public sentiment, to be permitted to escape. He received no formal sentence, but he was imprisoned in the strong fortress of Medina del Campo, where he was allowed to remain for twenty years, when in 1560, after a generation had nearly passed away, and time had, in some measure, thrown its softening veil over the past, he was suffered to regain his liberty. *17 But he came forth an aged man, bent down with infirmities and broken in spirit, - an object of pity, rather than indignation. Rarely has retributive justice been meted out in fuller measure to offenders so high in authority, - most rarely in Castile. *18
[Footnote 17: This date is established by Quintana, from a legal process instituted by Hernando's grandson, in vindication of the title of Marquess, in the year 1625.]
[Footnote 18: Naharro, Relacion Sumaria, Ms. - Pizarro y Orellana, Varones Ilustres p 341. - Montesinos, Annales, M., ano 1539. - Gomara, Hist. de las Ind., cap. 142.]
Yet Hernando bore this long imprisonment with an equanimity which, had it been founded on principle, might command our respect. He saw brothers and kindred, all on whom he leaned for support cut off one after another; his fortune, in part, confiscated, while he was involved in expensive litigation for the remainder; *19 his fame blighted, his career closed in an untimely hour, himself an exile in the heart of his own country; - yet he bore it all with the constancy of a courageous spirit. Though very old when released, he still survived several years, and continued to the extraordinary age of a hundred. *20 He lived long enough to see friends, rivals, and foes all called away to their account before him.
[Footnote 19: Caro de Torres gives a royal cedula in reference to the working of the silver mines of Porco, still owned by Hernando Pizarro, in 1555; and another document of nearly the same date, noticing his receipt of ten thousand ducats by the fleet from Peru. (Historia de las Ordenes Militares Madrid, 1629, p. 144.) Hernando's grandson was created by Philip IV. Marquess of the Conquest, Marques de la Conquista, with a liberal pension from government. Pizarro y Orellana, Varones Ilustres, p. 342, and Discurso, p. 72.]
[Footnote 20: "Multos da, Jupiter, annos", the greatest boon, in Pizarro y Orellana's opinion, that Heaven can confer! "Diole Dios, por todo, el premio mayor desta vida, pues fue tan larga, que excedio de cien anos." (Varones Ilustres, p. 342) According to the same somewhat partial authority, Hernando died, as he had lived, in the odor of sanctity! "Viviendo aprender a morir, y saber morir, quando llego la muerte.] Hernando Pizarro was in many respects a remarkable character. He was the eldest of the brothers, to whom he was related only by the father's side, for he was born in wedlock, of honorable parentage on both sides of his house. In his early years, he received a good education, - good for the time. He was taken by his father while quite young, to Italy, and there learned the art of war under the Great Captain. Little is known of his history after his return to Spain; but, when his brother had struck out for himself his brilliant career of discovery in Peru, Hernando consented to take part in his adventures.
He was much deferred to by Francisco, not only as his elder brother, but from his superior education and his knowledge of affairs. He was ready in his perceptions, fruitful in resources, and possessed of great vigor in action. Though courageous, he was cautious; and his counsels, when not warped by passion, were wise and wary. But he had other qualities, which more than counterbalanced the good resulting from excellent parts and attainments. His ambition and avarice were insatiable. He was supercilious even to his equals; and he had a vindictive temper, which nothing could appease. Thus, instead of aiding his brother in the Conquest, he was the evil genius that blighted his path. He conceived from the first an unwarrantable contempt for Almagro, whom he regarded as his brother's rival, instead of what he then was, the faithful partner of his fortunes. He treated him with personal indignity, and, by his intrigues at court, had the means of doing him sensible injury. He fell into Almagro's hands, and had nearly paid for these wrongs with his life. This was not to be forgiven by Hernando, and he coolly waited for the hour of revenge. Yet the execution of Almagro was a most impolitic act; for an evil passion can rarely be gratified with impunity. Hernando thought to buy off justice with the gold of Peru. He had studied human nature on its weak and wicked side, and he expected to profit by it. Fortunately, he was deceived. He had, indeed, his revenge; but the hour of his revenge was that of his ruin.
The disorderly state of Peru was such as to demand the immediate interposition of government. In the general license that prevailed there, the rights of the Indian and of the Spaniard were equally trampled under foot. Yet the subject was one of great difficulty; for Pizarro's authority was now firmly established over the country, which itself was too remote from Castile to be readily controlled at home. Pizarro, moreover, was a man not easy to be approached, confident in his own strength, jealous of interference, and possessed of a fiery temper, which would kindle into a flame at the least distrust of the government. It would not answer to send out a commission to suspend him from the exercise of his authority until his conduct could be investigated, as was done with Cortes, and other great colonial officers, on whose rooted loyalty the Crown could confidently rely. Pizarro's loyalty sat, it was feared, too lightly on him to be a powerful restraint on his movements; and there were not wanting those among his reckless followers, who, in case of extremity, would be prompt to urge him to throw off his allegiance altogether, and set up an independent government for himself.
Some one was to be sent out, therefore, who should possess, in some sort, a controlling, or, at least, concurrent power with the dangerous chief, while ostensibly he should act only in subordination to him. The person selected for this delicate mission, was the Licentiate Vaca de Castro, a member of the Royal Audience of Valladolid. He was a learned judge, a man of integrity and wisdom, and, though not bred to arms, had so much address, and such knowledge of character, as would enable him readily to turn the resources of others to his own account.
His commission was guarded in a way which showed the embarrassment of the government. He was to appear before Pizarro in the capacity of a royal judge; to consult with him on the redress of grievances, especially with reference to the unfortunate natives; to concert measures for the prevention of future evils; and above all, to possess himself faithfully of the condition of the country in all its details, and to transmit intelligence of it to the Court of Castile. But, in case of Pizarro's death, he was to produce his warrant as royal governor, and as such to claim the obedience of the authorities throughout the land. - Events showed the wisdom of providing for this latter contingency. *21 [Footnote 21: Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Gomara, Hist. de las Ind., cap. 146. - Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 6, lib. 8, cap 9. - Montesinos, Annales, Ms. ano 1540.
This latter writer sees nothing short of a "divine mystery" in this forecast of government, so singularly sustained by events. "Prevencion del gran espiritu del Rey, no sin misterio." Ubi supra.]
The licentiate, thus commissioned, quitted his quiet residence at Valladolid, embarked at Seville, in the autumn of 1540, and, after a tedious voyage across the Atlantic, he traversed the Isthmus, and, encountering a succession of tempests on the Pacific, that had nearly sent his frail bark to the bottom, put in with her, a mere wreck, at the northerly port of Buenaventura. *22 The affairs of the country were in a state to require his presence.
[Footnote 22: Or, as the port should rather be called, Mala Ventura, as Pedro Pizarro punningly remarks. "Tuvo tan mal viaje en la mar que vbo de desembarcar en la Buena Ventura, aunque yo la llamo Mala. Descub. y Conq., Ms.]
The civil war which had lately distracted the land had left it in so unsettled a state, that the agitation continued long after the immediate cause had ceased. This was especially the case among the natives. In the violent transfer of repartimientos, the poor Indian hardly knew to whom he was to look as his master. The fierce struggles between the rival chieftains left him equally in doubt whom he was to regard as the rulers of the land. As to the authority of a common sovereign, across the waters, paramount over all, he held that in still greater distrust; for what was the authority which could not command the obedience even of its own vassals? *23 The Inca Manco was not slow in taking advantage of this state of feeling. He left his obscure fastnesses in the depths of the Andes, and established himself with a strong body of followers in the mountain country lying between Cuzco and the coast. From this retreat, he made descents on the neighbouring plantations, destroying the houses, sweeping off the cattle, and massacring the people. He fell on travellers, as they were journeying singly or in caravans from the coast, and put them to death - it is told by his enemies - with cruel tortures. Single detachments were sent against him, from time to time, but without effect. Some he eluded, others he defeated; and, on one occasion, cut off a party of thirty troopers, to a man. *24
[Footnote 23: "Piensan que les mienten los que aca les dizen que ai un gran Senor en Castilla, viendo que aca pelean unos capitanes contra otros; y piensan que no ai otro Rei sino aquel que venze al otro, porque aca entrellos no se acostumbra que un capitan pelee contra otro, estando entrambos debaxo de un Senor" Carta de Valverde al Emperador, Ms.] [Footnote 24: Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 6, lib 6, cap. 7. - Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Carta de Espinall, Ms. - Carta de Valverde al Emperador, Ms.]
At length, Pizarro found it necessary to send a considerable force under his brother Gonzalo against the Inca. The hardy Indian encountered his enemy several times in the rough passes of the Cordilleras. He was usually beaten, and sometimes with heavy loss, which he repaired with astonishing facility; for he always contrived to make his escape, and so true were his followers, that, in defiance of pursuit and ambuscade, he found a safe shelter in the secret haunts of the sierra.
Thus baffled, Pizarro determined to try the effect of pacific overtures. He sent to the Inca, both in his own name, and in that of the Bishop of Cuzco, whom the Peruvian prince held in reverence, to invite him to enter into negotiation. *25 Manco acquiesced, and indicated, as he had formerly done with Almagro, the valley of Yucay, as the scene of it. The governor repaired thither, at the appointed time, well guarded, and, to propitiate the barbarian monarch, sent him a rich present by the hands of an African slave. The slave was met on the route by a party of the Inca's men, who, whether with or without their master's orders, cruelly murdered him, and bore off the spoil to their quarters. Pizarro resented this outrage by another yet more atrocious.
[Footnote 25: The Inca declined the interview with the bishop, on the ground that he had seen him pay obeisance by taking off his cap to Pizarro. It proved his inferiority to the latter, he said, and that he could never protect him against the governor. The passage in which it is related is curious. "Preguntando a indios del inca que anda alzado que si sabe el inca que yo soi venido a la tierra en nombre de S. M. para defendellos, dixo que mui bien lo sabia; y preguntado que porque no se benia a mi de paz, dixo el indio que dezia el inca que porque yo quando vine hize la mocha al gobernador, que quiere dezir que le quite el Bonete; que no queria venir a mi de paz, que el que no havia de venir de paz sino a uno que viniese de castilla que no hiziese la mocha al gobernador, porque le paresze a el que este lo podra defender por lo que ha hecho y no otro." Carta de Valverde al Emperador, Ms]
Among the Indian prisoners was one of the Inca's wives, a young and beautiful woman, to whom he was said to be fondly attached. The governor ordered her to be stripped naked, bound to a tree, and, in presence of the camp, to be scourged with rods, and then shot to death with arrows. The wretched victim bore the execution of the sentence with surprising fortitude. She did not beg for mercy, where none was to be found. Not a complaint, scarcely a groan, escaped her under the infliction of these terrible torments. The iron Conquerors were amazed at this power of endurance in a delicate woman, and they expressed their admiration, while they condemned the cruelty of their commander, - in their hearts. *26 Yet constancy under the most excruciating tortures that human cruelty can inflict is almost the universal characteristic of the American Indian. [Footnote 26: At least, we may presume they did so, since they openly condemn him in their accounts of the transaction. I quote Pedro Pizarro, not disposed to criticise the conduct of his general too severely. "Se tomo una muger de mango ynga que le queria mucho y se guardo, creyendo que por ella saldria de paz. Esta muger mando matar al marquez despues en Yncay, haziendola varear con varas y flechar con flechas por una burla que mango ynga le hizo que aqui contare, y entiendo yo que por esta crueldad y otra hermana del ynga que mando matar en Lima quando los yndios pusieron cerco sobrella que se llamava Acarpay. me paresce a mi que nuestro senor le castigo en el fin que tuvo." Descub. y Conq., Ms.]
Pizarro now prepared, as the most effectual means of checking these disorders among the natives, to establish settlements in the heart of the disaffected country. These settlements, which received the dignified name of cities, might be regarded in the light of military colonies. The houses were usually built of stone, to which were added the various public offices, and sometimes a fortress. A municipal corporation was organized. Settlers were invited by the distribution of large tracts of land in the neighbourhood, with a stipulated number of Indian vassals to each. The soldiers then gathered there, sometimes accompanied by their wives and families; for the women of Castile seem to have disdained the impediments of sex, in the ardor of conjugal attachment, or, it may be, of romantic adventure. A populous settlement rapidly grew up in the wilderness, affording protection to the surrounding territory, and furnishing a commercial depot for the country, and an armed force ready at all times to maintain public order.
Such a settlement was that now made at Guamanga, midway between Cuzco and Lima, which effectually answered its purpose by guarding the communications with the coast. *27 Another town was founded in the mining district of Charcas, under the appropriate name of the Villa de la Plata, the "City of Silver." And Pizarro, who journeyed by a circuitous route along the shores of the southern sea towards Lima, established the city of Arequipa, since arisen to such commercial celebrity.
[Footnote 27: Cieza de Leon notices the uncommon beauty and solidity of the buildings at Guamanga. "La qual han edificado las mayores y mejores casas que ay en todo el Peru, todas de piedra, ladrillo, y teja, con grandes torres: de manera que no falta aposentos. La placa esta llana y bien grande' Cronica, cap. 87.]
Once more in his favorite capital of Lima, the governor found abundant occupation in attending to its municipal concerns, and in providing for the expansive growth of its population. Nor was he unmindful of the other rising settlements on the Pacific. He encouraged commerce with the remoter colonies north of Peru, and took measures for facilitating internal intercourse. He stimulated industry in all its branches, paying great attention to husbandry, and importing seeds of the different European grains, which he had the satisfaction, in a short time, to see thriving luxuriantly in a country where the variety of soil and climate afforded a home for almost every product. *28 Above all, he promoted the working of the mines, which already began to make such returns, that the most common articles of life rose to exorbitant prices, while the precious metals themselves seemed the only things of little value. But they soon changed hands, and found their way to the mother-country, where they rose to their true level as they mingled with the general currency of Europe. The Spaniards found that they had at length reached the land of which they had been so long in search, - the land of gold and silver. Emigrants came in greater numbers to the country, and, spreading over its surface, formed in the increasing population the most effectual barrier against the rightful owners of the soil. *29
[Footnote 28: "I con que ia comencaba a haver en aquellas Tierras cosecha de Trigo, Cevada, i otras muchas cosas de Castilla." Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 6, lib. 10, cap. 2.]