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´╗┐Title: History of the Conquest of Peru - With a Preliminary View of the Civilization of the Incas
Author: Prescott, William Hickling, 1796-1859
Language: English
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The Conquest Of Peru


William H. Prescott

"Congestae cumulantur opes, orbisque rapinas Accipit."

Claudian, In Ruf., lib. i., v. 194.

"So color de religion
Van a buscar plata y oro
Del encubierto tesoro."
Lope De Vega, El Nuevo Mundo, Jorn. 1.


The most brilliant passages in the history of Spanish adventure
in the New World are undoubtedly afforded by the conquests of
Mexico and Peru, - the two states which combined with the largest
extent of empire a refined social polity, and considerable
progress in the arts of civilization.  Indeed, so prominently do
they stand out on the great canvas of history, that the name of
the one, notwithstanding the contrast they exhibit in their
respective institutions, most naturally suggests that of the
other; and, when I sent to Spain to collect materials for an
account of the Conquest of Mexico, I included in my researches
those relating to the Conquest of Peru.

The larger part of the documents, in both cases, was obtained
from the same great repository, - the archives of the Royal
Academy of History at Madrid; a body specially intrusted with the
preservation of whatever may serve to illustrate the Spanish
colonial annals.  The richest portion of its collection is
probably that furnished by the papers of Munoz.  This eminent
scholar, the historiographer of the Indies, employed nearly fifty
years of his life in amassing materials for a history of Spanish
discovery and conquest in America.  For this, as he acted under
the authority of the government, every facility was afforded him;
and public offices and private depositories, in all the principal
cities of the empire, both at home and throughout the wide extent
of its colonial possessions, were freely opened to his
inspection.  The result was a magnificent collection of
manuscripts, many of which he patiently transcribed with his own
hand.  But he did not live to reap the fruits of his persevering
industry.  The first volume, relative to the voyages of Columbus,
was scarcely finished when he died; and his manuscripts, at least
that portion of them which have reference to Mexico and Peru,
were destined to serve the uses of another, an inhabitant of that
New World to which they related.

Another scholar, to whose literary stores I am largely indebted,
is Don Martin Fernandez de Navarrete, late Director of the Royal
Academy of History. Through the greater part of his long life he
was employed in assembling original documents to illustrate the
colonial annals.  Many of these have been incorporated in his
great work, "Coleccion de los Viages y Descubrimientos," which,
although far from being completed after the original plan of its
author, is of inestimable service to the historian.  In following
down the track of discovery, Navarrete turned aside from the
conquests of Mexico and Peru, to exhibit the voyages of his
countrymen in the Indian seas. His manuscripts, relating to the
two former countries, he courteously allowed to be copied for me.
Some of them have since appeared in print, under the auspices of
his learned coadjutors, Salva and Baranda, associated with him in
the Academy; but the documents placed in my hands form a most
important contribution to my materials for the present history.

The death of this illustrious man, which occurred some time after
the present work was begun, has left a void in his country not
easy to be filled; for he was zealously devoted to letters, and
few have done more to extend the knowledge of her colonial
history.  Far from an exclusive solicitude for his own literary
projects, he was ever ready to extend his sympathy and assistance
to those of others.  His reputation as a scholar was enhanced by
the higher qualities which he possessed as a man, - by his
benevolence, his simplicity of manners, and unsullied moral
worth.  My own obligations to him are large; for from the
publication of my first historical work, down to the last week of
his life, I have constantly received proofs from him of his
hearty and most efficient interest in the prosecution of my
historical labors; and I now the more willingly pay this
well-merited tribute to his deserts, that it must be exempt from
all suspicion of flattery.

In the list of those to whom I have been indebted for materials,
I must, also, include the name of M. Ternaux-Compans, so well
known by his faithful and elegant French versions of the Munoz
manuscripts; and that of my friend Don Pascual de Gayangos, who,
under the modest dress of translation, has furnished a most acute
and learned commentary on Spanish-Arabian history, - securing for
himself the foremost rank in that difficult department of
letters, which has been illumined by the labors of a Masdeu, a
Casiri, and a Conde.

To the materials derived from these sources, I have added some
manuscripts of an important character from the library of the
Escurial. These, which chiefly relate to the ancient institutions
of Peru, formed part of the splendid collection of Lord
Kingsborough, which has unfortunately shared the lot of most
literary collections, and been dispersed, since the death of its
noble author.  For these I am indebted to that industrious
bibliographer, Mr. O. Rich, now resident in London.  Lastly, I
must not omit to mention my obligations, in another way, to my
friend Charles Folsom, Esq., the learned librarian of the Boston
Athenaeum; whose minute acquaintance with the grammatical
structure and the true idiom of our English tongue has enabled me
to correct many inaccuracies into which I had fallen in the
composition both of this and of my former works.

From these different sources I have accumulated a large amount of
manuscripts, of the most various character, and from the most
authentic sources; royal grants and ordinances, instructions of
the Court, letters of the Emperor to the great colonial officers,
municipal records, personal diaries and memoranda, and a mass of
private correspondence of the principal actors in this turbulent
drama.  Perhaps it was the turbulent state of the country which
led to a more frequent correspondence between the government at
home and the colonial officers.  But, whatever be the cause, the
collection of manuscript materials in reference to Peru is fuller
and more complete than that which relates to Mexico; so that
there is scarcely a nook or corner so obscure, in the path of the
adventurer, that some light has not been thrown on it by the
written correspondence of the period.  The historian has rather
had occasion to complain of the embarras des richesses; for, in
the multiplicity of contradictory testimony, it is not always
easy to detect the truth, as the multiplicity of cross-lights is
apt to dazzle and bewilder the eye of the spectator.

The present History has been conducted on the same general plan
with that of the Conquest of Mexico.  In an Introductory Book, I
have endeavoured to portray the institutions of the Incas, that
the reader may be acquainted with the character and condition of
that extraordinary race, before he enters on the story of their
subjugation.  The remaining books are occupied with the narrative
of the Conquest.  And here, the subject, it must be allowed,
notwithstanding the opportunities it presents for the display of
character, strange, romantic incident, and picturesque scenery,
does not afford so obvious advantages to the historian as the
Conquest of Mexico.  Indeed, few subjects can present a parallel
with that, for the purposes either of the historian or the poet.
The natural development of the story, there, is precisely what
would be prescribed by the severest rules of art.  The conquest
of the country is the great end always in the view of the reader.
From the first landing of the Spaniards on the soil, their
subsequent adventures, their battles and negotiations, their
ruinous retreat, their rally and final siege, all tend to this
grand result, till the long series is closed by the downfall of
the capital.  In the march of events, all moves steadily forward
to this consummation.  It is a magnificent epic, in which the
unity of interest is complete.

In the "Conquest of Peru," the action, so far as it is founded on
the subversion of the Incas, terminates long before the close of
the narrative. The remaining portion is taken up with the fierce
feuds of the Conquerors, which would seem, from their very
nature, to be incapable of being gathered round a central point
of interest.  To secure this, we must look beyond the immediate
overthrow of the Indian empire.  The conquest of the natives is
but the first step, to be followed by the conquest of the
Spaniards, - the rebel Spaniards, themselves, - till the
supremacy of the Crown is permanently established over the
country.  It is not till this period, that the acquisition of
this Transatlantic empire can be said to be completed; and, by
fixing the eye on this remoter point, the successive steps of the
narrative will be found leading to one great result, and that
unity of interest preserved which is scarcely less essential to
historic than dramatic composition.  How far this has been
effected, in the present work, must be left to the judgment of
the reader.

No history of the conquest of Peru, founded on original
documents, and aspiring to the credit of a classic composition,
like the "Conquest of Mexico" by Solis, has been attempted, as
far as I am aware, by the Spaniards. The English possess one of
high value, from the pen of Robertson, whose masterly sketch
occupies its due space in his great work on America.  It has been
my object to exhibit this same story, in all its romantic
details; not merely to portray the characteristic features of the
Conquest, but to fill up the outline with the coloring of life,
so as to present a minute and faithful picture of the times.  For
this purpose, have, in the composition of the work, availed
myself freely of my manuscript materials, allowed the actors to
speak as much as possible for themselves, and especially made
frequent use of their letters; for nowhere is the heart more
likely to disclose itself, than in the freedom of private
correspondence.  I have made liberal extracts from these
authorities in the notes, both to sustain the text, and to put in
a printed form those productions of the eminent captains and
statesmen of the time, which are not very accessible to Spaniards

M. Amedee Pichot, in the Preface to the French translation of the
"Conquest of Mexico," infers from the plan of the composition,
that I must have carefully studied the writings of his
countryman, M. de Barante.  The acute critic does me but justice
in supposing me familiar with the principles of that writer's
historical theory, so ably developed in the Preface to his "Ducs
de Bourgogne." And I have had occasion to admire the skillful
manner in which he illustrates this theory himself, by
constructing out of the rude materials of a distant time a
monument of genius that transports us at once into the midst of
the Feudal Ages, - and this without the incongruity which usually
attaches to a modern-antique.  In like manner I have attempted to
seize the characteristic expression of a distant age, and to
exhibit it in the freshness of life.  But in an essential
particular, I have deviated from the plan of the French
historian.  I have suffered the scaffolding to remain after the
building has been completed.  In other words, I have shown to the
reader the steps of the process by which I have come to my
conclusions. Instead of requiring him to take my version of the
story on trust, I have endeavoured to give him a reason for my
faith.  By copious citations from the original authorities, and
by such critical notices of them as would explain to him the
influences to which they were subjected, I have endeavoured to
put him in a position for judging for himself, and thus for
revising, and, if need be reversing, the judgments of the
historian.  He will, at any rate, by this means, be enabled to
estimate the difficulty of arriving at truth amidst the conflict
of testimony; and he will learn to place little reliance on those
writers who pronounce on the mysterious past with what Fontenelle
calls "a frightful degree of certainty," - a spirit the most
opposite to that of the true philosophy of history.

Yet it must be admitted, that the chronicler who records the
events of an earlier age has some obvious advantages in the store
of manuscript materials at his command, - the statements of
friends, rivals, and enemies, furnishing a wholesome counterpoise
to each other; and also, in the general course of events, as they
actually occurred, affording the best commentary on the true
motives of the parties.  The actor, engaged in the heat of the
strife, finds his view bounded by the circle around him, and his
vision blinded by the smoke and dust of the conflict; while the
spectator, whose eyes ranges over the ground from a more distant
and elevated point, though the individual objects may lose
somewhat of their vividness, takes in at a glance all the
operations of the field. Paradoxical as it may appear, truth
founded on contemporary testimony would seem, after all, as
likely to be attained by the writer of a later day, as by
contemporaries themselves.

Before closing these remarks, I may be permitted to add a few of
a personal nature.  In several foreign notices of my writings,
the author has been said to be blind; and more than once I have
had the credit of having lost my sight in the composition of my
first history.  When I have met with such erroneous accounts, I
have hastened to correct them.  But the present occasion affords
me the best means of doing so; and I am the more desirous of
this, as I fear some of my own remarks, in the Prefaces to my
former histories, have led to the mistake.

While at the University, I received an injury in one of my eyes,
which deprived me of the sight of it.  The other, soon after, was
attacked by inflammation so severely, that, for some time, I lost
the sight of that also; and though it was subsequently restored,
the organ was so much disordered as to remain permanently
debilitated, while twice in my life, since, I have been deprived
of the use of it for all purposes of reading and writing, for
several years together.  It was during one of these periods that
I received from Madrid the materials for the "History of
Ferdinand and Isabella," and in my disabled condition, with my
Transatlantic treasures lying around me, I was like one pining
from hunger in the midst of abundance.  In this state, I resolved
to make the ear, if possible, do the work of the eye.  I procured
the services of a secretary, who read to me the various
authorities; and in time I became so far familiar with the sounds
of the different foreign languages (to some of which indeed, I
had been previously accustomed by a residence abroad), that I
could comprehend his reading without much difficulty.  As the
reader proceeded, I dictated copious notes; and, when these had
swelled to a considerable amount, they were read to me
repeatedly, till I had mastered their contents sufficiently for
the purposes of composition.  The same notes furnished an easy
means of reference to sustain the text.

Still another difficulty occurred, in the mechanical labor of
writing, which I found a severe trial to the eye.  This was
remedied by means of a writing-case, such as is used by the
blind, which enabled me to commit my thoughts to paper without
the aid of sight, serving me equally well in the dark as in the
light.  The characters thus formed made a near approach to
hieroglyphics; but my secretary became expert in the art of
deciphering, and a fair copy - with a liberal allowance for
unavoidable blunders - was transcribed for the use of the
printer.  I have described the process with more minuteness, as
some curiosity has been repeatedly expressed in reference to my
modus operandi under my privations, and the knowledge of it may
be of some assistance to others in similar circumstances.

Though I was encouraged by the sensible progress of my work, it
was necessarily slow.  But in time the tendency to inflammation
diminished, and the strength of the eye was confirmed more and
more.  It was at length so far restored, that I could read for
several hours of the day, though my labors in this way
necessarily terminated with the daylight.  Nor could I ever
dispense with the services of a secretary, or with the
writing-case, for, contrary to the usual experience, I have found
writing a severer trial to the eye than reading, - a remark,
however, which does not apply to the reading of manuscript; and
to enable myself, therefore, to revise my composition more
carefully, I caused a copy of the "History of Ferdinand and
Isabella" to be printed for of my own inspection, before it was
sent to the press for the publication.  Such as I have described
the preparation of the "Conquest of Mexico"; and, satisfied with
being raised so nearly to a level with the rest of my species, I
scarcely envied the superior good fortune of those who could
prolong their studies into the evening, and the later hours of
the night.

But a change has again taken place during the last two years.
The sight of my eye has become gradually dimmed, while the
sensibility of the nerve has been so far increased, that for
several weeks of the last year I have not opened a volume, and
through the whole time I have not had the use of it, on an
average, for more than an hour a day.  Nor can I cheer myself
with the delusive expectation, that, impaired as the organ has
become, from having been tasked, probably, beyond its strength,
it can ever renew its youth, or be of much service to me
hereafter in my literary researches.  Whether I shall have the
heart to enter, as I had proposed, on a new and more extensive
field of historical labor, with these impediments, I cannot say.
Perhaps long habit, and a natural desire to follow up the career
which I have so long pursued, may make this, in a manner,
necessary, as my past experience has already proved that it is

From this statement - too long, I fear, for his patience - the
reader, who feels any curiosity about the matter, will understand
the real extent of my embarrassments in my historical pursuits.
That they have not been very light will be readily admitted, when
it is considered that I have had but a limited use of my eye, in
its best state, and that much of the time I have been debarred
from the use of it altogether.  Yet the difficulties I have had
to contend with a very far inferior to those which fall to the
lot of a blind man.  I know of no historian, now alive, who can
claim the glory of having overcome such obstacles, but the author
of "La Conquete de l'Angleterre par les Normands" who, to use his
own touching and beautiful language, "has made himself the friend
of darkness"; and who, to a profound philosophy that requires no
light but that from within, unites a capacity for extensive and
various research, that might well demand the severest application
of the student.

The remarks into which I have been led at such length will, I
trust, not be set down by the reader to an unworthy egotism, but
to their true source, a desire to correct a misapprehension to
which I may have unintentionally given rise myself, and which has
gained me the credit with some - far from grateful to my
feelings, since undeserved - of having surmounted the
incalculable obstacles which lie in the path of the blind man.

Boston, April 2 1847

Chapter I

Physical Aspect Of The Country. - Sources Of Peruvian
Civilization. - Empire Of The Incas. - Royal Family. - Nobility.

Of the numerous nations which occupied the great American
continent at the time of its discovery by the Europeans, the two
most advanced in power and refinement were undoubtedly those of
Mexico and Peru.  But, though resembling one another in extent of
civilization, they differed widely as to the nature of it; and
the philosophical student of his species may feel a natural
curiosity to trace the different steps by which these two nations
strove to emerge from the state of barbarism, and place
themselves on a higher point in the scale of humanity. - In a
former work I have endeavoured to exhibit the institutions and
character of the ancient Mexicans, and the story of their
conquest by the Spaniards.  The present will be devoted to the
Peruvians; and, if their history shall be found to present less
strange anomalies and striking contrasts than that of the Aztecs,
it may interest us quite as much by the pleasing picture it
offers of a well-regulated government and sober habits of
industry under the patriarchal sway of the Incas.

The empire of Peru, at the period of the Spanish invasion,
stretched along the Pacific from about the second degree north to
the thirty-seventh degree of south latitude; a line, also, which
describes the western boundaries of the modern republics of
Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and Chili.  Its breadth cannot so easily
be determined; for, though bounded everywhere by the great ocean
on the west, towards the east it spread out, in many parts,
considerably beyond the mountains, to the confines of barbarous
states, whose exact position is undetermined, or whose names are
effaced from the map of history. It is certain, however, that its
breadth was altogether disproportioned to its length. *1

[Footnote 1: Sarmiento, Relacion, Ms., cap. 65. - Cieza de Leon,
Cronica del Peru, (Anvers, 1554,) cap. 41. - Garcilasso de la
Vega, Commentarios Reales, (Lisboa, 1609,) Parte 1, lib. 1, cap.

According to the last authority, the empire, in its greatest
breadth, did not exceed one hundred and twenty leagues.  But
Garcilasso's geography will not bear criticism.]

The topographical aspect of the country is very remarkable.  A
strip of land, rarely exceeding twenty leagues in width, runs
along the coast, and is hemmed in through its whole extent by a
colossal range of mountains, which, advancing from the Straits of
Magellan, reaches its highest elevation - indeed, the highest on
the American continent - about the seventeenth degree south, *2
and, after crossing the line, gradually subsides into hills of
inconsiderable magnitude, as it enters the Isthmus of Panama.
This is the famous Cordillera of the Andes, or "copper
mountains," *3 as termed by the natives, though they might with
more reason have been called "mountains of gold." Arranged
sometimes in a single line, though more frequently in two or
three lines running parallel or obliquely to each other, they
seem to the voyager on the ocean but one continuous chain; while
the huge volcanoes, which to the inhabitants of the table-land
look like solitary and independent masses, appear to him only
like so many peaks of the same vast and magnificent range.  So
immense is the scale on which Nature works in these regions, that
it is only when viewed from a great distance, that the spectator
can, in any degree, comprehend the relation of the several parts
to the stupendous whole. Few of the works of Nature, indeed, are
calculated to produce impressions of higher sublimity than the
aspect of this coast, as it is gradually unfolded to the eye of
the mariner sailing on the distant waters of the Pacific; where
mountain is seen to rise above mountain, and Chimborazo, with its
glorious canopy of snow, glittering far above the clouds, crowns
the whole as with a celestial diadem. *4

[Footnote 2: According to Malte-Brun, it is under the equator
that we meet with the loftiest summits of this chain.  (Universal
Geography, Eng. trans., book 86.) But more recent measurements
have shown this to be between fifteen and seventeen degrees
south, where the Nevado de Sorata rises to the enormous height of
25,250 feet, and the Illimani to 24,300.]

[Footnote 3: At least, the word anta, which has been thought to
furnish the etymology of Andes, in the Peruvian tongue, signified
"copper." Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 1, lib. 5, cap. 15.]

[Footnote 4: Humboldt, Vues des Cordilleres et Monumens des
Peuples Indigenes de l'Amerique, (Paris, 1810,) p. 106. -
Malte-Brun, book 88.

The few brief sketches which M. de Humboldt has given of the
scenery of the Cordilleras, showing the hand of a great painter,
as well as of a philosopher, make us regret the more, that he has
not given the results of his observations in this interesting
region as minutely as he has done in respect to Mexico.]

The face of the country would appear to be peculiarly unfavorable
to the purposes both of agriculture and of internal
communication.  The sandy strip along the coast, where rain
rarely falls, is fed only by a few scanty streams, that furnish a
remarkable contrast to the vast volumes of water which roll down
the eastern sides of the Cordilleras into the Atlantic.  The
precipitous steeps of the sierra, with its splintered sides of
porphyry and granite, and its higher regions wrapped in snows
that never melt under the fierce sun of the equator, unless it be
from the desolating action of its own volcanic fires, might seem
equally unpropitious to the labors of the husbandman.  And all
communication between the parts of the long-extended territory
might be thought to be precluded by the savage character of the
region, broken up by precipices, furious torrents, and impassable
quebradas, - those hideous rents in the mountain chain, whose
depths the eye of the terrified traveler, as he winds along his
aerial pathway, vainly endeavours to fathom. *5 Yet the industry,
we might almost say, the genius, of the Indian was sufficient to
overcome all these impediments of Nature.

[Footnote 5: "These crevices are so deep," says M. de Humboldt,
with his usual vivacity of illustration, "that if Vesuvius or the
Puy de Dome were seated in the bottom of them, they would not
rise above the level of the ridges of the neighbouring sierra"
Vues des Cordilleres, p. 9.]

By a judicious system of canals and subterraneous aqueducts, the
waste places on the coast were refreshed by copious streams, that
clothed them in fertility and beauty.  Terraces were raised upon
the steep sides of the Cordillera; and, as the different
elevations had the effect of difference of latitude, they
exhibited in regular gradation every variety of vegetable form,
from the stimulated growth of the tropics, to the temperate
products of a northern clime; while flocks of llamas - the
Peruvian sheep - wandered with their shepherds over the broad,
snow-covered wastes on the crests of the sierra, which rose
beyond the limits of cultivation.  An industrious population
settled along the lofty regions of the plateaus, and towns and
hamlets, clustering amidst orchards and wide-spreading gardens,
seemed suspended in the air far above the ordinary elevation of
the clouds. *6 Intercourse was maintained between these numerous
settlements by means of the great roads which traversed the
mountain passes, and opened an easy communication between the
capital and the remotest extremities of the empire.

[Footnote 6: The plains of Quito are at the height of between
nine and ten thousand feet above the sea.  (See Condamine,
Journal d'un Voyage a l'Equateur, (Paris, 1751,) p. 48.) Other
valleys or plateaus in this vast group of mountains reach a still
higher elevation.]

The source of this civilization is traced to the valley of Cuzco,
the central region of Peru, as its name implies. *7 The origin of
the Peruvian empire, like the origin of all nations, except the
very few which, like our own, have had the good fortune to date
from a civilized period and people, is lost in the mists of
fable, which, in fact, have settled as darkly round its history
as round that of any nation, ancient or modern, in the Old World.
According to the tradition most familiar to the European scholar,
the time was, when the ancient races of the continent were all
plunged in deplorable barbarism; when they worshipped nearly
every object in nature indiscriminately; made war their pastime,
and feasted on the flesh of their slaughtered captives.  The Sun,
the great luminary and parent of mankind, taking compassion on
their degraded condition, sent two of his children, Manco Capac
and Mama Oello Huaco, to gather the natives into communities, and
teach them the arts of civilized life.  The celestial pair,
brother and sister, husband and wife, advanced along the high
plains in the neighbourhood of Lake Titicaca, to about the
sixteenth degree south.  They bore with them a golden wedge, and
were directed to take up their residence on the spot where the
sacred emblem should without effort sink into the ground.  They
proceeded accordingly but a short distance, as far as the valley
of Cuzco, the spot indicated by the performance of the miracle,
since there the wedge speedily sank into the earth and
disappeared for ever.  Here the children of the Sun established
their residence, and soon entered upon their beneficent mission
among the rude inhabitants of the country; Manco Capac teaching
the men the arts of agriculture, and Mama Oello *8 initiating her
own sex in the mysteries of weaving and spinning.  The simple
people lent a willing ear to the messengers of Heaven, and,
gathering together in considerable numbers, laid the foundations
of the city of Cuzco.  The same wise and benevolent maxims, which
regulated the conduct of the first Incas, *9 descended to their
successors, and under their mild sceptre a community gradually
extended itself along the broad surface of the table-land, which
asserted its superiority over the surrounding tribes.  Such is
the pleasing picture of the origin of the Peruvian monarchy, as
portrayed by Garcilasso de la Vega, the descendant of the Incas,
and through him made familiar to the European reader. *10

[Footnote 7: "Cuzco, in the language of the Incas," says
Garcilasso, "signifies navel." Com. Real., Parte 1, lib. 1, cap.

[Footnote 8: Mama, with the Peruvians, signified "mother."
(Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 1, lib. 4, cap. 1.) The identity
of this term with that used by Europeans is a curious
coincidence.  It is scarcely less so, however, than that of the
corresponding word, papa, which with the ancient Mexicans denoted
a priest of high rank; reminding us of the papa, "pope," of the
Italians. With both, the term seems to embrace in its most
comprehensive sense the paternal relation, in which it is more
familiarly employed by most of the nations of Europe.  Nor was
the use of it limited to modern times, being applied in the same
way both by Greeks and Romans.]

[Footnote 9: Inca signified king or lord.  Capac meant great or
powerful. It was applied to several of the successors of Manco,
in the same manner as the epithet Yupanqui, signifying rich in
all virtues, was added to the names of several Incas.  (Cieza de
Leon, Cronica, cap. 41. - Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 1, lib.
2, cap. 17.) The good qualities commemorated by the cognomens of
most of the Peruvian princes afford an honorable, though not
altogether unsuspicious, tribute to the excellence of their

[Footnote 10: Com. Real., Parte 1, lib. 1, cap. 9 - 16.]

But this tradition is only one of several current among the
Peruvian Indians, and probably not the one most generally
received.  Another legend speaks of certain white and bearded
men, who, advancing from the shores of lake Titicaca, established
an ascendency over the natives, and imparted to them the
blessings of civilization.  It may remind us of the tradition
existing among the Aztecs in respect to Quetzalcoatl, the good
deity, who with a similar garb and aspect came up the great
plateau from the east on a like benevolent mission to the
natives.  The analogy is the more remarkable, as there is no
trace of any communication with, or even knowledge of, each other
to be found in the two nations. *11

[Footnote 11: These several traditions, all of a very puerile
character, are to be found in Ondegardo, Relacion Segunda, Ms., -
Sarmiento, Relacion, Ms., cap. 1, - Cieza de Leon, Cronica, cap.
105, - Conquista i Poblacion del Piru, Ms., - Declaracion de los
Presidente e Oydores de la Audiencia Reale del Peru, Ms., - all
of them authorities contemporary with the Conquest.  The story of
the bearded white men finds its place in most of their legends.]

The date usually assigned for these extraordinary events was
about four hundred years before the coming of the Spaniards, or
early in the twelfth century. *12 But, however pleasing to the
imagination, and however popular, the legend of Manco Capac, it
requires but little reflection to show its improbability, even
when divested of supernatural accompaniments.  On the shores of
Lake Titicaca extensive ruins exist at the present day, which the
Peruvians themselves acknowledge to be of older date than the
pretended advent of the Incas, and to have furnished them with
the models of their architecture. *13 The date of their
appearance, indeed, is manifestly irreconcilable with their
subsequent history.  No account assigns to the Inca dynasty more
than thirteen princes before the Conquest.  But this number is
altogether too small to have spread over four hundred years, and
would not carry back the foundations of the monarchy, on any
probable computation beyond two centuries and a half, - an
antiquity not incredible in itself, and which, it may be
remarked, does not precede by more than half a century the
alleged foundation of the capital of Mexico.  The fiction of
Manco Capac and his sister-wife was devised, no doubt, at a later
period, to gratify the vanity of the Peruvian monarchs, and to
give additional sanction to their authority by deriving it from a
celestial origin.

[Footnote 12: Some writers carry back the date 500, or even 550,
years before the Spanish invasion.  (Balboa, Histoire du Perou,
chap. 1. - Velasco, Histoire du Royaume de Quito, tom. I. p. 81.
- Ambo auct. ap. Relations et Memoires Originaux pour servir a
l'Histoire de la Decouverte de l'Amerique, par Ternaux-Compans,
(Paris, 1840.)) In the Report of the Royal Audience of Peru, the
epoch is more modestly fixed at 200 years before the Conquest.
Dec. de la Aud. Real., Ms.]

[Footnote 13: "Otras cosas ay mas que dezir deste Tiaguanaco, que
passo por no detenerme: concluyedo que yo para mi tengo esta
antigualla por la mas antigua de todo el Peru.  Y assi se tiene
que antes q los Ingas reynassen con muchos tiempos estavan hechos
algunos edificios destos: porque yo he oydo afirmar a Indios, que
los Ingas hizieron los edificios grandes del Cuzco por la forma
que vieron tener la muralla o pared que se vee en este pueblo."
(Cieza de Leon, Cronica, cap. 105.) See also Garcilasso, (Com.
Real., Parte 1, lib. 3, cap. 1,) who gives an account of these
remains, on the authority of a Spanish ecclesiastic, which might
compare, for the marvellous, with any of the legends of his
order.  Other ruins of similar traditional antiquity are noticed
by Herrera, (Historia General de los Hechos de los Castellanos en
las Islas y Tierra Firme del Mar Oceano, (Madrid, 1730,) dec. 6,
lib. 6, cap. 9.) McCulloch, in some sensible reflections on the
origin of the Peruvian civilization, adduces, on the authority of
Garcilasso de la Vega, the famous temple of Pachacamac, not far
from Lima, as an example of architecture more ancient than that
of the Incas.  (Researches, Philosophical and Antiquarian,
concerning the Aboriginal History of America, (Baltimore, 1829,)
p. 405.) This, if true, would do much to confirm the views in our
text.  But McCulloh is led into an error by his blind guide,
Rycaut, the translator of Garcilasso, for the latter does not
speak of the temple as existing before the time of the Incas, but
before the time when the country was conquered by the Incas.
Com. Real., Parte 1, lib. 6, cap. 30.]

We may reasonably conclude that there existed in the country a
race advanced in civilization before the time of the Incas; and,
in conformity with nearly every tradition, we may derive this
race from the neighborhood of Lake Titicaca; *14 a conclusion
strongly confirmed by the imposing architectural remains which
still endure, after the lapse of so many years, on its borders.
Who this race were, and whence they came, may afford a tempting
theme for inquiry to the speculative antiquarian.  But it is a
land of darkness that lies far beyond the domain of history. *15

[See Antiquities: Artistic handicrafts of the ancient people of

[Footnote 14: Among other authorities for this tradition, see
Sarmiento, Relacion, Ms., cap. 3, 4, - Herrera, Hist. General,
dec. 5, lib. 3, cap. 6, - Conq. i Pob. del Piru, Ms., - Zarate,
Historia del Descubrimiento y de la Conquista del Peru, lib. 1,
cap. 10, ap. Barcia, Historiadores Primitivos de las Indias
Occidentales, (Madrid, 1749,) tom. 3.

In most, not all, of the traditions, Manco Capac is recognized as
the name of the founder of the Peruvian monarchy, though his
history and character are related with sufficient discrepancy.]

[Footnote 15: Mr. Ranking,
"Who can deep mysteries unriddle,
As easily as thread a needle,"

finds it "highly probable that the first Inca of Peru was a son
of the Grand Khan Kublai"!  (Historical Researches on the
Conquest of Peru, &c., by the Moguls, (London, 1827,) p. 170.)
The coincidences are curious, though we shall hardly jump at the
conclusion of the adventurous author.  Every scholar will agree
with Humboldt, in the wish that "some learned traveller would
visit the borders of the lake of Titicaca, the district of
Callao, and the high plains of Tiahuanaco, the theatre of the
ancient American civilization." (Vues des Cordilleres, p. 199.)
And yet the architectural monuments of the aborigines, hitherto
brought to light, have furnished few materials for a bridge of
communications across the dark gulf that still separates the Old
World from the New.]

The same mists that hang round the origin of the Incas continue
to settle on their subsequent annals; and, so imperfect were the
records employed by the Peruvians, and so confused and
contradictory their traditions, that the historian finds no firm
footing on which to stand till within a century of the Spanish
conquest. *16 At first, the progress of the Peruvians seems to
have been sow, and almost imperceptible.  By their wise and
temperate policy, they gradually won over the neighbouring tribes
to their dominion, as these latter became more and more convinced
of the benefits of a just and well-regulated government.  As they
grew stronger, they were enabled to rely more directly on force;
but, still advancing under cover of the same beneficent pretexts
employed by their predecessors, they proclaimed peace and
civilization at the point of the sword.  The rude nations of the
country, without any principle of cohesion among themselves, fell
one after another before the victorious arm of the Incas.  Yet it
was not till the middle of the fifteenth century that the famous
Topa Inca Yupanqui, grandfather of the monarch who occupied the
throne at the coming of the Spaniards, led his armies across the
terrible desert of Atacama, and, penetrating to the southern
region of Chili, fixed the permanent boundary of his dominions at
the river Maule.  His son, Huayna Capac, possessed of ambition
and military talent fully equal to his father's marched along the
Cordillera towards the north, and, pushing his conquests across
the equator, added the powerful kingdom of Quito to the empire of
Peru. *17

[Footnote 16: A good deal within a century, to say truth.
Garcilasso and Sarmiento, for example, the two ancient
authorities in highest repute, have scarcely a point of contact
in their accounts of the earlier Peruvian princes; the former
representing the sceptre as gliding down in peaceful succession
from hand to hand, through an unbroken dynasty, while the latter
garnishes his tale with as many conspiracies, depositions, and
revolutions, as belong to most barbarous, and, unhappily, most
civilized communities. When to these two are added the various
writers, contemporary and of the succeeding age, who have treated
of the Peruvian annals, we shall find ourselves in such a
conflict of traditions, that criticism is lost in conjecture.
Yet this uncertainty as to historical events fortunately does not
extend to the history of arts and institutions, which were in
existence on the arrival of the Spaniards.]

[Footnote 17: Sarmiento, Relacion, Ms., cap. 57, 64. - Conq. i.
Pob. del Piru, Ms. - Velasco, Hist. de Quito, p. 59. - Dec. de la
Aud. Real., Ms. - Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 1, lib. 7, cap.
18, 19; lib. 8, cap. 5-8.

The last historian, and, indeed, some others, refer the conquest
of Chili to Yupanqui, the father of Topa Inca.  The exploits of
the two monarchs are so blended together by the different
annalists, as in a manner to confound their personal identity.]

The ancient city of Cuzco, meanwhile, had been gradually
advancing in wealth and population, till it had become the worthy
metropolis of a great and flourishing monarchy.  It stood in a
beautiful valley on an elevated region of the plateau, which,
among the Alps, would have been buried in eternal snows, but
which within the tropics enjoyed a genial and salubrious
temperature. Towards the north it was defended by a lofty
eminence, a spur of the great Cordillera; and the city was
traversed by a river, or rather a small stream, over which
bridges of timber, covered with heavy slabs of stone, furnished
an easy means of communication with the opposite banks.  The
streets were long and narrow; the houses low, and those of the
poorer sort built of clay and reeds.  But Cuzco was the royal
residence, and was adorned with the ample dwellings of the great
nobility; and the massy fragments still incorporated in many of
the modern edifices bear testimony to the size and solidity of
the ancient. *18

[Footnote 18: Garcilasso, Com. Real., lib. 7, cap. 8-11. - Cieza
de Leon, Cronica, cap. 92.

"El Cuzco tuuo gran manera y calidad, deuio ser fundada por gente
de gran ser.  Auia grandes calles, saluo q era angostas, y las
casas hechas de piedra pura co tan lindas junturas, q illustra el
antiguedad del edificio, pues estauan piedras tan grades muy bien
assentadas." (Ibid., ubi supra.) Compare with this Miller's
account of the city, as existing at the present day.  "The walls
of many of the houses have remained unaltered for centuries. The
great size of the stones, the variety of their shapes, and the
inimitable workmanship they display, give to the city that
interesting air of antiquity and romance, which fills the mind
with pleasing though painful veneration." Memoirs of Gen. Miller
in the Service of the Republic of Peru, (London, 1829, 2d ed.)
vol. II. p. 225.]

The health of the city was promoted by spacious openings and
squares, in which a numerous population from the capital and the
distant country assembled to celebrate the high festivals of
their religion.  For Cuzco was the "Holy City"; *19 and the great
temple of the Sun, to which pilgrims resorted from the furthest
borders of the empire, was the most magnificent structure in the
New World, and unsurpassed, probably, in the costliness of its
decorations by any building in the Old.

[Footnote 19: "La Imperial Ciudad de Cozco, que la adoravan los
Indios, como a Cosa Sagrada." Garcilasso, Com. Real., parte 1,
lib. 3, cap. 20. - Also Ondegardo, Rel. Seg., Ms.]

Towards the north, on the sierra or rugged eminence already
noticed, rose a strong fortress, the remains of which at the
present day, by their vast size, excite the admiration of the
traveller. *20 It was defended by a single wall of great
thickness, and twelve hundred feet long on the side facing the
city, where the precipitous character of the ground was of itself
almost sufficient for its defence.  On the other quarter, where
the approaches were less difficult, it was protected by two other
semicircular walls of the same length as the preceding.  They
were separated, a considerable distance from one another and from
the fortress; and the intervening ground was raised so that the
walls afforded a breastwork for the troops stationed there in
times of assault.  The fortress consisted of three towers,
detached from one another.  One was appropriated to the Inca, and
was garnished with the sumptuous decorations befitting a royal
residence, rather than a military post.  The other two were held
by the garrison, drawn from the Peruvian nobles, and commanded by
an officer of the blood royal; for the position was of too great
importance to be intrusted to inferior hands.  The hill was
excavated below the towers, and several subterraneous galleries
communicated with the city and the palaces of the Inca. *21

[Footnote 20: See, among others, the Memoirs, above cited, of
Gen. Miller, which contain a minute and very interesting notice
of modern Cuzco.  (Vol. II. p. 223, et seq.) Ulloa, who visited
the country in the middle of the last century, is unbounded in
his expressions of admiration.  Voyage to South America, Eng.
trans., (London, 1806,) book VII. ch. 12.]

[Footnote 21: Betanzos, Suma y Narracion de los Yngas, Ms., cap.
12. - Garcilasso, Com Real., Parte 1, iib. 7, cap. 27-29.

The demolition of the fortress, begun immediately after the
Conquest, provoked the remonstrance of more than one enlightened
Spaniard, whose voice, however, was impotent against the spirit
of cupidity and violence.  See Sarmiento, Relacion, Ms., cap.

The fortress, the walls, and the galleries were all built of
stone, the heavy blocks of which were not laid in regular
courses, but so disposed that the small ones might fill up the
interstices between the great.  They formed a sort of rustic
work, being rough-hewn except towards the edges, which were
finely wrought; and, though no cement was used, the several
blocks were adjusted with so much exactness and united so
closely, that it was impossible to introduce even the blade of
knife between them. *22 Many of these stones were of vast size;
some of them being full thirty-eight feet long, by eighteen
broad, and six feet thick. *23

[Footnote 22: Ibid., ubi supra. - Inscripciones, Medallas,
Templos, Edificios, Antiguedades, y Monumentos del Peru, Ms.
This manuscript, which formerly belonged to Dr. Robertson, and
which is now in the British Museum, is the work of some unknown
author, somewhere probably about the time of Charles III.; a
period when, as the sagacious scholar to whom I am indebted for a
copy of it remarks, a spirit of sounder criticism was visible in
the Castilian historians.]

[Footnote 23: Acosta, Naturall and Morall Historie of the East
and West Indies, Eng. trans., (London, 1604,) lib. 6, cap. 14. -
He measured the stones himself. - See also Garcilasso, Com.
Real., loc. cit.]

We are filled with astonishment, when we consider, that these
enormous masses were hewn from their native bed and fashioned
into shape, by a people ignorant of the use of iron; that they
were brought from quarries, from four to fifteen leagues distant,
*24 without the aid of beasts of burden; were transported across
rivers and ravines, raised to their elevated position on the
sierra, and finally adjusted there with the nicest accuracy,
without the knowledge of tools and machinery familiar to the
European.  Twenty thousand men are said to have been employed on
this great structure, and fifty years consumed in the building.
*25 However this may be, we see in it the workings of a despotism
which had the lives and fortunes of its vassals at its absolute
disposal, and which, however mild in its general character,
esteemed these vassals, when employed in its service, as lightly
as the brute animals for which they served as a substitute.

[Footnote 24: Cieza de Leon, Cronica, cap. 93. - Ondegardo, Rel.
Seg., Ms. Many hundred blocks of granite may still be seen, it is
said, in an unfinished state, in a quarry near Cuzco.]

[Footnote 25: Sarmiento, Relacion, Ms., cap. 48. - Ondegardo,
Rel. Seg., Ms. - Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 1, lib. 7, cap.
27, 28.

The Spaniards, puzzled by the execution of so great a work with
such apparently inadequate means, referred it all, in their
summary way, to the Devil; an opinion which Garcilasso seems
willing to indorse.  The author of the Antig y Monumentos del
Peru, Ms., rejects this notion with becoming gravity.]

The fortress of Cuzco was but part of a system of fortifications
established throughout their dominions by the Incas.  This system
formed a prominent feature in their military policy; but before
entering on this latter, it will be proper to give the reader
some view of their civil institutions and scheme of government.

The sceptre of the Incas, if we may credit their historian,
descended in unbroken succession from father to son, through
their whole dynasty. Whatever we may think of this, it appears
probable that the right of inheritance might be claimed by the
eldest son of the Coya, or lawful queen, as she was styled, to
distinguish her from the host of concubines who shared the
affections of the sovereign. *26 The queen was further
distinguished, at least in later reigns, by the circumstance of
being selected from the sisters of the Inca, an arrangement
which, however revolting to the ideas of civilized nations, was
recommended to the Peruvians by its securing an heir to the crown
of the pure heaven-born race, uncontaminated by any mixture of
earthly mould. *27

[Footnote 26: Sarmiento, Relacion, Ms., cap. 7. - Garcilasso,
Com. Real., Parte 1, lib. 1, cap. 26.

Acosta speaks of the eldest brother of the Inca as succeeding in
preference to the son.  (lib. 6, cap. 12.) He may have confounded
the Peruvian with the Aztec usage.  The Report of the Royal
Audience states that a brother succeeded in default of a son.
Dec. de la Aud. Real., Ms.]

[Footnote 27: "Et soror et conjux." - According to Garcilasso the
heir-apparent always married a sister.  (Com. Real., Parte 1,
lib. 4, cap. 9.) Ondegardo notices this as an innovation at the
close of the fifteenth century. (Relacion Primera, Ms.) The
historian of the Incas, however, is confirmed in his
extra-ordinary statement by Sarmiento.  Relacion, Ms., cap. 7.]
In his early years, the royal offspring was intrusted to the care
of the amautas, or "wise men," as the teachers of Peruvian
science were called, who instructed him in such elements of
knowledge as they possessed, and especially in the cumbrous
ceremonial of their religion, in which he was to take a prominent
part.  Great care was also bestowed on his military education, of
the last importance in a state which, with its professions of
peace and good-will, was ever at war for the acquisition of

In this military school he was educated with such of the Inca
nobles as were nearly of his own age; for the sacred name of Inca
- a fruitful source of obscurity in their annals - was applied
indifferently to all who descended by the male line from the
founder of the monarchy. *28 At the age of sixteen the pupils
underwent a public examination, previous to their admission to
what may be called the order of chivalry.  This examination was
conducted by some of the oldest and most illustrious Incas.  The
candidates were required to show their prowess in the athletic
exercises of the warrior; in wrestling and boxing, in running
such long courses as fully tried their agility and strength, in
severe fasts of several days' duration, and in mimic combats,
which, although the weapons were blunted, were always attended
with wounds, and sometimes with death.  During this trial, which
lasted thirty days, the royal neophyte fared no better than his
comrades, sleeping on the bare ground, going unshod, and wearing
a mean attire, - a mode of life, it was supposed, which might
tend to inspire him with more sympathy with the destitute.  With
all this show of impartiality, however, it will probably be doing
no injustice to the judges to suppose that a politic discretion
may have somewhat quickened their perceptions of the real merits
of the heir-apparent.

[Footnote 28: Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 1, lib. 1, cap. 26.]
At the end of the appointed time, the candidates selected as
worthy of the honors of their barbaric chivalry were presented to
the sovereign, who condescended to take a principal part in the
ceremony of inauguration.  He began with a brief discourse, in
which, after congratulating the young aspirants on the
proficiency they had shown in martial exercises, he reminded them
of the responsibilities attached to their birth and station; and,
addressing them affectionately as "children of the Sun," he
exhorted them to imitate their great progenitor in his glorious
career of beneficence to mankind.  The novices then drew near,
and, kneeling one by one before the Inca, he pierced their ears
with a golden bodkin; and this was suffered to remain there till
an opening had been made large enough for the enormous pendants
which were peculiar to their order, and which gave them, with the
Spaniards, the name of orejones. *29 This ornament was so massy
in the ears of the sovereign, that the cartilage was distended by
it nearly to the shoulder, producing what seemed a monstrous
deformity in the eyes of the Europeans, though, under the magical
influence of fashion, it was regarded as a beauty by the natives.

[Footnote 29: From oreja, "ear." - "Los caballeros de la sangre
Real tenian orejas horadadas, y de ellas colgando grandes rodetes
de plata y oro: Ilamaronles por esto los orejones los Castellanos
la primera vez que los vieron." (Montesinos, Memorias Antiguas
Historiales del Peru, Ms., lib. 2, cap. 6.) The ornament, which
was in the form of a wheel, did not depend from the ear, but was
inserted in the gristle of it, and was as large as an orange. "La
hacen tan ancha como una gran rosca de naranja; los Senores i
Principales traian aquellas roscas de oro fino en las orejas."
(Conq. i Pob. del Piru, Ms. - Also Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte
1, lib. 1, cap. 22.) "The larger the hole," says one of the old
Conquerors, "the more of a gentleman!" Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y
Conq., Ms.]

When this operation was performed, one of the most venerable of
the nobles dressed the feet of the candidates in the sandals worn
by the order, which may remind us of the ceremony of buckling on
the spurs of the Christian knight.  They were then allowed to
assume the girdle or sash around the loins, corresponding with
the toga virilis of the Romans, and intimating that they had
reached the season of manhood.  Their heads were adorned with
garlands of flowers, which, by their various colors, were
emblematic of the clemency and goodness that should grace the
character of every true warrior; and the leaves of an evergreen
plant were mingled with the flowers, to show that these virtues
should endure without end. *30 The prince's head was further
ornamented by a fillet, or tasselled fringe, of a yellow color,
made of the fine threads of the vicuna wool, which encircled the
forehead as the peculiar insignia of the heir-apparent.  The
great body of the Inca nobility next made their appearance, and,
beginning with those nearest of kin, knelt down before the
prince, and did him homage as successor to the crown.  The whole
assembly then moved to the great square of the capital, where
songs, and dances, and other public festivities closed the
important ceremonial of the huaracu. *31

[Footnote 30: Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 1, lib. 6, cap. 27.]

[Footnote 31: Ibid. Parte 1, lib. 6, cap. 24 - 28.

According to Fernandez, the candidates wore white shirts, with
something like a cross embroidered in front!  (Historia del Peru,
(Sevilla, 1571,) Parte 2, lib. 3, cap. 6.) We may fancy ourselves
occupied with some chivalrous ceremonial of the Middle Ages.]

The reader will be less surprised by the resemblance which this
ceremonial bears to the inauguration of a Christian knight in the
feudal ages, if he reflects that a similar analogy may be traced
in the institutions of other people more or less civilized; and
that it is natural that nations, occupied with the one great
business of war, should mark the period, when the preparatory
education for it was ended, by similar characteristic ceremonies.
Having thus honorably passed through his ordeal, the
heir-apparent was deemed worthy to sit in the councils of his
father, and was employed in offices of trust at home, or, more
usually, sent on distant expeditions to practice in the field the
lessons which he had hitherto studied only on the mimic theatre
of war.  His first campaigns were conducted under the renowned
commanders who had grown grey in the service of his father;
until, advancing in years and experience, he was placed in
command himself, and, like Huayna Capac, the last and most
illustrious of his line, carried the banner of the rainbow, the
armorial ensign of his house, far over the borders, among the
remotest tribes of the plateau.

The government of Peru was a despotism, mild in its character,
but in its form a pure and unmitigated despotism.  The sovereign
was placed at an immeasurable distance above his subjects.  Even
the proudest of the Inca nobility, claiming a descent from the
same divine original as himself, could not venture into the royal
presence, unless barefoot, and bearing a light burden on his
shoulders in token of homage. *32 As the representative of the
Sun, he stood at the head of the priesthood, and presided at the
most important of the religious festivals. *33 He raised armies,
and usually commanded them in person.  He imposed taxes, made
laws, and provided for their execution by the appointment of
judges, whom he removed at pleasure. He was the source from which
every thing flowed, - all dignity, all power, all emolument.  He
was, in short, in the well-known phrase of the European despot,
"himself the state." *34

[Footnote 32: Zarate, Conq. del Peru, lib. 1, cap. 11. -
Sarmiento, Relacion, Ms., cap. 7.

"Porque verdaderamente a lo que yo he averiguado toda la
pretension de los Ingas fue una subjeccion en toda la gente, qual
yo nunca he oido decir de ninguna otra nacion en tanto grado, que
por muy principal que un Senor fuese, dende que entrava cerca del
Cuzco en cierta senal que estava puesta en cada camino de quatro
que hay, havia dende alli de venir cargado hasta la presencia del
Inga, y alli dejava la carga y hacia su obediencia." Ondegardo,
Rel. Prim., Ms.]

[Footnote 33: It was only at one of these festivals, and hardly
authorizes the sweeping assertion of Carli, that the royal and
sacerdotal authority were blended together in Peru.  We shall
see, hereafter, the important and independent position occupied
by the high-priest.  "La Sacerdoce et l'Empire etoient divises au
Mexique; au lieu qu'i's etoient reunis au Perou, comme au Tibet
et a la Chine, et comme il le fut a Rome, lorsqu' Auguste jetta
les fondemens de l'Empire, en y reunissant le Sacerdoce ou la
dignite de Souverain Pontife." Lettres Americaines, (Paris,
1788,) trad. Franc., tom I. let. 7.]

[Footnote 34: "Porque el Inga dava a entender que era hijo del
Sol, con este titulo se hacia adorar, i governava principalmente
en tanto grado que nadie se le atrevia, i su palabra era ley, i
nadie osaba ir contra su palabra ni voluntad; aunque obiese de
matar cient mill Indios, no havia ninguno en su Reino que le
osase decir que no lo hiciese." Conq. i Pob. del Piru, Ms.]
The Inca asserted his claims as a superior being by assuming a
pomp in his manner of living well calculated to impose on his
people.  His dress was of the finest wool of the vicuna, richly
dyed, and ornamented with a profusion of gold and precious
stones.  Round his head was wreathed a turban of many-colored
folds, called the Ilautu; and a tasselled fringe, like that worn
by the prince, but of a scarlet color, with two feathers of a
rare and curious bird, called the coraquenque, placed upright in
it, were the distinguishing insignia of royalty.  The birds from
which these feathers were obtained were found in a desert country
among the mountains; and it was death to destroy or to take them,
as they were reserved for the exclusive purpose of supplying the
royal head-gear.  Every succeeding monarch was provided with a
new pair of these plumes, and his credulous subjects fondly
believed that only two individuals of the species had ever
existed to furnish the simple ornament for the diadem of the
Incas. *35

[Footnote 35: Cieza de Leon, Cronica, cap. 114. - Garcilasso,
Com. Real., Parte 1, lib. 1, cap. 22; lib. 6, cap. 28. - Acosta,
lib. 6, cap. 12.]
Although the Peruvian monarch was raised so far above the highest
of his subjects, he condescended to mingle occasionally with
them, and took great pains personally to inspect the condition of
the humbler classes.  He presided at some of the religious
celebrations, and on these occasions entertained the great nobles
at his table, when he complimented them, after the fashion of
more civilized nations, by drinking the health of those whom he
most delighted to honor. *36

[Footnote 36: One would hardly expect to find among the American
Indians this social and kindly custom of our Saxon ancestors, -
now fallen somewhat out of use, in the capricious innovations of
modern fashion.  Garcilasso is diffuse in his account of the
forms observed at the royal table.  (Com. Real., Parte 1, lib. 6,
cap. 23.) The only hours of eating were at eight or nine in the
morning, and at sunset, which took place at nearly the same time,
in all seasons, in the latitude of Cuzco.  The historian of the
Incas admits that, though temperate in eating, they indulged
freely in their cups, frequently prolonging their revelry to a
late hour of the night.  Ibid., Parte 1, lib. 6, cap. 1.]

But the most effectual means taken by the Incas for communicating
with their people were their progresses through the empire.
These were conducted, at intervals of several years, with great
state and magnificence.  The sedan, or litter, in which they
travelled, richly emblazoned with gold and emeralds, was guarded
by a numerous escort.  The men who bore it on their shoulders
were provided by two cities, specially appointed for the purpose.
It was a post to be coveted by no one, if, as is asserted, a fall
was punished with death. *37 They travelled with ease and
expedition, halting at the tambos, or inns, erected by government
along the route, and occasionally at the royal palaces, which in
the great towns afforded ample accommodations to the whole of the
monarch's retinue.  The noble loads which traversed the
table-land were lined with people, who swept away the stones and
stubble from their surface, strewing them with sweet-scented
flowers, and vying with each other in carrying forward the
baggage from one village to another.  The monarch halted from
time to time to listen to the grievances of his subjects, or to
settle some points which had been referred to his decision by the
regular tribunals. As the princely train wound its way along the
mountain passes, every place was thronged with spectators eager
to catch a glimpse of their sovereign; and, when he raised the
curtains of his litter, and showed himself to their eyes, the air
was rent with acclamations as they invoked blessings on his head.
*38 Tradition long commemorated the spots at which he halted, and
the simple people of the country held them in reverence as places
consecrated by the presence of an Inca. *39

[Footnote 37: "In lectica, aureo tabulato constrata, humeris
ferebant; in summa, ea erat observantia, vt vultum ejus intueri
maxime incivile putarent, et inter baiulos, quicunque vel leviter
pede offenso haesitaret, e vestigio interficerent." Levinus
Apollonius, De Peruviae Regionis Inventione, et Rebus in eadem
gestis, (Antverpiae, 1567,) fol. 37. - Zarate, Conq. del Peru,
lib. 1, cap. 11.

According to this writer, the litter was carried by the nobles;
one thousand of whom were specially reserved for the humiliating
honor.  Ubi supra.]

[Footnote 38: The acclamations must have been potent indeed, if,
as Sarmiento tells us, they sometimes brought the birds down from
the sky!  "De esta manera eran tan temidos los Reyes que si
salian por el Reyno y permitian alzar algun pano de los que iban
en las andas para dejarse ver de sus vasallos, alzaban tan gran
alarido que hacian caer las aves de lo alto donde iban volando a
ser tomadas a manos." (Relacion, Ms., cap. 10.) The same author
has given in another place a more credible account of the royal
progresses, which the Spanish reader will find extracted in
Appendix, No. 1.]

[Footnote 39: Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 1, lib. 3, cap. 14;
lib. 6, cap. 3. - Zarate, Conq. del Peru, lib. 1, cap. 11.]

The royal palaces were on a magnificent scale, and, far from
being confined to the capital or a few principal towns, were
scattered over all the provinces of their vast empire. *40 The
buildings were low, but covered a wide extent of ground.  Some of
the apartments were spacious, but they were generally small, and
had no communication with one another, except that they opened
into a common square or court.  The walls were made of blocks of
stone of various sizes, like those described in the fortress of
Cuzco, rough-hewn, but carefully wrought near the line of
junction, which was scarcely visible to the eye.  The roofs were
of wood or rushes, which have perished under the rude touch of
time, that has shown more respect for the walls of the edifices.
The whole seems to have been characterized by solidity and
strength, rather than by any attempt at architectural elegance.

[Footnote 40: Velasco has given some account of several of these
palaces situated in different places in the kingdom of Quito.
Hist. de Quito, tom. I. pp. 195 - 197.]

[Footnote 41: Cieza de Leon, Cronica, cap. 44. - Antig. y
Monumentos de. Peru, Ms. - See, among others, the description of
the remains still existing of the royal buildings at Callo, about
ten leagues south of Quito, by Ulloa, Voyage to S. America, book
6, ch. 11, and since, more carefully, by Humboldt, Vues des
Cordilleres, p. 197.]

But whatever want of elegance there may have been in the exterior
of the imperial dwellings, it was amply compensated by the
interior, in which all the opulence of the Peruvian princes was
ostentatiously displayed.  The sides of the apartments were
thickly studded with gold and silver ornaments. Niches, prepared
in the walls, were filled with images of animals and plants
curiously wrought of the same costly materials; and even much of
the domestic furniture, including the utensils devoted to the
most ordinary menial services, displayed the like wanton
magnificence! *42 With these gorgeous decorations were mingled
richly colored stuffs of the delicate manufacture of the Peruvian
wool, which were of so beautiful a texture, that the Spanish
sovereigns, with all the luxuries of Europe and Asia at their
command, did not disdain to use them. *43 The royal household
consisted of a throng of menials, supplied by the neighboring
towns and villages, which, as in Mexico, were bound to furnish
the monarch with fuel and other necessaries for the consumption
of the palace.

[Footnote 42: Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte l, lib. 6, cap. 1.
"Tanto que todo el servicio de la Casa del Rey asi de cantaras
para su vino, como de cozina, todo era oro y plata, y esto no en
un lugar y en una parte lo tenia, sino en muchas." (Sarmiento,
Relacion, Ms., cap. 11.) See also the flaming accounts of the
palaces of Bilcas, to the west of Cuzco, by Cieza de Leon, as
reported to him by Spaniards who had seen them in their glory.
(Cronica, cap. 89.) The niches are still described by modern
travellers as to be found in the walls.  (Humboldt, Vues des
Cordilleres, p. 197.)]

[Footnote 43: "La ropa de la cama toda era de mantas, y frecadas
de lana de Vicuna, que es tan fina, y tan regalada, que entre
otras cosas preciadas de aquellas Tierras, se las han traido para
la cama del Rey Don Phelipe Segundo." Garcilasso, Com. Real.,
Parte 1. lib 6, cap. 1.]

But the favorite residence of the Incas was at Yucay, about four
leagues distant from the capital.  In this delicious valley,
locked up within the friendly arms of the sierra, which sheltered
it from the rude breezes of the east, and refreshed by gushing
fountains and streams of running water, they built the most
beautiful of their palaces.  Here, when wearied with the dust and
toil of the city, they loved to retreat, and solace themselves
with the society of their favorite concubines, wandering amidst
groves and airy gardens, that shed around their soft,
intoxicating odors, and lulled the senses to voluptuous repose.
Here, too, they loved to indulge in the luxury of their baths,
replenished by streams of crystal water which were conducted
through subterraneous silver channels into basins of gold.  The
spacious gardens were stocked with numerous varieties of plants
and flowers that grew without effort in this temperate region of
the tropics, while parterres of a more extraordinary kind were
planted by their side, glowing with the various forms of
vegetable life skilfully imitated in gold and silver!  Among them
the Indian corn, the most beautiful of American grains, is
particularly commemorated, and the curious workmanship is noticed
with which the golden ear was half disclosed amidst the broad
leaves of silver, and the light tassel of the same material that
floated gracefully from its top. *44

[Footnote 44: Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 1, lib. 5, cap. 26;
lib. 6, cap. 2 - Sarmiento, Relacion, Ms., cap. 24. - Cieza de
Leon, Cronica, cap. 94.

The last writer speaks of a cement, made in part of liquid gold,
as used in the royal buildings of Tambo, a valley not far from
Yucay!  (Ubi supra.) We may excuse the Spaniards for demolishing
such edifices, - if they ever met with them.]

If this dazzling picture staggers the faith of the reader, he may
reflect that the Peruvian mountains teemed with gold; that the
natives understood the art of working the mines, to a
considerable extent; that none of the ore, as well shall see
hereafter, was converted into coin, and that the whole of it
passed into the hands of the sovereign for his own exclusive
benefit, whether for purposes of utility or ornament.  Certain it
is that no fact is better attested by the Conquerors themselves,
who had ample means of information, and no motive for
misstatement. - The Italian poets, in their gorgeous pictures of
the gardens of Alcina and Morgana, came nearer the truth than
they imagined.
Our surprise, however, may reasonably be excited, when we
consider that the wealth displayed by the Peruvian princes was
only that which each had amassed individually for himself.  He
owed nothing to inheritance from his predecessors.  On the
decease of an Inca, his palaces were abandoned; all his
treasures, except what were employed in his obsequies, his
furniture and apparel, were suffered to remain as he left them,
and his mansions, save one, were closed up for ever.  The new
sovereign was to provide himself with every thing new for his
royal state.  The reason of this was the popular belief, that the
soul of the departed monarch would return after a time to
reanimate his body on earth; and they wished that he should find
every thing to which he had been used in life prepared for his
reception. *45

[Footnote 45: Acosta, lib. 6, cap. 12. - Garcilasso, Com. Real.,
Parte 1, lib. 6, cap. 4.]

When an Inca died, or, to use his own language, "was called home
to the mansions of his father, the Sun," *46 his obsequies were
celebrated with great pomp and solemnity.  The bowels were taken
from the body, and deposited in the temple of Tampu, about five
leagues from the capital.  A quantity of his plate and jewels was
buried with them, and a number of his attendants and favorite
concubines, amounting sometimes, it is said, to a thousand, were
immolated on his tomb. *47 Some of them showed the natural
repugnance to the sacrifice occasionally manifested by the
victims of a similar superstition in India. But these were
probably the menials and more humble attendants; since the women
have been known, in more than one instance, to lay violent hands
on themselves, when restrained from testifying their fidelity by
this act of conjugal martyrdom.  This melancholy ceremony was
followed by a general mourning throughout the empire.  At stated
intervals, for a year, the people assembled to renew the
expressions of their sorrow; processions were made, displaying
the banner of the departed monarch; bards and minstrels were
appointed to chronicle his achievements, and their songs
continued to be rehearsed at high festivals in the presence of
the reigning monarch, - thus stimulating the living by the
glorious example of the dead. *48

[Footnote 46: The Aztecs, also, believed that the soul of the
warrior who fell in battle went to accompany the Sun in his
bright progress through the heavens.  (See Conquest of Mexico,
book 1, chap. 3.)]

[Footnote 47: Conq. i Pob. del Piru, Ms. - Acosta, lib. 5, cap.

Four thousand of these victims, according to Sarmiento, - we may
hope it is an exaggeration, - graced the funeral obsequies of
Huayna Capac, the last of the Incas before the coming of the
Spaniards.  Relacion, Ms., cap. 65.]

[Footnote 48: Cieza de Leon, Cronica, cap. 62. - Garcilasso, Com.
Real., Parte 1, lib. 6, cap. 5. - Sarmiento, Relacion, Ms., cap.

The body of the deceased Inca was skilfully embalmed, and removed
to the great temple of the Sun at Cuzco.  There the Peruvian
sovereign, on entering the awful sanctuary, might behold the
effigies of his royal ancestors, ranged in opposite files, - the
men on the right, and their queens on the left, of the great
luminary which blazed in refulgent gold on the walls of the
temple. The bodies, clothed in the princely attire which they had
been accustomed to wear, were placed on chairs of gold, and sat
with their heads inclined downward, their hands placidly crossed
over their bosoms, their countenances exhibiting their natural
dusky hue, - less liable to change than the fresher coloring of a
European complexion, - and their hair of raven black, or silvered
over with age, according to the period at which they died!  It
seemed like a company of solemn worshippers fixed in devotion, -
so true were the forms and lineaments to life.  The Peruvians
were as successful as the Egyptians in the miserable attempt to
perpetuate the existence of the body beyond the limits assigned
to it by nature. *49

[Footnote 49: Ondegardo, Rel. Prim., Ms. - Garcilasso, Com.
Real., Parte 1, lib. 5, cap. 29.

The Peruvians secreted these mummies of their sovereigns after
the Conquest, that they might not be profaned by the insults of
the Spaniards. Ondegardo, when corregidor of Cuzco, discovered
five of them, three male and two female.  The former were the
bodies of Viracocha, of the great Tupac Inca Yupanqui, and of his
son Huayna Capac.  Garcilasso saw them in 1560.  They were
dressed in their regal robes, with no insignia but the llautu on
their heads.  They were in a sitting posture, and, to use his own
expression, "perfect as life, without so much as a hair or an
eyebrow wanting." As they were carried through the streets,
decently shrouded with a mantle, the Indians threw themselves on
their knees, in sign of reverence, with many tears and groans,
and were still more touched as they beheld some of the Spaniards
themselves doffing their caps, in token of respect to departed
royalty. (Ibid., ubi supra.) The bodies were subsequently removed
to Lima; and Father Acosta, who saw them there some twenty years
later, speaks of them as still in perfect preservation.]

They cherished a still stranger illusion in the attentions which
they continued to pay to these insensible remains, as if they
were instinct with life.  One of the houses belonging to a
deceased Inca was kept open and occupied by his guard and
attendants, with all the state appropriate to royalty.  On
certain festivals, the revered bodies of the sovereigns were
brought out with great ceremony into the public square of the
capital. Invitations were sent by the captains of the guard of
the respective Incas to the different nobles and officers of the
court; and entertainments were provided in the names of their
masters, which displayed all the profuse magnificence of their
treasures, - and "such a display," says an ancient chronicler,
"was there in the great square of Cuzco, on this occasion, of
gold and silver plate and jewels, as no other city in the world
ever witnessed." *50 The banquet was served by the menials of the
respective households, and the guests partook of the melancholy
cheer in the presence of the royal phantom with the same
attention to the forms of courtly etiquette as if the living
monarch had presided! *51

[Footnote 50: "Tenemos por muy cierto que ni en Jerusalem, Roma,
ni en Persia, ni en ninguna parte del mundo por ninguna Republica
ni Rey de el, se juntaba en un lugar tanta riqueza de Metales de
oro y Plata y Pedreria como en esta Plaza del Cuzco; quando estas
fiestas y otras semejantes se hacian." Sarmiento, Relacion, Ms.,
cap. 27.]

[Footnote 51: Idem, Relacion, Ms., cap. 8, 27. - Ondegardo, Rel.
Seg., Ms.

It was only, however, the great and good princes that were thus
honored, according to Sarmiento, "whose souls the silly people
fondly believed, on account of their virtues, were in heaven,
although, in truth," as the same writer assures us, "they were
all the time burning in the flames of hell"! "Digo los que
haviendo sido en vida buenos y valerosos, generosos con los
Indios en les hacer mercedes, perdonadores de injurias, porque a
estos tales canonizaban en su ceguedad por Santos y honrraban sus
huesos, sin entender que las animas ardian en los Ynfiernos y
creian que estaban en el Cielo." Ibid., ubi supra.]

The nobility of Peru consisted of two orders, the first and by
far the most important of which was that of the Incas, who,
boasting a common descent with their sovereign, lived, as it
were, in the reflected light of his glory. As the Peruvian
monarchs availed themselves of the right of polygamy to a very
liberal extent, leaving behind them families of one or even two
hundred children, *52 the nobles of the blood royal, though
comprehending only their descendants in the male line, came in
the course of years to be very numerous. *53 They were divided
into different lineages, each of which traced its pedigree to a
different member of the royal dynasty, though all terminated in
the divine founder of the empire.

[Footnote 52: Garcilasso says over three hundred!  (Com. Real.,
Parte 1, lib. 3, cap. 19.) The fact, though rather startling, is
not incredible, if, like Huayna Capac, they counted seven hundred
wives in their seraglio.  See Sarmiento, Relacion, Ms., cap. 7.]

[Footnote 53: Garcilasso mentions a class of Incas por
privilegio, who were allowed to possess the name and many of the
immunities of the blood royal, though only descended from the
great vassals that first served under the banner of Manco Capac.
(Com. Real., Parte 1, lib. 1, cap. 22.) This important fact, to
which he often refers, one would be glad to see confirmed by a
single authority.]

They were distinguished by many exclusive and very important
privileges; they wore a peculiar dress; spoke a dialect, if we
may believe the chronicler, peculiar to themselves; *54 and had
the choicest portion of the public domain assigned for their
support.  They lived, most of them, at court, near the person of
the prince, sharing in his counsels, dining at his board, or
supplied from his table.  They alone were admissible to the great
offices in the priesthood.  They were invested with the command
of armies, and of distant garrisons, were placed over the
provinces, and, in short, filled every station of high trust and
emolument. *55 Even the laws, severe in their general tenor, seem
not to have been framed with reference to them; and the people,
investing the whole order with a portion of the sacred character
which belonged to the sovereign, held that an Inca noble was
incapable of crime. *56

[Footnote 54: "Los Incas tuvieron otra Lengua particular, que
hablavan entre ellos, que no la entendian los demas Indios, ni
les era licito aprenderla, como Lenguage Divino.  Esta me
escriven del Peru, que se ha perdido totalmente; porque como
perecio la Republica particular de los Incas, perecio tambien el
Lenguage dellos." Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 1, lib. 7, cap.

[Footnote 55: "Una sola gente hallo yo que era exenta, que eran
los Ingas del Cuzco y por alli al rededor de ambas parcialidades,
porque estos no solo no pagavan tributo, pero aun comian de lo
que traian al Inga de todo el reino, y estos eran por la mayor
parte los Governadores en todo el reino, y por donde quiera que
iban se les hacia mucha honrra." Ondegardo, Rel. Prim., Ms.]

[Footnote 56: Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte I, lib. 2, cap. 15.]
The other order of nobility was the Curacas, the caciques of the
conquered nations, or their descendants.  They were usually
continued by the government in their places, though they were
required to visit the capital occasionally, and to allow their
sons to be educated there as the pledges of their loyalty.  It is
not easy to define the nature or extent of their privileges.
They were possessed of more or less power, according to the
extent of their patrimony, and the number of their vassals.
Their authority was usually transmitted from father to son,
though sometimes the successor was chosen by the people. *57 They
did not occupy the highest posts of state, or those nearest the
person of the sovereign, like the nobles of the blood. Their
authority seems to have been usually local, and always in
subordination to the territorial jurisdiction of the great
provincial governors, who were taken from the Incas. *58

[Footnote 57: In this event, it seems, the successor named was
usually presented to the Inca for confirmation.  (Dec. de la Aud.
Real., Ms.) At other times, the Inca himself selected the heir
from among the children of the deceased Curaca.  "In short," says
Ondegardo, "there was no rule of succession so sure, but it might
be set aside by the supreme will of the sovereign.' Rel. Prim.,

[Footnote 58: Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 1, lib. 4, cap. 10. -
Sarmiento, Relacion, Ms., cap. 11 - Dec. de la Aud. Real., Ms. -
Cieza de Leon, Cronica, cap. 93. - Conq. i Pob. del Piru, Ms.]

It was the Inca nobility, indeed, who constituted the real
strength of the Peruvian monarchy.  Attached to their prince by
ties of consanguinity, they had common sympathies and, to a
considerable extent, common interests with him.  Distinguished by
a peculiar dress and insignia, as well as by language and blood,
from the rest of the community, they were never confounded with
the other tribes and nations who were incorporated into the great
Peruvian monarchy.  After the lapse of centuries, they still
retained their individuality as a peculiar people.  They were to
the conquered races of the country what the Romans were to the
barbarous hordes of the Empire, or the Normans to the ancient
inhabitants of the British Isles.  Clustering around the throne,
they formed an invincible phalanx, to shield it alike from secret
conspiracy and open insurrection.  Though living chiefly in the
capital, they were also distributed throughout the country in all
its high stations and strong military posts, thus establishing
lines of communication with the court, which enabled the
sovereign to act simultaneously and with effect on the most
distant quarters of his empire.  They possessed, moreover, an
intellectual preeminence, which, no less than their station, gave
them authority with the people.  Indeed, it may be said to have
been the principal foundation of their authority.  The crania of
the Inca race show a decided superiority over the other races of
the land in intellectual power; *59 and it cannot be denied that
it was the fountain of that peculiar civilization and social
polity, which raised the Peruvian monarchy above every other
state in South America.  Whence this remarkable race came, and
what was its early history, are among those mysteries that meet
us so frequently in the annals of the New World, and which time
and the antiquary have as vet done little to explain.

[Footnote 59: Dr. Morton's valuable work contains several
engravings of both the Inca and the common Peruvian skull,
showing that the facial angle in the former, though by no means
great, was much larger than that in the latter, which was
singularly flat and deficient in intellectual character.  Crania
Americana, (Philadelphia, 1829.)]

Chapter II

Orders Of The State. - Provisions For Justice. - Division Of
Lands. - Revenues And Registers. - Great Roads And Posts. -
Military Tactics And Policy.

If we are surprised at the peculiar and original features of what
may be called the Peruvian aristocracy, we shall be still more so
as we descend to the lower orders of the community, and see the
very artificial character of their institutions, - as artificial
as those of ancient Sparta, and, though in a different way, quite
as repugnant to the essential principles of our nature. The
institutions of Lycurgus, however, were designed for a petty
state, while those of Peru, although originally intended for
such, seemed, like the magic tent in the Arabian tale, to have an
indefinite power of expansion, and were as well suited to the
most flourishing condition of the empire as to its infant
fortunes.  In this remarkable accommodation to change of
circumstances we see the proofs of a contrivance that argues no
slight advance in civilization.

The name of Peru was not known to the natives.  It was given by
the Spaniards, and originated, it is said, in a misapprehension
of the Indian name of "river." *1 However this may be, it is
certain that the natives had no other epithet by which to
designate the large collection of tribes and nations who were
assembled under the sceptre of the Incas, than that of
Tavantinsuyu, or "four quarters of the world." *2 This will not
surprise a citizen of the United States, who has no other name by
which to class himself among nations than what is borrowed from a
quarter of the globe. *3 The kingdom, conformably to its name,
was divided into four parts, distinguished each by a separate
title, and to each of which ran one of the four great roads that
diverged from Cuzco, the capital or navel of the Peruvian
monarchy.  The city was in like manner divided into four
quarters; and the various races, which gathered there from the
distant parts of the empire, lived each in the quarter nearest to
its respective province.  They all continued to wear their
peculiar national costume, so that it was easy to determine their
origin; and the same order and system of arrangement prevailed in
the motley population of the capital, as in the great provinces
of the empire.  The capital, in fact, was a miniature image of
the empire. *4

[Footnote 1: Pelu, according to Garcilasso, was the Indian name
for "river," and was given by one of the natives in answer to a
question put to him by the Spaniards, who conceived it to be the
name of the country.  (Com. Real., Parte 1, lib. 1, cap. 6.) Such
blunders have led to the names of many places both in North and
South America.  Montesinos, however, denies that there is such an
Indian term for "river." (Mem. Antiguas, Ms., lib. 1, cap. 2.)
According to this writer, Peru was the ancient Ophir, whence
Solomon drew such stores of wealth; and which, by a very natural
transition, has in time been corrupted into Phiru, Piru, Peru!
The first book of the Memorias, consisting of thirty-two
chapters, is devoted to this precious discovery.]

[Footnote 2: Ondegardo, Rel. Prim., Ms. - Garcilasso, Com Real.,
Parte 1, lib. 2, cap. 11.]

[Footnote 3: Yet an American may find food for his vanity in the
reflection, that the name of a quarter of the globe, inhabited by
so many civilized nations, has been exclusively conceded to him.
- Was it conceded or assumed?]

[Footnote 4: Ibid., parte 1, cap. 9, 10. - Cieza de Leon,
Cronica, cap. 93.

The capital was further divided into two parts, the Upper and
Lower town, founded, as pretended, on the different origin of the
population; a division recognized also in the inferior cities.
Ondegardo, Rel. Seg., Ms.]
The four great provinces were each placed under a viceroy or
governor, who ruled over them with the assistance of one or more
councils for the different departments.  These viceroys resided,
some portion of their time, at least, in the capital, where they
constituted a sort of council of state to the Inca. *5 The nation
at large was distributed into decades, or small bodies of ten;
and every tenth man, or head of a decade, had supervision of the
rest, - being required to see that they enjoyed the rights and
immunities to which they were entitled, to solicit aid in their
behalf from government, when necessary, and to bring offenders to
justice.  To this last they were stimulated by a law that imposed
on them, in case of neglect, the same penalty that would have
been incurred by the guilty party.  With this law hanging over
his head, the magistrate of Peru, we may well believe, did not
often go to sleep on his post. *6

[Footnote 5: Dec. de la Aud. Real., Ms. - Garcilasso, Com. Real.,
Parte 1, lib. 2, cap. 15.

For this account of the councils I am indebted to Garcilasso, who
frequently fills up gaps that have been left by his
fellow-laborers.  Whether the filling up will, in all cases, bear
the touch of time, as well as the rest of his work, one may

[Footnote 6: Dec. de la Aud. Real., Ms. - Montesinos, Mem.
Antiguas, Ms., lib. 2, cap. 6. - Ondegardo, Rel. Prim., Ms.

How analogous is the Peruvian to the Anglo-Saxon division into
hundreds and tithings!  But the Saxon law was more humane, which
imposed only a fine on the district, in case of a criminal's

The people were still further divided into bodies of fifty, one
hundred, five hundred, and a thousand, with each an officer
having general supervision over those beneath, and the higher
ones possessing, to a certain extent, authority in matters of
police.  Lastly, the whole empire was distributed into sections
or departments of ten thousand inhabitants, with a governor over
each, from the Inca nobility, who had control over the curacas
and other territorial officers in the district.  There were,
also, regular tribunals of justice, consisting of magistrates in
each of the towns or small communities, with jurisdiction over
petty offences, while those of a graver character were carried
before superior judges, usually the governors or rulers of the
districts.  These judges all held their authority and received
their support from the Crown, by which they were appointed and
removed at pleasure.  They were obliged to determine every suit
in five days from the time it was brought before them; and there
was no appeal from one tribunal to another.  Yet there were
important provisions for the security of justice. A committee of
visitors patrolled the kingdom at certain times to investigate
the character and conduct of the magistrates; and any neglect or
violation of duty was punished in the most exemplary manner.  The
inferior courts were also required to make monthly returns of
their proceedings to the higher ones, and these made reports in
like manner to the viceroys; so that the monarch, seated in the
centre of his dominions, could look abroad, as it were, to their
most distant extremities, and review and rectify any abuses in
the administration of the law. *7

[Footnote 7: Dec. de la Aud. Real., Ms. - Ondegardo, Rel. Prim.
et Seg., Mss. - Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 1, lib. 2, cap.
11-14. - Montesinos, Mem. Antiguas, Ms., lib. 2, cap. 6.

The accounts of the Peruvian tribunals by the early authorities
are very meagre and unsatisfactory.  Even the lively imagination
of Garcilasso has failed to supply the blank.]

The laws were few and exceedingly severe.  They related almost
wholly to criminal matters.  Few other laws were needed by a
people who had no money, little trade, and hardly any thing that
could be called fixed property.  The crimes of theft, adultery,
and murder were all capital; though it was wisely provided that
some extenuating circumstances might be allowed to mitigate the
punishment. *8 Blasphemy against the Sun, and malediction of the
Inca, - offences, indeed, of the same complexion, - were also
punished with death. Removing landmarks, turning the water away
from a neighbour's land into one's own, burning a house, were all
severely punished.  To burn a bridge was death. The Inca allowed
no obstacle to those facilities of communication so essential to
the maintenance of public order.  A rebellious city or province
was laid waste, and its inhabitants exterminated.  Rebellion
against the "Child of the Sun" was the greatest of all crimes. *9

[Footnote 8: Ondegardo, Rel. Prim., Ms. - Herrera, Hist. General,
dec. 5, lib. 4, cap 3.

Theft was punished less severely, if the offender had been really
guilty of it to supply the necessities of life.  It is a singular
circumstance, that the Peruvian law made no distinction between
fornication and adultery, both being equally punished with death.
Yet the law could hardly have been enforced, since prostitutes
were assigned, or at least allowed, a residence in the suburbs of
the cities.  See Garcilasso, Com Real., Parte 1, lib. 4, cap.

[Footnote 9: Sarmiento, Relacion, Ms., cap. 23.

"I los traidores entre ellos llamava aucaes, i esta palabra es la
mas abiltada de todas quantas pueden decir aun Indio del Piru,
que quiere decir traidor a su Senor." (Cong. i Pob. del Piru,
Ms.) "En las rebeliones y alzamientos se hicieron los castigos
tan asperos, que algunas veces asolaron las provincias de todos
los varones de edad sin quedar ninguno." Ondegardo, Rel. Prim.,

The simplicity and severity of the Peruvian code may be thought
to infer a state of society but little advanced; which had few of
those complex interests and relations that grow up in a civilized
community, and which had not proceeded far enough in the science
of legislation to economize human suffering by proportioning
penalties to crimes.  But the Peruvian institutions must be
regarded from a different point of view from that in which we
study those of other nations.  The laws emanated from the
sovereign, and that sovereign held a divine commission, and was
possessed of a divine nature.  To violate the law was not only to
insult the majesty of the throne, but it was sacrilege.  The
slightest offence, viewed in this light, merited death; and the
gravest could incur no heavier penalty. *10 Yet, in the
infliction of their punishments, they showed no unnecessary
cruelty; and the sufferings of the victim were not prolonged by
the ingenious torments so frequent among barbarous nations. *11

[Footnote 10: "El castigo era riguroso, que por la mayor parte
era de muerte, por liviano que fuese el delito; porque decian,
que no los castigavan por el delito que avian hecho, ni por la
ofensa agena, sino por aver quebrantado el mandamiento, y rompido
la palabra del Inca, que lo respetavan como a Dios." Garcilasso,
Com. Real. Parte 1, lib. 2. cap. 12.]

[Footnote 11: One of the punishments most frequent for minor
offences was to carry a stone on the back.  A punishment attended
with no suffering but what arises from the disgrace attached to
it is very justly characterized by McCulloh as a proof of
sensibility and refinement.  Researches, p. 361.]
These legislative provisions may strike us as very defective,
even as compared with those of the semi-civilized races of
Anahuac, where a gradation of courts, moreover, with the right of
appeal, afforded a tolerable security for justice.  But in a
country like Peru, where few but criminal causes were known, the
right of appeal was of less consequence.  The law was simple, its
application easy; and, where the judge was honest, the case was
as likely to be determined correctly on the first hearing as on
the second.  The inspection of the board of visitors, and the
monthly returns of the tribunals, afforded no slight guaranty for
their integrity.  The law which required a decision within five
days would seem little suited to the complex and embarrassing
litigation of a modern tribunal.  But, in the simple questions
submitted to the Peruvian judge, delay would have been useless;
and the Spaniards, familiar with the evils growing out of
long-protracted suits, where the successful litigant is too often
a ruined man, are loud in their encomiums of this swift-handed
and economical justice. *12

[Footnote 12: The Royal Audience of Peru under Philip II. - there
cannot be a higher authority - bears emphatic testimony to the
cheap and efficient administration of justice under the Incas.
"De suerte que los vicios eran bien castigados y la gente estaba
bien sujeta y obediente; y aunque en las dichas penas havia
esceso, redundaba en buen govierno y policia suya, y mediante
ella eran aumentados. . . . . . Porque los Yndios alababan la
governacion del Ynga, y aun los Espanoles que algo alcanzan de
ella, es porque todas las cosas susodichas se de terminaban sin
hacerles costas" Dec. de la Aud. Real., Ms.]

The fiscal regulations of the Incas, and the laws respecting
property, are the most remarkable features in the Peruvian
polity.  The whole territory of the empire was divided into three
parts, one for the Sun, another for the Inca, and the last for
the people.  Which of the three was the largest is doubtful.  The
proportions differed materially in different provinces.  The
distribution, indeed, was made on the same general principle, as
each new conquest was added to the monarchy; but the proportion
varied according to the amount of population, and the greater or
less amount of land consequently required for the support of the
inhabitants. *13

[Footnote 13: Acosta, lib. 6, cap. 15. - Garcilasso, Com. Real.,
Parte 1, lib. 5, cap. 1.

"Si estas partes fuesen iguales, o qual fuese mayor, yo lo he
procurado averiguar, y en unas es diferente de otras, y finalmte
yo tengo entendido que se hacia conforme a la disposicion de la
tierra y a la calidad de los Indios" Ondegardo, Rel Prim., Ms]

The lands assigned to the Sun furnished a revenue to support the
temples, and maintain the costly ceremonial of the Peruvian
worship and the multitudinous priesthood.  Those reserved for the
Inca went to support the royal state, as well as the numerous
members of his household and his kindred, and supplied the
various exigencies of government.  The remainder of the lands was
divided, per capita, in equal shares among the people.  It was
provided by law, as we shall see hereafter, that every Peruvian
should marry at a certain age.  When this event took place, the
community or district in which he lived furnished him with a
dwelling, which, as it was constructed of humble materials, was
done at little cost.  A lot of land was then assigned to him
sufficient for his own maintenance and that of his wife. An
additional portion was granted for every child, the amount
allowed for a son being the double of that for a daughter.  The
division of the soil was renewed every year, and the possessions
of the tenant were increased or diminished according to the
numbers in his family. *14 The same arrangement was observed with
reference to the curacas, except only that a domain was assigned
to them corresponding with the superior dignity of their stations

[Footnote 14: Ondegardo, Rel. Prim., Ms. - Garcilasso, Com.
Real., Parte 1, lib. 5, cap. 2.

The portion granted to each new-married couple, according to
Garcilasso, was a fanega and a half of land.  A similar quantity
was added for each male child that was born; and half of the
quantity for each female.  The fanega was as much land as could
be planted with a hundred weight of Indian corn. In the fruitful
soil of Peru, this was a liberal allowance for a family.]

[Footnote 15: Ibid., Parte 1, lib. 5, cap. 3.

It is singular, that while so much is said of the Inca sovereign,
so little should be said of the Inca nobility, of their estates,
or the tenure by which they held them.  Their historian tells us,
that they had the best of the lands, wherever they resided,
besides the interest which they had in those of the Sun and the
Inca, as children of the one, and kinsmen of the other.  He
informs us, also, that they were supplied from the royal table,
when living at court.  (lib. 6, cap. 3.) But this is very loose
language. The student of history will learn, on the threshold,
that he is not to expect precise, or even very consistent,
accounts of the institutions of a barbarous age and people from
contemporary annalists.]

A more thorough and effectual agrarian law than this cannot be
imagined. In other countries where such a law has been
introduced, its operation, after a time, has given way to the
natural order of events, and, under the superior intelligence and
thrift of some and the prodigality of others, the usual
vicissitudes of fortune have been allowed to take their course,
and restore things to their natural inequality.  Even the iron
law of Lycurgus ceased to operate after a time, and melted away
before the spirit of luxury and avarice. The nearest approach to
the Peruvian constitution was probably in Judea, where, on the
recurrence of the great national jubilee, at the close of every
half-century, estates reverted to their original proprietors.
There was this important difference in Peru; that not only did
the lease, if we may so call it, terminate with the year, but
during that period the tenant had no power to alienate or to add
to his possessions.  The end of the brief term found him in
precisely the same condition that he was in at the beginning.
Such a state of things might be supposed to be fatal to any thing
like attachment to the soil, or to that desire of improving it,
which is natural to the permanent proprietor, and hardly less so
to the holder of a long lease.  But the practical operation of
the law seems to have been otherwise; and it is probable, that,
under the influence of that love of order and aversion to change
which marked the Peruvian institutions, each new partition of the
soil usually confirmed the occupant in his possession, and the
tenant for a year was converted into a proprietor for life.

The territory was cultivated wholly by the people.  The lands
belonging to the Sun were first attended to.  They next tilled
the lands of the old, of the sick, of the window and the orphan,
and of soldiers engaged in actual service; in short, of all that
part of the community who, from bodily infirmity or any other
cause, were unable to attend to their own concerns. The people
were then allowed to work on their own ground, each man for
himself, but with the general obligation to assist his neighbour,
when any circumstance - the burden of a young and numerous
family, for example - might demand it. *16 Lastly, they
cultivated the lands of the Inca.  This was done, with great
ceremony, by the whole population in a body.  At break of day,
they were summoned together by proclamation from some
neighbouring tower or eminence, and all the inhabitants of the
district, men, women, and children, appeared dressed in their
gayest apparel, bedecked with their little store of finery and
ornaments, as if for some great jubilee.  They went through the
labors of the day with the same joyous spirit, chanting their
popular ballads which commemorated the heroic deeds of the Incas,
regulating their movements by the measure of the chant, and all
mingling in the chorus, of which the word hailli, or "triumph,"
was usually the burden.  These national airs had something soft
and pleasing in their character, that recommended them to the
Spaniards; and many a Peruvian song was set to music by them
after the Conquest, and was listened to by the unfortunate
natives with melancholy satisfaction, as it called up
recollections of the past, when their days glided peacefully away
under the sceptre of the Incas. *17

[Footnote 16: Garcilasso relates that an Indian was hanged by
Huayna Capac for tilling a curaca's ground, his near relation,
before that of the poor. The gallows was erected on the curaca's
own land.  Ibid., Parte 1, lib. 5, cap. 2.]

[Footnote 17: Ibid., Parte 1, lib. 5, cap. 1-3. - Ondegardo, Rel.
Seg., Ms.]

A similar arrangement prevailed with respect to the different
manufactures as to the agricultural products of the country.  The
flocks of llamas, or Peruvian sheep, were appropriated
exclusively to the Sun and to the Inca. *18 Their number was
immense.  They were scattered over the different provinces,
chiefly in the colder regions of the country, where they were
intrusted to the care of experienced shepherds, who conducted
them to different pastures according to the change of season.  A
large number was every year sent to the capital for the
consumption of the Court, and for the religious festivals and
sacrifices.  But these were only the males, as no female was
allowed to be killed.  The regulations for the care and breeding
of these flocks were prescribed with the greatest minuteness, and
with a sagacity which excited the admiration of the Spaniards,
who were familiar with the management of the great migratory
flocks of merinos in their own country. *19

[Footnote 18: Ondegardo, Rel. Prim., Ms.

Yet sometimes the sovereign would recompense some great chief, or
even some one among the people, who had rendered him a service,
by the grant of a small number of llamas, - never many.  These
were not to be disposed of or killed by their owners, but
descended as common property to their heirs. This strange
arrangement proved a fruitful source of litigation after the
Conquest. Ibid., ubi supra.]

[Footnote 19: See especially the account of the Licentiate
Ondegardo, who goes into more detail than any contemporary
writer, concerning the management of the Peruvian flocks.  Rel.
Seg., Ms.]

At the appointed season, they were all sheared, and the wool was
deposited in the public magazines.  It was then dealt out to each
family in such quantities as sufficed for its wants, and was
consigned to the female part of the household, who were well
instructed in the business of spinning and weaving When this
labor was accomplished, and the family was provided with a coarse
but warm covering, suited to the cold climate of the mountains, -
for, in the lower country, cotton, furnished in like manner by
the Crown, took the place, to a certain extent, of wool, - the
people were required to labor for the Inca.  The quantity of the
cloth needed, as well as the peculiar kind and quality of the
fabric, was first determined at Cuzco.  The work was then
apportioned among the different provinces.  Officers, appointed
for the purpose, superintended the distribution of the wool, so
that the manufacture of the different articles should be
intrusted to the most competent hands. *20 They did not leave the
matter here but entered the dwellings, from time to time, and saw
that the work was faithfully executed. This domestic inquisition
was not confined to the labors for the Inca.  It included, also,
those for the several families; and care was taken that each
household should employ the materials furnished for its own use
in the manner that was intended, so that no one should be
unprovided with necessary apparel. *21 In this domestic labor all
the female part of the establishment was expected to join.
Occupation was found for all, from the child five years old to
the aged matron not too infirm to hold a distaff.  No one, at
least none but the decrepit and the sick, was allowed to eat the
bread of idleness in Peru.  Idleness was a crime in the eye of
the law, and, as such, severely punished; while industry was
publicly commended and stimulated by rewards. *22

[Footnote 20: Ondegardo, Rel. Prim. et Seg., Mss.

The manufacture of cloths for the Inca included those for the
numerous persons of the blood royal, who wore garments of a finer
texture than was permitted to any other Peruvian.  Garcilasso,
Com. Real., Parte 1, lib. 5, cap. 6.]

[Footnote 21: Ondegardo, Rel. Seg., Ms - Acosta, lib. 6, cap.

[Footnote 22: Ondegardo, Rel. Seg., Ms - Garcilasso, Com. Real.,
Parte 1 lib. 5, cap. 11.]

The like course was pursued with reference to the other
requisitions of the government.  All the mines in the kingdom
belonged to the Inca.  They were wrought exclusively for his
benefit, by persons familiar with this service, and selected from
the districts where the mines were situated. *23 Every Peruvian
of the lower class was a husbandman, and, with the exception of
those already specified, was expected to provide for his own
support by the cultivation of his land.  A small portion of the
community, however, was instructed in mechanical arts; some of
them of the more elegant kind, subservient to the purposes of
luxury and ornament.  The demand for these was chiefly limited to
the sovereign and his Court; but the labor of a larger number of
hands was exacted for the execution of the great public works
which covered the land.  The nature and amount of the services
required were all determined at Cuzco by commissioners well
instructed in the resources of the country, and in the character
of the inhabitants of different provinces. *24

[Footnote 23: Garcilasso would have us believe that the Inca was
indebted to the curacas for his gold and silver, which were
furnished by the great vassals as presents.  (Com. Real., Parte
1, lib. 5, cap. 7.) This improbable statement is contradicted by
the Report of the Royal Audience, Ms., by Sarmiento, (Relacion,
Ms., cap. 15,) and by Ondegardo, (Rel. Prim., Ms.) who all speak
of the mines as the property of the government, and wrought
exclusively for its benefit.  From this reservoir the proceeds
were liberally dispensed in the form of presents among the great
lords, and still more for the embellishment of the temples.]

[Footnote 24: Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 1, lib. 5, cap. 13 -
16. - Ondegardo, Rel. Prim. et Seg., Mss.]

This information was obtained by an admirable regulation, which
has scarcely a counterpart in the annals of a semi-civilized
people.  A register was kept of all the births and deaths
throughout the country, and exact returns of the actual
population were made to government every year, by means of the
quipus, a curious invention, which will be explained hereafter.
*25 At certain intervals, also, a general survey of the country
was made, exhibiting a complete view of the character of the
soil, its fertility, the nature of its products, both
agricultural and mineral, - in short, of all that constituted the
physical resources of the empire. *26 Furnished with these
statistical details, it was easy for the government, after
determining the amount of requisitions, to distribute the work
among the respective provinces best qualified to execute it.  The
task of apportioning the labor was assigned to the local
authorities, and great care was taken that it should be done in
such a manner, that, while the most competent hands were
selected, it should not fall disproportionately heavy on any. *27

[Footnote 25: Montesinos, Mem. Antiguas, Ms., lib. 2, cap. 6. -
Pedro Pizarro, Relacion del Descubrimiento y Conquista de los
Reynos del Peru, Ms.

"Cada provincia, en fin del ano, mandava asentar en los quipos,
por la cuenta de sus nudos, todos los hombres que habian muerto
en ella en aquel ano, y por el consiguiente los que habian
nacido, y por principio del ano que entraba, venian con los
quipos al Cuzco." Sarmiento, Relacion Ms., cap. 16.]

[Footnote 26: Garcilasso, Com. Real. Parte 1, lib. 2, cap. 14.]

[Footnote 27: Ondegardo, Rel. Prim., Ms. - Sarmiento, Rel., Ms.,
cap. 15.

"Presupuesta y entendida la dicha division que el Inga tenia
hecha de su gente, y orden que tenia puesta en el govierno de
ella, era muy facil haverla en la division y cobranza de los
dichos tributos; porque era claro y cierto lo que a cada uno
cabia sin que hubiese desigualdad ni engano." Dec. de la Aud.
Real., Ms.]

The different provinces of the country furnished persons
peculiarly suited to different employments, which, as we shall
see hereafter, usually descended from father to son.  Thus, one
district supplied those most skilled in working the mines,
another the most curious workers in metals, or in wood, and so
on. *28 The artisan was provided by government with the
materials; and no one was required to give more than a stipulated
portion of his time to the public service.  He was then succeeded
by another for the like term; and it should be observed, that all
who were engaged in the employment of the government - and the
remark applies equally to agricultural labor - were maintained,
for the time, at the public expense. *29 By this constant
rotation of labor, it was intended that no one should be
overburdened, and that each man should have time to provide for
the demands of his own household.  It was impossible - in the
judgment of a high Spanish authority - to improve on the system
of distribution, so carefully was it accommodated to the
condition and comfort of the artisan. *30 The security of the
working classes seems to have been ever kept in view in the
regulations of the government; and these were so discreetly
arranged, that the most wearing and unwholesome labors, as those
of the mines, occasioned no detriment to the health of the
laborer; a striking contrast to his subsequent condition under
the Spanish rule. *31

[Footnote 28: Sarmiento, Relacion, Ms., cap. 15. - Ondegardo,
Rel. Seg., Ms.]

[Footnote 29: Ondegardo, Rel. Prim., Ms. - Garcilasso, Com.
Real., Parte 1, lib. 5, cap. 5.]

[Footnote 30: "Y tambien se tenia cuenta que el trabajo que
pasavan fuese moderado, y con el menos riesgo que fuese posible.
. . . . . . Era tanta la orden que tuvieron estos Indios, que a
mi parecer aunque mucho se piense en ello Seria dificultoso
mejorarla conocida su condicion y costumbres." Ondegardo, Rel.
Prim., Ms.]

[Footnote 31: "The working of the mines," says the President of
the Council of the Indies, "was so regulated that no one felt it
a hardship, much less was his life shortened by it." (Sarmiento,
Relacion, Ms., cap. 15) It is a frank admission for a Spaniard.]

A part of the agricultural produce and manufactures was
transported to Cuzco, to minister to the immediate demands of the
Inca and his Court.  But far the greater part was stored in
magazines scattered over the different provinces.  These spacious
buildings, constructed of stone, were divided between the Sun and
the Inca, though the greater share seems to have been
appropriated by the monarch.  By a wise regulation, any
deficiency in the contributions of the Inca might be supplied
from the granaries of the Sun. *32 But such a necessity could
rarely have happened; and the providence of the government
usually left a large surplus in the royal depositories, which was
removed to a third class of magazines, whose design was to supply
the people in seasons of scarcity, and, occasionally, to furnish
relief to individuals, whom sickness or misfortune had reduced to
poverty; thus, in a manner, justifying the assertion of a
Castilian document, that a large portion of the revenues of the
Inca found its way back again, through one channel or another,
into the hands of the people. *33 These magazines were found by
the Spaniards, on their arrival, stored with all the various
products and manufactures of the country, - with maize, coca,
quinua, woollen and cotton stuffs of the finest quality, with
vases and utensils of gold, silver, and copper, in short, with
every article of luxury or use within the compass of Peruvian
skill. *34 The magazines of grain, in particular, would
frequently have sufficed for the consumption of the adjoining
district for several years. *35 An inventory of the various
products of the country, and the quarters whence they were
obtained, was every year taken by the royal officers, and
recorded by the quipucamayus on their registers, with surprising
regularity and precision. These registers were transmitted to the
capital, and submitted to the Inca, who could thus at a glance,
as it were, embrace the whole results of the national industry,
and see how far they corresponded with the requisitions of
government. *36

[Footnote 32: Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 1, lib. 5, cap. 34. -
Ondegardo, Rel. Prim., Ms.

"E asi esta parte del Inga no hay duda sino que de todas tres era
la mayor, y en los depositos se parece bien que yo visite muchos
en diferentes partes, e son mayores e mas largos que no los de su
religion sin comparasion." Idem, Rel. Seg., Ms.]

[Footnote 33: "Todos los dichos tributos y servicios que el Inga
imponia y llevaba como dicho es eran con color y para efecto del
govierno y pro comun de todos asi como lo que se ponia en
depositos todo se combertia y distribuia entre los mismos
naturales." Dec. de la Aud. Real., Ms.]

[Footnote 34: Acosta, lib. 6, cap. 15.

"No podre decir," says one of the Conquerors, "los depositos.
Vide de rropas y de todos generos de rropas y vestidos que en
este reino se hacian y vsavan que faltava tiempo para vello y
entendimiento para comprender tanta cosa, muchos depositos de
barretas de cobre para las minas y de costales y sogas de vasos
de palo y platos del oro y plata que aqui se hallo hera cosa
despanto." Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms.]

[Footnote 35: For ten years, sometimes, if we may credit
Ondegardo, who had every means of knowing.  "E ansi cuando no era
menester se estaba en los depositos e habia algunas vezes comida
de diez anos. . . . . . Los cuales todos se hallaron Ilenos
cuando Ilegaron los Espanoles desto y de todas las cosas
necesarias para la vida humana" Rel. Seg., Ms.]

[Footnote 36: Ondegardo, Rel. Prim., Ms.

"Por tanta orden e cuenta que seria dificultoso creerlo ni darlo
a entender como ellos lo tienen en su cuenta e por registros e
por menudo lo manifestaron que se pudiera por estenso." Idem,
Rel. Seg., Ms.]
Such are some of the most remarkable features of the Peruvian
institutions relating to property, as delineated by writers who,
however contradictory in the details, have a general conformity
of outline.  These institutions are certainly so remarkable, that
it is hardly credible they should ever have been enforced
throughout a great empire, and for a long period of years.  Yet
we have the most unequivocal testimony to the fact from the
Spaniards, who landed in Peru in time to witness their operation;
some of whom, men of high judicial station and character, were
commissioned by the government to make investigations into the
state of the country under its ancient rulers.

The impositions on the Peruvian people seem to have been
sufficiently heavy.  On them rested the whole burden of
maintaining, not only their own order, but every other order in
the state.  The members of the royal house, the great nobles,
even the public functionaries, and the numerous body of the
priesthood, were all exempt from taxation. *37 The whole duty of
defraying the expenses of the government belonged to the people.
Yet this was not materially different from the condition of
things formerly existing in most parts of Europe, where the
various privileged classes claimed exemption - not always with
success, indeed - from bearing part of the public burdens.  The
great hardship in the case of the Peruvian was, that he could not
better his condition.  His labors were for others, rather than
for himself.  However industrious, he could not add a rood to his
own possessions, nor advance himself one hair's breadth in the
social scale.  The great and universal motive to honest industry,
that of bettering one's lot, was lost upon him. The great law of
human progress was not for him.  As he was born, so he was to
die.  Even his time he could not properly call his own.  Without
money, with little property of any kind, he paid his taxes in
labor. *38 No wonder that the government should have dealt with
sloth as a crime.  It was a crime against the state, and to be
wasteful of time was, in a manner, to rob the exchequer.  The
Peruvian, laboring all his life for others, might be compared to
the convict in a treadmill, going the same dull round of
incessant toil, with the consciousness, that, however profitable
the results to the state, they were nothing to him.

[Footnote 37: Garcilasso. Com. Real., Parte 1, lib. 5, cap. 15.]

[Footnote 38: "Solo el trabajo de las personas era el tributo que
se dava, porque ellos no poseian otra cosa." Ondegardo, Rel.
Prim., Ms.]
But this is the dark side of the picture.  If no man could become
rich in Peru, no man could become poor.  No spendthrift could
waste his substance in riotous luxury.  No adventurous schemer
could impoverish his family by the spirit of speculation.  The
law was constantly directed to enforce a steady industry and a
sober management of his affairs.  No mendicant was tolerated in
Peru.  When a man was reduced by poverty or misfortune, (it could
hardly be by fault,) the arm of the law was stretched out to
minister relief; not the stinted relief of private charity, nor
that which is doled out, drop by drop, as it were, from the
frozen reservoirs of "the parish," but in generous measure,
bringing no humiliation to the object of it, and placing him on a
level with the rest of his countrymen. *39

[Footnote 39: "Era tanta la orden que tenia en todos sus Reinos y
provincias, que no consentia haver ningun Indio pobre ni
menesteroso, porque havia orden i formas para ello sin que los
pueblos reciviesen vexacion ni molestia, porque el Inga lo suplia
de sus tributos." (Conq. i Pob. del Piru, Ms.) The Licentiate
Ondegardo sees only a device of Satan in these provisions of the
Peruvian law, by which the old, the infirm, and the poor were
rendered, in a manner, independent of their children, and those
nearest of kin, on whom they would naturally have leaned for
support; no surer way to harden the heart, he considers, than by
thus disengaging it from the sympathies of humanity; and no
circumstance has done more, he concludes, to counteract the
influence and spread of Christianity among the natives.  (Rel.
Seg., Ms.) The views are ingenious, but, in a country where the
people had no property, as in Peru, there would seem to be no
alternative for the supernumeraries, but to receive support from
government or to starve.]

No man could be rich, no man could be poor, in Peru; but all
might enjoy, and did enjoy, a competence.  Ambition, avarice, the
love of change, the morbid spirit of discontent, those passions
which most agitate the minds of men, found no place in the bosom
of the Peruvian.  The very condition of his being seemed to be at
war with change.  He moved on in the same unbroken circle in
which his fathers had moved before him, and in which his children
were to follow.  It was the object of the Incas to infuse into
their subjects a spirit of passive obedience and tranquillity, -
a perfect acquiescence in the established order of things.  In
this they fully succeeded.  The Spaniards who first visited the
country are emphatic in their testimony, that no government could
have been better suited to the genius of the people; and no
people could have appeared more contented with their lot, or more
devoted to their government. *40

[Footnote 40: Acosta, lib. 6, cap. 12, 15. - Sarmiento, Relacion,
Ms., cap. 10]

Those who may distrust the accounts of Peruvian industry will
find their doubts removed on a visit to the country.  The
traveller still meets, especially in the central regions of the
table-land, with memorials of the past, remains of temples,
palaces, fortresses, terraced mountains, great military roads,
aqueducts, and other public works, which, whatever degree of
science they may display in their execution, astonish him by
their number, the massive character of the materials, and the
grandeur of the design. Among them, perhaps the most remarkable
are the great roads, the broken remains of which are still in
sufficient preservation to attest their former magnificence.
There were many of these roads, traversing different parts of the
kingdom; but the most considerable were the two which extended
from Quito to Cuzco, and, again diverging from the capital,
continued in a southern direction towards Chili.

One of these roads passed over the grand plateau, and the other
along the lowlands on the borders of the ocean.  The former was
much the more difficult achievement, from the character of the
country.  It was conducted over pathless sierras buried in snow;
galleries were cut for leagues through the living rock; rivers
were crossed by means of bridges that swung suspended in the air;
precipices were scaled by stairways hewn out of the native bed;
ravines of hideous depth were filled up with solid masonry; in
short, all the difficulties that beset a wild and mountainous
region, and which might appall the most courageous engineer of
modern times, were encountered and successfully overcome.  The
length of the road, of which scattered fragments only remain, is
variously estimated, from fifteen hundred to two thousand miles;
and stone pillars, in the manner of European milestones, were
erected at stated intervals of somewhat more than a league, all
along the route.  Its breadth scarcely exceeded twenty feet. *41
It was built of heavy flags of freestone, and in some parts, at
least, covered with a bituminous cement, which time has made
harder than the stone itself.  In some places, where the ravines
had been filled up with masonry, the mountain torrents, wearing
on it for ages, have gradually eaten a way through the base, and
left the superincumbent mass - such is the cohesion of the
materials - still spanning the valley like an arch! *42

[Footnote 41: Dec. de la Aud. Real., Ms.

"Este camino hecho por valles ondos y por sierras altas, por
montes de nieve, por tremedales de agua y por pena viva y junto a
rios furiosos por estas partes y ballano y empedrado por las
laderas, bien sacado por las sierras, deshechado, por las penas
socavado, por junto a los Rios sus paredes, entre nieves con
escalones y descanso, por todas partes limpio barrido
descombrado, lleno de aposentos, de depositos de tesoros, de
Templos del Sol, de Postas que havia en este camino." Sarmiento,
Relacion, Ms., cap. 60.]

[Footnote 42: "On avait comble les vides et les ravins par de
grandes masses de maconnerie.  Les torrents qui descendent des
hauteurs apres des pluies abondantes, avaient creuse les endroits
les moins solides, et s'etaient fraye une voie sous le chemin, le
laissant ainsi suspendu en l'air comme un pont fait d'une seule
piece." (Velasco, Hist. de Quito, tom. l. p. 206.) This writer
speaks from personal observation, having examined and measured
different parts of the road, in the latter part of the road, in
the latter part of the last century.  The Spanish scholar will
find in Appendix, No. 2., an animated description of this
magnificent work, and of the obstacles encountered in the
execution of it, in a passage borrowed from Sarmiento, who saw it
in the days of the Incas.]

Over some of the boldest streams it was necessary to construct
suspension bridges, as they are termed, made of the tough fibres
of the maguey, or of the osier of the country, which has an
extraordinary degree of tenacity and strength.  These osiers were
woven into cables of the thickness of a man's body.  The huge
ropes, then stretched across the water, were conducted through
rings or holes cut in immense buttresses of stone raised on the
opposite banks of the river, and there secured to heavy pieces of
timber.  Several of these enormous cables, bound together, formed
a bridge, which, covered with planks, well secured and defended
by a railing of the same osier materials on the sides, afforded a
safe passage for the traveller. The length of this aerial bridge,
sometimes exceeding two hundred feet, caused it, confined, as it
was, only at the extremities, to dip with an alarming inclination
towards the centre, while the motion given to it by the passenger
occasioned an oscillation still more frightful, as his eye
wandered over the dark abyss of waters that foamed and tumbled
many a fathom beneath. Yet these light and fragile fabrics were
crossed without fear by the Peruvians, and are still retained by
the Spaniards over those streams which, from the depth or
impetuosity of the current, would seem impracticable for the
usual modes of conveyance.  The wider and more tranquil waters
were crossed on balsas - a kind of raft still much used by the
natives - to which sails were attached, furnishing the only
instance of this higher kind of navigation among the American
Indians. *43

[Footnote 43: Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 1, lib. 3, cap. 7.
A particular account of these bridges, as they are still to be
seen in different parts of Peru, may be found in Humboldt.  (Vues
des Cordilleres, p. 230, et seq.) The balsas are described with
equal minuteness by Stevenson. Residence in America, vol. II. p.
222. et seq.]

The other great road of the Incas lay through the level country
between the Andes and the ocean.  It was constructed in a
different manner, as demanded by the nature of the ground, which
was for the most part low, and much of it sandy.  The causeway
was raised on a high embankment of earth, and defended on either
side by a parapet or wall of clay; and trees and odoriferous
shrubs were planted along the margin, regaling the sense of the
traveller with their perfumes, and refreshing him by their
shades, so grateful under the burning sky of the tropics.  In the
strips of sandy waste, which occasionally intervened, where the
light and volatile soil was incapable of sustaining a road, huge
piles, many of them to be seen at this day, were driven into the
ground to indicate the route to the traveller. *44

[Footnote 44: Cieza de Leon, Cronica, cap. 60. - Relacion del
Primer Descubrimiento de la Costa y Mar del Sur, Ms.

This anonymous document of one of the early Conquerors contains a
minute and probably trustworthy account of both the high roads,
which the writer saw in their glory, and which he ranks among the
greatest wonders of the world.]

All along these highways, caravansaries, or tambos, as they were
called, were erected, at the distance of ten or twelve miles from
each other, for the accommodation, more particularly, of the Inca
and his suite, and those who journeyed on the public business.
There were few other travellers in Peru. Some of these buildings
were on an extensive scale, consisting of a fortress, barracks,
and other military works, surrounded by a parapet of stone, and
covering a large tract of ground.  These were evidently destined
for the accommodation of the imperial armies, when on their march
across the country. - The care of the great roads was committed
to the districts through which they passed, and a large number of
hands was constantly employed under the Incas to keep them in
repair.  This was the more easily done in a country where the
mode of travelling was altogether on foot; though the roads are
said to have been so nicely constructed, that a carriage might
have rolled over them as securely as on any of the great roads of
Europe. *45 Still, in a region where the elements of fire and
water are both actively at work in the business of destruction,
they must, without constant supervision, have gradually gone to
decay.  Such has been their fate under the Spanish conquerors,
who took no care to enforce the admirable system for their
preservation adopted by the Incas.  Yet the broken portions that
still survive, here and there, like the fragments of the great
Roman roads scattered over Europe, bear evidence to their
primitive grandeur, and have drawn forth the eulogium from a
discriminating traveller, usually not too profuse in his
panegyric, that "the roads of the Incas were among the most
useful and stupendous works ever executed by man." *46

[Footnote 45: Relacion del Primer Descub., Ms. - Cieza de Leon,
Cronica, cap. 37. - Zarate, Conq. del Peru, lib. 1, cap. 11. -
Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 1, lib. 9, cap. 13.]

[Footnote 46: "Cette chaussee, bordee de grandes pierres de
taille, puet etre comparee aux plus belles routes des Romains que
j'aie vues en Italie, en France et en Espagne . . . . . . Le
grand chemin de l'Inca, un des ouvrages les plus utiles, et en
meme temps des plus gigantesques que les hommes aient execute."
Humboldt, Vues des Cordilleres, p. 294.]

The system of communication through their dominions was still
further improved by the Peruvian sovereigns, by the introduction
of posts, in the same manner as was done by the Aztecs.  The
Peruvian posts, however, established on all the great routes that
conducted to the capital, were on a much more extended plan than
those in Mexico.  All along these routes, small buildings were
erected, at the distance of less than five miles asunder, *47 in
each of which a number of runners, or chasquis, as they were
called, were stationed to carry forward the despatches of
government. *48 These despatches were either verbal, or conveyed
by means of quipus, and sometimes accompanied by a thread of the
crimson fringe worn round the temples of the Inca, which was
regarded with the same implicit deference as the signet ring of
an Oriental despot. *49

[Footnote 47: The distance between the posthouses is variously
stated; most writers not estimating it at more than three fourths
of a league.  I have preferred the authority of Ondegardo, who
usually writes with more conscientiousness and knowledge of his
ground than most of his contemporaries.]

[Footnote 48: The term chasqui, according to Montesinos,
signifies "one that receives a thing." (Me. Antiguas, Ms., cap.
7) But Garcilasso, a better authority for his own tongue, says it
meant "one who makes an exchange." Com. Real., Parte 1, lib. 6,
cap. 8.]

[Footnote 49: "Con vn hilo de esta Borla, entregado a uno de
aquellos Orejones, governaban la Tierra, i proveian lo que
querian con maior obediencia, que en ninguna Provincia del Mundo
se ha visto tener a las Provissiones de su Rei." Zarate, Conq.
del Peru, lib. 1, cap. 9.]

The chasquis were dressed in a peculiar livery, intimating their
profession.  They were all trained to the employment, and
selected for their speed and fidelity.  As the distance each
courier had to perform was small, and as he had ample time to
refresh himself at the stations, they ran over the ground with
great swiftness, and messages were carried through the whole
extent of the long routes, at the rate of a hundred and fifty
miles a day. The office of the chasquis was not limited to
carrying despatches.  They frequently brought various articles
for the use of the Court; and in this way, fish from the distant
ocean, fruits, game, and different commodities from the hot
regions on the coast, were taken to the capital in good
condition, and served fresh at the royal table. *50 It is
remarkable that this important institution should have been known
to both the Mexicans and the Peruvians without any correspondence
with one another; and that it should have been found among two
barbarian nations of the New World, long before it was introduced
among the civilized nations of Europe. *51

[Footnote 50: Sarmiento, Relacion, Ms., cap. 18. - Dec. de la
Aud. Real., Ms.

If we may trust Montesinos, the royal table was served with fish,
taken a hundred leagues from the capital, in twenty-four hours
after it was drawn from the ocean! (Men. Antiguas, Ms., lib. 2,
cap. 7.) This is rather too expeditious for any thing but

[Footnote 51: The institution of the Peruvian posts seems to have
made a great impression on the minds of the Spaniards who first
visited the country; and ample notices of it may be found in
Sarmiento, Relacion, Ms., cap. 15. - Dec. de la Aud. Real., Ms. -
Fernandez, Hist. del Peru, Parte 2, lib. 3, cap. 5. - Conq. i
Pob. del Piru, Ms., et auct. plurimis.

The establishment of posts is of old date among the Chinese, and,
probably, still older among the Persians.  (See Herodotus, Hist.,
Urania, sec. 98.) It is singular, that an invention designed for
the uses of a despotic government should have received its full
application only under a free one. For in it we have the germ of
that beautiful system of intercommunication, which binds all the
nations of Christendom together as one vast commonwealth.]
By these wise contrivances of the Incas, the most distant parts
of the long-extended empire of Peru were brought into intimate
relations with each other.  And while the capitals of
Christendom, but a few hundred miles apart, remained as far
asunder as if seas had rolled between them, the great capitals
Cuzco and Quito were placed by the high roads of the Incas in
immediate correspondence.  Intelligence from the numerous
provinces was transmitted on the wings of the wind to the
Peruvian metropolis, the great focus to which all the lines of
communication converged.  Not an insurrectionary movement could
occur, not an invasion on the remotest frontier, before the
tidings were conveyed to the capital, and the imperial armies
were on their march across the magnificent roads of the country
to suppress it.  So admirable was the machinery contrived by the
American despots for maintaining tranquillity throughout their
dominions!  It may remind us of the similar institutions of
ancient Rome, when, under the Caesars, she was mistress of half
the world.

A principal design of the great roads was to serve the purposes
of military communication.  It formed an important item of their
military policy, which is quite as well worth studying as their

Notwithstanding the pacific professions of the Incas, and the
pacific tendency, indeed, of their domestic institutions, they
were constantly at war. It was by war that their paltry territory
had been gradually enlarged to a powerful empire.  When this was
achieved, the capital, safe in its central position, was no
longer shaken by these military movements, and the country
enjoyed, in a great degree, the blessings of tranquillity and
order. But, however tranquil at heart, there is not a reign upon
record in which the nation was not engaged in war against the
barbarous nations on the frontier. Religion furnished a plausible
pretext for incessant aggression, and disguised the lust of
conquest in the Incas, probably, from their own eyes, as well as
from those of their subjects.  Like the followers of Mahomet,
bearing the sword in one hand and the Koran in the other, the
Incas of Peru offered no alternative but the worship of the Sun
or war.

It is true, their fanaticism - or their policy - showed itself in
a milder form than was found in the descendants of the Prophet.
Like the great luminary which they adored, they operated by
gentleness more potent than violence. *52 They sought to soften
the hearts of the rude tribes around them, and melt them by acts
of condescension and kindness.  Far from provoking hostilities,
they allowed time for the salutary example of their own
institutions to work its effect, trusting that their less
civilized neighbours would submit to their sceptre, from a
conviction of the blessings it would secure to them.  When this
course failed, they employed other measures, but still of a
pacific character; and endeavoured by negotiation, by
conciliatory treatment, and by presents to the leading men, to
win them over to their dominion.  In short, they practised all
the arts familiar to the most subtle politician of a civilized
land to secure the acquisition of empire.  When all these
expedients failed, they prepared for war.

[Footnote 52: "Mas se hicieron Senores al za." Ondegardo, Rel.
Prim., principio por mana, que por fuer- Ms.]

Their levies were drawn from all the different provinces; though
from some, where the character of the people was particularly
hardy, more than from others. *53 It seems probable that every
Peruvian, who had reached a certain age, might be called to bear
arms.  But the rotation of military service, and the regular
drills, which took place twice or thrice in a month, of the
inhabitants of every village, raised the soldiers generally above
the rank of a raw militia.  The Peruvian army, at first
inconsiderable, came, with the increase of population, in the
latter days of the empire, to be very large, so that their
monarchs could bring into the field, as contemporaries assure us,
a force amounting to two hundred thousand men.  They showed the
same skill and respect for order in their military organization,
as in other things.  The troops were divided into bodies
corresponding with out battalions and companies, led by officers,
that rose, in regular gradation, from the lowest subaltern to the
Inca noble, who was intrusted with the general command. *54

[Footnote 53: Idem, Rel. Prim., Ms. - Dec. de la Aud. Real., Ms.]

[Footnote 54: Gomara, Cronica, cap. 195 - Conq. i Pob. del Piru,

Their arms consisted of the usual weapons employed by nations,
whether civilized or uncivilized, before the invention of powder,
- bows and arrows, lances, darts, a short kind of sword, a
battle-axe or partisan, and slings, with which they were very
expert.  Their spears and arrows were tipped with copper, or,
more commonly, with bone, and the weapons of the Inca lords were
frequently mounted with gold or silver.  Their heads were
protected by casques made either of wood or of the skins of wild
animals, and sometimes richly decorated with metal and with
precious stones, surmounted by the brilliant plumage of the
tropical birds.  These, of course, were the ornaments only of the
higher orders.  The great mass of the soldiery were dressed in
the peculiar costume of their provinces, and their heads were
wreathed with a sort of turban or roll of different-colored
cloths, that produced a gay and animating effect.  Their
defensive armor consisted of a shield or buckler, and a close
tunic of quilted cotton, in the same manner as with the Mexicans.
Each company had its particular banner, and the imperial
standard, high above all, displayed the glittering device of the
rainbow, - the armorial ensign of the Incas, intimating their
claims as children of the skies. *55

[Footnote 55: Gomara, Cronica, ubi supra. - Sarmiento, Relacion,
Ms., cap. 20. - Velasco, Hist. de Quito, tom. I. pp. 176-179.

This last writer gives a minute catalogue of the ancient Peruvian
arms, comprehending nearly every thing familiar to the European
soldier, except fire-arms.  - It was judicious in him to omit

By means of the thorough system of communication established in
the country, a short time sufficed to draw the levies together
from the most distant quarters.  The army was put under the
direction of some experienced chief, of the blood royal, or, more
frequently, headed by the Inca in person. The march was rapidly
performed, and with little fatigue to the soldier; for, all along
the great routes, quarters were provided for him, at regular
distances, where he could find ample accommodations.  The country
is still covered with the remains of military works, constructed
of porphyry or granite, which tradition assures us were designed
to lodge the Inca and his army. *56

[Footnote 56: Zarate, Conq. del Peru, lib. 1, cap. 11. -
Sarmiento, Relacion, Ms., cap. 60.

Condamine speaks of the great number of these fortified places,
scattered over the country between Quito and Lima, which he saw
in his visit to South America in 1737; some of which he has
described with great minuteness. Memoire sur Quelques Anciens
Monumens du Perou, du Tems des Incas, ap. Histoire de l'Academie
Royale des Sciences et de Belles Lettres, (Berlin, 1748,) tom.
II. p. 438.]

At regular intervals, also, magazines were established, filled
with grain, weapons, and the different munitions of war, with
which the army was supplied on its march.  It was the especial
care of the government to see that these magazines, which were
furnished from the stores of the Incas, were always well filled.
When the Spaniards invaded the country, they supported their own
armies for a long time on the provisions found in them. *57 The
Peruvian soldier was forbidden to commit any trespass on the
property of the inhabitants whose territory lay in the line of
march.  Any violation of this order was punished with death. *58
The soldier was clothed and fed by the industry of the people,
and the Incas rightly resolved that he should not repay this by
violence.  Far from being a tax on the labors of the husbandman,
or even a burden on his hospitality, the imperial armies
traversed the country, from one extremity to the other, with as
little inconvenience to the inhabitants, as would be created by a
procession of peaceful burghers, or a muster of holiday soldiers
for a review.

[Footnote 57: "E ansi cuando," says Ondegardo, speaking from his
own personal knowledge, "el Senor Presidente Gasca passo con la
gente de castigo de Gonzalo Pizarro por el valle de Jauja, estuvo
alli siete semanas a lo que me acuerdo, se hallaron en deposito
maiz de cuatro y de tres y de dos anos mas de 15 hanegas junto al
camino, e alli comio la gente, y se entendio que si fuera
menester muchas mas no faltaran en el valle en aquellos
depositos, conforme a la orden antigua, porque a mi cargo estubo
el repartirlas y hacer la cuenta para pagarlas." Rel. Seg., Ms.]

[Footnote 58: Pedro Pizarro, Descub.  y Conq., Ms. - Cieza de
Leon, Cronica, cap. 44. - Sarmiento, Relacion, Ms., cap. 14.]

From the moment war was proclaimed, the Peruvian monarch used all
possible expedition in assembling his forces, that he might
anticipate the movements of his enemies, and prevent a
combination with their allies.  It was, however, from the neglect
of such a principle of combination, that the several nations of
the country, who might have prevailed by confederated strength,
fell one after another under the imperial yoke.  Yet, once in the
field, the Inca did not usually show any disposition to push his
advantages to the utmost, and urge his foe to extremity.  In
every stage of the war, he was open to propositions for peace;
and although he sought to reduce his enemies by carrying off
their harvests and distressing them by famine, he allowed his
troops to commit no unnecessary outrage on person or property.
"We must spare our enemies," one of the Peruvian princes is
quoted as saying, "or it will be our loss, since they and all
that belongs to them must soon be ours." *59 It was a wise maxim,
and, like most other wise maxims, founded equally on benevolence
and prudence.  The Incas adopted the policy claimed for the
Romans by their countryman, who tells us that they gained more by
clemency to the vanquished than by their victories. *60

[Footnote 59: "Mandabase que en los mantenimientos y casas de los
enemigos se hiciese poco dano, diciendoles el Senor, presto seran
estos nuestros como los que ya lo son; como esto tenian conocido,
procuraban que la guerra fuese la mas liviana que ser pudiese."
Sarmiento, Relacion, Ms., cap. 14.]

[Footnote 60: "Plus pene parcendo victis, quam vincendo imperium
auxisse.' Livy, lib. 30, cap. 42.]

In the same considerate spirit, they were most careful to provide
for the security and comfort of their own troops; and, when a war
was long protracted, or the climate proved unhealthy, they took
care to relieve their men by frequent reinforcements, allowing
the earlier recruits to return to their homes. *61 But while thus
economical of life, both in their own followers and in the enemy,
they did not shrink from sterner measures when provoked by the
ferocious or obstinate character of the resistance; and the
Peruvian annals contain more than one of those sanguinary pages
which cannot be pondered at the present day without a shudder.
It should be added, that the beneficent policy, which I have been
delineating as characteristic of the Incas, did not belong to
all; and that there was more than one of the royal line who
displayed a full measure of the bold and unscrupulous spirit of
the vulgar conqueror.

[Footnote 61: Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 1, lib. 6, cap. 18.]
The first step of the government, after the reduction of a
country, was to introduce there the worship of the Sun.  Temples
were erected, and placed under the care of a numerous priesthood,
who expounded to the conquered people the mysteries of their new
faith, and dazzled them by the display of its rich and stately
ceremonial. *62 Yet the religion of the conquered was not treated
with dishonor.  The Sun was to be worshipped above all; but the
images of their gods were removed to Cuzco and established in one
of the temples, to hold their rank among the inferior deities of
the Peruvian Pantheon.  Here they remained as hostages, in some
sort, for the conquered nation, which would be the less inclined
to forsake its allegiance, when by doing so it must leave its own
gods in the hands of its enemies. *63

[Footnote 62: Sarmiento, Relacion, Ms., cap. 14.]

[Footnote 63: Acosta, lib. 5, cap. 12. - Garcilasso, Com. Real.,
Parte 1, lib. 5, cap. 12.]

The Incas provided for the settlement of their new conquests, by
ordering a census to be taken of the population, and a careful
survey to be made of the country, ascertaining its products, and
the character and capacity of its soil. *64 A division of the
territory was then made on the same principle with that adopted
throughout their own kingdom; and their respective portions were
assigned to the Sun, the sovereign, and the people. The amount of
the last was regulated by the amount of the population, but the
share of each individual was uniformly the same.  It may seem
strange, that any people should patiently have acquiesced in an
arrangement which involved such a total surrender of property.
But it was a conquered nation that did so, held in awe, on the
least suspicion of meditating resistance, by armed garrisons, who
were established at various commanding points throughout the
country. *65 It is probable, too, that the Incas made no greater
changes than was essential to the new arrangement, and that they
assigned estates, as far as possible, to their former
proprietors.  The curacas, in particular, were confirmed in their
ancient authority; or, when it was found expedient to depose the
existing curaca, his rightful heir was allowed to succeed him.
*66 Every respect was shown to the ancient usages and laws of the
land, as far as was compatible with the fundamental institutions
of the Incas.  It must also be remembered, that the conquered
tribes were, many of them, too little advanced in civilization to
possess that attachment to the soil which belongs to a cultivated
nation. *67 But, to whatever it be referred, it seems probable
that the extraordinary institutions of the Incas were established
with little opposition in the conquered territories. *68

[Footnote 64: Ibid., Parte 1, lib. 5, cap. 13, 14. - Sarmiento,
Relacion, Ms., cap. 15.]

[Footnote 65: Sarmiento, Relacion, Ms., cap. 19.]

[Footnote 66: Fernandez, Hist. del Peru, Parte 2, lib. 3, cap.

[Footnote 67: Sarmiento has given a very full and interesting
account of the singularly humane policy observed by the Incas in
their conquests, forming a striking contrast with the usual
course of those scourges of mankind, whom mankind are wise enough
to requite with higher admiration, even, than it bestows on its
benefactors.  As Sarmiento, who was President of the Royal
Council of the Indies, and came into the country soon after the
Conquest, is a high authority, and as his work, lodged in the
dark recesses of the Escurial, is almost unknown, I have
transferred the whole chapter to Appendix, No. 3.]

[Footnote 68: According to Velasco, even the powerful state of
Quito, sufficiently advanced in civilization to have the law of
property well recognized by its people, admitted the institutions
of the Incas "not only without repugnance, but with joy." (Hist.
de Quito, tom. II. p. 183.) But Velasco, a modern authority,
believed easily, - or reckoned on his readers' doing so.]

Yet the Peruvian sovereigns did not trust altogether to this show
of obedience in their new vassals; and, to secure it more
effectually, they adopted some expedients too remarkable to be
passed by in silence. - Immediately after a recent conquest, the
curacas and their families were removed for a time to Cuzco.
Here they learned the language of the capital, became familiar
with the manners and usages of the court, as well as with the
general policy of government, and experienced such marks of favor
from the sovereign as would be most grateful to their feelings,
and might attach them most warmly to his person.  Under the
influence of these sentiments, they were again sent to rule over
their vassals, but still leaving their eldest sons in the
capital, to remain there as a guaranty for their own fidelity, as
well as to grace the court of the Inca. *69

[Footnote 69: Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 1, lib. 5, cap. 12;
lib. 7, cap. 2.]

Another expedient was of a bolder and more original character.
This was nothing less than to revolutionize the language of the
country.  South America, like North, was broken up into a great
variety of dialects, or rather languages, having little affinity
with one another.  This circumstance occasioned great
embarrassment to the government in the administration of the
different provinces, with whose idioms they were unacquainted.
It was determined, therefore, to substitute one universal
language, the Quichua, - the language of the court, the capital,
and the surrounding country, - the richest and most comprehensive
of the South American dialects.  Teachers were provided in the
towns and villages throughout the land, who were to give
instruction to all, even the humblest classes; and it was
intimated at the same time, that no one should be raised to any
office of dignity or profit, who was unacquainted with this
tongue.  The curacas and other chiefs, who attended at the
capital, became familiar with this dialect in their intercourse
with the Court, and, on their return home, set the example of
conversing in it among themselves.  This example was imitated by
their followers, and the Quichua gradually became the language of
elegance and fashion, in the same manner as the Norman French was
affected by all those who aspired to any consideration in
England, after the Conquest.  By this means, while each province
retained its peculiar tongue, a beautiful medium of communication
was introduced, which enabled the inhabitants of one part of the
country to hold intercourse with every other, and the Inca and
his deputies to communicate with all.  This was the state of
things on the arrival of the Spaniards.  It must be admitted,
that history furnishes few examples of more absolute authority
than such a revolution in the language of an empire, at the
bidding of a master. *70

[Footnote 70: Ibid., Parte 1, lib. 6, cap. 35; lib. 7, cap. 1, 2.
- Ondegardo, Rel. Seg., Ms. - Sarmiento, Relacion, Ms., cap. 55.

"Aun la Criatura no hubiese dejado el Pecho de su Madre quando le
comenzasen a mostrar la Lengua que havia de saber; y aunque al
principio fue dificultoso, e muchos se pusieron en no quere
deprender mas lenguas de las suyas propias, los Reyes pudieron
tanto que salieron con su intencion y ellos tubieron por bien de
cumplir su mandado y tan de veras se entendio en ello que en
tiempo de pocos anos se savia y usaba una lengua en mas de mil y
doscientas leguas." Ibid., cap. 21.]

Yet little less remarkable was another device of the Incas for
securing the loyalty of their subjects.  When any portion of the
recent conquests showed a pertinacious spirit of disaffection, it
was not uncommon to cause a part of the population, amounting, it
might be, to ten thousand inhabitants or more, to remove to a
distant quarter of the kingdom, occupied by ancient vassals of
undoubted fidelity to the crown.  A like number of these last was
transplanted to the territory left vacant by the emigrants.  By
this exchange, the population was composed of two distinct races,
who regarded each other with an eye of jealousy, that served as
an effectual check on any mutinous proceeding.  In time, the
influence of the well-affected prevailed, supported, as they
were, by royal authority, and by the silent working of the
national institutions, to which the strange races became
gradually accustomed.  A spirit of loyalty sprang up by degrees
in their bosoms, and, before a generation had passed away, the
different tribes mingled in harmony together as members of the
same community. *71 Yet the different races continued to be
distinguished by difference of dress; since, by the law of the
land, every citizen was required to wear the costume of his
native province. *72 Neither could the colonist, who had been
thus unceremoniously transplanted, return to his native district.
For, by another law, it was forbidden to any one to change his
residence without license. *73 He was settled for life.  The
Peruvian government prescribed to every man his local habitation,
his sphere of action, nay, the very nature and quality of that
action.  He ceased to be a free agent; it might be almost said,
that it relieved him of personal responsibility.

[Footnote 71: Ondegardo, Rel. Prim., Ms. - Fernandez, Hist. del
Peru, Parte 2, lib. 3, cap. 11.]

[Footnote 72: "This regulation," says Father Acosta, "the Incas
held to be of great importance to the order and right government
of the realm." lib. 6, cap. 16.]

[Footnote 73: Conq. i Pob. del Piru, Ms.]

In following out this singular arrangement, the Incas showed as
much regard for the comfort and convenience of the colonist as
was compatible with the execution of their design.  They were
careful that the mitimaes, as these emigrants were styled, should
be removed to climates most congenial with their own.  The
inhabitants of the cold countries were not transplanted to the
warm, nor the inhabitants of the warm countries to the cold. *74
Even their habitual occupations were consulted, and the fisherman
was settled in the neighbourhood of the ocean, or the great
lakes; while such lands were assigned to the husbandman as were
best adapted to the culture with which he was most familiar. *75
And, as migration by many, perhaps by most, would be regarded as
a calamity, the government was careful to show particular marks
of favor to the mitimaes, and, by various privileges and
immunities, to ameliorate their condition, and thus to reconcile
them, if possible, to their lot. *76

[Footnote 74: "Trasmutaban de las tales Provincias la cantidad de
gente de que de ella parecia convenir que saliese, a los cuales
mandaban pasar a poblar otra tierra del temple y manera de donde
salian, si fria fria, si caliente caliente, en donde les daban
tierras, y campos, y casas, tanto, y mas como dejaron."
Sarmiento, Relacion, Ms., cap. 19.]

[Footnote 75: Ondegardo, Rel. Prim., Ms.]

[Footnote 76: The descendants of these mitimaes are still to be
found in Quito, or were so at the close of the last century,
according to Velasco, distinguished by this name from the rest of
the population.  Hist. de Quito, tom.l. p. 175.]

The Peruvian institutions, though they may have been modified and
matured under successive sovereigns, all bear the stamp of the
same original, - were all cast in the same mould.  The empire,
strengthening and enlarging at every successive epoch of its
history, was, in its latter days, but the development, on a great
scale, of what it was in miniature at its commencement, as the
infant germ is said to contain within itself all the
ramifications of the future monarch of the forest.  Each
succeeding Inca seemed desirous only to tread in the path, and
carry out the plans, of his predecessor.  Great enterprises,
commenced under one, were continued by another, and completed by
a third.  Thus, while all acted on a regular plan, without any of
the eccentric or retrograde movements which betray the agency of
different individuals, the state seemed to be under the direction
of a single hand, and steadily pursued, as if through one long
reign, its great career of civilization and of conquest.

The ultimate aim of its institutions was domestic quiet.  But it
seemed as if this were to be obtained only by foreign war.
Tranquillity in the heart of the monarchy, and war on its
borders, was the condition of Peru. By this war it gave
occupation to a part of its people, and, by the reduction and
civilization of its barbarous neighbours, gave security to all.
Every Inca sovereign, however mild and benevolent in his domestic
rule, was a warrior, and led his armies in person.  Each
successive reign extended still wider the boundaries of the
empire.  Year after year saw the victorious monarch return laden
with spoils, and followed by a throng of tributary chieftains to
his capital.  His reception there was a Roman triumph.  The whole
of its numerous population poured out to welcome him, dressed in
the gay and picturesque costumes of the different provinces, with
banners waving above their heads, and strewing branches and
flowers along the path of the conqueror.  The Inca, borne aloft
in his golden chair on the shoulders of his nobles, moved in
solemn procession, under the triumphal arches that were thrown
across the way, to the great temple of the Sun.  There, without
attendants, - for all but the monarch were excluded from the
hallowed precincts, - the victorious prince, stripped of his
royal insignia, barefooted, and with all humility, approached the
awful shrine, and offered up sacrifice and thanksgiving to the
glorious Deity who presided over the fortunes of the Incas.  This
ceremony concluded, the whole population gave itself up to
festivity; music, revelry, and dancing were heard in every
quarter of the capital, and illuminations and bonfires
commemorated the victorious campaign of the Inca, and the
accession of a new territory to his empire. *77

[Footnote 77: Sarmiento, Relacion, Ms., Parte 1, lib. 3, cap. 11,
17; lib. 6 cap. 55. - Garcilasso, Com. Real., cap. 16.]

In this celebration we see much of the character of a religious
festival. Indeed, the character of religion was impressed on all
the Peruvian wars.  The life of an Inca was one long crusade
against the infidel, to spread wide the worship of the Sun, to
reclaim the benighted nations from their brutish superstitions,
and impart to them the blessings of a well-regulated government.
This, in the favorite phrase of our day, was the "mission" of the
Inca.  It was also the mission of the Christian conqueror who
invaded the empire of this same Indian potentate.  Which of the
two executed his mission most faithfully, history must decide.

Yet the Peruvian monarchs did not show a childish impatience in
the acquisition of empire.  They paused after a campaign, and
allowed time for the settlement of one conquest before they
undertook another; and, in this interval, occupied themselves
with the quiet administration of their kingdom, and with the long
progresses, which brought them into nearer intercourse with their
people.  During this interval, also, their new vassals had begun
to accommodate themselves to the strange institutions of their
masters.  They learned to appreciate the value of a government
which raised them above the physical evils of a state of
barbarism, secured them protection of person, and a full
participation in all the privileges enjoyed by their conquerors;
and, as they became more familiar with the peculiar institutions
of the country, habit, that second nature, attached them the more
strongly to these institutions, from their very peculiarity.
Thus, by degrees, and without violence, arose the great fabric of
the Peruvian empire, composed of numerous independent and even
hostile tribes, yet, under the influence of a common religion,
common language, and common government, knit together as one
nation, animated by a spirit of love for its institutions and
devoted loyalty to its sovereign.  What a contrast to the
condition of the Aztec monarchy, on the neighbouring continent,
which, composed of the like heterogeneous materials, without any
internal principle of cohesion, was only held together by the
stern pressure, from without, of physical force! - Why the
Peruvian monarchy should have fared no better than its rival, in
its conflict with European civilization, will appear in the
following pages.

Chapter III

Peruvian Religion. - Deities. - Gorgeous Temples. - Festivals. -
Virgins Of The Sun. - Marriage.

It is a remarkable fact, that many, if not most, of the rude
tribes inhabiting the vast American continent, however disfigured
their creeds may have been in other respects by a childish
superstition, had attained to the sublime conception of one Great
Spirit, the Creator of the Universe, who, immaterial in his own
nature, was not to be dishonored by an attempt at visible
representation, and who, pervading all space, was not to be
circumscribed within the walls of a temple.  Yet these elevated
ideas, so far beyond the ordinary range of the untutored
intellect, do not seem to have led to the practical consequences
that might have been expected; and few of the American nations
have shown much solicitude for the maintenance of a religious
worship, or found in their faith a powerful spring of action.
But, with progress in civilization, ideas more akin to those of
civilized communities were gradually unfolded; a liberal
provision was made, and a separate order instituted, for the
services of religion, which were conducted with a minute and
magnificent ceremonial, that challenged comparison, in some
respects, with that of the most polished nations of Christendom.
This was the case with the nations inhabiting the table-land of
North America, and with the natives of Bogota, Quito, Peru, and
the other elevated regions on the great Southern continent.  It
was, above all, the case with the Peruvians, who claimed a divine
original for the founders of their empire, whose laws all rested
on a divine sanction, and whose domestic institutions and foreign
wars were alike directed to preserve and propagate their faith.
Religion was the basis of their polity, the very condition, as it
were, of their social existence.  The government of the Incas, in
its essential principles, was a theocracy.

Yet, though religion entered so largely into the fabric and
conduct of the political institutions of the people, their
mythology, that is, the traditionary legends by which they
affected to unfold the mysteries of the universe, was exceedingly
mean and puerile.  Scarce one of their traditions - except the
beautiful one respecting the founders of their royal dynasty - is
worthy of note, or throws much light on their own antiquities, or
the primitive history of man.  Among the traditions of importance
is one of the deluge, which they held in common with so many of
the nations in all parts of the globe, and which they related
with some particulars that bear resemblance to a Mexican legend.

[Footnote 1: They related, that, after the deluge, seven persons
issued from a cave where they had saved themselves, and by them
the earth was repeopled. One of the traditions of the Mexicans
deduced their descent, and that of the kindred tribes, in like
manner, from seven persons who came from as many caves in Aztlan.
(Conf. Acosta, lib. 6, cap. 19; lib. 7, cap. 2. - Ondegardo, Rel.
Prim., Ms.) The story of the deluge is told by different writers
with many variations, in some of which it is not difficult to
detect the plastic hand of the Christian convert.]

Their ideas in respect to a future state of being deserve more
attention. They admitted the existence of the soul hereafter, and
connected with this a belief in the resurrection of the body.
They assigned two distinct places for the residence of the good
and of the wicked, the latter of which they fixed in the centre
of the earth.  The good they supposed were to pass a luxurious
life of tranquillity and ease, which comprehended their highest
notions of happiness.  The wicked were to expiate their crimes by
ages of wearisome labor.  They associated with these ideas a
belief in an evil principle or spirit, bearing the name of Cupay,
whom they did not attempt to propitiate by sacrifices, and who
seems to have been only a shadowy personification of sin, that
exercised little influence over their conduct. *2

[Footnote 2: Ondegardo, Rel. Seg., Ms. - Gomara, Hist. de las
Ind., cap. 123. - Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 1, lib. 2, cap.
2, 7.

One might suppose that the educated Peruvians - if I may so speak
- imagined the common people had no souls, so little is said of
their opinions as to the condition of these latter in a future
life, while they are diffuse on the prospects of the higher
orders, which they fondly believed were to keep pace with their
condition here.]

It was this belief in the resurrection of the body, which led
them to preserve the body with so much solicitude, - by a simple
process, however, that, unlike the elaborate embalming of the
Egyptians, consisted in exposing it to the action of the cold,
exceedingly dry, and highly rarefied atmosphere of the mountains.
*3 As they believed that the occupations in the future world
would have great resemblance to those of the present, they buried
with the deceased noble some of his apparel, his utensils, and,
frequently, his treasures; and completed the gloomy ceremony by
sacrificing his wives and favorite domestics, to bear him company
and do him service in the happy regions beyond the clouds. *4
Vast mounds of an irregular, or, more frequently, oblong shape,
penetrated by galleries running at right angles to each other,
were raised over the dead, whose dried bodies or mummies have
been found in considerable numbers, sometimes erect, but more
often in the sitting posture, common to the Indian tribes of both
continents.  Treasures of great value have also been occasionally
drawn from these monumental deposits, and have stimulated
speculators to repeated excavations with the hope of similar
good-fortune.  It was a lottery like that of searching after
mines, but where the chances have proved still more against the
adventurers. *5

[Footnote 3: Such, indeed, seems to be the opinion of Garcilasso,
though some writers speak of resinous and other applications for
embalming the body.  The appearance of the royal mummies found at
Cuzco, as reported both by Ondegardo and Garcilasso, makes it
probable that no foreign substance was employed for their

[Footnote 4: Ondegardo, Rel. Seg., Ms

The Licentiate says, that this usage continued even after the
Conquest; and that he had saved the life of more than one
favorite domestic, who had fled to him for protection, as they
were about to be sacrificed to the Manes of their deceased lords.
Ibid., ubi supra.]

[Footnote 5: Yet these sepulchral mines have sometimes proved
worth the digging.  Sarmiento speaks of gold to the value of
100,000 castellanos, as occasionally buried with the Indian
lords; (Relacion, Ms., cap. 57;) and Las Casas - not the best
authority in numerical estimates - says that treasures worth more
than half a million of ducats had been found, within twenty years
after the Conquest, in the tombs near Truxillo.  (Oeuvres, ed.
par Llorente, (Paris, 1822,) tom. II. p. 192.) Baron Humboldt
visited the sepulchre of a Peruvian prince in the same quarter of
the country, whence a Spaniard in 1576 drew forth a mass of gold
worth a million of dollars!  Vues des Cordilleres, p. 29.]

The Peruvians, like so may other of the Indian races,
acknowledged a Supreme Being, the Creator and Ruler of the
Universe, whom they adored under the different names of
Pachacamac and Viracocha. *6 No temple was raised to this
invisible Being, save one only in the valley which took its name
from the deity himself, not far from the Spanish city of Lima.
Even this temple had existed there before the country came under
the sway of the Incas, and was the great resort of Indian
pilgrims from remote parts of the land; a circumstance which
suggests the idea, that the worship of this Great Spirit, though
countenanced, perhaps, by their accommodating policy, did not
originate with the Peruvian princes. *7

[Footnote 6: Pachacamac signifies "He who sustains or gives life
to the universe." The name of the great deity is sometimes
expressed by both Pachacamac and Viracocha combined.  (See
Balboa, Hist. du Perou, chap. 6. - Acosta, lib. 6, cap. 21.) An
old Spaniard finds in the popular meaning of Viracocha, "foam of
the sea," an argument for deriving the Peruvian civilization from
some voyager from the Old World.  Conq. i Pob. de. Piru, Ms.]

[Footnote 7: Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq. Ms. - Sarmiento,
Relacion, Ms., cap. 27.

Ulloa notices the extensive ruins of brick, which mark the
probable site of the temple of Pachacamac, attesting by their
present appearance its ancient magnificence and strength.
Memoires Philosophiques, Historiques, Physiques, (Paris, 1787,)
trad. Fr., p. 78.]

The deity whose worship they especially inculcated, and which
they never failed to establish wherever their banners were known
to penetrate, was the Sun.  It was he, who, in a particular
manner, presided over the destinies of man; gave light and warmth
to the nations, and life to the vegetable world; whom they
reverenced as the father of their royal dynasty, the founder of
their empire; and whose temples rose in every city and almost
every village throughout the land, while his altars smoked with
burnt offerings, - a form of sacrifice peculiar to the Peruvians
among the semi-civilized nations of the New World. *8

[Footnote 8: At least, so says Dr. McCulloh; and no better
authority can be required on American antiquities.  (Researches,
p. 392.) Might he not have added barbarous nations. also?]

Besides the Sun, the Incas acknowledged various objects of
worship in some way or other connected with this principal deity.
Such was the Moon, his sister-wife; the Stars, revered as part of
her heavenly train, - though the fairest of them, Venus, known to
the Peruvians by the name of Chasca, or the "youth with the long
and curling locks," was adored as the page of the Sun, whom he
attends so closely in his rising and in his setting.  They
dedicated temples also to the Thunder and Lightning, *9 in whom
they recognized the Sun's dread ministers, and to the Rainbow,
whom they worshipped as a beautiful emanation of their glorious
deity. *10

[Footnote 9: Thunder, Lightning, and Thunderbolt, could be all
expressed by the Peruvians in one word, Illapa.  Hence some
Spaniards have inferred a knowledge of the Trinity in the
natives!  "The Devil stole all he could," exclaims Herrera, with
righteous indignation.  (Hist. General, dec. 5, lib. 4, cap. 5.)
These, and even rasher conclusions, (see Acosta, lib. 5, cap.
28,) are scouted by Garcilasso, as inventions of Indian converts,
willing to please the imaginations of their Christian teachers.
(Com. Real., Parte 1, lib. 2, cap. 5, 6; lib. 3, cap. 21.)
Imposture, on the one hand, and credulity on the other, have
furnished a plentiful harvest of absurdities, which has been
diligently gathered in by the pious antiquary of a later

[Footnote 10: Garcilasso's assertion, that these heavenly bodies
were objects of reverence as holy things, but not of worship,
(Com. Real., Parte 1, lib. 2, cap. 1, 23,) is contradicted by
Ondegardo, Rel. Seg., Ms., - Dec. de la Aud. Real., Ms., -
Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 5, lib. 4, cap. 4, - Gomara, Hist.
de las Ind., cap. 121, - and, I might add, by almost every writer
of authority whom I have consulted.  It is contradicted, in a
manner, by the admission of Garcilasso himself, that these
several objects were all personified by the Indians as living
beings, and had temples dedicated to them as such, with their
effigies delineated in the same manner as was that of the Sun in
his dwelling.  Indeed, the effort of the historian to reduce the
worship of the Incas to that of the Sun alone is not very
reconcilable with what he else where says of the homage paid to
Pachacamac, above all, and to Rimac, the great oracle of the
common people.  The Peruvian mythology was, probably, not unlike
that of Hindostan, where, under two, or at most three, principal
deities, were assembled a host of inferior ones, to whom the
nation paid religious homage, as personifications of the
different objects in nature.]
In addition to these, the subjects of the Incas enrolled among
their inferior deities many objects in nature, as the elements,
the winds, the earth, the air, great mountains and rivers, which
impressed them with ideas of sublimity and power, or were
supposed in some way or other to exercise a mysterious influence
over the destinies of man. *11 They adopted also a notion, not
unlike that professed by some of the schools of ancient
philosophy, that every thing on earth had its archetype or idea,
its mother, as they emphatically styled it, which they held
sacred, as, in some sort, its spiritual essence. *12 But their
system, far from being limited even to these multiplied objects
of devotion, embraced within its ample folds the numerous deities
of the conquered nations, whose images were transported to the
capital, where the burdensome charges of their worship were
defrayed by their respective provinces.  It was a rare stroke of
policy in the Incas, who could thus accommodate their religion to
their interests. *13

[Footnote 11: Ondegardo, Rel. Seg., Ms.

These consecrated objects were termed huacas, - a word of most
prolific import; since it signified a temple, a tomb, any natural
object remarkable for its size or shape, in short, a cloud of
meanings, which by their contradictory sense have thrown
incalculable confusion over the writings of historians and

[Footnote 12: "La orden por donde fundavan sus huacas que ellos
llamavan a las Idolatrias hera porque decian que todas criava el
sol i que les dava madre por madre que mostravan a la tierra,
porque decian que tenia madre, i tenian le echo su vulto i sus
adoratorios, i al fuego decian que tambien tenia madre i al mais
i a las otras sementeras i a las ovejas iganado decian que tenian
madre, i a la chocha ques el brevaje que ellos usan decian que el
vinagre della hera la madre i lo reverenciavan i llamavan mama
agua madre del vinagre, i a cada cosa adoravan destas de su
manera." Conq. i Pob. del Piru, Ms.]

[Footnote 13: Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms.

So it seems to have been regarded by the Licentiate Ondegardo.
"E los Idolos estaban en aq1 galpon grande de la casa del Sol, y
cada Idolo destos tenia su servicio y gastos y mugeres, y en la
casa del Sol le iban a hacer reverencia los que venian de su
provincial para lo qual e sacrificios que se hacian proveian de
su misma tierra ordinaria e muy abundantemente por la misma orden
que lo hacian quando estaba en la misma provincia, que daba gran
autoridad a mi parecer e aun fuerza a estos Ingas que cierto me
causo gran admiracion." Rel. Seg., Ms.]

But the worship of the Sun constituted the peculiar care of the
Incas, and was the object of their lavish expenditure.  The most
ancient of the many temples dedicated to this divinity was in the
Island of Titicaca, whence the royal founders of the Peruvian
line were said to have proceeded.  From this circumstance, this
sanctuary was held in peculiar veneration.  Every thing which
belonged to it, even the broad fields of maize, which surrounded
the temple, and formed part of its domain, imbibed a portion of
its sanctity. The yearly produce was distributed among the
different public magazines, in small quantities to each, as
something that would sanctify the remainder of the store.  Happy
was the man who could secure even an ear of the blessed harvest
for his own granary! *14

[Footnote 14: Garcilasso. Com. Real, Parte 1, lib. 3, cap. 25.]
But the most renowned of the Peruvian temples the pride of the
capital, and the wonder of the empire, was at Cuzco, where, under
the munificence of successive sovereigns, it had become so
enriched, that it received the name of Coricancha, or "the Place
of Gold." It consisted of a principal building and several
chapels and inferior edifices, covering a large extent of ground
in the heart of the city, and completely encompassed by a wall,
which, with the edifices, was all constructed of stone.  The work
was of the kind already described in the other public buildings
of the country, and was so finely executed, that a Spaniard, who
saw it in its glory, assures us, he could call to mind only two
edifices in Spain, which, for their workmanship, were at all to
be compared with it. *15 Yet this substantial, and, in some
respects, magnificent structure, was thatched with straw!

[Footnote 15: "Tenia este Templo en circuito mas de quatro
cientos pasos, todo cercado de una muralla fuerte, labrado todo
el edificio de cantera muy excelente de fina piedra, muy bien
puesta y asentada, y algunas piedras eran muy grandes y
soberbias, no tenian mezcla de tierra ni cal, sino con el betun
que ellos suelen hacer sus edificios, y estan tan bien labradas
estas piedras que no se les parece mezcla ni juntura ninguna.  En
toda Espana no he visto cosa que pueda comparar a estas paredes y
postura de piedra, sino a la torre que llaman la Calahorra que
esta junto con la puente de Cordoba, y a una obra que vi en
Toledo, cuando fui a presentar la primera parte de mi Cronica al
Principe Dn Felipe." Sarmiento, Relacion, Ms., cap. 24]

The interior of the temple was the most worthy of admiration.  It
was literally a mine of gold.  On the western wall was emblazoned
a representation of the deity, consisting of a human countenance,
looking forth from amidst innumerable rays of light, which
emanated from it in every direction, in the same manner as the
sun is often personified with us.  The figure was engraved on a
massive plate of gold of enormous dimensions, thickly powdered
with emeralds and precious stones. *16 It was so situated in
front of the great eastern portal, that the rays of the morning
sun fell directly upon it at its rising, lighting up the whole
apartment with an effulgence that seemed more than natural, and
which was reflected back from the golden ornaments with which the
walls and ceiling were everywhere incrusted.  Gold, in the
figurative language of the people, was "the tears wept by the
sun," *17 and every part of the interior of the temple glowed
with burnished plates and studs of the precious metal.  The
cornices, which surrounded the walls of the sanctuary, were of
the same costly material; and a broad belt or frieze of gold, let
into the stonework, encompassed the whole exterior of the
edifice. *18

[Footnote 16: Conq. i Pob. del Piru, Ms - Cieza de Leon, Cronica,
cap. 44, 92.

"La figura del Sol, muy grande, hecha de oro obrada muy
primamente engastonada en muchas piedras ricas." Sarmiento,
Relacion, Ms., cap. 24.]

[Footnote 17: "I al oro asimismo decian que era lagrimas que el
Sol llorava." Conq. i Pob. del Piru, Ms.]

[Footnote 18: Sarmiento, Relacion, Ms., cap. 24.  - Antig. y
Monumentos del Peru, Ms.

"Cercada junto a la techumbre de una plancha de oro de palmo i
medio de ancho i lo mismo tenian por de dentro en cada bohio o
casa i aposento." (Conq. i Pob. del Piru, Ms.) "Tenia una cinta
de planchas de oro de anchor de mas de un palmo enlazadas en las
piedras." Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms.]
Adjoining the principal structure were several chapels of smaller
dimensions.  One of them was consecrated to the Moon, the deity
held next in reverence, as the mother of the Incas.  Her effigy
was delineated in the same manner as that of the Sun, on a vast
plate that nearly covered one side of the apartment.  But this
plate, as well as all the decorations of the building, was of
silver, as suited to the pale, silvery light of the beautiful
planet. There were three other chapels, one of which was
dedicated to the host of Stars, who formed the bright court of
the Sister of the Sun; another was consecrated to his dread
ministers of vengeance, the Thunder and the Lightning; and a
third, to the Rainbow, whose many-colored arch spanned the walls
of the edifice with hues almost as radiant as its own.  There
were besides several other buildings, or insulated apartments,
for the accommodation of the numerous priests who officiated in
the services of the temple. *19

[Footnote 19: Sarmiento, Relacion, Ms., cap. 24. - Garcilasso,
Com. Real., Parte 1, lib. 3, cap. 21. - Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y
Conq., Ms.]

All the plate, the ornaments, the utensils of every description,
appropriated to the uses of religion, were of gold or silver.
Twelve immense vases of the latter metal stood on the floor of
the great saloon, filled with grain of the Indian corn; *20 the
censers for the perfumes, the ewers which held the water for
sacrifice, the pipes which conducted it through subterraneous
channels into the buildings, the reservoirs that received it,
even the agricultural implements used in the gardens of the
temple, were all of the same rich materials.  The gardens, like
those described, belonging to the royal palaces, sparkled with
flowers of gold and silver, and various imitations of the
vegetable kingdom.  Animals, also, were to be found there, -
among which the llama, with its golden fleece, was most
conspicuous, - executed in the same style, and with a degree of
skill, which, in this instance, probably, did not surpass the
excellence of the material. *21

[Footnote 20: "El bulto del Sol tenian mui grande de oro, i todo
el servicio desta casa era de plata i oro, i tenian doze horones
de plata blanca que dos hombres no abrazarian cada uno quadrados,
i eran mas altos que una buena pica donde hechavan el maiz que
havian de dar al Sol, segun ellos decian que comiese." Conq. i
Pob. del Piru, Ms.

The original, as the Spanish reader perceives, says each of these
silver vases or bins was as high as a good lance, and so large
that two men with outspread arms could barely encompass them!  As
this might, perhaps, embarrass even the most accommodating faith,
I have preferred not to become responsible for any particular

[Footnote 21: Levinus Apollonius, fol. 38. - Garcilasso, Com.
Real., Parte 1, lib. 3, cap. 24. - Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y
Conq., Ms.

"Tenian un Jardin que los Terrones eran pedazos de oro fino y
estaban artificiosamente sembrado de maizales los quales eran oro
asi las Canas de ello como las ojas y mazorcas, y estaban tan
bien plantados que aunque hiciesen recios bientos no se
arrancaban.  Sin todo esto tenian hechas mas de veinte obejas de
oro con sus Corderos y los Pastores con sus ondas y cayados que
las guardaban hecho de este metal; havia mucha cantidad de
Tinajas de oro y de Plata y esmeraldas, vasos, ollas y todo
genero de vasijas todo de oro fino; por otras Paredes tenian
esculpidas y pintadas otras mayores cosas, en fin era uno de los
ricos Templos que hubo en el mundo." Sarmiento, Relacion, Ms.,
cap. 24.]

If the reader sees in this fairy picture only the romantic
coloring of some fabulous El Dorado, he must recall what has been
said before in reference to the palaces of the Incas, and
consider that these "Houses of the Sun," as they were styled,
were the common reservoir into which flowed all the streams of
public and private benefaction throughout the empire.  Some of
the statements, through credulity, and others, in the desire of
exciting admiration, may be greatly exaggerated; but, in the
coincidence of contemporary testimony, it is not easy to
determine the exact line which should mark the measure of our
skepticism.  Certain it is, that the glowing picture I have given
is warranted by those who saw these buildings in their pride, or
shortly after they had been despoiled by the cupidity of their
countrymen.  Many of the costly articles were buried by the
natives, or thrown into the waters of the rivers and the lakes;
but enough remained to attest the unprecedented opulence of these
religious establishments.  Such things as were in their nature
portable were speedily removed, to gratify the craving of the
Conquerors, who even tore away the solid cornices and frieze of
gold from the great temple, filling the vacant places with the
cheaper, but - since it affords no temptation to avarice - more
durable, material of plaster.  Yet even thus shorn of their
splendor, the venerable edifices still presented an attraction to
the spoiler, who found in their dilapidated walls an
inexhaustible quarry for the erection of other buildings.  On the
very ground once crowned by the gorgeous Coricancha rose the
stately church of St. Dominic, one of the most magnificent
structures of the New World.  Fields of maize and lucerne now
bloom on the spot which glowed with the golden gardens of the
temple; and the friar chants his orisons within the consecrated
precincts once occupied by the Children of the Sun. *22

[Footnote 22: Miller's Memoirs, vol. II. pp. 223, 224.]

Besides the great temple of the Sun, there was a large number of
inferior temples and religious houses in the Peruvian capital and
its environs, amounting, as is stated, to three or four hundred.
*23 For Cuzco was a sanctified spot, venerated not only as the
abode of the Incas, but of all those deities who presided over
the motley nations of the empire.  It was the city beloved of the
Sun; where his worship was maintained in its splendor; "where
every fountain, pathway, and wall," says an ancient chronicler,
"was regarded as a holy mystery." *24 And unfortunate was the
Indian noble who, at some period or other of his life, had not
made his pilgrimage to the Peruvian Mecca.

[Footnote 23: Herrera, Hist. General, dec 5, lib. 4, cap. 8.
"Havia en aquella ciudad y legua y media de la redonda
quatrocientos y tantos lugares, donde se hacian sacrificious, y
se gastava mucha suma de hacienda en ellos." Ondegardo, Rel.
Prim., Ms.]

[Footnote 24: "Que aquella ciudad del Cuzco era casa y morada de
Dioses, e ansi no habia en toda ella fuente ni paso ni pared que
no dixesen que tenia misterio." Ondegardo, Rel. Seg., Ms.]

Other temples and religious dwellings were scattered over the
provinces; and some of them constructed on a scale of
magnificence, that almost rivalled that of the metropolis.  The
attendants on these composed an army of themselves.  The whole
number of functionaries, including those of the sacerdotal order,
who officiated at the Coricancha alone, was no less than four
thousand. *25

[Footnote 25: Conq. i Pob. del Piru, Ms.

An army, indeed, if, as Cieza de Leon states, the number of
priests and menials employed in the famous temple of Bilcas, on
the route to Chili, amounted to 40,000!  (Cronica, cap. 89.)
Every thing relating to these Houses of the Sun appears to have
been on a grand scale.  But we may easily believe this a clerical
error for 4,000.]

At the head of all, both here and throughout the land, stood the
great High-Priest, or Villac Vmu, as he was called.  He was
second only to the Inca in dignity, and was usually chosen from
his brothers or nearest kindred.  He was appointed by the
monarch, and held his office for life; and he, in turn, appointed
to all the subordinate stations of his own order.  This order was
very numerous.  Those members of it who officiated in the House
of the Sun, in Cuzco, were taken exclusively from the sacred race
of the Incas.  The ministers in the provincial temples were drawn
from the families of the curacas; but the office of high-priest
in each district was reserved for one of the blood royal.  It was
designed by this regulation to preserve the faith in its purity,
and to guard against any departure from the stately ceremonial
which it punctiliously prescribed. *26

[Footnote 26: Sarmiento, Relacion, Ms., cap. 27. - Conq i Pob.
del Piru, Ms.

It was only while the priests were engaged in the service of the
temples, that they were maintained, according to Garcilasso, from
the estates of the Sun.  At other times, they were to get their
support from their own lands, which, if he is correct, were
assigned to them in the same manner as to the other orders of the
nation.  Com Real., Parte 1, lib. 5, cap. 8]

The sacerdotal order, though numerous, was not distinguished by
any peculiar badge or costume from the rest of the nation.
Neither was it the sole depository of the scanty science of the
country, nor was it charged with the business of instruction, nor
with those parochial duties, if they may so be called, which
bring the priest in contact with the great body of the people, -
as was the case in Mexico.  The cause of this peculiarity may
probably be traced to the existence of a superior order, like
that of the Inca nobles, whose sanctity of birth so far
transcended all human appointments, that they in a manner
engrossed whatever there was of religious veneration in the
people.  They were, in fact, the holy order of the state.
Doubtless, any of them might, as very many of them did, take on
themselves the sacerdotal functions; and their own insignia and
peculiar privileges were too well understood to require any
further badge to separate them from the people.
The duties of the priest were confined to ministration in the
temple. Even here his attendance was not constant, as he was
relieved after a stated interval by other brethren of his order,
who succeeded one another in regular rotation.  His science was
limited to an acquaintance with the fasts and festivals of his
religion, and the appropriate ceremonies which distinguished
them.  This, however frivolous might be its character, was no
easy acquisition; for the ritual of the Incas involved a routine
of observances, as complex and elaborate as ever distinguished
that of any nation, whether pagan or Christian.  Each month had
its appropriate festival, or rather festivals.  The four
principal had reference to the Sun, and commemorated the great
periods of his annual progress, the solstices and equinoxes.
Perhaps the most magnificent of all the national solemnities was
the feast of Raymi, held at the period of the summer solstice,
when the Sun, having touched the southern extremity of his
course, retraced his path, as if to gladden the hearts of his
chosen people by his presence.  On this occasion, the Indian
nobles from the different quarters of the country thronged to the
capital to take part in the great religious celebration.

For three days previous, there was a general fast, and no fire
was allowed to be lighted in the dwellings.  When the appointed
day arrived, the Inca and his court, followed by the whole
population of the city, assembled at early dawn in the great
square to greet the rising of the Sun.  They were dressed in
their gayest apparel, and the Indian lords vied with each other
in the display of costly ornaments and jewels on their persons,
while canopies of gaudy feather-work and richly tinted stuffs,
borne by the attendants over their heads, gave to the great
square, and the streets that emptied into it, the appearance of
being spread over with one vast and magnificent awning.  Eagerly
they watched the coming of their deity, and, no sooner did his
first yellow rays strike the turrets and loftiest buildings of
the capital, than a shout of gratulation broke forth from the
assembled multitude, accompanied by songs of triumph, and the
wild melody of barbaric instruments, that swelled louder and
louder as his bright orb, rising above the mountain range towards
the east, shone in full splendor on his votaries. After the usual
ceremonies of adoration, a libation was offered to the great
deity by the Inca, from a huge golden vase, filled with the
fermented liquor of maize or of maguey, which, after the monarch
had tasted it himself, he dispensed among his royal kindred.
These ceremonies completed, the vast assembly was arranged in
order of procession, and took its way towards the Coricancha. *27

[Footnote 27: Dec. de la Aud. Real., Ms. - Sarmiento, Relacion,
Ms., cap. 27.

The reader will find a brilliant, and not very extravagant,
account of the Peruvian festivals in Marmontel's romance of Les
Incas.  The French author saw in their gorgeous ceremonial a
fitting introduction to his own literary pageant Tom. I. chap. 1
- 4.]

As they entered the street of the sacred edifice, all divested
themselves of their sandals, except the Inca and his family, who
did the same on passing through the portals of the temple, where
none but these august personages were admitted. *28 After a
decent time spent in devotion, the sovereign, attended by his
courtly train, again appeared, and preparations were made to
commence the sacrifice.  This, with the Peruvians, consisted of
animals, grain, flowers, and sweet-scented gums; sometimes of
human beings, on which occasions a child or beautiful maiden was
usually selected as the victim.  But such sacrifices were rare,
being reserved to celebrate some great public event, as a
coronation, the birth of a royal heir, or a great victory.  They
were never followed by those cannibal repasts familiar to the
Mexicans, and to many of the fierce tribes conquered by the
Incas.  Indeed, the conquests of these princes might well be
deemed a blessing to the Indian nations, if it were only from
their suppression of cannibalism, and the diminution, under their
rule, of human sacrifices. *29

[Footnote 28: "Ningun Indio comun osaba pasar por la calle del
Sol calzado; ni ninguno, aunque fuese mui grand Senor, entrava en
las casas del Sol con zapatos." Conq. i Pob. del Piru, Ms.]

[Footnote 29: Garcilasso de la Vega flatly denies that the Incas
were guilty of human sacrifices; and maintains, on the other
hand, that they uniformly abolished them in every country they
subdued, where they had previously existed.  (Com. Real., Parte
1, lib. 2, cap. 9, et alibi.) But in this material fact he is
unequivocally contradicted by Sarmiento, Relacion, Ms., cap. 22,
- Dec. de la Aud. Real., Ms., - Montesinos, Mem. Antiguas, Ms.,
lib. 2, cap. 8, - Balboa, Hist. du Perou, chap. 5, 8, - Cieza de
Leon, Cronica, cap. 72, - Ondegardo, Rel. Seg., Ms., - Acosta,
lib. 5, cap. 19, - and I might add, I suspect, were I to pursue
the inquiry, by nearly every ancient writer of authority; some of
whom, having come into the country soon after the Conquest, while
its primitive institutions were in vigor, are entitled to more
deference in a matter of this kind than Garcilasso himself.  It
was natural that the descendant of the Incas should desire to
relieve his race from so odious an imputation; and we must have
charity for him, if he does show himself, on some occasions,
where the honor of his country is at stake, "high gravel blind."
It should be added, in justice to the Peruvian government, that
the best authorities concur in the admission, that the sacrifices
were few, both in number and in magnitude, being reserved for
such extraordinary occasions as those mentioned in the text.]

At the feast of Raymi, the sacrifice usually offered was that of
the llama; and the priest, after opening the body of his victim,
sought in the appearances which it exhibited to read the lesson
of the mysterious future. If the auguries were unpropitious, a
second victim was slaughtered, in the hope of receiving some more
comfortable assurance.  The Peruvian augur might have learned a
good lesson of the Roman, - to consider every omen as favorable,
which served the interests of his country. *30

[Footnote 30: "Augurque cum esset, dicere ausus est, optimis
auspiciis ea geri, quae pro reipublicae salute gererentur."
Cicero, De Senectute.

This inspection of the entrails of animals for the purposes of
divination is worthy of note, as a most rare, if not a solitary,
instance of the kind among the nations of the New World, though
so familiar in the ceremonial of sacrifice among the pagan
nations of the Old.]

A fire was then kindled by means of a concave mirror of polished
metal, which, collecting the rays of the sun into a focus upon a
quantity of dried cotton, speedily set it on fire.  It was the
expedient used on the like occasions in ancient Rome, at least
under the reign of the pious Numa.  When the sky was overcast,
and the face of the good deity was hidden from his worshippers,
which was esteemed a bad omen, fire was obtained by means of
friction.  The sacred flame was intrusted to the care of the
Virgins of the Sun, and if, by any neglect, it was suffered to go
out in the course of the year, the event was regarded as a
calamity that boded some strange disaster to the monarchy. *31 A
burnt offering of the victims was then made on the altars of the
deity.  This sacrifice was but the prelude to the slaughter of a
great number of llamas, part of the flocks of the Sun, which
furnished a banquet not only for the Inca and his Court, but for
the people, who made amends at these festivals for the frugal
fare to which they were usually condemned.  A fine bread or cake,
kneaded of maize flour by the fair hands of the Virgins of the
Sun, was also placed on the royal board, where the Inca,
presiding over the feast, pledged his great nobles in generous
goblets of the fermented liquor of the country, and the long
revelry of the day was closed at night by music and dancing.
Dancing and drinking were the favorite pastimes of the Peruvians.
These amusements continued for several days, though the
sacrifices terminated on the first. - Such was the great festival
of Raymi; and the recurrence of this and similar festivities gave
relief to the monotonous routine of toil prescribed to the lower
orders of the community. *32

[Footnote 31: "Vigilemque sacraverat ignem, Excubias divum

Plutarch, in his life of Numa, describes the reflectors used by
the Romans for kindling the sacred fire, as concave instruments
of brass, though not spherical like the Peruvian, but of a
triangular form.]

[Footnote 32: Acosta, lib. 5, cap. 28, 29.  - Garcilasso, Com.
Real., Parte 1, lib. 6, cap. 23.]

In the distribution of bread and wine at this high festival, the
orthodox Spaniards, who first came into the country, saw a
striking resemblance to the Christian communion; *33 as in the
practice of confession and penance, which, in a most irregular
form, indeed, seems to have been used by the Peruvians, they
discerned a coincidence with another of the sacraments of the
Church. *34 The good fathers were fond of tracing such
coincidences, which they considered as the contrivance of Satan,
who thus endeavoured to delude his victims by counterfeiting the
blessed rites of Christianity. *35 Others, in a different vein,
imagined that they saw in such analogies the evidence, that some
of the primitive teachers of the Gospel, perhaps an apostle
himself, had paid a visit to these distant regions, and scattered
over them the seeds of religious truth. *36 But it seems hardly
necessary to invoke the Prince of Darkness, or the intervention
of the blessed saints, to account for coincidences which have
existed in countries far removed from the light of Christianity
and in ages, indeed, when its light had not yet risen on the
world.  It is much more reasonable to refer such casual points of
resemblance to the general constitution of man, and the
necessities of his moral nature. *37

[Footnote 33: "That which is most admirable in the hatred and
presumption of Sathan is, that he not onely counterfeited in
idolatry and sacrifices, but also in certain ceremonies, our
sacraments, which Jesus Christ our Lord instituted, and the holy
Church uses, having especially pretended to imitate, in some
sort, the sacrament of the communion, which is the most high and
divine of all others." Acosta, lib. 5, cap. 23.]

[Footnote 34: Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 5, lib. 4, cap. 4. -
Ondegardo, Rel. Prim., Ms.

"The father of lies would likewise counterfeit the sacrament of
Confession, and in his idolatries sought to be honored with
ceremonies very like to the manner of Christians." Acosta, lib.
5, cap. 25.]

[Footnote 35: Cieza de Leon, not content with many marvellous
accounts of the influence and real apparition of Satan in the
Indian ceremonies, has garnished his volume with numerous
wood-cuts representing the Prince of Evil in bodily presence with
the usual accompaniments of tail, claws, &c., as if to reenforce
the homilies in his text!  The Peruvian saw in his idol a god.
His Christian conqueror saw in it the Devil.  One may be puzzled
to decide which of the two might lay claim to the grossest

[Footnote 36: Piedrahita, the historian of the Muyscas, is
satisfied that this apostle must have been St. Bartholomew, whose
travels were known to have been extensive.  (Conq. de Granada,
Parte 1, lib. 1, cap. 3.) The Mexican antiquaries consider St.
Thomas as having had charge of the mission to the people of
Anahuac.  These two apostles, then, would seem to have divided
the New World, at least the civilized portions of it, between
them.  How they came, whether by Behring's Straits, or directly
across the Atlantic, we are not informed.  Velasco - a writer of
the eighteenth century! - has little doubt that they did really
come.  Hist. de Quito, tom. I. pp. 89, 90.]

[Footnote 37: The subject is illustrated by some examples in the
"History of the Conquest of Mexico," vol. III., Appendix, No. 1.;
since the same usages in that country led to precisely the same
rash conclusions among the Conquerors.]

Another singular analogy with Roman Catholic institutions is
presented by the Virgins of the Sun, the "elect," as they were
called, *38 to whom I have already had occasion to refer.  These
were young maidens, dedicated to the service of the deity, who,
at a tender age, were taken from their homes, and introduced into
convents, where they were placed under the care of certain
elderly matrons, mamaconas, who had grown grey within their
walls. *39 Under these venerable guides, the holy virgins were
instructed in the nature of their religious duties.  They were
employed in spinning and embroidery, and, with the fine hair of
the vicuna, wove the hangings for the temples, and the apparel
for the Inca and his household. *40 It was their duty, above all,
to watch over the sacred fire obtained at the festival of Raymi.
From the moment they entered the establishment, they were cut off
from all connection with the world, even with their own family
and friends.  No one but the Inca, and the Coya or queen, might
enter the consecrated precincts.  The greatest attention was paid
to their morals, and visitors were sent every year to inspect the
institutions, and to report on the state of their discipline. *41
Woe to the unhappy maiden who was detected in an intrigue!  By
the stern law of the Incas, she was to be buried alive, her lover
was to be strangled, and the town or village to which he belonged
was to be razed to the ground, and "sowed with stones," as if to
efface every memorial of his existence. *42 One is astonished to
find so close a resemblance between the institutions to find so
close a resemblance between the institutions of the American
Indian, the ancient Roman, and the modern Catholic!  Chastity and
purity of life are virtues in woman, that would seem to be of
equal estimation with the barbarian and with the civilized. - Yet
the ultimate destination of the inmates of these religious houses
was materially different.

[Footnote 38: Llamavase Casa de Escogidas; porque las escogian. o
por Linage, o por Hermosura." Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 1,
lib. 4, cap. 1.]

[Footnote 39: Ondegardo, Rel. Prim., Ms.

The word mamacona signified "matron"; mama, the first half of
this compound word, as already noticed, meaning "mother." See
Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 1, lib. 4, cap. 1.]

[Footnote 40: Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms.]

[Footnote 41: Dec. de la Aud. Real., Ms.]

[Footnote 42: Balboa, Hist. du Perou, chap. 9. - Fernandez, Hist.
del Peru, Parte 2, lib. 3, cap. 11. - Garcilasso, Com. Real.,
Parte 1, lib. 4, cap. 3.
According to the historian of the Incas, the terrible penalty was
never incurred by a single lapse on the part of the fair
sisterhood; though, if it had been, the sovereign, he assures us,
would have "exacted it to the letter, with as little compunction
as he would have drowned a puppy." (Com. Real., Parte 1, lib. 4,
cap. 3.) Other writers contend, on the contrary, that these
Virgins had very little claim to the reputation of Vestals.  (See
Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Gomara, Hist. de las Ind.,
cap. 121.) Such imputations are common enough on the inhabitants
of religious houses, whether pagan or Christian.  They are
contradicted in the present instance by the concurrent testimony
of most of those who had the best opportunity of arriving at
truth, and are made particularly improbable by the superstitious
reverence entertained for the Incas.]

The great establishment at Cuzco consisted wholly of maidens of
the royal blood, who amounted, it is said, to no less than
fifteen hundred.  The provincial convents were supplied from the
daughters of the curacas and inferior nobles, and, occasionally,
where a girl was recommended by great personal attractions, from
the lower classes of the people. *43 The "Houses of the Virgins
of the Sun" consisted of low ranges of stone buildings, covering
a large extent of ground, surrounded by high walls, which
excluded those within entirely from observation.  They were
provided with every accommodation for the fair inmates, and were
embellished in the same sumptuous and costly manner as the
palaces of the Incas, and the temples; for they received the
particular care of government, as an important part of the
religious establishment. *44

[Footnote 43: Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Garcilasso,
Com. Real., Parte 1, lib. 4, cap. 1.]

[Footnote 44: Ibid., Parte 1, lib. 4, cap. 5. - Cieza de Leon,
Cronica, cap. 44.]

Yet the career of all the inhabitants of these cloisters was not
confined within their narrow walls.  Though Virgins of the Sun,
they were brides of the Inca, and, at a marriageable age, the
most beautiful among them were selected for the honors of his
bed, and transferred to the royal seraglio.  The full complement
of this amounted in time not only to hundreds, but thousands, who
all found accommodations in his different palaces throughout the
country. When the monarch was disposed to lessen the number of
his establishment, the concubine with whose society he was
willing to dispense returned, not to her former monastic
residence, but to her own home; where, however humble might be
her original condition, she was maintained in great state, and,
far from being dishonored by the situation she had filled, was
held in universal reverence as the Inca's bride. *45

[Footnote 45: Dec. de la Aud. Real., Ms. - Garcilasso, Com.
Real., Parte 1, lib. 4, cap.4. - Montesinos, Mem Antiguas, Ms.,
lib 2, cap. 19.]

The great nobles of Peru were allowed, like their sovereign, a
plurality of wives.  The people, generally, whether by law, or by
necessity stronger than law, were more happily limited to one.
Marriage was conducted in a manner that gave it quite as original
a character as belonged to the other institutions of the country.
On an appointed day of the year, all those of a marriageable age
- which, having reference to their ability to take charge of a
family, in the males was fixed at not less than twenty-four
years, and in the women at eighteen or twenty - were called
together in the great squares of their respective towns and
villages, throughout the empire.  The Inca presided in person
over the assembly of his own kindred, and taking the hands of the
different couples who were to be united, he placed them within
each other, declaring the parties man and wife.  The same was
done by the curacas towards all persons of their own or inferior
degree in their several districts.  This was the simple form of
marriage in Peru.  No one was allowed to select a wife beyond the
community to which he belonged, which generally comprehended all
his own kindred; *46 nor was any but the sovereign authorized to
dispense with the law of nature - or at least, the usual law of
nations - so far as to marry his own sister. *47 No marriage was
esteemed valid without the consent of the parents; and the
preference of the parties, it is said, was also to be consulted;
though, considering the barriers imposed by the prescribed age of
the candidates, this must have been within rather narrow and
whimsical limits. A dwelling was got ready for the new-married
pair at the charge of the district, and the prescribed portion of
land assigned for their maintenance. The law of Peru provided for
the future, as well as for the present.  It left nothing to
chance. - The simple ceremony of marriage was followed by general
festivities among the friends of the parties, which lasted
several days; and as every wedding took place on the same day,
and as there were few families who had not some one of their
members or their kindred personally interested, there was one
universal bridal jubilee throughout the empire. *48

[Footnote 46: By the strict letter of the law, according to
Garcilasso, no one was to marry out of his own lineage.  But this
narrow rule had a most liberal interpretation, since all of the
same town, and even province, he assures us, were reckoned of kin
to one another.  Com. Real., Parte 1, lib. 4, cap. 8.]

[Footnote 47: Fernandez, Hist. del Peru, Parte 2, lib. 3, cap. 9.
This practice, so revolting to our feelings that it might well be
deemed to violate the law of nature, must not, however, be
regarded as altogether peculiar to the Incas, since it was
countenanced by some of the most polished nations of antiquity.]

[Footnote 48: Ondegardo, Rel. Seg., Ms - Garcilasso, Com. Real.,
Parte lib. 6, cap. 36. - Dec. de la Aud Real., Ms. - Montesinos,
Mem Antiguas, Ms., lib. 2, cap. 6.]

The extraordinary regulations respecting marriage under the Incas
are eminently characteristic of the genius of the government;
which, far from limiting itself to matters of public concern,
penetrated into the most private recesses of domestic life,
allowing no man, however humble, to act for himself, even in
those personal matters in which none but himself, or his family
at most, might be supposed to be interested.  No Peruvian was too
low for the fostering vigilance of government.  None was so high
that he was not made to feel his dependence upon it in every act
of his life.  His very existence as an individual was absorbed in
that of the community.  His hopes and his fears, his joys and his
sorrows, the tenderest sympathies of his nature, which would most
naturally shrink from observation, were all to be regulated by
law.  He was not allowed even to be happy in his own way.  The
government of the Incas was the mildest, - but the most searching
of despotisms.

Chapter IV

Education. - Quipus. - Astronomy. - Agriculture. - Aqueducts. -
Guano. - Important Esculents.

"Science was not intended for the people; but for those of
generous blood.  Persons of low degree are only puffed up by it,
and rendered vain and arrogant.  Neither should such meddle with
the affairs of government; for this would bring high offices into
disrepute, and cause detriment to the state." *1 Such was the
favorite maxim, often repeated, of Tupac Inca Yupanqi, one of the
most renowned of the Peruvian sovereigns.  It may seem strange
that such a maxim should ever have been proclaimed in the New
World, where popular institutions have been established on a more
extensive scale than was ever before witnessed; where government
rests wholly on the people; and education - at least, in the
great northern division of the continent - is mainly directed to
qualify the people for the duties of government.  Yet this maxim
was strictly conformable to the genius of the Peruvian monarchy,
and may serve as a key to its habitual policy; since, while it
watched with unwearied solicitude over its subjects, provided for
their physical necessities, was mindful of their morals, and
showed, throughout, the affectionate concern of a parent for his
children, it yet regarded them only as children, who were never
to emerge from the state of pupilage, to act or to think for
themselves, but whose whole duty was comprehended in the
obligation of implicit obedience.

[Footnote 1: "No es licito, que ensenen a los hijos de los
Plebeios, las Ciencias, que pertenescen a los Generosos, y no
mas; porque como Gente baja, no se eleven, y ensobervezcan, y
menoscaben, y apoqueen la Republica: bastales, que aprendan los
Oficios de sus Padres; que el Mandar, y Governar no es de
Plebeious, que es hacer agravio al Oficio, y a la Republica,
encomendarsela a Gente comun." Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 1,
lib. 8, cap. 8.]

Such was the humiliating condition of the people under the Incas,
while the numerous families of the blood royal enjoyed the
benefit of all the light of education, which the civilization of
the country could afford; and, long after the Conquest, the spots
continued to be pointed out where the seminaries had existed for
their instruction.  These were placed under the care of the
amautas, or "wise men," who engrossed the scanty stock of science
- if science it could be called - possessed by the Peruvians, and
who were the sole teachers of youth.  It was natural that the
monarch should take a lively interest in the instruction of the
young nobility, his own kindred. Several of the Peruvian princes
are said to have built their palaces in the neighbourhood of the
schools, in order that they might the more easily visit them and
listen to the lectures of the amautas, which they occasionally
reinforced by a homily of their own. *2 In these schools, the
royal pupils were instructed in all the different kinds of
knowledge in which their teachers were versed, with especial
reference to the stations they were to occupy in after-life.
They studied the laws, and the principles of administering the
government, in which many of them were to take part.  They were
initiated in the peculiar rites of their religion, most necessary
to those who were to assume the sacerdotal functions.  They
learned also to emulate the achievements of their royal ancestors
by listening to the chronicles compiled by the amautas.  They
were taught to speak their own dialect with purity and elegance;
and they became acquainted with the mysterious science of the
quipus, which supplied the Peruvians with the means of
communicating their ideas to one another, and of transmitting
them to future generations. *3

[Footnote 2: Ibid., Parte 1, lib 7, cap. 10.  The descendant of
the Incas notices the remains, visible in his day, or two of the
palaces of his royal ancestors, which had been built in the
vicinity of the schools, for more easy access to them.]

[Footnote 3: Ibid., Parte 1, lib. 4, cap. 19]

The quipu was a cord about two feet long, composed of different
colored threads tightly twisted together, from which a quantity
of smaller threads were suspended in the manner of a fringe.  The
threads were of different colors and were tied into knots.  The
word quipu, indeed, signifies a knot. The colors denoted sensible
objects; as, for instance, white represented silver, and yellow,
gold.  They sometimes also stood for abstract ideas. Thus, white
signified peace, and red, war.  But the quipus were chiefly used
for arithmetical purposes.  The knots served instead of ciphers,
and could be combined in such a manner as to represent numbers to
any amount they required. By means of these they went through
their calculations with great rapidity, and the Spaniards who
first visited the country bear testimony to their accuracy. *4

[Footnote 4: Conq. i Pob. del Piru, Ms. - Sarmiento, Relacion,
Ms., cap. 9. - Acosta, lib. 6, cap. 8. - Garcilasso Parte 1, lib.
6, cap. 8.]

Officers were established in each of the districts, who, under
the title of quipucamayus, or "keepers of the quipus," were
required to furnish the government with information on various
important matters.  One had charge of the revenues, reported the
quantity of raw material distributed among the laborers, the
quality and quantity of the fabrics made from it, and the amount
of stores, of various kinds, paid into the royal magazines.
Another exhibited the register of births and deaths, the
marriages, the number of those qualified to bear arms, and the
like details in reference to the population of the kingdom.
These returns were annually forwarded to the capital, where they
were submitted to the inspection of officers acquainted with the
art of deciphering these mystic records.  The government was thus
provided with a valuable mass of statistical information, and the
skeins of many-colored threads, collected and carefully
preserved, constituted what might be called the national
archives. *5

[Footnote 5: Ondegardo expresses his astonishment at the variety
of objects embraced by these simple records, "hardly credible by
one who had not seen them." "En aquella ciudad se hallaron muchos
viejos oficiales antiguos del Inga, asi de la religion, como del
Govierno, y otra cosa que no pudiera creer sino la viera, que por
hilos y nudos se hallan figuradas las leyes, y estatutos asi de
lo uno como de lo otro, las sucesiones de los Reyes y tiempo que
governaron: y hallose lo que todo esto tenian a su cargo que no
fue poco, y aun tube alguna claridad de los estatutos que en
tiempo de cada uno se havia: puesto." (Rel. Prim., Ms.) (See also
Sarmiento, Relacion, Ms., cap. 9. - Acosta, lib. 6, cap. 8, -
Garcilasso, Parte 1, lib. 6, cap. 8, 9.) A vestige of the quipus
is still to be found in some parts of Peru, where the shepherds
keep the tallies of their numerous flocks by means of this
ancient arithmetic]
But, although the quipus sufficed for all the purposes of
arithmetical computation demanded by the Peruvians, they were
incompetent to represent the manifold ideas and images which are
expressed by writing.  Even here, however, the invention was not
without its use.  For, independently of the direct representation
of simple objects, and even of abstract ideas, to a very limited
extent, as above noticed, it afforded great help to the memory by
way of association.  The peculiar knot or color, in this way,
suggested what it could not venture to represent; in the same
manner - to borrow the homely illustration of an old writer - as
the number of the Commandment calls to mind the Commandment
itself.  The quipus, thus used, might be regarded as the Peruvian
system of mnemonics.

Annalists were appointed in each of the principal communities,
whose business it was to record the most important events which
occurred in them. Other functionaries of a higher character,
usually the amautas, were intrusted with the history of the
empire, and were selected to chronicle the great deeds of the
reigning Inca, or of his ancestors. *6 The narrative, thus
concocted, could be communicated only by oral tradition; but the
quipus served the chronicler to arrange the incidents with
method, and to refresh his memory. The story, once treasured up
in the mind, was indelibly impressed there by frequent
repetition.  It was repeated by the amauta to his pupils, and in
this way history, conveyed partly by oral tradition, and partly
by arbitrary signs, was handed down from generation to
generation, with sufficient discrepancy of details, but with a
general conformity of outline to the truth.

[Footnote 6: Ibid., ubi supra.]

The Peruvian quipus were, doubtless, a wretched substitute for
that beautiful contrivance, the alphabet, which, employing a few
simple characters as the representatives of sounds, instead of
ideas, is able to convey the most delicate shades of thought that
ever passed through the mind of man. The Peruvian invention,
indeed, was far below that of the hieroglyphics, even below the
rude picture-writing of the Aztecs; for the latter art, however
incompetent to convey abstract ideas, could depict sensible
objects with tolerable accuracy.  It is evidence of the total
ignorance in which the two nations remained of each other, that
the Peruvians should have borrowed nothing of the hieroglyphical
system of the Mexicans, and this, notwithstanding that the
existence of the maguey plant, agave, in South America might have
furnished them with the very material used by the Aztecs for the
construction of their maps. *7

[Footnote 7: Ibid., ubi supra. - Dec. de la Aud. Real., Ms. -
Sarmiento, Relacion, Ms., cap. 9.

Yet the quipus must be allowed to bear some resemblance to the
belts of wampum - made of colored beads strung together - in
familiar use among the North American tribes, for commemorating
treaties, and for other purposes.]
It is impossible to contemplate without interest the struggles
made by different nations, as they emerge from barbarism, to
supply themselves with some visible symbols of thought, - that
mysterious agency by which the mind of the individual may be put
in communication with the minds of a whole community.  The want
of such a symbol is itself the greatest impediment to the
progress of civilization.  For what is it but to imprison the
thought, which has the elements of immortality, within the bosom
of its author, or of the small circle who come in contact with
him, instead of sending it abroad to give light to thousands, and
to generations yet unborn!  Not only is such a symbol an
essential element of civilization, but it may be assumed as the
very criterion of civilization; for the intellectual advancement
of a people will keep pace pretty nearly with its facilities for
intellectual communication.
Yet we must be careful not to underrate the real value of the
Peruvian system: nor to suppose that the quipus were as awkward
an instrument, in the hand of a practised native, as they would
be in ours.  We know the effect of habit in all mechanical
operations, and the Spaniards bear constant testimony to the
adroitness and accuracy of the Peruvians in this.  Their skill is
not more surprising than the facility with which habit enables us
to master the contents of a printed page, comprehending thousands
of separate characters, by a single glance, as it were, though
each character must require a distinct recognition by the eye,
and that, too, without breaking the chain of thought in the
reader's mind.  We must not hold the invention of the quipus too
lightly, when we reflect that they supplied the means of
calculation demanded for the affairs of a great nation, and that,
however insufficient, they afforded no little help to what
aspired to the credit of literary composition.
The office of recording the national annals was not wholly
confined to the amautas.  It was assumed in part by the haravecs,
or poets, who selected the most brilliant incidents for their
songs or ballads, which were chanted at the royal festivals and
at the table of the Inca. *8 In this manner, a body of
traditional minstrelsy grew up, like the British and Spanish
ballad poetry, by means of which the name of many a rude
chieftain, that might have perished for want of a chronicler, has
been borne down the tide of rustic melody to later generations.

[Footnote 8: Dec. de la Aud. Real., Ms. - Garcilasso, Com. Real.,
Parte 1, lib. 2, cap. 27.

The word haravec signified "inventor" or "finder"; and in his
title, as well as in his functions, the minstrel-poet may remind
us of the Norman trouvere.  Garcilasso has translated one of the
little lyrical pieces of his countrymen.  It is light and lively;
but one short specimen affords no basis for general criticism.]

Yet history may be thought not to gain much by this alliance with
poetry; for the domain of the poet extends over an ideal realm
peopled with the shadowy forms of fancy, that bear little
resemblance to the rude realities of life.  The Peruvian annals
may be deemed to show somewhat of the effects of this union,
since there is a tinge of the marvellous spread over them down to
the very latest period, which, like a mist before the reader's
eye, makes it difficult to distinguish between fact and fiction.

The poet found a convenient instrument for his purposes in the
beautiful Quichua dialect.  We have already seen the
extraordinary measures taken by the Incas for propagating their
language throughout their empire.  Thus naturalized in the
remotest provinces, it became enriched by a variety of exotic
words and idioms, which, under the influence of the Court and of
poetic culture, if I may so express myself, was gradually
blended, like some finished mosaic made up of coarse and
disjointed materials, into one harmonious whole. The Quichua
became the most comprehensive and various, as well as the most
elegant, of the South American dialects. *9

[Footnote 9: Ondegardo, Rel. Prim., Ms.

Sarmiento justly laments that his countrymen should have suffered
this dialect, which might have proved so serviceable in their
intercourse with the motley tribes of the empire, to fall so much
out of use as it has done.  "Y con tanto digo que fue harto
beneficio para los Espaoles haver esta lengua pues podian con
ella andar por todas partes en algunas de las quales ya se va
perdiendo." Relacion, Ms., cap. 21.

According to Velasco, the Incas, on arriving with their
conquering legions at Quito, were astonished to find a dialect of
the Quichua spoken there, although it was unknown over much of
the intermediate country; a singular fact, if true.  (Hist. de
Quito, tom. I. p. 185.) The author, a native of that country, had
access to some rare sources of information; and his curious
volumes show an intimate analogy between the science and social
institutions of the people of Quito and Peru.  Yet his book
betrays an obvious anxiety to set the pretensions of his own
country in the most imposing point of view, and he frequently
hazards assertions with a confidence that is not well calculated
to secure that of his readers.]

Besides the compositions already noticed, the Peruvians, it is
said, showed some talent for theatrical exhibitions; not those
barren pantomimes which, addressed simply to the eye, have formed
the amusement of more than one rude nation.  The Peruvian pieces
aspired to the rank of dramatic compositions, sustained by
character and dialogue, founded sometimes on themes of tragic
interest, and at others on such as, from their light and social
character, belong to comedy. *10 Of the execution of these pieces
we have now no means of judging.  It was probably rude enough, as
befitted an unformed people.  But, whatever may have been the
execution, the mere conception of such an amusement is a proof of
refinement that honorably distinguishes the Peruvian from the
other American races, whose pastime was war, or the ferocious
sports that reflect the image of it.

[Footnote 10: Garcilasso, Com. Real., ubi supra.]

The intellectual character of the Peruvians, indeed, seems to
have been marked rather by a tendency to refinement than by those
hardier qualities which insure success in the severer walks of
science.  In these they were behind several of the semi-civilized
nations of the New World.  They had some acquaintance with
geography, so far as related to their own empire, which was
indeed extensive; and they constructed maps with lines raised on
them to denote the boundaries and localities, on a similar
principle with those formerly used by the blind.  In astronomy,
they appear to have made but moderate proficiency.  They divided
the year into twelve lunar months, each of which, having its own
name, was distinguished by its appropriate festival. *11 They
had, also, weeks; but of what length, whether of seven, nine, or
ten days, is uncertain.  As their lunar year would necessarily
fall short of the true time, they rectified their calendar by
solar observations made by means of a number of cylindrical
columns raised on the high lands round Cuzco, which served them
for taking azimuths; and, by measuring their shadows, they
ascertained the exact times of the solstices.  The period of the
equinoxes they determined by the help of a solitary pillar, or
gnomon, placed in the centre of a circle, which was described in
the area of the great temple, and traversed by a diameter that
was drawn from east to west. When the shadows were scarcely
visible under the noontide rays of the sun, they said that "the
god sat with all his light upon the column." *12 Quito, which lay
immediately under the equator, where the vertical rays of the sun
threw no shadow at noon, was held in especial veneration as the
favored abode of the great deity.  The period of the equinoxes
was celebrated by public rejoicings.  The pillar was crowned by
the golden chair of the Sun, and, both then and at the solstices,
the columns were hung with garlands, and offerings of flowers and
fruits were made, while high festival was kept throughout the
empire.  By these periods the Peruvians regulated their religious
rites and ceremonial, and prescribed the nature of their
agricultural labors.  The year itself took its departure from the
date of the winter solstice. *13

[Footnote 11: Ondegardo, Rel. Prim., Ms.

Fernandez, who differs from most authorities in dating the
commencement of the year from June, gives the names of the
several months, with their appropriate occupations.  Hist. del
Peru, Parte 2, lib. 3, cap. 10.]

[Footnote 12: Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 1, lib. 2, cap.

The Spanish conquerors threw down these pillars, as savouring of
idolatry in the Indians.  Which of the two were best entitled to
the name of barbarians?]

[Footnote 13: Betanzos, Nar. de los Ingas, Ms., cap. 16. -
Sarmiento, Relacion, Ms., cap. 23. - Acosta, lib. 6, cap. 3.

The most celebrated gnomon in Europe, that raised on the dome of
the metropolitan church of Florence, was erected by the famous
Toscanelli, - for the purpose of determining the solstices, and
regulating the festivals of the Church, - about the year 1468;
perhaps at no very distant date from that of the similar
astronomical contrivance of the American Indian.  See Tiraboschi,
Historia della Letteratura Italiana, tom. VI. lib. 2, cap. 2,
sec. 38.]
This meagre account embraces nearly all that has come down to us
of Peruvian astronomy.  It may seem strange that a nation, which
had proceeded thus far in its observations, should have gone no
farther; and that, notwithstanding its general advance in
civilization, it should in this science have fallen so far short,
not only of the Mexicans, but of the Muyscas, inhabiting the same
elevated regions of the great southern plateau with themselves.
These latter regulated their calendar on the same general plan of
cycles and periodical series as the Aztecs, approaching yet
nearer to the system pursued by the people of Asia. *14

[Footnote 14: A tolerably meagre account - yet as full, probably,
as authorities could warrant - of this interesting people has
been given by Piedrahita, Bishop of Panama, in the first two
Books of his Historia General de las Conquistas del Nuevo Regno
de Granada, (Madrid, 1688.) - M. de Humboldt was fortunate in
obtaining a Ms., composed by a Spanish ecclesiastic resident in
Santa Fe de Bogota, in relation to the Muysca calendar, of which
the Prussian philosopher has given a large and luminous analysis.
Vues des Cordilleres. p. 244.]

It might have been expected that the Incas, the boasted children
of the Sun, would have made a particular study of the phenomena
of the heavens, and have constructed a calendar on principles as
scientific as that of their semi-civilized neighbours.  One
historian, indeed, assures us that they threw their years into
cycles of ten, a hundred, and a thousand years, and that by these
cycles they regulated their chronology. *15 But this assertion -
not improbable in itself - rests on a writer but little gifted
with the spirit of criticism, and is counter-balanced by the
silence of every higher and earlier authority, as well as by the
absence of any monument, like those found among other American
nations, to attest the existence of such a calendar.  The
inferiority of the Peruvians may be, perhaps, in part explained
by the fact of their priesthood being drawn exclusively from the
body of the Incas, a privileged order of nobility, who had no
need, by the assumption of superior learning, to fence themselves
round from the approaches of the vulgar.  The little true science
possessed by the Aztec priest supplied him with a key to unlock
the mysteries of the heavens, and the false system of astrology
which he built upon it gave him credit as a being who had
something of divinity in his own nature.  But the Inca noble was
divine by birth.  The illusory study of astrology, so captivating
to the unenlightened mind, engaged no share of his attention.
The only persons in Peru, who claimed the power of reading the
mysterious future, were the diviners, men who, combining with
their pretensions some skill in the healing art, resembled the
conjurors found among many of the Indian tribes.  But the office
was held in little repute, except among the lower classes, and
was abandoned to those whose age and infirmity disqualified them
for the real business of life. *16

[Footnote 15: Montesinos, Mem. Antiguas, Ms., lib. 2, cap. 7.
"Renovo la computacion de los tiempos, que se iba perdiendo, y se
contaron en su Reynaldo los anos por 365 dias y seis horas; a los
anos anadio decadeas de diez anos, a cada diez decadas una
centuria de 100 anos, y a cada diez centurias una capachoata o
Jutiphuacan, que son 1000 anos, que quiere decir el grande ano
del Sol; asi contaban los siglos y los sucesos memorables de sus
Reyes." Ibid., loc. cit.]

[Footnote 16: "Ansi mismo les hicieron senalar gente para
hechizeros que tambien es entre ellos, oficio publico y conoscido
en todos, . . . . . los diputados para ello no lo tenian por
travajo, por que ninguno podia tener semejante oficio como los
dichos sino fuesen viejos e viejas, y personas inaviles para
travajar, como mancos, cojos o contrechos, y gente asi a quien
faltava las fuerzas para ello." Ondegardo, Rel. Seg., Ms.]

The Peruvians had knowledge of one or two constellations, and
watched the motions of the planet Venus, to which, as we have
seen, they dedicated altars.  But their ignorance of the first
principles of astronomical science is shown by their ideas of
eclipses, which, they supposed, denoted some great derangement of
the planet; and when the moon labored under one of these
mysterious infirmities, they sounded their instruments, and
filled the air with shouts and lamentations, to rouse her from
her lethargy.  Such puerile conceits as these form a striking
contrast with the real knowledge of the Mexicans, as displayed in
their hieroglyphical maps, in which the true cause of this
phenomenon is plainly depicted. *17

[Footnote 17: See Codex Tel-Remensis, Part 4, Pl. 22, ap.
Antiquities of Mexico, vol. I. London, 1829.]

But, if less successful in exploring the heavens, the Incas must
be admitted to have surpassed every other American race in their
dominion over the earth.  Husbandry was pursued by them on
principles that may be truly called scientific.  It was the basis
of their political institutions.  Having no foreign commerce, it
was agriculture that furnished them with the means of their
internal exchanges, their subsistence, and their revenues.  We
have seen their remarkable provisions for distributing the land
in equal shares among the people, while they required every man,
except the privileged orders, to assist in its cultivation.  The
Inca himself did not disdain to set the example.  On one of the
great annual festivals, he proceeded to the environs of Cuzco,
attended by his Court, and, in the presence of all the people,
turned up the earth with a golden plough, - or an instrument that
served as such, - thus consecrating the occupation of the
husbandman as one worthy to be followed by the Children of the
Sun. *18

[Footnote 18: Sarmiento, Relacion, Ms., cap. 16.

The nobles, also, it seems, at this high festival, imitated the
example of their master.  "Pasadas todas las fiestas, en la
ultima llevavan muchos arados de manos, los quales antiguamente
heran de oro; i echos los oficios, tomava el Inga an arado i
comenzava con el a romper la tierra, i lo mismo los demas
senores, para que de alli adelante en todo su senorio hiciesen lo
mismo, i sin que el Inga hiciese esto no avia Indio que osase
romper la tierra, ni pensavan que produjese si el Inga no la
rompia primero i esto vaste quanto a las fiestas.' Conq. i. Pob.
del Piru, Ms.]

The patronage of the government did not stop with this cheap
display of royal condescension, but was shown in the most
efficient measures for facilitating the labors of the husbandman.
Much of the country along the sea-coast suffered from want of
water, as little or no rain fell there, and the few streams, in
their short and hurried course from the mountains, exerted only a
very limited influence on the wide extent of territory.  The
soil, it is true, was, for the most part, sandy and sterile; but
many places were capable of being reclaimed, and, indeed, needed
only to be properly irrigated to be susceptible of extraordinary
production.  To these spots water was conveyed by means of canals
and subterraneous aqueducts, executed on a noble scale.  They
consisted of large slabs of freestone nicely fitted together
without cement, and discharged a volume of water sufficient, by
means of latent ducts or sluices, to moisten the lands in the
lower level, through which they passed.  Some of these aqueducts
were of great length. One that traversed the district of
Condesuyu measured between four and five hundred miles.  They
were brought from some elevated lake or natural reservoir in the
heart of the mountains, and were fed at intervals by other basins
which lay in their route along the slopes of the sierra.  In this
descent, a passage was sometimes to be opened through rocks, -
and this without the aid of iron tools; impracticable mountains
were to be turned; rivers and marshes to be crossed; in short,
the same obstacles were to be encountered as in the construction
of their mighty roads.  But the Peruvians seemed to take pleasure
in wrestling with the difficulties of nature.  Near Caxamarca, a
tunnel is still visible, which they excavated in the mountains,
to give an outlet to the waters of a lake, when these rose to a
height in the rainy seasons that threatened the country with
inundation. *19

[Footnote 19: Sarmiento, Relacion, Ms., cap. 21. - Garcilasso,
Com. Real., Parte 1, lib. 5, cap. 24. - Stevenson, Narrative of a
Twenty Years' Residence in S. America, (London, 1829,) vol. I. p.
412; II. pp. 173, 174.

"Sacauan acequias en cabos y por partes que es cosa estrana
afirmar lo: porque las echauan por lugares altos y baxos: y por
laderas de los cabecos y haldas de sierras q estan en los valles:
y por ellos mismos atrauiessan muchas: unas por una parte, y
otras por otra, que es gran delectacio caminar por aquellos
valles: porque parece que se anda entre huertas y florestas
llenas de frescuras." Cieza de Leon, Cronica, cap. 66.]

Most of these beneficent works of the Incas were suffered to go
to decay by their Spanish conquerors.  In some spots, the waters
are still left to flow in their silent, subterraneous channels,
whose windings and whose sources have been alike unexplored.
Others, though partially dilapidated, and closed up with rubbish
and the rank vegetation of the soil, still betray their course by
occasional patches of fertility.  Such are the remains in the
valley of Nasca, a fruitful spot that lies between long tracts of
desert; where the ancient water-courses of the Incas, measuring
four or five feet in depth by three in width, and formed of large
blocks of uncemented masonry, are conducted from an unknown

The greatest care was taken that every occupant of the land
through which these streams passed should enjoy the benefit of
them.  The quantity of water allotted to each was prescribed by
law; and royal overseers superintended the distribution, and saw
that it was faithfully applied to the irrigation of the ground.

[Footnote 20: Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Memoirs of
Gen-Miller, vol II p. 220.]

The Peruvians showed a similar spirit of enterprise in their
schemes for introducing cultivation into the mountainous parts of
their domain.  Many of the hills, though covered with a strong
soil, were too precipitous to be tilled.  These they cut into
terraces, faced with rough stone, diminishing in regular
gradation towards the summit; so that, while the lower strip, or
anden, as it was called by the Spaniards, that belted round the
base of the mountain, might comprehend hundreds of acres, the
uppermost was only large enough to accommodate a few rows of
Indian corn. *21 Some of the eminences presented such a mass of
solid rock, that, after being hewn into terraces, they were
obliged to be covered deep with earth, before they could serve
the purpose of the husbandman.  With such patient toil did the
Peruvians combat the formidable obstacles presented by the face
of their country!  Without the use of the tools or the machinery
familiar to the European, each individual could have done little;
but acting in large masses, and under a common direction, they
were enabled by indefatigable perseverance to achieve results, to
have attempted which might have filled even the European with
dismay. *22

[Footnote 21: Miller supposes that it was from these andenes that
the Spaniards gave the name of Andes to the South American
Cordilleras.  (Memoirs of Gen. Miller, vol II. p. 219.) But the
name is older than the Conquest, according to Garcilasso, who
traces it to Anti, the name of a province that lay east of Cuzco.
(Com. Real., Parte 1, lib. 2, cap. 11.) Anta, the word for
copper, which was found abundant in certain quarters of the
country, may have suggested the name of the province, if not
immediately that of the mountains.]

[Footnote 22: Memoirs of Gen. Miller, ubi supra. - Garcilasso,
Com. Real. Parte 1, lib. 5, cap. 1.]

In the same spirit of economical husbandry which redeemed the
rocky sierra from the curse of sterility, they dug below the arid
soil of the valleys, and sought for a stratum where some natural
moisture might be found. These excavations, called by the
Spaniards hoyas, or "pits," were made on a great scale,
comprehending frequently more than an acre, sunk to the depth of
fifteen or twenty feet, and fenced round within by a wall of
adobes, or bricks baked in the sun.  The bottom of the
excavation, well prepared by a rich manure of the sardines, - a
small fish obtained in vast quantities along the coast, - was
planted with some kind of grain or vegetable. *23

[Footnote 23: Cieza de Leon, Cronica, cap. 73.

The remains of these ancient excavations still excite the wonder
of the modern traveller.  See Stevenson, Residence in S. America,
vol. I. p. 359. - Also McCulloh, Researches, p. 358.]

The Peruvian farmers were well acquainted with the different
kinds of manures, and made large use of them; a circumstance rare
in the rich lands of the tropics, and probably not elsewhere
practised by the rude tribes of America.  They made great use of
guano, the valuable deposit of sea-fowl, that has attracted so
much attention, of late, from the agriculturists both of Europe
and of our own country, and the stimulating and nutritious
properties of which the Indians perfectly appreciated.  This was
found in such immense quantities on many of the little islands
along the coast, as to have the appearance of lofty hills, which,
covered with a white saline incrustation, led the Conquerors to
give them the name of the sierra nevada, or "snowy mountains."

The Incas took their usual precautions for securing the benefits
of this important article to the husbandman.  They assigned the
small islands on the coast to the use of the respective districts
which lay adjacent to them. When the island was large, it was
distributed among several districts, and the boundaries for each
were clearly defined.  All encroachment on the rights of another
was severely punished.  And they secured the preservation of the
fowl by penalties as stern as those by which the Norman tyrants
of England protected their own game.  No one was allowed to set
foot on the island during the season for breeding, under pain of
death; and to kill the birds at any time was punished in the like
manner. *24

[Footnote 24: Acosta, lib. 4, cap. 36. - Garcilasso, Com. Real.,
Parte 1, lib. 5, cap. 3.]

With this advancement in agricultural science, the Peruvians
might be supposed to have had some knowledge of the plough, in
such general use among the primitive nations of the eastern
continent.  But they had neither the iron ploughshare of the Old
World, nor had they animals for draught, which, indeed, were
nowhere found in the New.  The instrument which they used was a
strong, sharp-pointed stake, traversed by a horizontal piece, ten
or twelve inches from the point, on which the ploughman might set
his foot and force it into the ground.  Six or eight strong men
were attached by ropes to the stake, and dragged it forcibly
along, - pulling together, and keeping time as they moved by
chanting their national songs, in which they were accompanied by
the women who followed in their train, to break up the sods with
their rakes.  The mellow soil offered slight resistance; and the
laborer, by long practice, acquired a dexterity which enabled him
to turn up the ground to the requisite depth with astonishing
facility.  This substitute for the plough was but a clumsy
contrivance; yet it is curious as the only specimen of the kind
among the American aborigines, and was perhaps not much inferior
to the wooden instrument introduced in its stead by the European
conquerors. *25

[Footnote 25: Ibid., Parte 1, lib. 5, cap. 2.]

It was frequently the policy of the Incas, after providing a
deserted tract with the means for irrigation, and thus fitting it
for the labors of the husbandman, to transplant there a colony of
mitimaes, who brought it under cultivation by raising the crops
best suited to the soil.  While the peculiar character and
capacity of the lands were thus consulted, a means of exchange of
the different products was afforded to the neighbouring
provinces, which, from the formation of the country, varied much
more than usual within the same limits.  To facilitate these
agricultural exchanges, fairs were instituted, which took place
three times a month in some of the most populous places, where,
as money was unknown, a rude kind of commerce was kept up by the
barter of their respective products.  These fairs afforded so
many holidays for the relaxation of the industrious laborer. *26

[Footnote 26: Sarmiento, Relacion, Ms., cap. 19. - Garcilasso,
Com. Real, Parte 1, lib. 6, cap. 36; lib. 7, cap. 1. - Herrera,
Hist. General. dec. 5, lib. 4, cap. 3.]

Such were the expedients adopted by the Incas for the improvement
of their territory; and, although imperfect, they must be allowed
to show an acquaintance with the principles of agricultural
science, that gives them some claim to the rank of a civilized
people.  Under their patient and discriminating culture, every
inch of good soil was tasked to its greatest power of production;
while the most unpromising spots were compelled to contribute
something to the subsistence of the people.  Everywhere the land
teemed with evidence of agricultural wealth, from the smiling
valleys along the coast to the terraced steeps of the sierra,
which, rising into pyramids of verdure, glowed with all the
splendors of tropical vegetation.
The formation of the country was particularly favorable, as
already remarked, to an infinite variety of products, not so much
from its extent as from its various elevations, which, more
remarkable, even, than those in Mexico, comprehend every degree
of latitude from the equator to the polar regions.  Yet, though
the temperature changes in this region with the degree of
elevation, it remains nearly the same in the same spots
throughout the year; and the inhabitant feels none of those
grateful vicissitudes of season which belong to the temperate
latitudes of the globe.  Thus, while the summer lies in full
power on the burning regions of the palm and the cocoa-tree that
fringe the borders of the ocean, the broad surface of the table
land blooms with the freshness of perpetual spring, and the
higher summits of the Cordilleras are white with everlasting

The Peruvians turned this fixed variety of climate, if I may so
say, to the best account by cultivating the productions
appropriate to each; and they particularly directed their
attention to those which afforded the most nutriment to man.
Thus, in the lower level were to be found the cassava-tree and
the banana, that bountiful plant, which seems to have relieved
man from the primeval curse - if it were not rather a blessing -
of toiling for his sustenance. *27 As the banana faded from the
landscape, a good substitute was found in the maize, the great
agricultural staple of both the northern and southern divisions
of the American continent; and which, after its exportation to
the Old World, spread so rapidly there, as to suggest the idea of
its being indigenous to it. *28 The Peruvians were well
acquainted with the different modes of preparing this useful
vegetable, though it seems they did not use it for bread, except
at festivals; and they extracted a sort of honey from the stalk,
and made an intoxicating liquor from the fermented grain, to
which, like the Aztecs, they were immoderately addicted. *29

[Footnote 27: The prolific properties of the banana are shown by
M. de Humboldt, who states that its productiveness, as compared
with that of wheat, is as 133 to 1, and with that of the potato,
as 44 to 1.  (Essai Politique sur le Royaume de la Nouvelle
Espagne, Paris, 1827, tom. II. p. 389.) It is a mistake to
suppose that this plant was not indigenous to South America. The
banana-leaf has been frequently found in ancient Peruvian tombs.]

[Footnote 28: The misnomer of ble de Turquie shows the popular
error.  Yet the rapidity of its diffusion through Europe and
Asia, after the discovery of America, is of itself sufficient to
show that it could not have been indigenous to the Old World, and
have so long remained generally unknown there.]

[Footnote 29: Acosta, lib. 4, cap. 16.

The saccharine matter contained in the maize-stalk is much
greater in tropical countries than in more northern latitudes; so
that the natives in the former may be seen sometimes sucking it
like the sugarcane.  One kind of the fermented liquors, sora,
made from the corn, was of such strength, that the use of it was
forbidden by the Incas, at least to the common people. Their
injunctions do not seem to have been obeyed so implicitly in this
instance as usual.]

The temperate climate of the table-land furnished them with the
maguey, agave Americana, many of the extraordinary qualities of
which they comprehended, though not its most important one of
affording a material for paper.  Tobacco, too, was among the
products of this elevated region.  Yet the Peruvians differed
from every other Indian nation to whom it was known, by using it
only for medicinal purposes, in the form of snuff. *30 They may
have found a substitute for its narcotic qualities in the coca
(Erythroxylum Peruvianum), or cuca, as called by the natives.
This is a shrub which grows to the height of a man.  The leaves
when gathered are dried in the sun, and, being mixed with a
little lime, form a preparation for chewing, much like the
betel-leaf of the East. *31 With a small supply of this cuca in
his pouch, and a handful of roasted maize, the Peruvian Indian of
our time performs his wearisome journeys, day after day, without
fatigue, or, at least, without complaint.  Even food the most
invigorating is less grateful to him than his loved narcotic.
Under the Incas, it is said to have been exclusively reserved for
the noble orders.  If so, the people gained one luxury by the
Conquest; and, after that period, it was so extensively used by
them, that this article constituted a most important item of the
colonial revenue of Spain. *32 Yet, with the soothing charms of
an opiate, this weed so much vaunted by the natives, when used to
excess, is said to be attended with all the mischievous effects
of habitual intoxication. *33

[Footnote 30: Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 1, lib. 2, cap. 25.]

[Footnote 31: The pungent leaf of the betel was in like manner
mixed with lime when chewed.  (Elphinstone, History of India,
London, 1841, vol. I. p. 331.) The similarity of this social
indulgence, in the remote East and West, is singular.]

[Footnote 32: Ondegardo, Rel. Seg., Ms. - Acosta, lib. 4, cap.
22. - Stevenson, Residence in S. America, vol. II. p. 63. - Cieza
de Leon, Cronica, cap. 96.]

[Footnote 33: A traveller (Poeppig) noticed in the Foreign
Quarterly Review, (No. 33,) expatiates on the malignant effects
of the habitual use of the cuca, as very similar to those
produced on the chewer of opium.  Strange that such baneful
properties should not be the subject of more frequent comment
with other writers!  I do not remember to have seen them even
adverted to.]

Higher up on the slopes of the Cordilleras, beyond the limits of
the maize and of the quinoa, - a grain bearing some resemblance
to rice, and largely cultivated by the Indians, - was to be found
the potato, the introduction of which into Europe has made an era
in the history of agriculture.  Whether indigenous to Peru, or
imported from the neighbouring country of Chili, it formed the
great staple of the more elevated plains, under the Incas, and
its culture was continued to a height in the equatorial regions
which reached many thousand feet above the limits of perpetual
snow in the temperate latitudes of Europe. *34 Wild specimens of
the vegetable might be seen still higher, springing up
spontaneously amidst the stunted shrubs that clothed the lofty
sides of the Cordilleras, till these gradually subsided into the
mosses and the short yellow grass, pajonal, which, like a golden
carpet, was unrolled around the base of the mighty cones, that
rose far into the regions of eternal silence, covered with the
snows of centuries. *35

[Footnote 34: Malte-Brun, book 86.

The potato, found by the early discoverers in Chili, Peru, New
Granada, and all along the Cordilleras of South America, was
unknown in Mexico, - an additional proof of the entire ignorance
in which the respective nations of the two continents remained of
one another.  M. de Humboldt, who has bestowed much attention on
the early history of this vegetable, which has exerted so
important an influence on European society, supposes that the
cultivation of it in Virginia, where it was known to the early
planters, must have been originally derived from the Southern
Spanish colonies.  Essai Politique, tom. II. p. 462.]

[Footnote 35: While Peru, under the Incas, could boast these
indigenous products, and many others less familiar to the
European, it was unacquainted with several of great importance,
which, since the Conquest, have thriven there as on their natural
soil.  Such are the olive, the grape, the fig, the apple, the
orange, the sugar-cane.  None of the cereal grains of the Old
World were found there.  The first wheat was introduced by a
Spanish lady of Trujillo, who took great pains to disseminate it
among the colonists, of which the government, to its credit, was
not unmindful.  Her name was Maria de Escobar.  History, which is
so much occupied with celebrating the scourges of humanity,
should take pleasure in commemorating one of its real

Chapter V

Peruvian Sheep. - Great Hunts. - Manufactures. - Mechanical
Skill. - Architecture. - Concluding Reflections.

A nation which had made such progress in agriculture might be
reasonably expected to have made, also, some proficiency in the
mechanical arts, - especially when, as in the case of the
Peruvians, their agricultural economy demanded in itself no
inconsiderable degree of mechanical skill.  Among most nations,
progress in manufactures has been found to have an intimate
connection with the progress of husbandry.  Both arts are
directed to the same great object of supplying the necessaries,
the comforts, or, in a more refined condition of society, the
luxuries of life; and when the one is brought to a perfection
that infers a certain advance in civilization, the other must
naturally find a corresponding development under the increasing
demands and capacities of such a state.  The subjects of the
Incas, in their patient and tranquil devotion to the more humble
occupations of industry which bound them to their native soil,
bore greater resemblance to the Oriental nations, as the Hindoos
and Chinese, than they bore to the members of the great
Anglo-Saxon family, whose hardy temper has driven them to seek
their fortunes on the stormy ocean, and to open a commerce with
the most distant regions of the globe.  The Peruvians, though
lining a long extent of sea-coast, had no foreign commerce.

They had peculiar advantages for domestic manufacture in a
material incomparably superior to any thing possessed by the
other races of the Western continent.  They found a good
substitute for linen in a fabric which, like the Aztecs, they
knew how to weave from the tough thread of the maguey. Cotton
grew luxuriantly on the low, sultry level of the coast, and
furnished them with a clothing suitable to the milder latitudes
of the country.  But from the llama and the kindred species of
Peruvian sheep they obtained a fleece adapted to the colder
climate of the table-land, "more estimable," to quote the
language of a well-informed writer, "than the down of the
Canadian beaver, the fleece of the brebis des Calmoucks, or of
the Syrian goat." *1

[Footnote 1: Walton, Historical and Descriptive Account of the
Peruvian Sheep, (London, 1811,) p. 115.  This writer's comparison
is directed to the wool of the vicuna, the most esteemed of the
genus for its fleece.]

Of the four varieties of the Peruvian sheep, the llama, the one
most familiarly known, is the least valuable on account of its
wool.  It is chiefly employed as a beast of burden, for which,
although it is somewhat larger than any of the other varieties,
its diminutive size and strength would seem to disqualify it.  It
carries a load of little more than a hundred pounds, and cannot
travel above three or four leagues in a day.  But all this is
compensated by the little care and cost required for its
management and its maintenance.  It picks up an easy subsistence
from the moss and stunted herbage that grow scantily along the
withered sides and the steeps of the Cordilleras.  The structure
of its stomach, like that of the camel, is such as to enable it
to dispense with any supply of water for weeks, nay, months
together.  Its spongy hoof, armed with a claw or pointed talon to
enable it to take secure hold on the ice, never requires to be
shod; and the load laid upon its back rests securely in its bed
of wool, without the aid of girth or saddle.  The llamas move in
troops of five hundred or even a thousand, and thus, though each
individual carries but little, the aggregate is considerable.
The whole caravan travels on at its regular pace, passing the
night in the open air without suffering from the coldest
temperature, and marching in perfect order, and in obedience to
the voice of the driver.  It is only when overloaded that the
spirited little animal refuses to stir, and neither blows nor
caresses can induce him to rise from the ground.  He is as sturdy
in asserting his rights on this occasion, as he is usually docile
and unresisting. *2

[Footnote 2: Ibid., p. 23, et seq. - Garcilasso, Com. Real.,
Parte 1, lib. 8, cap. 16. - Acosta, lib. 4, cap. 41.

Llama, according to Garcilasso de la Vega, is a Peruvian word
signifying "flock." (Ibid., ubi supra.) The natives got no milk
from their domesticated animals; nor was milk used, I believe, by
any tribe on the American continent.]

The employment of domestic animals distinguished the Peruvians
from the other races of the New World.  This economy of human
labor by the substitution of the brute is an important element of
civilization, inferior only to what is gained by the substitution
of machinery for both.  Yet the ancient Peruvians seem to have
made much less account of it than their Spanish conquerors, and
to have valued the llama, in common with the other animals of
that genus, chiefly for its fleece.  Immense herds of these
"large cattle," as they were called, and of the "smaller cattle,"
*3 or alpacas, were held by the government, as already noticed,
and placed under the direction of shepherds, who conducted them
from one quarter of the country to another, according to the
changes of the season.  These migrations were regulated with all
the precision with which the code of the mesta determined the
migrations of the vast merino flocks in Spain; and the
Conquerors, when they landed in Peru, were amazed at finding a
race of animals so similar to their own in properties and habits,
and under the control of a system of legislation which might seem
to have been imported from their native land. *4

[Footnote 3: Ganado maior, ganado menor.]

[Footnote 4: The judicious Ondegardo emphatically recommends the
adoption of many of these regulations by the Spanish government,
as peculiarly suited to the exigencies of the natives.  "En esto
de los ganados parescio haber hecho muchas constituciones en
diferentes tiempos e algunas tan utiles e provechosas para su
conservacion que conven dria que tambien guardasen agora." Rel.
Seg., Ms.]

But the richest store of wool was obtained, not from these
domesticated animals, but from the two other species, the
huanacos and the vicunas, which roamed in native freedom over the
frozen ranges of the Cordilleras; where not unfrequently they
might be seen scaling the snow-covered peaks which no living
thing inhabits save the condor, the huge bird of the Andes, whose
broad pinions bear him up in the atmosphere to the height of more
than twenty thousand feet above the level of the sea. *5 In these
rugged pastures, "the flock without a fold" finds sufficient
sustenance in the ychu, a species of grass which is found
scattered all along the great ridge of the Cordilleras, from the
equator to the southern limits of Patagonia.  And as these limits
define the territory traversed by the Peruvian sheep, which
rarely, if ever, venture north of the line, it seems not
improbable that this mysterious little plant is so important to
their existence, that the absence of it is the principal reason
why they have not penetrated to the northern latitudes of Quito
and New Granada. *6

[Footnote 5: Malte-Brun, book 86.]

[Footnote 6: Ychu, called in the Flora Peruana Jarava; Class,
Monandria Digynia.  See Walton, p. 17]

But, although thus roaming without a master over the boundless
wastes of the Cordilleras, the Peruvian peasant was never allowed
to hunt these wild animals, which were protected by laws as
severe as were the sleek herds that grazed on the more cultivated
slopes of the plateau.  The wild game of the forest and the
mountain was as much the property of the government, as if it had
been inclosed within a park, or penned within a fold. *7 It was
only on stated occasions, at the great hunts, which took place
once a year, under the personal superintendence of the Inca or
his principal officers, that the game was allowed to be taken.
These hunts were not repeated in the same quarter of the country
oftener than once in four years, that time might be allowed for
the waste occasioned by them to be replenished.  At the appointed
time, all those living in the district and its neighbourhood, to
the number, it might be, of fifty or sixty thousand men, *8 were
distributed round, so as to form a cordon of immense extent, that
should embrace the whole country which was to be hunted over.
The men were armed with long poles and spears, with which they
beat up game of every description lurking in the woods, the
valleys, and the mountains, killing the beasts of prey without
mercy, and driving the others, consisting chiefly of the deer of
the country, and the huanacos and vicunas, towards the centre of
the wide-extended circle; until, as this gradually contracted,
the timid inhabitants of the forest were concentrated on some
spacious plain, where the eye of the hunter might range freely
over his victims, who found no place for shelter or escape.

[Footnote 7: Ondegardo, Rel. Prim., Ms.]

[Footnote 8: Sometimes even a hundred thousand mustered, when the
Inca hunted in person, if we may credit Sarmiento.  "De donde
haviendose ya juntado cinquenta o sesenta mil Personas o cien mil
si mandado les era." Relacion, Ms., cap. 13.]

The male deer and some of the coarser kind of the Peruvian sheep
were slaughtered; their skins were reserved for the various
useful manufactures to which they are ordinarily applied, and
their flesh, cut into thin slices, was distributed among the
people, who converted it into charqui, the dried meat of the
country, which constituted then the sole, as it has since the
principal, animal food of the lower classes of Peru. *9

[Footnote 9: Ibid., ubi supra.

Charqui; hence, probably, says McCulloh, the term "jerked,"
applied to the dried beef of South America.  Researches, p. 377.]

But nearly the whole of the sheep, amounting usually to thirty or
forty thousand, or even a larger number, after being carefully
sheared, were suffered to escape and regain their solitary haunts
among the mountains.  The wool thus collected was deposited in
the royal magazines, whence, in due time, it was dealt out to the
people.  The coarser quality was worked up into garments for
their own use, and the finer for the Inca; for none but an Inca
noble could wear the fine fabric of the vicuna. *10

[Footnote 10: Sarmiento, Relacion, Ms. loc. cit. - Cieza de Leon,
Cronica, cap. 81. - Garcilasso, Com. Real. Parte 1, lib. 6, cap.

The Peruvians showed great skill in the manufacture of different
articles for the royal household from this delicate material,
which, under the name of vigonia wool, is now familiar to the
looms of Europe.  It was wrought into shawls, robes, and other
articles of dress for the monarch, and into carpets, coverlets,
and hangings for the imperial palaces and the temples.  The cloth
was finished on both sides alike; *11 the delicacy of the texture
was such as to give it the lustre of silk; and the brilliancy of
the dyes excited the admiration and the envy of the European
artisan. *12 The Peruvians produced also an article of great
strength and durability by mixing the hair of animals with wool;
and they were expert in the beautiful feather-work, which they
held of less account than the Mexicans from the superior quality
of the materials for other fabrics, which they had at their
command. *13

[Footnote 11: Acosta, lib. 4, cap. 41.]

[Footnote 12: "Ropas finisimas para los Reyes, que lo eran tanto
que parecian de sarga de seda y con colores tan perfectos quanto
se puede afirmar." Sarmiento, Relacion, Ms., cap. 13]

[Footnote 13: Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms.

"Ropa finissima para los senores Ingas de lana de las Vicunias.
Y cierto fue tan prima esta ropa, como auran visto en Espana: por
alguna que alla fue luego que se gano este reyno.  Los vestidos
destos Ingas eran camisetas desta opa: vnas pobladas de
argenteria de oro, otras de esmeraldas y piedras preciosas: y
algunas de plumas de aues: otras de solamente la manta.  Para
hazer estas ropas, tuuiero y tienen tan perfetas colores de
carmesi, azul, amarillo, negro, y de otras suertes: que
verdaderamente tienen ventaja a las de Espana." Cieza de Leon,
Cronica, cap. 114.]

The natives showed a skill in other mechanical arts similar to
that displayed by their manufacturers of cloth.  Every man in
Peru was expected to be acquainted with the various handicrafts
essential to domestic comfort. No long apprenticeship was
required for this, where the wants were so few as among the
simple peasantry of the Incas.  But, if this were all, it would
imply but a very moderate advancement in the arts.  There were
certain individuals, however, carefully trained to those
occupations which minister to the demands of the more opulent
classes of society.  These occupations, like every other calling
and office in Peru, always descended from father to son. *14 The
division of castes, in this particular, was as precise as that
which existed in Egypt or Hindostan.  If this arrangement be
unfavorable to originality, or to the development of the peculiar
talent of the individual, it at least conduces to an easy and
finished execution by familiarizing the artist with the practice
of his art from childhood. *15

[Footnote 14: Ondegardo, Rel. Prim. et Seg., Mss. - Garcillaso,
Com. Real., Parte 1, lib. 5, cap. 7, 9, 13.]

[Footnote 15: At least, such was the opinion of the Egyptians,
who referred to this arrangement of castes as the source of their
own peculiar dexterity in the arts.  See Diodorus Sic., lib. 1,
sec. 74.]

The royal magazines and the huacas or tombs of the Incas have
been found to contain many specimens of curious and elaborate
workmanship.  Among these are vases of gold and silver,
bracelets, collars, and other ornaments for the person; utensils
of every description, some of fine clay, and many more of copper;
mirrors of a hard, polished stone, or burnished silver, with a
great variety of other articles made frequently on a whimsical
pattern, evincing quite as much ingenuity as taste or inventive
talent. *16 The character of the Peruvian mind led to imitation,
in fact, rather than invention, to delicacy and minuteness of
finish, rather than to boldness or beauty of design.

[Footnote 16: Ulloa, Not. Amer., ent. 21. - Pedro Pizarro,
Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Cieza de Leon, Cronica, cap. 114. -
Condamine, Mem. ap. Hist. de l'Acad. Royale de Berlin, tom. II.
p. 454-456.

The last writer says, that a large collection of massive gold
ornaments of very rich workmanship was long preserved in the
royal treasury of Quito. But on his going there to examine them,
he learned that they had just been melted down into ingots to
send to Carthagena, then besieged by the English! The art of war
can flourish only at the expense of all the other arts.]
That they should have accomplished these difficult works with
such tools as they possessed, is truly wonderful.  It was
comparatively easy to cast and even to sculpture metallic
substances, both of which they did with consummate skill.  But
that they should have shown the like facility in cutting the
hardest substances, as emeralds and other precious stones, is not
so easy to explain.  Emeralds they obtained in considerable
quantity from the barren district of Atacames, and this
inflexible material seems to have been almost as ductile in the
hands of the Peruvian artist as if it had been made of clay. *17
Yet the natives were unacquainted with the use of iron, though
the soil was largely impregnated with it. *18 The tools used were
of stone, or more frequently of copper.  But the material on
which they relied for the execution of their most difficult tasks
was formed by combining a very small portion of tin with copper.
*19 This composition gave a hardness to the metal which seems to
have been little inferior to that of steel.  With the aid of it,
not only did the Peruvian artisan hew into shape porphyry and
granite, but by his patient industry accomplished works which the
European would not have ventured to undertake.  Among the remains
of the monuments of Cannar may be seen movable rings in the
muzzles of animals, all nicely sculptured of one entire block of
granite. *20 It is worthy of remark, that the Egyptians, the
Mexicans, and the Peruvians, in their progress towards
civilization, should never have detected the use of iron, which
lay around them in abundance; and that they should each, without
any knowledge of the other, have found a substitute for it in
such a curious composition of metals as gave to their tools
almost the temper of steel; *21 a secret that has been lost - or,
to speak more correctly, has never been discovered - by the
civilized European.

[Footnote 17: They had turquoises, also, and might have had
pearls, but for the tenderness of the Incas, who were unwilling
to risk the lives of their people in this perilous fishery!  At
least, so we are assured by Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 1, lib.
8, cap. 23.]

[Footnote 18: "No tenian herramientas de hierro in azero."
Ondegardo, Rel. Seg., Ms. - Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 5, lib.
4, cap. 4.]

[Footnote 19: M. de Humboldt brought with him back to Europe one
of these metallic tools, a chisel, found in a silver mine opened
by the Incas not far from Cuzco.  On an analysis, it was found to
contain 0.94 of copper, and 0.06 of tin.  See Vues des
Cordilleres, p. 117.]

[Footnote 20: "Quoiqu'il en soit," says M. de la Condamine, "nous
avons vu en quelques autres ruines des ornemens du meme granit,
qui representoient des mufles d'animaux, dont les narines percees
portoient des anneaux mobiles de la meme pierre." Mem. ap. Hist.
de l'Acad.  Royale de Berlin, tom. II. p. 452.]

[Footnote 21: See the History of the Conquest of Mexico, Book 1,
chap. 5.]

I have already spoken of the large quantity of gold and silver
wrought into various articles of elegance and utility for the
Incas; though the amount was inconsiderable, in comparison with
what could have been afforded by the mineral riches of the land,
and with what has since been obtained by the more sagacious and
unscrupulous cupidity of the white man.  Gold was gathered by the
Incas from the deposits of the streams.  They extracted the ore
also in considerable quantities from the valley of Curimayo,
northeast of Caxamarca, as well as from other places; and the
silver mines of Porco, in particular, yielded them considerable
returns.  Yet they did not attempt to penetrate into the bowels
of the earth by sinking a shaft, but simply excavated a cavern in
the steep sides of the mountain, or, at most, opened a horizontal
vein of moderate depth.  They were equally deficient in the
knowledge of the best means of detaching the precious metal from
the dross with which it was united, and had no idea of the
virtues of quicksilver, - a mineral not rare in Peru, - as an
amalgam to effect this decomposition. *22 Their method of
smelting the ore was by means of furnaces built in elevated and
exposed situations, where they might be fanned by the strong
breezes of the mountains.  The subjects of the Incas, in short,
with all their patient perseverance, did little more than
penetrate below the crust, the outer rind, as it were, formed
over those golden caverns which lie hidden in the dark depths of
the Andes.  Yet what they gleaned from the surface was more than
adequate for all their demands. For they were not a commercial
people, and had no knowledge of money. *23 In this they differed
from the ancient Mexicans, who had an established currency of a
determinate value.  In one respect, however, they were superior
to their American rivals, since they made use of weights to
determine the quantity of their commodities, a thing wholly
unknown to the Aztecs.  This fact is ascertained by the discovery
of silver balances, adjusted with perfect accuracy, in some of
the tombs of the Incas. *24

[Footnote 22: Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 1, lib. 8, cap. 25.]

[Footnote 23: Ibid., Parte 1, lib. 5, cap. 7; lib. 6, cap. 8. -
Ondegardo, Rel. Seg., Ms.

This, which Bonaparte thought so incredible of the little island
of Loo Choo, was still more extraordinary in a great and
flourishing empire like Peru; - the country, too, which contained
within its bowels the treasures that were one day to furnish
Europe with the basis of its vast metallic currency.]

[Footnote 24: Ulloa, Not. Amer., ent. 21.]

But the surest test of the civilization of a people - at least,
as sure as any - afforded by mechanical art is to be found in
their architecture, which presents so noble a field for the
display of the grand and the beautiful, and which, at the same
time, is so intimately connected with the essential comforts of
life.  There is no object on which the resources of the wealthy
are more freely lavished, or which calls out more effectually the
inventive talent of the artist.  The painter and the sculptor may
display their individual genius in creations of surpassing
excellence, but it is the great monuments of architectural taste
and magnificence that are stamped in a peculiar manner by the
genius of the nation.  The Greek, the Egyptian, the Saracen, the
Gothic, - what a key do their respective styles afford to the
character and condition of the people!  The monuments of China,
of Hindostan, and of Central America are all indicative of an
immature period, in which the imagination has not been
disciplined by study, and which, therefore, in its best results,
betrays only the ill-regulated aspirations after the beautiful,
that belong to a semi-civilized people.

The Peruvian architecture, bearing also the general
characteristics of an imperfect state of refinement, had still
its peculiar character; and so uniform was that character, that
the edifices throughout the country seem to have been all cast in
the same mould. *25 They were usually built of porphyry or
granite; not unfrequently of brick.  This, which was formed into
blocks or squares of much larger dimensions than our brick, was
made of a tenacious earth mixed up with reeds or tough grass, and
acquired a degree of hardness with age that made it insensible
alike to the storms and the more trying sun of the tropics. *26
The walls were of great thickness, but low, seldom reaching to
more than twelve or fourteen feet in height.  It is rare to meet
with accounts of a building that rose to a second story. *27

[Footnote 25: It is the observation of Humboldt.  "Il est
impossible d'examiner attentivement un seul edifice du temps des
Incas, sans reconnoitre le meme type dans tous les autres qui
couvrent le dos des Andes, sur une longueur de plus de quatre
cent cinquante lieues, depuis mille jusqu'a quatre mille metres
d'elevation au-dessus du niveau de l'Ocean.  On dirait qu'un seul
architecte a construit ce grand nombre de monumens." Vues des
Cordilleres, p. 197.]

[Footnote 26: Ulloa, who carefully examined these bricks,
suggests that there must have been some secret in their
composition, - so superior in many respects to our own
manufacture, - now lost.  Not. Amer., ent. 20.]

[Footnote 27: Ibid., ubi supra.]

The apartments had no communication with one another, but usually
opened into a court; and, as they were unprovided with windows,
or apertures that served for them, the only light from without
must have been admitted by the doorways.  These were made with
the sides approaching each other towards the top, so that the
lintel was considerably narrower than the threshold, a
peculiarity, also, in Egyptian architecture.  The roofs have for
the most part disappeared with time.  Some few survive in the
less ambitious edifices, of a singular bell-shape, and made of a
composition of earth and pebbles. They are supposed, however, to
have been generally formed of more perishable materials, of wood
or straw.  It is certain that some of the most considerable
stone-buildings were thatched with straw.  Many seem to have been
constructed without the aid of cement; and writers have contended
that the Peruvians were unacquainted with the use of mortar, or
cement of any kind. *28 But a close, tenacious mould, mixed with
lime, may be discovered filling up the interstices of the granite
in some buildings; and in others, where the well-fitted blocks
leave no room for this coarser material, the eye of the antiquary
has detected a fine bituminous glue, as hard as the rock itself.

[Footnote 28: Among others, see Acosta, lib. 6, cap. 15. -
Robertson, History of America, (London, 1796,) vol. III. p. 213.]

[Footnote 29: Ondegardo, Rel. Seg., Ms. - Ulloa, Not. Amer., ent.
Humboldt, who analyzed the cement of the ancient structures at
Cannar, says that it is a true mortar, formed of a mixture of
pebbles and a clayey marl.  (Vues des Cordilleres, p. 116.)
Father Velasco is in raptures with an "almost imperceptible kind
of cement" made of lime and a bituminous substance resembling
glue, which incorporated with the stones so as to hold them
firmly together like one solid mass, yet left nothing visible to
the eye of the common observer.  This glutinous composition,
mixed with pebbles, made a sort of Macadamized road much used by
the Incas, as hard and almost as smooth as marble.  Hist. de
Quito, tom. I. pp. 126-128.]

The greatest simplicity is observed in the construction of the
buildings, which are usually free from outward ornament; though
in some the huge stones are shaped into a convex form with great
regularity, and adjusted with such nice precision to one another,
that it would be impossible, but for the flutings, to determine
the line of junction.  In others, the stone is rough, as it was
taken from the quarry, in the most irregular forms, with the
edges nicely wrought and fitted to each other.  There is no
appearance of columns or of arches; though there is some
contradiction as to the latter point.  But it is not to be
doubted, that, although they may have made some approach to this
mode of construction by the greater or less inclination of the
walls, the Peruvian architects were wholly unacquainted with the
true principle of the circular arch reposing on its key-stone.

[Footnote 30: Condamine, Mem. ap. Hist. de l'Acad. Royale de
Berlin, tom. II. p. 448. - Antig. y Monumentos del Peru, Ms. -
Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 5, lib 4, cap. 4. - Acosta, lib. 6,
cap. 14. - Ulloa, Voyage to S. America, vol. I. p 469. -
Ondegardo, Rel. Seg., Ms.]

The architecture of the Incas is characterized, says an eminent
traveller, "by simplicity, symmetry and solidity." *31 It may
seem unphilosophical to condemn the peculiar fashion of a nation
as indicating want of taste, because its standard of taste
differs from our own.  Yet there is an incongruity in the
composition of the Peruvian buildings which argues a very
imperfect acquaintance with the first principles of architecture.
While they put together their bulky masses of porphyry and
granite with the nicest art, they were incapable of mortising
their timbers, and, in their ignorance of iron, knew no better
way of holding the beams together than tying them with thongs of
maguey.  In the same incongruous spirit, the building that was
thatched with straw, and unilluminated by a window, was glowing
with tapestries of gold and silver!  These are the
inconsistencies of a rude people, among whom the arts are but
partially developed.  It might not be difficult to find examples
of like inconsistency in the architecture and domestic
arrangements of our Anglo-Saxon, and, at a still later period, of
our Norman ancestors.

[Footnote 31: "Simplicite, symetrie, et solidite, voila les trois
caracteres par lesquels se distinguent avantageusement tous les
edifices peruviens.' Humboldt, Vues des Cordilleres, p. 115.]

Yet the buildings of the Incas were accommodated to the character
of the climate, and were well fitted to resist those terrible
convulsions which belong to the land of volcanoes.  The wisdom of
their plan is attested by the number which still survive, while
the more modern constructions of the Conquerors have been buried
in ruins.  The hand of the Conquerors, indeed, has fallen heavily
on these venerable monuments, and, in their blind and
superstitious search for hidden treasure, has caused infinitely
more ruin than time or the earthquake. *32 Yet enough of these
monuments still remain to invite the researches of the antiquary.
Those only in the most conspicuous situations have been hitherto
examined.  But, by the testimony of travellers, many more are to
be found in the less frequented parts of the country; and we may
hope they will one day call forth a kindred spirit of enterprise
to that which has so successfully explored the mysterious
recesses of Central America and Yucatan.

[Footnote 32: The anonymous author of the Antig. y Monumentos del
Peru, Ms., gives us, at second hand, one of those golden
traditions which, in early times, fostered the spirit of
adventure.  The tradition, in this instance, he thinks well
entitled to credit.  The reader will judge for himself.
"It is a well-authenticated report, and generally received, that
there is a secret hall in the fortress of Cuzco, where an immense
treasure is concealed, consisting of the statues of all the
Incas, wrought in gold.  A lady is still living, Dona Maria de
Esquivel, the wife of the last Inca, who has visited this hall,
and I have heard her relate the way in which she was carried to
see it.

"Don Carlos, the lady's husband, did not maintain a style of
living becoming his high rank.  Dona Maria sometimes reproached
him, declaring that she had been deceived into marrying a poor
Indian under the lofty title of Lord or Inca.  She said this so
frequently, that Don Carlos one night exclaimed, 'Lady!  do you
wish to know whether I am rich or poor?  You shall see that no
lord nor king in the world has a larger treasure than I have.'
Then covering her eyes with a handkerchief he made her turn round
two or three times, and, taking her by the hand, led her a short
distance before he removed the bandage.  On opening her eyes,
what was her amazement!  She had gone not more than two hundred
paces, and descended a short flight of steps, and she now found
herself in a large quadrangular hall, where, ranged on benches
round the walls, she beheld the statues of the Incas, each of the
size of a boy twelve years old, all of massive gold!  She saw
also many vessels of gold and silver.  'In fact,' she said, 'it
was one of the most magnificent treasures in the whole world!'"]

I cannot close this analysis of the Peruvian institutions without
a few reflections on their general character and tendency, which,
if they involve some repetition of previous remarks, may, I
trust, be excused, from my desire to leave a correct and
consistent impression on the reader.  In this survey, we cannot
but be struck with the total dissimilarity between these
institutions and those of the Aztecs, - the other great nation
who led in the march of civilization on this western continent,
and whose empire in the northern portion of it was as conspicuous
as that of the Incas in the south. Both nations came on the
plateau, and commenced their career of conquest, at dates, it may
be, not far removed from each other. *33 And it is worthy of
notice, that, in America, the elevated region along the crests of
the great mountain ranges should have been the chosen seat of
civilization in both hemispheres.

[Footnote 33: Ante, chap. 1.]

Very different was the policy pursued by the two races in their
military career.  The Aztecs, animated by the most ferocious
spirit, carried on a war of extermination, signalizing their
triumphs by the sacrifice of hecatombs of captives; while the
Incas, although they pursued the game of conquest with equal
pertinacity, preferred a milder policy, substituting negotiation
and intrigue for violence, and dealt with their antagonists so
that their future resources should not be crippled, and that they
should come as friends, not as foes, into the bosom of the

Their policy toward the conquered forms a contrast no less
striking to that pursued by the Aztecs.  The Mexican vassals were
ground by excessive imposts and military conscriptions.  No
regard was had to their welfare, and the only limit to oppression
was the power of endurance.  They were overawed by fortresses and
armed garrisons, and were made to feel every hour that they were
not part and parcel of the nation, but held only in subjugation
as a conquered people.  The Incas, on the other hand, admitted
their new subjects at once to all the rights enjoyed by the rest
of the community; and, though they made them conform to the
established laws and usages of the empire, they watched over
their personal security and comfort with a sort of parental
solicitude.  The motley population, thus bound together by common
interest, was animated by a common feeling of loyalty, which gave
greater strength and stability to the empire, as it became more
and more widely extended; while the various tribes who
successively came under the Mexican sceptre, being held together
only by the pressure of external force, were ready to fall
asunder the moment that that force was withdrawn.  The policy of
the two nations displayed the principle of fear as contrasted
with the principle of love.
The characteristic features of their religious systems had as
little resemblance to each other.  The whole Aztec pantheon
partook more or less of the sanguinary spirit of the terrible
war-god who presided over it, and their frivolous ceremonial
almost always terminated with human sacrifice and cannibal
orgies.  But the rites of the Peruvians were of a more innocent
cast, as they tended to a more spiritual worship.  For the
worship of the Creator is most nearly approached by that of the
heavenly bodies, which, as they revolve in their bright orbits,
seem to be the most glorious symbols of his beneficence and

In the minuter mechanical arts, both showed considerable skill;
but in the construction of important public works, of roads,
aqueducts, canals, and in agriculture in all its details, the
Peruvians were much superior.  Strange that they should have
fallen so far below their rivals in their efforts after a higher
intellectual culture, in astronomical science, more especially,
and in the art of communicating thought by visible symbols.  When
we consider the greater refinement of the Incas, their
inferiority to the Aztecs in these particulars can be explained
only by the fact, that the latter in all probability were
indebted for their science to the race who preceded them in the
land, - that shadowy race whose origin and whose end are alike
veiled from the eye of the inquirer, but who possibly may have
sought a refuge from their ferocious invaders in those regions of
Central America the architectural remains of which now supply us
with the most pleasing monuments of Indian civilization.  It is
with this more polished race, to whom the Peruvians seem to have
borne some resemblance in their mental and moral organization,
that they should be compared.  Had the empire of the Incas been
permitted to extend itself with the rapid strides with which it
was advancing at the period of the Spanish conquest, the two
races might have come into conflict, or, perhaps, into alliance
with one another.

The Mexicans and Peruvians, so different in the character of
their peculiar civilization, were, it seems probable, ignorant of
each other's existence; and it may appear singular, that, during
the simultaneous continuance of their empires, some of the seeds
of science and of art, which pass so imperceptibly from one
people to another, should not have found their way across the
interval which separated the two nations.  They furnish an
interesting example of the opposite directions which the human
mind may take in its struggle to emerge from darkness into the
light of civilization.
A closer resemblance - as I have more than once taken occasion to
notice - may be found between the Peruvian institutions and some
of the despotic governments of Eastern Asia; those governments
where despotism appears in its more mitigated form, and the whole
people, under the patriarchal sway of its sovereign, seem to be
gathered together like the members of one vast family. Such were
the Chinese, for example, whom the Peruvians resembled in their
implicit obedience to authority, their mild yet somewhat stubborn
temper, their solicitude for forms, their reverence for ancient
usage, their skill in the minuter manufactures, their imitative
rather than inventive cast of mind, and their invincible
patience, which serves instead of a more adventurous spirit for
the execution of difficult undertakings. *34

[Footnote 34: Count Carli has amused himself with tracing out the
different points of resemblance between the Chinese and the
Peruvians.  The emperor of China was styled the son of Heaven or
of the Sun.  He also held a plough once a year in presence of his
people, to show his respect for agriculture.  And the solstices
and equinoxes were noted, to determine the periods of their
religious festivals.  The coincidences are curious.  Lettres
Americaines, tom. II. pp. 7, 8.]

A still closer analogy may be found with the natives of Hindostan
in their division into castes, their worship of the heavenly
bodies and the elements of nature, and their acquaintance with
the scientific principles of husbandry.  To the ancient
Egyptians, also, they bore considerable resemblance in the same
particulars, as well as in those ideas of a future existence
which led them to attach so much importance to the permanent
preservation of the body.

But we shall look in vain in the history of the East for a
parallel to the absolute control exercised by the Incas over
their subjects.  In the East, this was founded on physical power,
- on the external resources of the government.  The authority of
the Inca might be compared with that of the Pope in the day of
his might, when Christendom trembled at the thunders of the
Vatican, and the successor of St. Peter set his foot on the necks
of princes.  But the authority of the Pope was founded on
opinion.  His temporal power was nothing.  The empire of the
Incas rested on both.  It was a theocracy more potent in its
operation than that of the Jews; for, though the sanction of the
law might be as great among the latter, the law was expounded by
a human lawgiver, the servant and representative of Divinity.
But the Inca was both the lawgiver and the law.  He was not
merely the representative of Divinity, or, like the Pope, its
vicegerent, but he was Divinity itself. The violation of his
ordinance was sacrilege.  Never was there a scheme of government
enforced by such terrible sanctions, or which bore so
oppressively on the subjects of it.  For it reached not only to
the visible acts, but to the private conduct, the words, the very
thoughts, of its vassals.
It added not a little to the efficacy of the government, that,
below the sovereign, there was an order of hereditary nobles of
the same divine original with himself, who, placed far below
himself, were still immeasurably above the rest of the community,
not merely by descent, but, as it would seem, by their
intellectual nature.  These were the exclusive depositaries of
power, and, as their long hereditary training made them familiar
with their vocation, and secured them implicit deference from the
multitude, they became the prompt and well-practised agents for
carrying out the executive measures of the administration.  All
that occurred throughout the wide extent of his empire - such was
the perfect system of communication - passed in review, as it
were, before the eyes of the monarch, and a thousand hands, armed
with irresistible authority, stood ready in every quarter to do
his bidding.  Was it not, as we have said, the most oppressive,
though the mildest, of despotisms?
It was the mildest, from the very circumstance, that the
transcendent rank of the sovereign, and the humble, nay,
superstitious, devotion to his will made it superfluous to assert
this will by acts of violence or rigor. The great mass of the
people may have appeared to his eyes as but little removed above
the condition of the brute, formed to minister to his pleasures.
But, from their very helplessness, he regarded them with feelings
of commiseration, like those which a kind master might feel for
the poor animals committed to his charge, or - to do justice to
the beneficent character attributed to many of the Incas - that a
parent might feel for his young and impotent offspring. The laws
were carefully directed to their preservation and personal
comfort. The people were not allowed to be employed on works
pernicious to their health, nor to pine - a sad contrast to their
subsequent destiny - under the imposition of tasks too heavy for
their powers.  They were never made the victims of public or
private extortion; and a benevolent forecast watched carefully
over their necessities, and provided for their relief in seasons
of infirmity, and for their sustenance in health.  The government
of the Incas, however arbitrary in form, was in its spirit truly
Yet in this there was nothing cheering to the dignity of human
nature. What the people had was conceded as a boon, not as a
right.  When a nation was brought under the sceptre of the Incas,
it resigned every personal right, even the rights dearest to
humanity.  Under this extraordinary polity, a people advanced in
many of the social refinements, well skilled in manufactures and
agriculture, were unacquainted, as we have seen, with money. They
had nothing that deserved to be called property.  They could
follow no craft, could engage in no labor, no amusement, but such
as was specially provided by law.  They could not change their
residence or their dress without a license from the government.
They could not even exercise the freedom which is conceded to the
most abject in other countries, that of selecting their own
wives.  The imperative spirit of despotism would not allow them
to be happy or miserable in any way but that established by law.
The power of free agency - the inestimable and inborn right of
every human being - was annihilated in Peru.

The astonishing mechanism of the Peruvian polity could have
resulted only from the combined authority of opinion and positive
power in the ruler to an extent unprecedented in the history of
man.  Yet that it should have so successfully gone into
operation, and so long endured, in opposition to the taste, the
prejudices, and the very principles of our nature, is a strong
proof of a generally wise and temperate administration of the
The policy habitually pursued by the Incas for the prevention of
evils that might have disturbed the order of things is well
exemplified in their provisions against poverty and idleness.  In
these they rightly discerned the two great causes of disaffection
in a populous community.  The industry of the people was secured
not only by their compulsory occupations at home, but by their
employment on those great public works which covered every part
of the country, and which still bear testimony in their decay to
their primitive grandeur.  Yet it may well astonish us to find,
that the natural difficulty of these undertakings, sufficiently
great in itself, considering the imperfection of their tools and
machinery, was inconceivably enhanced by the politic contrivance
of government.  The royal edifices of Quito, we are assured by
the Spanish conquerors, were constructed of huge masses of stone,
many of which were carried all the way along the mountain roads
from Cuzco, a distance of several hundred leagues. *35 The great
square of the capital was filled to a considerable depth with
mould brought with incredible labor up the steep slopes of the
Cordilleras from the distant shores of the Pacific Ocean. *36
Labor was regarded not only as a means, but as an end, by the
Peruvian law.

[Footnote 35: "Era muy principal intento que la gente no holgase,
que dava causa a que despues que los Ingas estuvieron en paz
hacer traer de Quito al Cuzco piedra que venia de provincia en
provincia para hacer casas para si o pa el Sol en gran cantidad,
y del Cuzco llevalla a Quito pa el mismo efecto, . . . . . y asi
destas cosas hacian los Ingas muchas de poco provecho y de
escesivo travajo en que traian ocupadas las provincias
ordinariamte, y en fin el travajo era causa de su conservacion."
Ondegardo, Rel. Prim., Ms. - Also Antig. y Monumentos del Peru,

[Footnote 36: This was literally gold dust; for Ondegardo states,
that, when governor of Cuzco, he caused great quantities of gold
vessels and ornaments to be disinterred from the sand in which
they had been secreted by the natives.  "Que toda aquella plaza
del Cuzco le sacaron la tierra propia, y se llevo a otras partes
por cosa de gran estima, e la hincheron de arena de la costa de
la mar, como hasta dos palmos y medio en algunas partes, mas
sembraron por toda ella muchos vasos de oro e plata, y hovejuelas
y hombrecillos pequenos de lo mismo, lo cual se ha sacado en
mucha cantidad, que todo lo hemos visto; desta arena estaba toda
la plaza, quando yo fui a governar aquella Ciudad; e si fue
verdad que aquella se trajo de ellos, afirman e tienen puestos en
sus registros, paresceme que sea ansi, que toda la tierra junta
tubo necesidad de entender en ello, por que la plaza es grande, y
no tiene numero las cargas que en ella entraron; y la costa por
lo mas cerca esta mas de nobenta leguas a lo que creo, y cierto
yo me satisfice, porque todos dicen, que aquel genero de arena,
no lo hay hasta la costa." Rel. Seg., Ms]

With their manifold provisions against poverty the reader has
already been made acquainted.  They were so perfect, that, in
their wide extent of territory, - much of it smitten with the
curse of barrenness, - no man, however humble, suffered from the
want of food and clothing.  Famine, so common a scourge in every
other American nation, so common at that period in every country
of civilized Europe, was an evil unknown in the dominions of the

The most enlightened of the Spaniards who first visited Peru,
struck with the general appearance of plenty and prosperity, and
with the astonishing order with which every thing throughout the
country was regulated, are loud in their expressions of
admiration.  No better government, in their opinion, could have
been devised for the people. Contented with their condition, and
free from vice, to borrow the language of an eminent authority of
that early day, the mild and docile character of the Peruvians
would have well fitted them to receive the teachings of
Christianity, had the love of conversion, instead of gold,
animated the breasts of the Conquerors. *37 And a philosopher of
a later time, warmed by the contemplation of the picture - which
his own fancy had colored - of public prosperity and private
happiness under the rule of the Incas, pronounces "the moral man
in Peru far superior to the European." *38

[Footnote 37: "Y si Dios permitiera que tubieran quien con celo
de Cristiandad, y no con ramo de codicia, en lo pasado, les
dieran entera noticia de nuestra sagrada Religion, era gente en
que bien imprimiera, segun vemos por lo que ahora con la buena
orden que hay se obra." Sarmiento, Relacion, Ms., cap. 22.

But the most emphatic testimony to the merits of the people is
that afforded by Mancio Sierra Lejesema, the last survivor of the
early Spanish Conquerors, who settled in Peru.  In the preamble
to his testament, made, as he states, to relieve his conscience,
at the time of his death, he declares that the whole population,
under the Incas, was distinguished by sobriety and industry; that
such things as robbery and theft were unknown; that, far from
licentiousness, there was not even a prostitute in the country;
and that every thing was conducted with the greatest order, and
entire submission to authority.  The panegyric is somewhat too
unqualified for a whole nation, and may lead one to suspect that
the stings of remorse for his own treatment of the natives goaded
the dying veteran into a higher estimate of their deserts than
was strictly warranted by facts.  Yet this testimony by such a
man at such a time is too remarkable, as well as too honorable to
the Peruvians, to be passed over in silence by the historian; and
I have transferred the document in the original to Appendix, No.

[Footnote 38: "Sans doute l'homme moral du Perou etoit infiniment
plus perfectionne que l'Europeen." Carli, Lettres Americaines,
tom. I. p. 215.]

Yet such results are scarcely reconcilable with the theory of the
government I have attempted to analyze.  Where there is no free
agency, there can be no morality.  Where there is no temptation,
there can be little claim to virtue.  Where the routine is
rigorously prescribed by law, the law, and not the man, must have
the credit of the conduct.  If that government is the best, which
is felt the least, which encroaches on the natural liberty of the
subject only so far as is essential to civil subordination, then
of all governments devised by man the Peruvian has the least real
claim to our admiration.

It is not easy to comprehend the genius and the full import of
institutions so opposite to those of our own free republic, where
every man, however humble his condition, may aspire to the
highest honors of the state, - may select his own career, and
carve out his fortune in his own way; where the light of
knowledge, instead of being concentrated on a chosen few, is shed
abroad like the light of day, and suffered to fall equally on the
poor and the rich; where the collision of man with man wakens a
generous emulation that calls out latent talent and tasks the
energies to the utmost; where consciousness of independence gives
a feeling of self-reliance unknown to the timid subjects of a
despotism; where, in short, the government is made for man, - not
as in Peru, where man seemed to be made only for the government.
The New World is the theatre on which these two political
systems, so opposite in their character, have been carried into
operation.  The empire of the Incas has passed away and left no
trace.  The other great experiment is still going on, - the
experiment which is to solve the problem, so long contested in
the Old World, of the capacity of man for self-government.  Alas
for humanity, if it should fail!

The testimony of the Spanish conquerors is not uniform in respect
to the favorable influence exerted by the Peruvian institutions
on the character of the people.  Drinking and dancing are said to
have been the pleasures to which they were immoderately addicted.
Like the slaves and serfs in other lands, whose position excluded
them from more serious and ennobling occupations, they found a
substitute in frivolous or sensual indulgence. Lazy, luxurious,
and licentious, are the epithets bestowed on them by one of those
who saw them at the Conquest, but whose pen was not too friendly
to the Indian. *39 Yet the spirit of independence could hardly be
strong in a people who had no interest in the soil, no personal
rights to defend; and the facility with which they yielded to the
Spanish invader - after every allowance for their comparative
inferiority - argues a deplorable destitution of that patriotic
feeling which holds life as little in comparison with freedom.

[Footnote 39: "Heran muy dados a la lujuria y al bever, tenian
acceso carnal con las hermanas y las mugeres de sus padres como
no fuesen sus mismas madres, y aun algunos avia que con ellas
mismas lo hacian y ansi mismo con sus hijas. Estando borrachos
tocavan algunos en el pecado nefando, emborrachavanse muy a
menudo, y estando borrachos todo lo que el demonio les traia a la
voluntad hacian Heran estos orejones muy soberbios y

. . . . . Tenian otras muchas maldades que por ser muchas no las
digo." Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms.

These random aspersions of the hard conqueror show too gross an
ignorance of the institutions of the people to merit much
confidence as to what is said of their character.]

But we must not judge too hardly of the unfortunate native,
because he quailed before the civilization of the European.  We
must not be insensible to the really great results that were
achieved by the government of the Incas. We must not forget,
that, under their rule, the meanest of the people enjoyed a far
greater degree of personal comfort, at least, a greater exemption
from physical suffering, than was possessed by similar classes in
other nations on the American continent, - greater, probably,
than was possessed by these classes in most of the countries of
feudal Europe.  Under their sceptre, the higher orders of the
state had made advances in many of the arts that belong to a
cultivated community.  The foundations of a regular government
were laid, which, in an age of rapine, secured to its subjects
the inestimable blessings of tranquillity and safety.  By the
well-sustained policy of the Incas, the rude tribes of the forest
were gradually drawn from their fastnesses, and gathered within
the folds of civilization; and of these materials was constructed
a flourishing and populous empire, such as was to be found in no
other quarter of the American continent.  The defects of this
government were those of over-refinement in legislation, - the
last defects to have been looked for, certainly, in the American

Note.  I have not thought it necessary to swell this Introduction
by an inquiry into the origin of Peruvian civilization, like that
appended to the history of the Mexican.  The Peruvian history
doubtless suggests analogies with more than one nation in the
East, some of which have been briefly adverted to in the
preceding pages; although these analogies are adduced there not
as evidence of a common origin, but as showing the coincidences
which might naturally spring up among different nations under the
same phase of civilization.  Such coincidences are neither so
numerous nor so striking as those afforded by the Aztec history.
The correspondence presented by the astronomical science of the
Mexicans is alone of more importance than all the rest.  Yet the
light of analogy, afforded by the institutions of the Incas,
seems to point, as far as it goes, towards the same direction;
and as the investigation could present but little substantially
to confirm, and still less to confute, the views taken in the
former disquisition, I have not thought it best to fatigue the
reader with it.

Two of the prominent authorities on whom I have relied in this
Introductory portion of the work, are Juan de Sarmiento and the
Licentiate Ondegardo.  Of the former I have been able to collect
no information beyond what is afforded by his own writings.  In
the title prefixed to his manuscript, he is styled President of
the Council of the Indies, a post of high authority, which infers
a weight of character in the party, and means of information,
that entitle his opinions on colonial topics to great deference.
These means of information were much enlarged by Sarmiento's
visit to the colonies, during the administration of Gasca.
Having conceived the design of compiling a history of the ancient
Peruvian institutions, he visited Cuzco, as he tells us, in 1550,
and there drew from the natives themselves the materials for his
narrative.  His position gave him access to the most authentic
sources of knowledge, and from the lips of the Inca nobles, the
best instructed of the conquered race, he gathered the traditions
of their national history and institutions.  The quipus formed,
as we have seen, an imperfect system of mnemonics, requiring
constant attention, and much inferior to the Mexican
hieroglyphics.  It was only by diligent instruction that they
were made available to historical purposes; and this instruction
was so far neglected after the Conquest, that the ancient annals
of the country would have perished with the generation which was
the sole depositary of them, had it not been for the efforts of a
few intelligent scholars, like Sarmiento, who saw the importance,
at this critical period, of cultivating an intercourse with the
natives, and drawing from them their hidden stores of
To give still further authenticity to his work, Sarmiento
travelled over the country, examined the principal objects of
interest with his own eyes, and thus verified the accounts of the
natives as far as possible by personal observation.  The result
of these labors was his work entitled, "Relacion de la sucesion y
govierno de las Yngas Senores naturales que fueron de las
Provincias del Peru y otras cosas tocantes a aquel Reyno, para el
Iltmo. Senor Dn Juan Sarmiento, Presidente del Consejo R1 de

It is divided into chapters, and embraces about four hundred
folio pages in manuscript.  The introductory portion of the work
is occupied with the traditionary tales of the origin and early
period of the Incas; teeming, as usual, in the antiquities of a
barbarous people, with legendary fables of the most wild and
monstrous character.  Yet these puerile conceptions afford an
inexhaustible mine for the labors of the antiquarian, who
endeavours to unravel the allegorical web which a cunning
priesthood had devised as symbolical of those mysteries of
creation that it was beyond their power to comprehend.  But
Sarmiento happily confines himself to the mere statement of
traditional fables, without the chimerical ambition to explain
From this region of romance, Sarmiento passes to the institutions
of the Peruvians, describes their ancient polity, their religion,
their progress in the arts, especially agriculture; and presents,
in short, an elaborate picture of the civilization which they
reached under the Inca dynasty.  This part of his work, resting,
as it does, on the best authority, confirmed in many instances by
his own observation, is of unquestionable value, and is written
with an apparent respect for truth, that engages the confidence
of the reader. The concluding portion of the manuscript is
occupied with the civil history of the country.  The reigns of
the early Incas, which lie beyond the sober province of history,
he despatches with commendable brevity. But on the three last
reigns, and fortunately of the greatest princes who occupied the
Peruvian throne, he is more diffuse.  This was comparatively firm
ground for the chronicler, for the events were too recent to be
obscured by the vulgar legends that gather like moss round every
incident of the older time.  His account stops with the Spanish
invasion; for this story, Sarmiento felt, might be safely left to
his contemporaries who acted a part in it, but whose taste and
education had qualified them but indifferently for exploring the
antiquities and social institutions of the natives.

Sarmiento's work is composed in a simple, perspicuous style,
without that ambition of rhetorical display too common with his
countrymen.  He writes with honest candor, and while he does
ample justice to the merits and capacity of the conquered races,
he notices with indignation the atrocities of the Spaniards and
the demoralizing tendency of the Conquest.  It may be thought,
indeed, that he forms too high an estimate of the attainments of
the nation under the Incas.  And it is not improbable, that,
astonished by the vestiges it afforded of an original
civilization, he became enamoured of his subject, and thus
exhibited it in colors somewhat too glowing to the eye of the
European.  But this was an amiable failing, not too largely
shared by the stern Conquerors, who subverted the institutions of
the country, and saw little to admire in it, save its gold.  It
must be further admitted, that Sarmiento has no design to impose
on his reader, and that he is careful to distinguish between what
he reports on hearsay, and what on personal experience.  The
Father of History himself does not discriminate between these two
things more carefully.

Neither is the Spanish historian to be altogether vindicated from
the superstition which belongs to his time; and we often find him
referring to the immediate interposition of Satan those effects
which might quite as well be charged on the perverseness of man.
But this was common to the age, and to the wisest men in it; and
it is too much to demand of a man to be wiser than his
generation.  It is sufficient praise of Sarmiento, that, in an
age when superstition was too often allied with fanaticism, he
seems to have had no tincture of bigotry in his nature.  His
heart opens with benevolent fulness to the unfortunate native;
and his language, while it is not kindled into the religious glow
of the missionary, is warmed by a generous ray of philanthropy
that embraces the conquered, no less than the conquerors, as his
Notwithstanding the great value of Sarmiento's work for the
information it affords of Peru under the Incas, it is but little
known, has been rarely consulted by historians, and still remains
among the unpublished manuscripts which lie, like uncoined
bullion, in the secret chambers of the Escurial.
The other authority to whom I have alluded, the Licentiate Polo
de Ondegardo, was a highly respectable jurist, whose name appears
frequently in the affairs of Peru.  I find no account of the
period when he first came into the country.  But he was there on
the arrival of Gasca, and resided at Lima under the usurpation of
Gonzalo Pizarro.  When the artful Cepeda endeavoured to secure
the signatures of the inhabitants to the instrument proclaiming
the sovereignty of his chief, we find Ondegardo taking the lead
among those of his profession in resisting it.  On Gasca's
arrival, he consented to take a commission in his army.  At the
close of the rebellion he was made corregidor of La Plata, and
subsequently of Cuzco, in which honorable station he seems to
have remained several years.  In the exercise of his magisterial
functions, he was brought into familiar intercourse with the
natives, and had ample opportunity for studying their laws and
ancient customs.  He conducted himself with such prudence and
moderation, that he seems to have won the confidence not only of
his countrymen but of the Indians; while the administration was
careful to profit by his large experience in devising measures
for the better government of the colony.

The Relaciones, so often cited in this History, were prepared at
the suggestion of the viceroys, the first being addressed to the
Marques de Canete, in 1561, and the second, ten years later, to
the Conde de Nieva.  The two cover about as much ground as
Sarmiento's manuscript; and the second memorial, written so long
after the first, may be thought to intimate the advancing age of
the author, in the greater carelessness and diffuseness of the

As these documents are in the nature of answers to the
interrogatories propounded by government, the range of topics
might seem to be limited within narrower bounds than the modern
historian would desire.  These queries, indeed, had particular
reference to the revenues, tributes, - the financial
administration, in short, of the Incas; and on these obscure
topics the communication of Ondegardo is particularly full.  But
the enlightened curiosity of government embraced a far wider
range; and the answers necessarily implied an acquaintance with
the domestic policy of the Incas, with their laws, social habits,
their religion, science, and arts, in short, with all that make
up the elements of civilization.  Ondegardo's memoirs, therefore,
cover the whole ground of inquiry for the philosophic historian.
In the management of these various subjects, Ondegardo displays
both acuteness and erudition.  He never shrinks from the
discussion, however difficult; and while he gives his conclusions
with an air of modesty, it is evident that he feels conscious of
having derived his information through the most authentic
channels.  He rejects the fabulous with disdain; decides on the
probabilities of such facts as he relates, and candidly exposes
the deficiency of evidence.  Far from displaying the simple
enthusiasm of the well-meaning but credulous missionary, he
proceeds with the cool and cautious step of a lawyer accustomed
to the conflict of testimony and the uncertainty of oral
tradition.  This circumspect manner of proceeding, and the
temperate character of his judgments, entitle Ondegardo to much
higher consideration as an authority than most of his countrymen
who have treated of Indian antiquities.
There runs through his writings a vein of humanity, shown
particularly in his tenderness to the unfortunate natives, to
whose ancient civilization he does entire, but not extravagant,
justice; while, like Sarmiento, he fearlessly denounces the
excesses of his own countrymen, and admits the dark reproach they
had brought on the honor of the nation.  But while this censure
forms the strongest ground for condemnation of the Conquerors,
since it comes from the lips of a Spaniard like themselves, it
proves, also, that Spain in this age of violence could send forth
from her bosom wise and good men who refused to make common cause
with the licentious rabble around them.  Indeed, proof enough is
given in these very memorials of the unceasing efforts of the
colonial government, from the good viceroy Mendoza downwards, to
secure protection and the benefit of a mild legislation to the
unfortunate natives. But the iron Conquerors, and the colonist
whose heart softened only to the touch of gold, presented a
formidable barrier to improvement.
Ondegardo's writings are honorably distinguished by freedom from
that superstition which is the debasing characteristic of the
times; a superstition shown in the easy credit given to the
marvellous, and this equally whether in heathen or in Christian
story; for in the former the eye of credulity could discern as
readily the direct interposition of Satan, as in the latter the
hand of the Almighty.  It is this ready belief in a spiritual
agency, whether for good or for evil, which forms one of the most
prominent features in the writings of the sixteenth century.
Nothing could be more repugnant to the true spirit of
philosophical inquiry, or more irreconcilable with rational
criticism.  Far from betraying such weakness, Ondegardo writes in
a direct and business-like manner, estimating things for what
they are worth by the plain rule of common-sense.  He keeps the
main object of his argument ever in view, without allowing
himself, like the garrulous chroniclers of the period, to be led
astray into a thousand rambling episodes that bewilder the reader
and lead to nothing.

Ondegardo's memoirs deal not only with the antiquities of the
nation, but with its actual condition, and with the best means
for redressing the manifold evils to which it was subjected under
the stern rule of its conquerors.  His suggestions are replete
with wisdom, and a merciful policy, that would reconcile the
interests of government with the prosperity and happiness of its
humblest vassal.  Thus, while his contemporaries gathered light
from his suggestions as to the present condition of affairs, the
historian of later times is no less indebted to him for
information in respect to the past.  His manuscript was freely
consulted by Herrera, and the reader, as he peruses the pages of
the learned historian of the Indies, is unconsciously enjoying
the benefit of the researches of Ondegardo.  His valuable
Relaciones thus had their uses for future generations, though
they have never been admitted to the honors of the press.  The
copy in my possession, like that of Sarmiento's manuscript, for
which I am indebted to that industrious bibliographer, Mr. Rich,
formed part of the magnificent collection of Lord Kingsborough, -
a name ever to be held in honor by the scholar for his
indefatigable efforts to illustrate the antiquities of America.

Ondegardo's manuscripts, it should be remarked, do not bear his
signature.  But they contain allusions to several actions of the
writer's life, which identify them, beyond any reasonable doubt,
as his production. In the archives of Simancas is a duplicate
copy of the first memorial, Relacion Primera, though, like the
one in the Escurial, without its author's name. Munoz assigns it
to the pen of Gabriel de Rojas, a distinguished cavalier of the
Conquest.  This is clearly an error; for the author of the
manuscript identifies himself with Ondegardo, by declaring, in
his reply to the fifth interrogatory, that he was the person who
discovered the mummies of the Incas in Cuzco; an act expressly
referred, both by Acosta and Garcilasso, to the Licentiate Polo
de Ondegardo, when corregidor of that city. - Should the savans
of Madrid hereafter embrace among the publications of valuable
manuscripts these Relaciones, they should be careful not to be
led into an error here, by the authority of a critic like Munoz,
whose criticism is rarely at fault.

Book II: Discovery Of Peru

Chapter I

Ancient And Modern Science. - Art Of Navigation. - Maritime
Discovery. - Spirit Of The Spaniards. - Possessions In The New
World. - Rumors Concerning Peru.

Whatever difference of opinion may exist as to the comparative
merit of the ancients and the moderns in the arts, in poetry,
eloquence, and all that depends on imagination, there can be no
doubt that in science the moderns have eminently the advantage.
It could not be otherwise.  In the early ages of the world, as in
the early period of life, there was the freshness of a morning
existence, when the gloss of novelty was on every thing that met
the eye; when the senses, not blunted by familiarity, were more
keenly alive to the beautiful, and the mind, under the influence
of a healthy and natural taste, was not perverted by
philosophical theory; when the simple was necessarily connected
with the beautiful, and the epicurean intellect, sated by
repetition, had not begun to seek for stimulants in the fantastic
and capricious.  The realms of fancy were all untravelled, and
its fairest flowers had not been gathered, nor its beauties
despoiled by the rude touch of those who affected to cultivate
them.  The wing of genius was not bound to the earth by the cold
and conventional rules of criticism, but was permitted to take
its flight far and wide over the broad expanse of creation.
But with science it was otherwise.  No genius could suffice for
the creation of facts, - hardly for their detection.  They were
to be gathered in by painful industry; to be collected from
careful observation and experiment.  Genius, indeed, might
arrange and combine these facts into new forms, and elicit from
their combinations new and important inferences; and in this
process might almost rival in originality the creations of the
poet and the artist.  But if the processes of science are
necessarily slow, they are sure.  There is no retrograde movement
in her domain.  Arts may fade, the Muse become dumb, a moral
lethargy may lock up the faculties of a nation, the nation itself
may pass away and leave only the memory of its existence, but the
stores of science it has garnered up will endure for ever.  As
other nations come upon the stage, and new forms of civilization
arise, the monuments of art and of imagination, productions of an
older time, will lie as an obstacle in the path of improvement.
They cannot be built upon; they occupy the ground which the new
aspirant for immortality would cover.  The whole work is to be
gone over again, and other forms of beauty - whether higher or
lower in the scale of merit, but unlike the past - must arise to
take a place by their side.  But, in science, every stone that
has been laid remains as the foundation for another.  The coming
generation takes up the work where the preceding left it.  There
is no retrograde movement.  The individual nation may recede, but
science still advances.  Every step that has been gained makes
the ascent easier for those who come after.  Every step carries
the patient inquirer after truth higher and higher towards
heaven, and unfolds to him, as he rises, a wider horizon, and new
and more magnificent views of the universe.

Geography partook of the embarrassments which belonged to every
other department of science in the primitive ages of the world.
The knowledge of the earth could come only from an extended
commerce; and commerce is founded on artificial wants or an
enlightened curiosity, hardly compatible with the earlier
condition of society.  In the infancy of nations, the different
tribes, occupied with their domestic feuds, found few occasions
to wander beyond the mountain chain or broad stream that formed
the natural boundary of their domains.  The Phoenicians, it is
true, are said to have sailed beyond the Pillars of Hercules, and
to have launched out on the great western ocean.  But the
adventures of these ancient voyagers belong to the mythic legends
of antiquity, and ascend far beyond the domain of authentic
The Greeks, quick and adventurous, skilled in mechanical art, had
many of the qualities of successful navigators, and within the
limits of their little inland sea ranged fearlessly and freely.
But the conquests of Alexander did more to extend the limits of
geographical science, and opened an acquaintance with the remote
countries of the East.  Yet the march of the conqueror is slow in
comparison with the movements of the unencumbered traveller.  The
Romans were still less enterprising than the Greeks, were less
commercial in their character.  The contributions to geographical
knowledge grew with the slow acquisitions of empire.  But their
system was centralizing in its tendency; and instead of taking an
outward direction and looking abroad for discovery, every part of
the vast imperial domain turned towards the capital as its head
and central point of attraction.  The Roman conqueror pursued his
path by land, not by sea.  But the water is the great highway
between nations, the true element for the discoverer.  The Romans
were not a maritime people.  At the close of their empire,
geographical science could hardly be said to extend farther than
to an acquaintance with Europe, - and this not its more northern
division, - together with a portion of Asia and Africa; while
they had no other conception of a world beyond the western waters
than was to be gathered from the fortunate prediction of the
poet. *1

[Footnote 1: Seneca's well-known prediction, in his Medea, is,
perhaps, the most remarkable random prophecy on record.  For it
is not a simple extension of the boundaries of the known parts of
the globe that is so confidently announced, but the existence of
a New World across the waters, to be revealed in coming ages

"Quibus Oceanus
Vincula rerum laxet, et ingens
Pateat tellus, Typhisque Novos
Detegat Orbes."

It was the lucky hit of the philosopher rather than the poet.]
Then followed the Middle Ages; the dark ages, as they are called,
though in their darkness were matured those seeds of knowledge,
which, in fulness of time, were to spring up into new and more
glorious forms of civilization. The organization of society
became more favorable to geographical science. Instead of one
overgrown, lethargic empire, oppressing every thing by its
colossal weight, Europe was broken up into various independent
communities, many of which, adopting liberal forms of government,
felt all the impulses natural to freemen; and the petty republics
on the Mediterranean and the Baltic sent forth their swarms of
seamen in a profitable commerce, that knit together the different
countries scattered along the great European waters.
But the improvements which took place in the art of navigation,
the more accurate measurement of time, and, above all, the
discovery of the polarity of the magnet, greatly advanced the
cause of geographical knowledge.  Instead of creeping timidly
along the coast, or limiting his expeditions to the narrow basins
of inland waters, the voyager might now spread his sails boldly
on the deep, secure of a guide to direct his bark unerringly
across the illimitable waste.  The consciousness of this powered
thought to travel in a new direction; and the mariner began to
look with earnestness for another path to the Indian
Spice-islands than that by which the Eastern caravans had
traversed the continent of Asia.  The nations on whom the spirit
of enterprise, at this crisis, naturally descended, were Spain
and Portugal, placed, as they were, on the outposts of the
European continent, commanding the great theatre of future

Both countries felt the responsibility of their new position.
The crown of Portugal was constant in its efforts, through the
fifteenth century, to find a passage round the southern point of
Africa into the Indian Ocean; though so timid was the navigation,
that every fresh headland became a formidable barrier; and it was
not till the latter part of the century that the adventurous Diaz
passed quite round the Stormy Cape, as he termed it, but which
John the Second, with happier augury, called the Cape of Good
Hope. But, before Vasco de Gama had availed himself of this
discovery to spread his sails in the Indian seas, Spain entered
on her glorious career, and sent Columbus across the western

The object of the great navigator was still the discovery of a
route to India, but by the west instead of the east.  He had no
expectation of meeting with a continent in his way, and, after
repeated voyages, he remained in his original error, dying, as is
well known, in the conviction that it was the eastern shore of
Asia which he had reached.   It was the same object which
directed the nautical enterprises of those who followed in the
Admiral's track; and the discovery of a strait into the Indian
Ocean was the burden of every order from the government, and the
design of many an expedition to different points of the new
continent, which seemed to stretch its leviathan length along
from one pole to the other.  The discovery of an Indian passage
is the true key to the maritime movements of the fifteenth and
the first half of the sixteenth centuries.  It was the great
leading idea that gave the character to the enterprise of the

It is not easy at this time to comprehend the impulse given to
Europe by the discovery of America.  It was not the gradual
acquisition of some border territory, a province or a kingdom
that had been gained, but a New World that was now thrown open to
the European.  The races of animals, the mineral treasures, the
vegetable forms, and the varied aspects of nature, man in the
different phases of civilization, filled the mind with entirely
new sets of ideas, that changed the habitual current of thought
and stimulated it to indefinite conjecture.  The eagerness to
explore the wonderful secrets of the new hemisphere became so
active, that the principal cities of Spain were, in a manner,
depopulated, as emigrants thronged one after another to take
their chance upon the deep. *2 It was a world of romance that was
thrown open; for, whatever might be the luck of the adventurer,
his reports on his return were tinged with a coloring of romance
that stimulated still higher the sensitive fancies of his
countrymen, and nourished the chimerical sentiments of an age of
chivalry.  They listened with attentive ears to tales of Amazons
which seemed to realize the classic legends of antiquity, to
stories of Patagonian giants, to flaming pictures of an El
Dorado, where the sands sparkled with gems, and golden pebbles as
large as birds' eggs were dragged in nets out of the rivers.

[Footnote 2: The Venetian ambassador, Andrea Navagiero, who
travelled through Spain in 1525, near the period of the
commencement of our narrative, notices the general fever of
emigration.  Seville, in particular, the great port of
embarkation, was so stripped of its inhabitants, he says, "that
the city was left almost to the women." Viaggio fatto in Spagna,
(Vinegia, 1563.) fol. 15.]

Yet that the advtenturers were no impostors, but dupes, too easy
dupes of their own credulous fancies, is shown by the extravagant
character of their enterprises; by expeditions in search of the
magical Fountain of Health, of the golden Temple of Doboyba, of
the golden sepulchres of Zenu; for gold was ever floating before
their distempered vision, and the name of Castilla del Oro,
Golden Castile, the most unhealthy and unprofitable region of the
Isthmus, held out a bright promise to the unfortunate settler,
who too frequently, instead of gold, found there only his grave.

In this realm of enchantment, all the accessories served to
maintain the illusion.  The simple natives, with their
defenceless bodies and rude weapons were no match for the
European warrior armed to the teeth in mail.  The odds were as
great as those found in any legend of chivalry, where the lance
of the good knight overturned hundreds at a touch.  The perils
that lay in the discoverer's path, and the sufferings he had to
sustain, were scarcely inferior to those that beset the
knight-errant.  Hunger and thirst and fatigue, the deadly
effluvia of the morass with its swarms of venomous insects, the
cold of mountain snows, and the scorching sun of the tropics,
these were the lot of every cavalier who came to seek his
fortunes in the New World.  It was the reality of romance.  The
life of the Spanish adventurer was one chapter more - and not the
least remarkable - in the chronicles of knight-errantry.

The character of the warrior took somewhat of the exaggerated
coloring shed over his exploits.  Proud and vainglorious, swelled
with lofty anticipations of his destiny, and an invincible
confidence in his own resources, no danger could appall and no
toil could tire him.  The greater the danger, indeed, the higher
the charm; for his soul revelled in excitement, and the
enterprise without peril wanted that spur of romance which was
necessary to rouse his energies into action.  Yet in the motives
of action meaner influences were strangely mingled with the
loftier, the temporal with the spiritual.  Gold was the incentive
and the recompense, and in the pursuit of it his inflexible
nature rarely hesitated as to the means. His courage was sullied
with cruelty, the cruelty that flowed equally - strange as it may
seem - from his avarice and his religion; religion as it was
understood in that age, - the religion of the Crusader.  It was
the convenient cloak for a multitude of sins, which covered them
even from himself.  The Castilian, too proud for hypocrisy,
committed more cruelties in the name of religion than were ever
practised by the pagan idolater or the fanatical Moslem.  The
burning of the infidel was a sacrifice acceptable to Heaven, and
the conversion of those who survived amply atoned for the foulest
offences.  It is a melancholy and mortifying consideration, that
the most uncompromising spirit of intolerance - the spirit of the
Inquisitor at home, and of the Crusader abroad - should have
emanated from a religion which preached peace upon earth and
good-will towards man!

What a contrast did these children of Southern Europe present to
the Anglo-Saxon races who scattered themselves along the great
northern division of the western hemisphere!  For the principle
of action with these latter was not avarice, nor the more
specious pretext of proselytism; but independence, - independence
religious and political.  To secure this, they were content to
earn a bare subsistence by a life of frugality and toil.  They
asked nothing from the soil, but the reasonable returns of their
own labor.  No golden visions threw a deceitful halo around their
path, and beckoned them onwards through seas of blood to the
subversion of an unoffending dynasty. They were content with the
slow but steady progress of their social polity. They patiently
endured the privations of the wilderness, watering the tree of
liberty with their tears and with the sweat of their brow, till
it took deep root in the land and sent up its branches high
towards the heavens; while the communities of the neighbouring
continent, shooting up into the sudden splendors of a tropical
vegetation, exhibited, even in their prime, the sure symptoms of

It would seem to have been especially ordered by Providence that
the discovery of the two great divisions of the American
hemisphere should fall to the two races best fitted to conquer
and colonize them.  Thus the northern section was consigned to
the Anglo-Saxon race, whose orderly, industrious habits found an
ample field for development under its colder skies and on its
more rugged soil; while the southern portion, with its rich
tropical products and treasures of mineral wealth, held out the
most attractive bait to invite the enterprise of the Spaniard.
How different might have been the result, if the bark of Columbus
had taken a more northerly direction, as he at one time
meditated, and landed its band of adventurers on the shores of
what is now Protestant America!

Under the pressure of that spirit of nautical enterprise which
filled the maritime communities of Europe in the sixteenth
century, the whole extent of the mighty continent, from Labrador
to Terra del Fuego, was explored in less than thirty years after
its discovery; and in 1521, the Portuguese Maghellan, sailing
under the Spanish flag, solved the problem of the strait, and
found a westerly way to the long sought Spice-islands of India, -
greatly to the astonishment of the Portuguese, who, sailing from
the opposite direction, there met their rivals, face to face, at
the antipodes.  But while the whole eastern coast of the American
continent had been explored, and the central portion of it
colonized, - even after the brilliant achievement of the Mexican
conquest, - the veil was not yet raised that hung over the golden
shores of the Pacific.

Floating rumors had reached the Spaniards, from time to time, of
countries in the far west, teeming with the metal they so much
coveted; but the first distinct notice of Peru was about the year
1511, when Vasco Nunez de Balboa, the discoverer of the Southern
Sea, was weighing some gold which he had collected from the
natives.  A young barbarian chieftain, who was present, struck
the scales with his fist, and, scattering the glittering metal
around the apartment, exclaimed, - "If this is what you prize so
much that you are willing to leave your distant homes, and risk
even life itself for it, I can tell you of a land where they eat
and drink out of golden vessels, and gold is as cheap as iron is
with you." It was not long after this startling intelligence that
Balboa achieved the formidable adventure of scaling the mountain
rampart of the isthmus which divides the two mighty oceans from
each other; when, armed with sword and buckler, he rushed into
the waters of the Pacific, and cried out, in the true chivalrous
vein, that "he claimed this unknown sea with all that it
contained for the king of Castile, and that he would make good
the claim against all, Christian or infidel, who dared to gain
say it"! *3 All the broad continent and sunny isles washed by the
waters of the Southern Ocean!  Little did the bold cavalier
comprehend the full import of his magnificent vaunt.

[Footnote 3: Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 1. lib. 10, cap. 2. -
Quintana, Vidas de Espanoles Celebres, (Madrid, 1830,) tom. II.
p. 44.]

On this spot he received more explicit tidings of the Peruvian
empire, heard proofs recounted of its civilization, and was shown
drawings of the llama, which, to the European eye, seemed a
species of the Arabian camel. But, although he steered his
caravel for these golden realms, and even pushed his discoveries
some twenty leagues south of the Gulf of St. Michael, the
adventure was not reserved for him.  The illustrious discoverer
was doomed to fall a victim to that miserable jealousy with which
a little spirit regards the achievements of a great one.

The Spanish colonial domain was broken up into a number of petty
governments, which were dispensed sometimes to court favorites,
though, as the duties of the post, at this early period, were of
an arduous nature, they were more frequently reserved for men of
some practical talent and enterprise.  Columbus, by virtue of his
original contract with the Crown, had jurisdiction over the
territories discovered by himself, embracing some of the
principal islands, and a few places on the continent.  This
jurisdiction differed from that of other functionaries, inasmuch
as it was hereditary; a privilege found in the end too
considerable for a subject, and commuted, therefore, for a title
and a pension.  These colonial governments were multiplied with
the increase of empire, and by the year 1524, the period at which
our narrative properly commences, were scattered over the
islands, along the Isthmus of Darien, the broad tract of Terra
Firma, and the recent conquests of Mexico.  Some of these
governments were of no great extent. Others, like that of Mexico,
were of the dimensions of a kingdom; and most had an indefinite
range for discovery assigned to them in their immediate
neighbourhood, by which each of the petty potentates might
enlarge his territorial sway, and enrich his followers and
himself.  This politic arrangement best served the ends of the
Crown, by affording a perpetual incentive to the spirit of
enterprise.  Thus living on their own little domains at a long
distance from the mother country, these military rulers held a
sort of vice-regal sway, and too frequently exercised it in the
most oppressive and tyrannical manner; oppressive to the native,
and tyrannical towards their own followers.  It was the natural
consequence, when men, originally low in station, and unprepared
by education for office, were suddenly called to the possession
of a brief, but in its nature irresponsible, authority.  It was
not till after some sad experience of these results, that
measures were taken to hold these petty tyrants in check by means
of regular tribunals, or Royal Audiences, as they were termed,
which, composed of men of character and learning, might interpose
the arm of the law, or, at least, the voice of remonstrance, for
the protection of both colonist and native.

Among the colonial governors, who were indebted for their
situation to their rank at home, was Don Pedro Arias de Avila, or
Pedrarias, as usually called.  He was married to a daughter of
Dona Beatriz de Bobadilla, the celebrated Marchioness of Moya,
best known as the friend of Isabella the Catholic.  He was a man
of some military experience and considerable energy of character.
But, as it proved, he was of a malignant temper; and the base
qualities, which might have passed unnoticed in the obscurity of
private life, were made conspicuous, and perhaps created in some
measure, by sudden elevation to power; as the sunshine, which
operates kindly on a generous soil, and stimulates it to
production, calls forth from the unwholesome marsh only foul and
pestilent vapors.  This man was placed over the territory of
Castilla del Oro, the ground selected by Nunez de Balboa for the
theatre of his discoveries.  Success drew on this latter the
jealousy of his superior, for it was crime enough in the eyes of
Pedrarias to deserve too well.  The tragical history of this
cavalier belongs to a period somewhat earlier than that with
which we are to be occupied.  It has been traced by abler hands
than mine, and, though brief, forms one of the most brilliant
passages in the annals of the American conquerors. *4

[Footnote 4: The memorable adventures of Vasco Nunez de Balboa
have been recorded by Quintana, (Espanoles Celebres, tom II.) and
by Irving in his Companions of Columbus. - It is rare that the
life of an individual has formed the subject of two such elegant
memorials, produced at nearly the same time, and in different
languages, without any communication between the authors.]
But though Pedrarias was willing to cut short the glorious career
of his rival, he was not insensible to the important consequences
of his discoveries.  He saw at once the unsuitableness of Darien
for prosecuting expeditions on the Pacific, and, conformably to
the original suggestion of Balboa, in 1519, he caused his rising
capital to be transferred from the shores of the Atlantic to the
ancient site of Panama, some distance east of the present city of
that name. *5 This most unhealthy spot, the cemetery of many an
unfortunate colonist, was favorably situated for the great object
of maritime enterprise; and the port, from its central position,
afforded the best point of departure for expeditions, whether to
the north or south, along the wide range of undiscovered coast
that lined the Southern Ocean.  Yet in this new and more
favorable position, several years were suffered to elapse before
the course of discovery took the direction of Peru.  This was
turned exclusively towards the north, or rather west, in
obedience to the orders of government, which had ever at heart
the detection of a strait that, as was supposed, must intersect
some part or other of the long-extended Isthmus. Armament after
armament was fitted out with this chimerical object; and
Pedrarias saw his domain extending every year farther and farther
without deriving any considerable advantage from his
acquisitions.  Veragua, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, were successively
occupied; and his brave cavaliers forced a way across forest and
mountain and warlike tribes of savages, till, at Honduras, they
came in collision with the companions of Cortes, the Conquerors
of Mexico, who had descended from the great northern plateau on
the regions of Central America, and thus completed the survey of
this wild and mysterious land.

[Footnote 5: The Court gave positive instructions to Pedrarias to
make a settlement in the Gulf of St. Michael, in obedience to the
suggestion of Vasco Nunez, that it would be the most eligible
site for discovery and traffic in the South Sea.  "El asiento que
se oviere de hacer en el golfo de S. Miguel en la mar del sur
debe ser en el puerto que mejor se hallare y mas convenible para
la contratacion de aquel golfo, porque segund lo que Vasco Nunez
escribe, seria muy necessario que alli haya algunos navios, asi
para descubrir las cosas del golfo; y de la comarca del, como
para la contratacion de rescates de las otras cosas necesarias al
buen provoimiento de aquello; e para que estos navios aprovechen
es menester que se hagan alla." Capitulo de Carta escrita por el
Rey Catolico a Pedrarias Davila, ap. Navarrete, Coleccion de los
Viages y Descubrimientos, (Madrid, 1829.) tom. III.  No. 3.]
It was not till 1522 that a regular expedition was despatched in
the direction south of Panama, under the conduct of Pascual de
Andagoya, a cavalier of much distinction in the colony.  But that
officer penetrated only to the Puerto de Pinas, the limit of
Balboa's discoveries, when the bad state of his health compelled
him to reembark and abandon his enterprise at its commencement.

[Footnote 6: According to Montesinos, Andagoya received a severe
injury by a fall from his horse, while showing off the
high-mettled animal to the wondering eyes of the natives.
(Annales del Peru, Ms., ano 1524.) But the Adelantado, in a
memorial of his own discoveries, drawn up by himself, says
nothing of this unlucky feat of horsemanship, but imputes his
illness to his having fallen into the water, an accident by which
he was near being drowned, so that it was some years before he
recovered from the effects of it; a mode of accounting for his
premature return, more soothing to his vanity, probably, than the
one usually received.  This document, important as coming from
the pen of one of the primitive discoverers, is preserved in the
Indian Archives of Seville, and was published by Navarrete,
Coleccion, tom. III. No. 7.]

Yet the floating rumors of the wealth and civilization of a
mighty nation at the South were continually reaching the ears and
kindling the dreamy imaginations of the colonists; and it may
seem astonishing that an expedition in that direction should have
been so long deferred.  But the exact position and distance of
this fairy realm were matter of conjecture. The long tract of
intervening country was occupied by rude and warlike races; and
the little experience which the Spanish navigators had already
had of the neighbouring coast and its inhabitants, and still
more, the tempestuous character of the seas - for their
expeditions had taken place at the most unpropitious seasons of
the year - enhanced the apparent difficulties of the undertaking,
and made even their stout hearts shrink from it.
Such was the state of feeling in the little community of Panama
for several years after its foundation.  Meanwhile, the dazzling
conquest of Mexico gave a new impulse to the ardor of discovery,
and, in 1524, three men were found in the colony, in whom the
spirit of adventure triumphed over every consideration of
difficulty and danger that obstructed the prosecution of the
enterprise.  One among them was selected as fitted by his
character to conduct it to a successful issue.  That man was
Francisco Pizarro; and as he held the same conspicuous post in
the Conquest of Peru that was occupied by Cortes in that of
Mexico, it will be necessary to take a brief review of his early

Chapter II

Francisco Pizarro. - His Early History. - First Expedition To The
South. - Distresses Of The Voyagers. - Sharp Encounters. - Return
To Panama. - Almagro's Expedition.


Francisco Pizarro was born at Truxillo, a city of Estremadura, in
Spain. The period of his birth is uncertain; but probably it was
not far from 1471. *1 He was an illegitimate child, and that his
parents should not have taken pains to perpetuate the date of his
birth is not surprising.  Few care to make a particular record of
their transgressions.  His father, Gonzalo Pizarro, was a colonel
of infantry, and served with some distinction in the Italian
campaigns under the Great Captain, and afterwards in the wars of
Navarre.  His mother, named Francisca Gonzales, was a person of
humble condition in the town of Truxillo. *2

[Footnote 1: The few writers who venture to assign the date of
Pizarro's birth do it in so vague and contradictory a manner as
to inspire us with but little confidence in their accounts.
Herrera, it is true, says positively, that he was sixty-three
years old at the time of his death, in 1541.  (Hist. General,
dec. 6, lib. 10, cap. 6.) This would carry back the date of his
birth only to 1478.  But Garcilasso de la Vega affirms that he
was more than fifty years old in 1525.  (Com. Real., Parte 2,
lib. 1, cap. 1.) This would place his birth before 1475.  Pizarro
y Orellana, who, as a kinsman of the Conqueror, may be supposed
to have had better means of information, says he was fifty-four
years of age at the same date of 1525.  (Varones Ilustres del
Nuevo Mundo, (Madrid, 1639,) p. 128.) But at the period of his
death he calls him nearly eighty years old!  (p. 185.) Taking
this latter as a round exaggeration for effect in the particular
connection in which it is used, and admitting the accuracy of the
former statement, the epoch of his birth will conform to that
given in the text.  This makes him somewhat late in life to set
about the conquest of an empire.  But Columbus, when he entered
on his career, was still older.]

[Footnote 2: Xerez, Conquista del Peru, ap. Barcia, tom. III. p.
179. - Zarate, Conq. del Peru, lib. 1, cap. 1. - Pizarro y
Orellana, Varones Ilustres, p. 128.]

But little is told of Francisco's early years, and that little
not always deserving of credit.  According to some, he was
deserted by both his parents, and left as a foundling at the door
of one of the principal churches of the city.  It is even said
that he would have perished, had he not been nursed by a sow. *3
This is a more discreditable fountain of supply than that
assigned to the infant Romulus.  The early history of men who
have made their names famous by deeds in after-life, like the
early history of nations, affords a fruitful field for invention.

[Footnote 3: "Nacio en Truxillo, i echaronlo a la puerta de la
Iglesia, mamo una Puerca ciertos Dias, no se hallando quien le
quisiese dar leche." Gomara, Hist. de las Ind., cap. 144.]

It seems certain that the young Pizarro received little care from
either of his parents, and was suffered to grow up as nature
dictated.  He was neither taught to read nor write, and his
principal occupation was that of a swineherd.  But this torpid
way of life did not suit the stirring spirit of Pizarro, as he
grew older, and listened to the tales, widely circulated and so
captivating to a youthful fancy, of the New World.  He shared in
the popular enthusiasm, and availed himself of a favorable moment
to abandon his ignoble charge, and escape to Seville, the port
where the Spanish adventurers embarked to seek their fortunes in
the West.  Few of them could have turned their backs on their
native land with less cause for regret than Pizarro. *4

[Footnote 4: According to the Comendador Pizarro y Orellana,
Francis Pizarro served, while quite a stripling, with his father,
in the Italian wars; and afterwards, under Columbus and other
illustrious discoverers, in the New World, whose successes the
author modestly attributes to his kinsman's valor, as a principal
cause!  Varones Ilustres, p. 187.]

In what year this important change in his destiny took place we
are not informed.  The first we hear of him in the New World is
at the island of Hispaniola, in 1510, where he took part in the
expedition to Uraba in Terra Firma, under Alonzo de Ojeda, a
cavalier whose character and achievements find no parallel but in
the pages of Cervantes.  Hernando Cortes, whose mother was a
Pizarro, and related, it is said, to the father of Francis, was
then in St. Domingo, and prepared to accompany Ojeda's
expedition, but was prevented by a temporary lameness.  Had he
gone, the fall of the Aztec empire might have been postponed for
some time longer, and the sceptre of Montezuma have descended in
peace to his posterity.  Pizarro shared in the disastrous
fortunes of Ojeda's colony, and, by his discretion, obtained so
far the confidence of his commander, as to be left in charge of
the settlement, when the latter returned for supplies to the
islands.  The lieutenant continued at his perilous post for
nearly two months, waiting deliberately until death should have
thinned off the colony sufficiently to allow the miserable
remnant to be embarked in the single small vessel that remained
to it. *5

[Footnote 5: Pizarro y Orellana, Varones Ilustres, pp. 121, 128.
- Herrera, Hist. Gen., dec. 1, lib. 7, cap. 14. - Montesinos,
Annales, Ms., ane 1510.]

After this, we find him associated with Balboa, the discoverer of
the Pacific, and cooperating with him in establishing the
settlement at Darien. He had the glory of accompanying this
gallant cavalier in his terrible march across the mountains, and
of being among the first Europeans, therefore, whose eyes were
greeted with the long-promised vision of the Southern Ocean.
After the untimely death of his commander, Pizarro attached
himself to the fortunes of Pedrarias, and was employed by that
governor in several military expeditions, which, if they afforded
nothing else, gave him the requisite training for the perils and
privations that lay in the path of the future Conqueror of Peru.

In 1515, he was selected, with another cavalier named Morales, to
cross the Isthmus and traffic with the natives on the shores of
the Pacific.  And there, while engaged in collecting his booty of
gold and pearls from the neighbouring islands, as his eye ranged
along the shadowy line of coast till it faded in the distance,
his imagination may have been first fired with the idea of, one
day, attempting the conquest of the mysterious regions beyond the
mountains.  On the removal of the seat of government across the
Isthmus to Panama, Pizarro accompanied Pedrarias, and his name
became conspicuous among the cavaliers who extended the line of
conquest to the north over the martial tribes of Veragua.  But
all these expeditions, whatever glory they may have brought him,
were productive of very little gold, and, at the age of fifty,
the captain Pizarro found himself in possession only of a tract
of unhealthy land in the neigbourhood of the capital, and of such
repartimientos of the natives as were deemed suited to his
military services. *6 The New World was a lottery, where the
great prizes were so few that the odds were much against the
player; yet in the game he was content to stake health, fortune,
and, too often, his fair fame.

[Footnote 6: "Teniendo su casa, i Hacienda, i Repartimiento de
Indios como uno de los Principales de la Tierra; porque siempre
lo fue." Xerez, Conq. del Peru, ap. Barcia, tom. III. p. 79.]

Such was Pizarro's situation when, in 1522, Andagoya returned
from his unfinished enterprise to the south of Panama, bringing
back with him more copious accounts than any hitherto received of
the opulence and grandeur of the countries that lay beyond. *7 It
was at this time, too, that the splendid achievements of Cortes
made their impression on the public mind, and gave a new impulse
to the spirit of adventure.  The southern expeditions became a
common topic of speculation among the colonists of Panama.  But
the region of gold, as it lay behind the mighty curtain of the
Cordilleras, was still veiled in obscurity.  No idea could be
formed of its actual distance; and the hardships and difficulties
encountered by the few navigators who had sailed in that
direction gave a gloomy character to the undertaking, which had
hitherto deterred the most daring from embarking in it.  There is
no evidence that Pizarro showed any particular alacrity in the
cause.  Nor were his own funds such as to warrant any expectation
of success without great assistance from others.  He found this
in two individuals of the colony, who took too important a part
in the subsequent transactions not to be particularly noticed.

[Footnote 7: Andagoya says that he obtained, while at Biru, very
minute accounts of the empire of the Incas, from certain
itinerant traders who frequented that country.  "En esta
provincia supe y hube relacion, ansi de los senores como de
mercaderes e interpretes que ellos tenian, de toda la costa de
todo lo que despues se ha visto hasta el Cuzco, particularmente
de cada provincia la manera y gente della, porque estos
alcanzaban por via de mercaduria mucha tierra." Navarrete,
Coleccion, tom. III. No 7.]

One of them, Diego de Almagro, was a soldier of fortune, somewhat
older, it seems probable, than Pizarro; though little is known of
his birth, and even the place of it is disputed.  It is supposed
to have been the town of Almagro in New Castile, whence his own
name, for want of a better source, was derived; for, like
Pizarro, he was a foundling. *8 Few particulars are known of him
till the present period of our history; for he was one of those
whom the working of turbulent times first throws upon the
surface, - less fortunate, perhaps, than if left in their
original obscurity.  In his military career, Almagro had earned
the reputation of a gallant soldier.  He was frank and liberal in
his disposition, somewhat hasty and ungovernable in his passions,
but, like men of a sanguine temperament, after the first sallies
had passed away, not difficult to be appeased.  He had, in short,
the good qualities and the defects incident to an honest nature,
not improved by the discipline of early education or

[Footnote 8: "Decia el que hera de Almagro," says Pedro Pizarro,
who knew him well.  Relacion del Descubrimiento y Conquista de
los Reynos del Peru, Ms. - See also Zarate. Conq. del Peru, lib.
1, cap. 1. - Gomara, Hist. de las Ind., cap. 141. - Pizarro y
Orellana, Varones Ilustres, p. 211.

The last writer admits that Almagro's parentage is unknown; but
adds that the character of his early exploits infers an
illustrious descent. - This would scarcely pass for evidence with
the College of Heralds.]

The other member of the confederacy was Hernando de Luque, a
Spanish ecclesiastic, who exercised the functions of vicar at
Panama, and had formerly filled the office of schoolmaster in the
Cathedral of Darien.  He seems to have been a man of singular
prudence and knowledge of the world; and by his respectable
qualities had acquired considerable influence in the little
community to which he belonged, as well as the control of funds,
which made his cooperation essential to the success of the
present enterprise.
It was arranged among the three associates, that the two
cavaliers should contribute their little stock towards defraying
the expenses of the armament, but by far the greater part of the
funds was to be furnished by Luque. Pizarro was to take command
of the expedition, and the business of victualling and equipping
the vessels was assigned to Almagro.  The associates found no
difficulty in obtaining the consent of the governor to their
undertaking. After the return of Andagoya, he had projected
another expedition, but the officer to whom it was to be
intrusted died.  Why he did not prosecute his original purpose,
and commit the affair to an experienced captain like Pizarro,
does not appear.  He was probably not displeased that the burden
of the enterprise should be borne by others, so long as a good
share of the profits went into his own coffers.  This he did not
overlook in his stipulations. *9

[Footnote 9: "Asi que estos tres companeros ya dichos Acordaron
de yr a conquistar esta provincia ya dicha.  Pues consultandolo
con Pedro Arias de Avila que a la sazon hera governador en tierra
firme.  Vino en ello haziendo compania con los dichos companeros
con condicion que Pedro Arias no havia de contribuir entonces con
ningun dinero ni otra cosa sino de lo que se hallase en la tierra
de lo que a el le cupiese por virtud de la compania de alli se
pagasen los gastos que a el le cupiesen.  Los tres companeros
vinieron en ello por aver esta licencia porque de otra manera no
la alcanzaran." (Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms.) Andagoya,
however, affirms that the governor was interested equally with
the other associates in the adventure, each taking a fourth part
on himself.  (Navarrete, Coleccion, tom. III. No. 7.) But
whatever was the original interest of Pedrarias, it mattered
little, as it was surrendered before any profits were realized
from the expedition.]
Thus fortified with the funds of Luque, and the consent of the
governor, Almagro was not slow to make preparations for the
voyage.  Two small vessels were purchased, the larger of which
had been originally built by Balboa, for himself, with a view to
this same expedition.  Since his death, it had lain dismantled in
the harbour of Panama.  It was now refitted as well as
circumstances would permit, and put in order for sea, while the
stores and provisions were got on board with an alacrity which
did more credit, as the event proved, to Almagro's zeal than to
his forecast.

There was more difficulty in obtaining the necessary complement
of hands; for a general feeling of distrust had gathered round
expeditions in this direction, which could not readily be
overcome.  But there were many idle hangers-on in the colony, who
had come out to mend their fortunes, and were willing to take
their chance of doing so, however desperate.  From such materials
as these, Almagro assembled a body of somewhat more than a
hundred men; *10 and every thing being ready, Pizarro assumed the
command, and, weighing anchor, took his departure from the little
port of Panama, about the middle of November, 1524.  Almagro was
to follow in a second vessel of inferior size, as soon as it
could be fitted out. *11

[Footnote 10: Herrera, the most popular historian of these
transactions, estimates the number of Pizarro's followers only at
eighty.  But every other authority which I have consulted raises
them to over a hundred.  Father Naharro, a contemporary, and
resident at Lima even allows a hundred and twenty-nine.  Relacion
sumaria de la entrada de los Espanoles en el Peru, Ms.]

[Footnote 11: There is the usual discrepancy among authors about
the date of this expedition.  Most fix it at 1525.  I have
conformed to Xerez, Pizarro's secretary, whose narrative was
published ten years after the voyage, and who could hardly have
forgotten the date of so memorable an event, in so short an
interval of time.  (See his Conquista del Peru, ap. Barcia, tom.
III. p. 179.)

The year seems to be settled by Pizarro's Capitulacion with the
Crown, which I had not examined till after the above was written.
This instrument, dated July, 1529, speaks of his first expedition
as having taken place about five years previous.  (See Appendix,
No. VII.)]

The time of year was the most unsuitable that could have been
selected for the voyage; for it was the rainy season, when the
navigation to the south, impeded by contrary winds, is made
doubly dangerous by the tempests that sweep over the coast.  But
this was not understood by the adventurers. After touching at the
Isle of Pearls, the frequent resort of navigators, at a few
leagues' distance from Panama, Pizarro held his way across the
Gulf of St. Michael, and steered almost due south for the Puerto
de Pinas, a headland in the province of Biruquete, which marked
the limit of Andagoya's voyage. Before his departure, Pizarro had
obtained all the information which he could derive from that
officer in respect to the country, and the route he was to
follow. But the cavalier's own experience had been too limited to
enable him to be of much assistance.

Doubling the Puerto de Pinas, the little vessel entered the river
Biru, the misapplication of which name is supposed by some to
have given rise to that of the empire of the Incas. *12 After
sailing up this stream for a couple of leagues, Pizarro came to
anchor, and disembarking his whole force except the sailors,
proceeded at the head of it to explore the country.  The land
spread out into a vast swamp, where the heavy rains had settled
in pools of stagnant water, and the muddy soil afforded no
footing to the traveller. This dismal morass was fringed with
woods, through whose thick and tangled undergrowth they found it
difficult to penetrate; and emerging from them, they came out on
a hilly country, so rough and rocky in its character, that their
feet were cut to the bone, and the weary soldier, encumbered with
his heavy mail or thick-padded doublet of cotton, found it
difficult to drag one foot after the other.  The heat at times
was oppressive; and, fainting with toil and famished for want of
food, they sank down on the earth from mere exhaustion.  Such was
the ominous commencement of the expedition to Peru.

[Footnote 12: Zarate, Conq. del Peru, lib. 1. cap. 1. - Herrera,
Hist. General, dec. 3, lib. 6, cap. 13.]

Pizarro, however, did not lose heart.  He endeavoured to revive
the spirits of his men, and besought them not to be discouraged
by difficulties which a brave heart would be sure to overcome,
reminding them of the golden prize which awaited those who
persevered.  Yet it was obvious that nothing was to be gained by
remaining longer in this desolate region.  Returning to their
vessel, therefore, it was suffered to drop down the river and
proceed along its southern course on the great ocean.

After coasting a few leagues, Pizarro anchored off a place not
very inviting in its appearance, where he took in a supply of
wood and water. Then, stretching more towards the open sea, he
held on in the same direction towards the south.  But in this he
was baffled by a succession of heavy tempests, accompanied with
such tremendous peals of thunder and floods of rain as are found
only in the terrible storms of the tropics.  The sea was lashed
into fury, and, swelling into mountain billows, threatened every
moment to overwhelm the crazy little bark, which opened at every
seam.  For ten days the unfortunate voyagers were tossed about by
the pitiless elements, and it was only by incessant exertions -
the exertions of despair - that they preserved the ship from
foundering.  To add to their calamities, their provisions began
to fail, and they were short of water, of which they had been
furnished only with a small number of casks; for Almagro had
counted on their recruiting their scanty supplies, from time to
time, from the shore. Their meat was wholly consumed, and they
were reduced to the wretched allowance of two ears of Indian corn
a day for each man.

Thus harassed by hunger and the elements, the battered voyagers
were too happy to retrace their course and regain the port where
they had last taken in supplies of wood and water.  Yet nothing
could be more unpromising than the aspect of the country.  It had
the same character of low, swampy soil, that distinguished the
former landing-place; while thick-matted forests, of a depth
which the eye could not penetrate, stretched along the coast to
an interminable length.  It was in vain that the wearied
Spaniards endeavoured to thread the mazes of this tangled
thicket, where the creepers and flowering vines, that shoot up
luxuriant in a hot and humid atmosphere, had twined themselves
round the huge trunks of the forest-trees, and made a network
that could be opened only with the axe.  The rain, in the mean
time, rarely slackened, and the ground, strewed with leaves and
saturated with moisture, seemed to slip away beneath their feet.

Nothing could be more dreary and disheartening than the aspect of
these funereal forests; where the exhalations from the
overcharged surface of the ground poisoned the air, and seemed to
allow no life, except that, indeed, of myriads of insects, whose
enamelled wings glanced to and fro, like sparks of fire, in every
opening of the woods.  Even the brute creation appeared
instinctively to have shunned the fatal spot, and neither beast
nor bird of any description was seen by the wanderers.  Silence
reigned unbroken in the heart of these dismal solitudes; at
least, the only sounds that could be heard were the plashing of
the rain-drops on the leaves, and the tread of the forlorn
adventurers. *13

[Footnote 13: Xerez, Conq del Peru, ap. Barcia, tom. III. p. 180.
- Relacion del Primer.  Descub., Ms. - Montesinos, Annales, Ms.,
ano 1515. - Zarate, Conq. del Peru, lib. 1, cap. 1. - Garcilasso,
Com. Real., Parte 2, lib. 1, cap. 7. - Herrera, Hist. General,
dec. 3, lib. 6, cap. 13.]

Entirely discouraged by the aspect of the country, the Spaniards
began to comprehend that they had gained nothing by changing
their quarters from sea to shore, and they felt the most serious
apprehensions of perishing from famine in a region which afforded
nothing but such unwholesome berries as they could pick up here
and there in the woods.  They loudly complained of their hard
lot, accusing their commander as the author of all their
troubles, and as deluding them with promises of a fairy land,
which seemed to recede in proportion as they advanced.  It was of
no use, they said, to contend against fate, and it was better to
take their chance of regaining the port of Panama in time to save
their lives, than to wait where they were to die of hunger.

But Pizarro was prepared to encounter much greater evils than
these, before returning to Panama, bankrupt in credit, an object
of derision as a vainglorious dreamer, who had persuaded others
to embark in an adventure which he had not the courage to carry
through himself.  The present was his only chance.  To return
would be ruin.  He used every argument, therefore, that mortified
pride or avarice could suggest to turn his followers from their
purpose; represented to them that these were the troubles that
necessarily lay in the path of the discoverer; and called to mind
the brilliant successes of their countrymen in other quarters,
and the repeated reports, which they had themselves received, of
the rich regions along this coast, of which it required only
courage and constancy on their part to become the masters.  Yet,
as their present exigencies were pressing, he resolved to send
back the vessel to the Isle of Pearls, to lay in a fresh stock of
provisions for his company, which might enable them to go forward
with renewed confidence.  The distance was not great, and in a
few days they would all be relieved from their perilous position.
The officer detached on this service was named Montenegro; and
taking with him nearly half the company, after receiving
Pizarro's directions, he instantly weighed anchor, and steered
for the Isle of Pearls.
On the departure of his vessel, the Spanish commander made an
attempt to explore the country, and see if some Indian settlement
might not be found, where he could procure refreshments for his
followers.  But his efforts were vain, and no trace was visible
of a human dwelling; though, in the dense and impenetrable
foliage of the equatorial regions, the distance of a few rods
might suffice to screen a city from observation.  The only means
of nourishment left to the unfortunate adventurers were such
shell-fish as they occasionally picked up on the shore, or the
bitter buds of the palm-tree, and such berries and unsavoury
herbs as grew wild in the woods.  Some of these were so
poisonous, that the bodies of those who ate them swelled up and
were tormented with racking pains.  Others, preferring famine to
this miserable diet, pined away from weakness and actually died
of starvation.  Yet their resolute leader strove to maintain his
own cheerfulness and to keep up the drooping spirits of his men.
He freely shared with them his scanty stock of provisions, was
unwearied in his endeavours to procure them sustenance, tended
the sick, and ordered barracks to be constructed for their
accommodation, which might, at least, shelter them from the
drenching storms of the season.  By this ready sympathy with his
followers in their sufferings, he obtained an ascendency over
their rough natures, which the assertion of authority, at least
in the present extremity, could never have secured to him.

Day after day, week after week, had now passed away, and no
tidings were heard of the vessel that was to bring relief to the
wanderers.  In vain did they strain their eyes over the distant
waters to catch a glimpse of their coming friends.  Not a speck
was to be seen in the blue distance, where the canoe of the
savage dared not venture, and the sail of the white man was not
yet spread.  Those who had borne up bravely at first now gave way
to despondency, as they felt themselves abandoned by their
countrymen on this desolate shore.  They pined under that sad
feeling which "maketh the heart sick." More than twenty of the
little band had already died, and the survivors seemed to be
rapidly following. *14

[Footnote 14: Ibid., ubi supra. - Relacion del Primer.  Descub.,
Ms. - Xerez, Conq. del Peru, ubi supra.]

At this crisis reports were brought to Pizarro of a light having
been seen through a distant opening in the woods.  He hailed the
tidings with eagerness, as intimating the existence of some
settlement in the neighbourhood; and, putting himself at the head
of a small party, went in the direction pointed out, to
reconnoitre.  He was not disappointed, and, after extricating
himself from a dense wilderness of underbrush and foliage, he
emerged into an open space, where a small Indian village was
planted.  The timid inhabitants, on the sudden apparition of the
strangers, quitted their huts in dismay; and the famished
Spaniards, rushing in, eagerly made themselves masters of their
contents.  These consisted of different articles of food, chiefly
maize and cocoanuts.  The supply, though small, was too
seasonable not to fill them with rapture.

The astonished natives made no attempt at resistance.  But,
gathering more confidence as no violence was offered to their
persons, they drew nearer the white men, and inquired, "Why they
did not stay at home and till their own lands, instead of roaming
about to rob others who had never harmed them?" *15 Whatever may
have been their opinion as to the question of right, the
Spaniards, no doubt, felt then that it would have been wiser to
do so. But the savages wore about their persons gold ornaments of
some size, though of clumsy workmanship.  This furnished the best
reply to their demand.  It was the golden bait which lured the
Spanish adventurer to forsake his pleasant home for the trials of
the wilderness.  From the Indians Pizarro gathered a confirmation
of the reports he had so often received of a rich country lying
farther south; and at the distance of ten days' journey across
the mountains, they told him, there dwelt a mighty monarch whose
dominions had been invaded by another still more powerful, the
Child of the Sun. *16 It may have been the invasion of Quito that
was meant, by the valiant Inca Huayna Capac, which took place
some years previous to Pizarro's expedition.

[Footnote 15: "Porque decian a los Castellanos, que por que no
sembraban. i cogian, sin andar tomando los Bastimentos agenos,
pasando tantos trabajos?" Herrera, Hist. General, loc. cit.]

[Footnote 16: "Dioles noticia el viejo por medio del lengua, como
diez soles de alli habia un Rey muy poderoso yendo por espesas
montanas, y que otro mas poderoso hijo del sol habia venido de
milagro a quitarle el Reino sobre que tenian mui sangrientas
batallas." (Montesinos, Annales, Ms., ano 1525.) The conquest of
Quito by Huayna Capac took place more than thirty years before
this period in our history.  But the particulars of this
revolution, its time or precise theatre, were, probably, but very
vaguely comprehended by the rude nations in the neighbourhood of
Panama: and their allusion to it in an unknown dialect was as
little comprehended by the Spanish voyagers, who must have
collected their information from signs much more than words.]
At length, after the expiration of more than six weeks, the
Spaniards beheld with delight the return of the wandering bark
that had borne away their comrades, and Montenegro sailed into
port with an ample supply of provisions for his famishing
countrymen.  Great was his horror at the aspect presented by the
latter, their wild and haggard countenances and wasted frames, -
so wasted by hunger and disease, that their old companions found
it difficult to recognize them.  Montenegro accounted for his
delay by incessant head winds and bad weather; and he himself had
also a doleful tale to tell of the distress to which he and his
crew had been reduced by hunger, on their passage to the Isle of
Pearls. - It is minute incidents like these with which we have
been occupied, that enable one to comprehend the extremity of
suffering to which the Spanish adventurer was subjected in the
prosecution of his great work of discovery.

Revived by the substantial nourishment to which they had so long
been strangers, the Spanish cavaliers, with the buoyancy that
belongs to men of a hazardous and roving life, forgot their past
distresses in their eagerness to prosecute their enterprise.
Reembarking therefore on board his vessel, Pizarro bade adieu to
the scene of so much suffering, which he branded with the
appropriate name of Puerto de la Hambre, the Port of Famine, and
again opened his sails to a favorable breeze that bore him
onwards towards the south.

Had he struck boldly out into the deep, instead of hugging the
inhospitable shore, where he had hitherto found so little to
recompense him, he might have spared himself the repetition of
wearisome and unprofitable adventures, and reached by a shorter
route the point of his destination.  But the Spanish mariner
groped his way along these unknown coasts, landing at every
convenient headland, as if fearful lest some fruitful region or
precious mine might be overlooked, should a single break occur in
the line of survey.  Yet it should be remembered, that, though
the true point of Pizarro's destination is obvious to us,
familiar with the topography of these countries, he was wandering
in the dark, feeling his way along, inch by inch, as it were,
without chart to guide him, without knowledge of the seas or of
the bearings of the coast, and even with no better defined idea
of the object at which he aimed than that of a land, teeming with
gold, that lay somewhere at the south!  It was a hunt after an El
Dorado; on information scarcely more circumstantial or authentic
than that which furnished the basis of so many chimerical
enterprises in this land of wonders.  Success only, the best
argument with the multitude, redeemed the expeditions of Pizarro
from a similar imputation of extravagance.

Holding on his southerly course under the lee of the shore,
Pizarro, after a short run, found himself abreast of an open
reach of country, or at least one less encumbered with wood,
which rose by a gradual swell, as it receded from the coast.  He
landed with a small body of men, and, advancing a short distance
into the interior, fell in with an Indian hamlet.  It was
abandoned by the inhabitants, who, on the approach of the
invaders, had betaken themselves to the mountains; and the
Spaniards, entering their deserted dwellings, found there a good
store of maize and other articles of food, and rude ornaments of
gold of considerable value.  Food was not more necessary for
their bodies than was the sight of gold, from time to time, to
stimulate their appetite for adventure.  One spectacle, however,
chilled their blood with horror.  This was the sight of human
flesh, which they found roasting before the fire, as the
barbarians had left it, preparatory to their obscene repast.  The
Spaniards, conceiving that they had fallen in with a tribe of
Caribs, the only race in that part of the New World known to be
cannibals, retreated precipitately to their vessel. *17 They were
not steeled by sad familiarity with the spectacle, like the
Conquerors of Mexico.

[Footnote 17: "I en las Ollas de la comida, que estaban al Fuego,
entre la Carne, que sacaban, havia Pies i Manos de Hombres, de
donde conocieron, que aquellos Indios eran Caribes." Herrera,
Hist. General dec. 3, lib. 8, cap. 11.]

The weather, which had been favorable, new set in tempestuous,
with heavy squalls, accompanied by incessant thunder and
lightning, and the rain, as usual in these tropical tempests,
descended not so much in drops as in unbroken sheets of water.
The Spaniards, however, preferred to take their chance on the
raging element rather than remain in the scene of such brutal
abominations.  But the fury of the storm gradually subsided, and
the little vessel held on her way along the coast, till, coming
abreast of a bold point of land named by Pizarro Punta Quemada,
he gave orders to anchor.  The margin of the shore was fringed
with a deep belt of mangrove-trees, the long roots of which,
interlacing one another, formed a kind of submarine lattice-work
that made the place difficult of approach.  Several avenues,
opening through this tangled thicket, led Pizarro to conclude
that the country must be inhabited, and he disembarked, with the
greater part of his force, to explore the interior.

He had not penetrated more than a league, when he found his
conjecture verified by the sight of an Indian town of larger size
than those he had hitherto seen, occupying the brow of an
eminence, and well defended by palisades.  The inhabitants, as
usual, had fled; but left in their dwellings a good supply of
provisions and some gold trinkets, which the Spaniards made no
difficulty of appropriating to themselves.  Pizarro's flimsy bark
had been strained by the heavy gales it had of late encountered,
so that it was unsafe to prosecute the voyage further without
more thorough repairs than could be given to her on this desolate
coast.  He accordingly determined to send her back with a few
hands to be careened at Panama, and meanwhile to establish his
quarters in his present position, which was so favorable for
defence. But first he despatched a small party under Montenegro
to reconnoitre the country, and, if possible, to open a
communication with the natives.
The latter were a warlike race.  They had left their habitations
in order to place their wives and children in safety.  But they
had kept an eye on the movements of the invaders, and, when they
saw their forces divided, they resolved to fall upon each body
singly before it could communicate with the other.  So soon,
therefore, as Montenegro had penetrated through the defiles of
the lofty hills, which shoot out like spurs of the Cordilleras
along this part of the coast, the Indian warriors, springing from
their ambush, sent off a cloud of arrows and other missiles that
darkened the air, while they made the forest ring with their
shrill war-whoop.  The Spaniards, astonished at the appearance of
the savages, with their naked bodies gaudily painted, and
brandishing their weapons as they glanced among the trees and
straggling underbrush that choked up the defile, were taken by
surprise and thrown for a moment into disarray.  Three of their
number were killed and several wounded.  Yet, speedily rallying,
they returned the discharge of the assailants with their
cross-bows, - for Pizarro's troops do not seem to have been
provided with muskets on this expedition, - and then gallantly
charging the enemy, sword in hand, succeeded in driving them back
into the fastnesses of the mountains.  But it only led them to
shift their operations to another quarter, and make an assault on
Pizarro before he could be relieved by his lieutenant.

Availing themselves of their superior knowledge of the passes,
they reached that commander's quarters long before Montenegro,
who had commenced a countermarch in the same direction.  And
issuing from the woods, the bold savages saluted the Spanish
garrison with a tempest of darts and arrows, some of which found
their way through the joints of the harness and the quilted mail
of the cavaliers.  But Pizarro was too well practised a soldier
to be off his guard.  Calling his men about him, he resolved not
to abide the assault tamely in the works, but to sally out, and
meet the enemy on their own ground.  The barbarians, who had
advanced near the defences, fell back as the Spaniards burst
forth with their valiant leader at their head.  But, soon
returning with admirable ferocity to the charge, they singled out
Pizarro, whom, by his bold bearing and air of authority, they
easily recognized as the chief; and, hurling at him a storm of
missiles, wounded him, in spite of his armour, in no less than
seven places. *18

[Footnote 18: Naharro, Relacion Sumaria, Ms. - Xerez, Conq. del
Peru, ap. Barcia, tom. III. p. 180. - Zarate, Conq. del Peru,
lib. 1, cap. 1. - Balboa, Hist. du Perou, chap. 15.]

Driven back by the fury of the assault directed against his own
person, the Spanish commander retreated down the slope of the
hill, still defending himself as he could with sword and buckler,
when his foot slipped and he fell.  The enemy set up a fierce
yell of triumph, and some of the boldest sprang forward to
despatch him.  But Pizarro was on his feet in an instant, and,
striking down two of the foremost with his strong arm, held the
rest at bay till his soldiers could come to the rescue.  The
barbarians, struck with admiration at his valor, began to falter,
when Montenegro luckily coming on the ground at the moment, and
falling on their rear, completed their confusion; and, abandoning
the field, they made the best of their way into the recesses of
the mountains.  The ground was covered with their slain; but the
victory was dearly purchased by the death of two more Spaniards
and a long list of wounded.

A council of war was then called.  The position had lost its
charm in the eyes of the Spaniards, who had met here with the
first resistance they had yet experienced on their expedition.
It was necessary to place the wounded in some secure spot, where
their injuries could be attended to.  Yet it was not safe to
proceed farther, in the crippled state of their vessel. On the
whole, it was decided to return and report their proceedings to
the governor; and, though the magnificent hopes of the
adventurers had not been realized, Pizarro trusted that enough
had been done to vindicate the importance of the enterprise, and
to secure the countenance of Pedrarias for the further
prosecution of it. *19

[Footnote 19: Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 3, lib. 8, cap. 11. -
Xerez, ubi supra.]

Yet Pizarro could not make up his mind to present himself, in the
present state of the undertaking, before the governor.  He
determined, therefore, to be set on shore with the principal part
of his company at Chicama, a place on the main land, at a short
distance west of Panama.  From this place, which he reached
without any further accident, he despatched the vessel, and in it
his treasurer, Nicolas de Ribera, with the gold he had collected,
and with instructions to lay before the governor a full account
of his discoveries, and the result of the expedition.

While these events were passing, Pizarro's associate, Almagro,
had been busily employed in fitting out another vessel for the
expedition at the port of Panama.  It was not till long after his
friend's departure that he was prepared to follow him.  With the
assistance of Luque, he at length succeeded in equipping a small
caravel and embarking a body of between sixty and seventy
adventurers, mostly of the lowest order of the colonists.  He
steered in the track of his comrade, with the intention of
overtaking him as soon as possible.  By a signal previously
concerted of notching the trees, he was able to identify the
spots visited by Pizarro, - Puerto de Pinas, Puerto de la Hambre,
Pueblo Quemado, - touching successively at every point of the
coast explored by his countrymen, though in a much shorter time.
At the last-mentioned place he was received by the fierce natives
with the same hostile demonstrations as Pizarro, though in the
present encounter the Indians did not venture beyond their
defences.  But the hot blood of Almagro was so exasperated by
this check, that he assaulted the place and carried it sword in
hand, setting fire to the outworks and dwellings, and driving the
wretched inhabitants into the forests.

His victory cost him dear.  A wound from a javelin on the head
caused an inflammation in one of his eyes, which, after great
anguish, ended in the loss of it.  Yet the intrepid adventurer
did not hesitate to pursue his voyage, and, after touching at
several places on the coast, some of which rewarded him with a
considerable booty in gold, he reached the mouth of the Rio de
San Juan, about the fourth degree of north latitude.  He was
struck with the beauty of the stream, and with the cultivation on
its borders, which were sprinkled with Indian cottages showing
some skill in their construction, and altogether intimating a
higher civilization than any thing he had yet seen.

Still his mind was filled with anxiety for the fate of Pizarro
and his followers.  No trace of them had been found on the coast
for a long time, and it was evident they must have foundered at
sea, or made their way back to Panama.  This last he deemed most
probable; as the vessel might have passed him unnoticed under the
cover of the night, or of the dense fogs that sometimes hang over
the coast.

Impressed with this belief, he felt no heart to continue his
voyage of discovery, for which, indeed, his single bark, with its
small complement of men, was altogether inadequate.  He proposed,
therefore, to return without delay.  On his way, he touched at
the Isle of Pearls, and there learned the result of his friend's
expedition, and the place of his present residence. Directing his
course, at once, to Chicama, the two cavaliers soon had the
satisfaction of embracing each other, and recounting their
several exploits and escapes.  Almagro returned even better
freighted with gold than his confederate, and at every step of
his progress he had collected fresh confirmation of the existence
of some great and opulent empire in the South. The confidence of
the two friends was much strengthened by their discoveries; and
they unhesitatingly pledged themselves to one another to die
rather than abandon the enterprise. *20

[Footnote 20: Xerez, ubi supra. - Naharro, Relacion Sumaria, Ms.
- Zarate, Conq. del Peru, loc. cit. - Balboa, Hist. du Perou,
chap. 15. - Relacion del Primer. Descub., Ms. - Herrera, Hist.
General, dec. 3, lib. 8, cap. 13. - Levinus Apollonius, fol. 12.
- Gomara, Hist. de las Ind., cap. 108.]

The best means of obtaining the levies requisite for so
formidable an undertaking - more formidable, as it now appeared
to them, than before - were made the subject of long and serious
discussion.  It was at length decided that Pizarro should remain
in his present quarters, inconvenient and even unwholesome as
they were rendered by the humidity of the climate, and the
pestilent swarms of insects that filled the atmosphere.  Almagro
would pass over to Panama, lay the case before the governor, and
secure, if possible, his good-will towards the prosecution of the
enterprise.  If no obstacle were thrown in their way from this
quarter, they might hope, with the assistance of Luque, to raise
the necessary supplies; while the results of the recent
expedition were sufficiently encouraging to draw adventurers to
their standard in a community which had a craving for excitement
that gave even danger a charm, and which held life cheap in
comparison with gold.

Chapter III

The Famous Contract. - Second Expedition. - Ruiz Explores The
Coast. - Pizarro's Sufferings In The Forests. - Arrival Of New
Recruits. - Fresh Discoveries And Disasters. - Pizarro On The
Isle Of Gallo.


On his arrival at Panama, Almagro found that events had taken a
turn less favorable to his views than he had anticipated.
Pedrarias, the governor, was preparing to lead an expedition in
person against a rebellious officer in Nicaragua; and his temper,
naturally not the most amiable, was still further soured by this
defection of his lieutenant, and the necessity it imposed on him
of a long and perilous march.  When, therefore, Almagro appeared
before him with the request that he might be permitted to raise
further levies to prosecute his enterprise, the governor received
him with obvious dissatisfaction, listened coldly to the
narrative of his losses, turned an incredulous ear to his
magnificent promises for the future, and bluntly demanded an
account of the lives, which had been sacrificed by Pizarro's
obstinacy, but which, had they been spared, might have stood him
in good stead in his present expedition to Nicaragua.  He
positively declined to countenance the rash schemes of the two
adventurers any longer, and the conquest of Peru would have been
crushed in the bud, but for the efficient interposition of the
remaining associate, Fernando de Luque.

This sagacious ecclesiastic had received a very different
impression from Almagro's narrative, from that which had been
made on the mind of the irritable governor.  The actual results
of the enterprise in gold and silver, thus far, indeed, had been
small, - forming a mortifying contrast to the magnitude of their
expectations.  But, in another point of view, they were of the
last importance; since the intelligence which the adventurers had
gained in every successive stage of their progress confirmed, in
the strongest manner, the previous accounts, received from
Andagoya and others, of a rich Indian empire at the south, which
might repay the trouble of conquering it as well as Mexico had
repaid the enterprise of Cortes.  Fully entering, therefore, into
the feelings of his military associates, he used all his
influence with the governor to incline him to a more favorable
view of Almagro's petition; and no one in the little community of
Panama exercised greater influence over the councils of the
executive than Father Luque, for which he was indebted no less to
his discretion and acknowledged sagacity than to his professional

But while Pedrarias, overcome by the arguments or importunity of
the churchman, yielded a reluctant assent to the application, he
took care to testify his displeasure with Pizarro, on whom he
particularly charged the loss of his followers, by naming Almagro
as his equal in command in the proposed expedition.  This
mortification sunk deep into Pizarro's mind.  He suspected his
comrade, with what reason does not appear, of soliciting this
boon from the governor.  A temporary coldness arose between them,
which subsided, in outward show, at least, on Pizarro's
reflecting that it was better to have this authority conferred on
a friend than on a stranger, perhaps an enemy. But the seeds of
permanent distrust were left in his bosom, and lay waiting for
the due season to ripen into a fruitful harvest of discord. *1

[Footnote 1: Xerez, Conq. del Peru, ap. Barcia, tom. III. p. 180.
- Montesinos, Annales, Ms., ano 1526. - Herrera, Hist. General,
dec. 3 lib. 8, cap. 12.]

Pedrarias had been originally interested in the enterprise, at
least, so far as to stipulate for a share of the gains, though he
had not contributed, as it appears, a single ducat towards the
expenses.  He was at length, however, induced to relinquish all
right to a share of the contingent profits.  But, in his manner
of doing so, he showed a mercenary spirit, better becoming a
petty trader than a high officer of the Crown.  He stipulated
that the associates should secure to him the sum of one thousand
pesos de oro in requital of his goodwill, and they eagerly closed
with his proposal, rather than be encumbered with his
pretensions.  For so paltry a consideration did he resign his
portion of the rich spoil of the Incas! *2 But the governor was
not gifted with the eye of a prophet.  His avarice was of that
short-sighted kind which defeats itself.  He had sacrificed the
chivalrous Balboa just as that officer was opening to him the
conquest of Peru, and he would now have quenched the spirit of
enterprise, that was taking the same direction, in Pizarro and
his associates.

[Footnote 2: Such is Oviedo's account, who was present at the
interview between the governor and Almagro, when the terms of
compensation were discussed.  The dialogue, which is amusing
enough, and well told by the old Chronicler, may be found
translated in Appendix, No. 5.  Another version of the affair is
given in the Relacion, often quoted by me, of one of the Peruvian
conquerors, in which Pedrarias is said to have gone out of the
partnership voluntarily, from his disgust at the unpromising
state of affairs.  "Vueltos con la dicha gente a Panama,
destrozados y gastados que ya no tenian haciendas para tornar con
provisiones y gentes que todo lo habian gastado, el dicho
Pedrarias de Avila les dijo, que ya el no queria mas hacer
compania con ellos en los gastos de la armada, que si ellos
querian volver a su costa, que lo hiciesen; y ansi como gente que
habia perdido todo lo que tenia y tanto habia trabajado,
acordaron de tornar a proseguir su jornada y dar fin a las vidas
y haciendas que les quedaba, o descubrir aquella tierra, y
ciertamente ellos tubieron grande constancia y animo." Relacion
del Primer.  Descub., Ms.]

Not long after this, in the following year, he was succeeded in
his government by Don Pedro de los Rios, a cavalier of Cordova.
It was the policy of the Castilian Crown to allow no one of the
great colonial officers to occupy the same station so long as to
render himself formidable by his authority. *3 It had, moreover,
many particular causes of disgust with Pedrarias.  The
functionary they sent out to succeed him was fortified with ample
instructions for the good of the colony, and especially of the
natives, whose religious conversion was urged as a capital
object, and whose personal freedom was unequivocally asserted, as
loyal vassals of the Crown.  It is but justice to the Spanish
government to admit that its provisions were generally guided by
a humane and considerate policy, which was as regularly
frustrated by the cupidity of the colonist, and the capricious
cruelty of the conqueror. The few remaining years of Pedrarias
were spent in petty squabbles, both of a personal and official
nature; for he was still continued in office, though in one of
less consideration than that which he had hitherto filled.  He
survived but a few years, leaving behind him a reputation not to
be envied, of one who united a pusillanimous spirit with
uncontrollable passions; who displayed, notwithstanding, a
certain energy of character, or, to speak more correctly, an
impetuosity of purpose, which might have led to good results had
it taken a right direction.  Unfortunately, his lack of
discretion was such, that the direction he took was rarely of
service to his country or to himself.

[Footnote 3: This policy is noticed by the sagacious Martyr.  "De
mutandis namque plaerisque gubernatoribus, ne longa nimis imperii
assuetudine insolescant, cogitatur, qui praecipue non fuerint
prouinciarum domitores. de hisce ducibus namque alia ratio
ponderatur." (De Orbe Novo, (Parisiis, 1587,) p. 498.) One cannot
but regret that the philosopher, who took so keen an interest in
the successive revelations of the different portions of the New
World, should have died before the empire of the Incas was
disclosed to Europeans.  He lived to learn and to record the
wonders of

"Rich Mexico, the seat of Montezuma
Not Cuzco in Peru, the richer seat of

Having settled their difficulties with the governor, and obtained
his sanction to their enterprise, the confederates lost no time
in making the requisite preparations for it.  Their first step
was to execute the memorable contract which served as the basis
of their future arrangements; and, as Pizarro's name appears in
this, it seems probable that that chief had crossed over to
Panama so soon as the favorable disposition of Pedrarias had been
secured. *4 The instrument, after invoking in the most solemn
manner the names of the Holy Trinity and Our Lady the Blessed
Virgin, sets forth, that, whereas the parties have full authority
to discover and subdue the countries and provinces lying south of
the Gulf, belonging to the empire of Peru, and as Fernando de
Luque had advanced the funds for the enterprise in bars of gold
of the value of twenty thousand pesos, they mutually bind
themselves to divide equally among them the whole of the
conquered territory.  This stipulation is reiterated over and
over again, particularly with reference to Luque, who, it is
declared, is to be entitled to one third of all lands,
repartimientos, treasures of every kind, gold, silver, and
precious stones, - to one third even of all vassals, rents, and
emoluments arising from such grants as may be conferred by the
Crown on either of his military associates, to be held for his
own use, or for that of his heirs, assigns, or legal

[Footnote 4: In opposition to most authorities, - but not to the
judicious Quintana, - I have conformed to Montesinos, in placing
the execution of the contract at the commencement of the second,
instead of the first, expedition. This arrangement coincides with
the date of the instrument itself, which, moreover, is reported
in extenso by no ancient writer whom I have consulted except

The two captains solemnly engage to devote themselves exclusively
to the present undertaking until it is accomplished; and, in case
of failure in their part of the covenant, they pledge themselves
to reimburse Luque for his advances, for which all the property
they possess shall be held responsible, and this declaration is
to be a sufficient warrant for the execution of judgment against
them, in the same manner as if it had proceeded from the decree
of a court of justice.

The commanders, Pizarro and Almagro, made oath, in the name of
God and the Holy Evangelists, sacredly to keep this covenant,
swearing it on the missal, on which they traced with their own
hands the sacred emblem of the cross.  To give still greater
efficacy to the compact, Father Luque administered the sacrament
to the parties, dividing the consecrated wafer into three
portions, of which each one of them partook; while the
by-standers, says an historian, were affected to tears by this
spectacle of the solemn ceremonial with which these men
voluntarily devoted themselves to a sacrifice that seemed little
short of insanity. *5

[Footnote 5: This singular instrument is given at length by
Montesinos. (Annales, Ms., ano 1526.) It may be found in the
original in Appendix, No. 6.]

The instrument, which was dated March 10, 1526, was subscribed by
Luque, and attested by three respectable citizens of Panama, one
of whom signed on behalf of Pizarro, and the other for Almagro;
since neither of these parties, according to the avowal of the
instrument, was able to subscribe his own name. *6

[Footnote 6: For some investigation of the fact, which has been
disputed by more than one, of Pizarro's ignorance of the art of
writing, see Book 4, chap. 5, of this History.]

Such was the singular compact by which three obscure individuals
coolly carved out and partitioned among themselves, an empire of
whose extent, power, and resources, of whose situation, of whose
existence, even, they had no sure or precise knowledge.  The
positive and unhesitating manner in which they speak of the
grandeur of this empire, of its stores of wealth, so conformable
to the event, but of which they could have really known so
little, forms a striking contrast with the general skepticism and
indifference manifested by nearly every other person, high and
low, in the community of Panama. *7

[Footnote 7: The epithet of loco or "madman" was punningly
bestowed on Father Luque, for his spirited exertions in behalf of
the enterprise; Padre Luque o loco, says Oviedo of him, as if it
were synonymous.  Historia de las Indias Islas e Tierra Firme del
Mar Oceano, Ms., Parte 3, lib. 8 cap. 1.]

The religious tone of the instrument is not the least remarkable
feature in it, especially when we contrast this with the
relentless policy, pursued by the very men who were parties to
it, in their conquest of the country. "In the name of the Prince
of Peace," says the illustrious historian of America, "they
ratified a contract of which plunder and bloodshed were the
objects." *8 The reflection seems reasonable.  Yet, in
criticizing what is done, as well as what is written, we must
take into account the spirit of the times. *9 The invocation of
Heaven was natural, where the object of the undertaking was, in
part, a religious one.  Religion entered, more or less, into the
theory, at least, of the Spanish conquests in the New World.
That motives of a baser sort mingled largely with these higher
ones, and in different proportions according to the character of
the individual, no one will deny.  And few are they that have
proposed to themselves a long career of action without the
intermixture of some vulgar personal motive, - fame, honors, or
emolument.  Yet that religion furnishes a key to the American
crusades, however rudely they may have been conducted, is evident
from the history of their origin; from the sanction openly given
to them by the Head of the Church; from the throng of
self-devoted missionaries, who followed in the track of the
conquerors to garner up the rich harvest of souls; from the
reiterated instructions of the Crown, the great object of which
was the conversion of the natives; from those superstitious acts
of the iron-hearted soldiery themselves, which, however they may
be set down to fanaticism, were clearly too much in earnest to
leave any ground for the charge of hypocrisy. It was indeed a
fiery cross that was borne over the devoted land, scathing and
consuming it in its terrible progress; but it was still the
cross, the sign of man's salvation, the only sign by which
generations and generations yet unborn were to be rescued from
eternal perdition.

[Footnote 8: Robertson, America, vol. III. p. 5.]

[Footnote 9: "A perfect judge will read each work of wit
With the same spirit that its author writ,"

says the great bard of Reason.  A fair criticism will apply the
same rule to action as to writing, and, in the moral estimate of
conduct, will take largely into account the spirit of the age
which prompted it.]

It is a remarkable fact, which has hitherto escaped the notice of
the historian, that Luque was not the real party to this
contract.  He represented another, who placed in his hands the
funds required for the undertaking.  This appears from an
instrument signed by Luque himself and certified before the same
notary that prepared the original contract.  The instrument
declares that the whole sum of twenty thousand pesos advanced for
the expedition was furnished by the Licentiate Gaspar de
Espinosa, then at Panama; that the vicar acted only as his agent
and by his authority; and that, in consequence, the said Espinosa
and no other was entitled to a third of all the profits and
acquisitions resulting from the conquest of Peru. This
instrument, attested by three persons, one of them the same who
had witnessed the original contract, was dated on the 6th of
August, 1531. *10 The Licentiate Espinosa was a respectable
functionary, who had filled the office of principal alcalde in
Darien, and since taken a conspicuous part in the conquest and
settlement of Tierra Firme.  He enjoyed much consideration for
his personal character and station; and it is remarkable that so
little should be known of the manner in which the covenant, so
solemnly made, was executed in reference to him.  As in the case
of Columbus, it is probable that the unexpected magnitude of the
results was such as to prevent a faithful adherence to the
original stipulation; and yet, from the same consideration, one
can hardly doubt that the twenty thousand pesos of the bold
speculator must have brought him a magnificent return.  Nor did
the worthy vicar of Panama, as the history will show hereafter,
go without his reward.

[Footnote 10: The instrument making this extraordinary disclosure
is cited at length in a manuscript entitled Noticia General del
Peru, Tierra Firme y Chili, by Francisco Lopez de Caravantes, a
fiscal officer in these colonies. The Ms., formerly preserved in
the library of the great college of Cuenca at Salamanca, is now
to be found in her Majesty's library at Madrid.  The passage is
extracted by Quintana, Espanoles Celebres, tom. II. Apend. No. 2,

Having completed these preliminary arrangements, the three
associates lost no time in making preparations for the voyage.
Two vessels were purchased, larger and every way better than
those employed on the former occasion.  Stores were laid in, as
experience dictated, on a larger scale than before, and
proclamation was made of "an expedition to Peru." But the call
was not readily answered by the skeptical citizens of Panama.  Of
nearly two hundred men who had embarked on the former cruise, not
more than three fourths now remained. *11 This dismal mortality,
and the emaciated, poverty-stricken aspect of the survivors,
spoke more eloquently than the braggart promises and magnificent
prospects held out by the adventurers. Still there were men in
the community of such desperate circumstances, that any change
seemed like a chance of bettering their condition.  Most of the
former company also, strange to say, felt more pleased to follow
up the adventure to the end than to abandon it, as they saw the
light of a better day dawning upon them.  From these sources the
two captains succeeded in mustering about one hundred and sixty
men, making altogether a very inadequate force for the conquest
of an empire.  A few horses were also purchased, and a better
supply of ammunition and military stores than before, though
still on a very limited scale.  Considering their funds, the only
way of accounting for this must be by the difficulty of obtaining
supplies at Panama, which, recently founded, and on the remote
coast of the Pacific, could be approached only by crossing the
rugged barrier of mountains, which made the transportation of
bulky articles extremely difficult.  Even such scanty stock of
materials as it possessed was probably laid under heavy
contribution, at the present juncture, by the governor's
preparations for his own expedition to the north.

[Footnote 11: "Con ciento i diez Hombres salio de Panama, i fue
donde estaba el Capitan Picarro con otros cinquenta de los
primeros ciento; diez, que con el salieron, i de los setenta, que
el Capitan Almagro llevo, quando le fue a buscar, que los ciento
i treinta ia eran muertos.  Xerez, Conq. del Peru, ap. Barcia,
tom. III. p. 180.]

Thus indifferently provided, the two captains, each in his own
vessel, again took their departure from Panama, under the
direction of Bartholomew Ruiz, a sagacious and resolute pilot,
well experienced in the navigation of the Southern Ocean.  He was
a native of Moguer, in Andalusia, that little nursery of nautical
enterprise, which furnished so many seamen for the first voyages
of Columbus.  Without touching at the intervening points of the
coast, which offered no attraction to the voyagers, they stood
farther out to sea, steering direct for the Rio de San Juan, the
utmost limit reached by Almagro.  The season was better selected
than on the former occasion, and they were borne along by
favorable breezes to the place of their destination, which they
reached without accident in a few days.  Entering the mouth of
the river, they saw the banks well lined with Indian habitations;
and Pizarro, disembarking, at the head of a party of soldiers,
succeeded in surprising a small village and carrying off a
considerable booty of gold ornaments found in the dwellings,
together with a few of the natives. *12

[Footnote 12: Ibid., pp. 180, 181. - Naharro, Relacion Sumaria,
Ms. - Zarate, Conq. del Peru, lib 1, cap. 1. - Herrera, Hist.
General, dec. 3, lib. 8, cap. 13.]

Flushed with their success, the two chiefs were confident that
the sight of the rich spoil so speedily obtained could not fail
to draw adventurers to their standard in Panama; and, as they
felt more than ever the necessity of a stronger force to cope
with the thickening population of the country which they were now
to penetrate, it was decided that Almagro should return with the
treasure and beat up for reinforcements, while the pilot Ruiz, in
the other vessel, should reconnoitre the country towards the
south, and obtain such information as might determine their
future movements.  Pizarro, with the rest of the force, would
remain in the neighbourhood of the river, as he was assured by
the Indian prisoners, that not far in the interior was an open
reach of country, where he and his men could find comfortable
quarters.  This arrangement was instantly put in execution.  We
will first accompany the intrepid pilot in his cruise towards the

Coasting along the great continent, with his canvas still spread
to favorable winds, the first place at which Ruiz cast anchor was
off the little island of Gallo, about two degrees north.  The
inhabitants, who were not numerous, were prepared to give him a
hostile reception, - for tidings of the invaders had preceded
them along the country, and even reached this insulated spot.  As
the object of Ruiz was to explore, not to conquer, he did not
care to entangle himself in hostilities with the natives; so,
changing his purpose of landing, he weighed anchor, and ran down
the coast as far as what is now called the Bay of St. Matthew.
The country, which, as he advanced, continued to exhibit evidence
of a better culture as well as of a more dense population than
the parts hitherto seen, was crowded, along the shores, with
spectators, who gave no signs of fear or hostility.  They stood
gazing on the vessel of the white men as it glided smoothly into
the crystal waters of the bay, fancying it, says an old writer,
some mysterious being descended from the skies.

Without staying long enough on this friendly coast to undeceive
the simple people, Ruiz, standing off shore, struck out into the
deep sea; but he had not sailed far in that direction, when he
was surprised by the sight of a vessel, seeming in the distance
like a caravel of considerable size, traversed by a large sail
that carried it sluggishly over the waters.  The old navigator
was not a little perplexed by this phenomenon, as he was
confident no European bark could have been before him in these
latitudes, and no Indian nation, yet discovered, not even the
civilized Mexican, was acquainted with the use of sails in
navigation.  As he drew near, he found it was a large vessel, or
rather raft, called balsa by the natives, consisting of a number
of huge timbers of a light, porous wood, tightly lashed together,
with a frail flooring of reeds raised on them by way of deck.
Two masts or sturdy poles, erected in the middle of the vessel,
sustained a large square-sail of cotton, while a rude kind of
rudder and a movable keel, made of plank inserted between the
logs, enabled the mariner to give a direction to the floating
fabric, which held on its course without the aid of oar or
paddle. *13 The simple architecture of this craft was sufficient
for the purposes of the natives, and indeed has continued to
answer them to the present day; for the balsa, surmounted by
small thatched huts or cabins, still supplies the most commodious
means for the transportation of passengers and luggage on the
streams and along the shores of this part of the South American

[Footnote 13: "Traia sus manteles y antenas de muy fina madera y
velas de algodon del mismo talle de manera que los nuestros
navios." Relacion de los Primeros Descubrimientos de F. Pizarro y
Diego de Almagro, sacada del Codice, No. 120 de la Biblioteca
Imperial de Vienna, Ms]

On coming alongside, Ruiz found several Indians, both men and
women, on board, some with rich ornaments on their persons,
besides several articles wrought with considerable skill in gold
and silver, which they were carrying for purposes of traffic to
the different places along the coast.  But what most attracted
his attention was the woollen cloth of which some of their
dresses were made.  It was of a fine texture, delicately
embroidered with figures of birds and flowers, and dyed in
brilliant colors.  He also observed in the boat a pair of
balances made to weigh the precious metals. *14 His astonishment
at these proofs of ingenuity and civilization, so much higher
than any thing he had ever seen in the country, was heightened by
the intelligence which he collected from some of these Indians.
Two of them had come from Tumbez, a Peruvian port, some degrees
to the south; and they gave him to understand, that in their
neighbourhood the fields were covered with large flocks of the
animals from which the wool was obtained, and that gold and
silver were almost as common as wood in the palaces of their
monarch. The Spaniards listened greedily to reports which
harmonized so well with their fond desires.  Though half
distrusting the exaggeration, Ruiz resolved to detain some of the
Indians, including the natives of Tumbez, that they might repeat
the wondrous tale to his commander, and at the same time, by
learning the Castilian, might hereafter serve as interpreters
with their countrymen.  The rest of the party he suffered to
proceed without further interruption on their voyage.  Then
holding on his course, the prudent pilot, without touching at any
other point of the coast, advanced as far as the Punta de Pasado,
about half a degree south, having the glory of being the first
European who, sailing in this direction on the Pacific, had
crossed the equinoctial line.  This was the limit of his
discoveries; on reaching which he tacked about, and standing away
to the north, succeeded, after an absence of several weeks, in
regaining the spot where he had left Pizarro and his comrades.

[Footnote 14: In a short notice of this expedition, written
apparently at the time of it, or soon after, a minute
specification is given of the several articles found in the
balsa; among them are mentioned vases and mirrors of burnished
silver, and curious fabrics both cotton and woollen.  "Espejos
guarnecidos de la dicha plata, y tasas y otras vasijas para
beber, trahian muchas mantas de lana y de algodon, y camisas y
aljubas y alcaceres y alaremes, y otras muchas ropas, todo lo mas
de ello muy labrado de labores muy ricas de colores de grana y
carmisi y azul y amarillo, y de todas otras colores de diversas
maneras de labores y figuras de aves y animales, y Pescados, y
arbolesas y trahian unos pesos chiquitos de pesar oro como
hechura de Romana, y otras muchas cosas.' Relacion sacada de la
Biblioteca Imperial de Vienna, Ms.]

[Footnote 15: Xerez, Conq. del Peru, ap. Barcia, tom. III. p.
181. - Relacion sacada de la Biblioteca Imperial de Vienna, Ms. -
Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 3, lib. 8, cap. 13.

One of the authorities speaks of his having been sixty days on
this cruise.  I regret not to be able to give precise dates of
the events in these early expeditions.  But chronology is a thing
beneath the notice of these ancient chroniclers, who seem to
think that the date of events, so fresh in their own memory, must
be so in that of every one else.]

It was high time; for the spirits of that little band had been
sorely tried by the perils they had encountered.  On the
departure of his vessels, Pizarro marched into the interior, in
the hope of finding the pleasant champaign country which had been
promised him by the natives.  But at every step the forests
seemed to grow denser and darker, and the trees towered to a
height such as he had never seen, even in these fruitful regions,
where Nature works on so gigantic a scale. *16 Hill continued to
rise above hill, as he advanced, rolling onward, as it were, by
successive waves to join that colossal barrier of the Andes,
whose frosty sides, far away above the clouds, spread out like a
curtain of burnished silver, that seemed to connect the heavens
with the earth.

[Footnote 16: "Todo era montanas, con arboles hasta el cielo!"
Herrera Hist. General, ubi supra.]

On crossing these woody eminences, the forlorn adventurers would
plunge into ravines of frightful depth, where the exhalations of
a humid soil steamed up amidst the incense of sweet-scented
flowers, which shone through the deep glooms in every conceivable
variety of color.  Birds, especially of the parrot tribe, mocked
this fantastic variety of nature with tints as brilliant as those
of the vegetable world.  Monkeys chattered in crowds above their
heads, and made grimaces like the fiendish spirits of these
solitudes; while hideous reptiles, engendered in the slimy depths
of the pools, gathered round the footsteps of the wanderers.
Here was seen the gigantic boa, coiling his unwieldy folds about
the trees, so as hardly to be distinguished from their trunks,
till he was ready to dart upon his prey; and alligators lay
basking on the borders of the streams, or, gliding under the
waters, seized their incautious victim before he was aware of
their approach. *17 Many of the Spaniards perished miserably in
this way, and others were waylaid by the natives, who kept a
jealous eye on their movements, and availed themselves of every
opportunity to take them at advantage.  Fourteen of Pizarro's men
were cut off at once in a canoe which had stranded on the bank of
a stream. *18

[Footnote 17: Ibid., ubi supra.]

[Footnote 18: Ibid., loc. cit. - Gomara, Hist. de las Ind., cap.
108. - Naharro, Relacion Sumaria, Ms]

Famine came in addition to other troubles, and it was with
difficulty that they found the means of sustaining life on the
scanty fare of the forest, - occasionally the potato, as it grew
without cultivation, or the wild cocoa-nut, or, on the shore, the
salt and bitter fruit of the mangrove; though the shore was less
tolerable than the forest, from the swarms of mosquitos which
compelled the wretched adventurers to bury their bodies up to
their very faces in the sand.  In this extremity of suffering,
they thought only of return; and all schemes of avarice and
ambition - except with Pizarro and a few dauntless spirits - were
exchanged for the one craving desire to return to Panama.

It was at this crisis that the pilot Ruiz returned with the
report of his brilliant discoveries; and, not long after, Almagro
sailed into port with his vessel laden with refreshments, and a
considerable reinforcement of volunteers.  The voyage of that
commander had been prosperous.  When he arrived at Panama, he
found the government in the hands of Don Pedro de los Rios; and
he came to anchor in the harbour, unwilling to trust himself on
shore, till he had obtained from Father Luque some account of the
dispositions of the executive.  These were sufficiently
favorable; for the new governor had particular instructions fully
to carry out the arrangements made by his predecessor with the
associates.  On learning Almagro's arrival, he came down to the
port to welcome him, professing his willingness to afford every
facility for the execution of his designs.  Fortunately, just
before this period, a small body of military adventurers had come
to Panama from the mother country, burning with desire to make
their fortunes in the New World. They caught much more eagerly
than the old and wary colonists at the golden bait held out to
them; and with their addition, and that of a few supernumerary
stragglers who hung about the town, Almagro found himself at the
head of a reinforcement of at least eighty men, with which,
having laid in a fresh supply of stores, he again set sail for
the Rio de San Juan.
The arrival of the new recruits all eager to follow up the
expedition, the comfortable change in their circumstances
produced by an ample supply of refreshments, and the glowing
pictures of the wealth that awaited them in the south, all had
their effect on the dejected spirits of Pizarro's followers.
Their late toils and privations were speedily forgotten, and,
with the buoyant and variable feelings incident to a freebooter's
life, they now called as eagerly on their commander to go forward
in the voyage, as they had before called on him to abandon it.
Availing themselves of the renewed spirit of enterprise, the
captains embarked on board their vessels, and, under the guidance
of the veteran pilot, steered in the same track he had lately

But the favorable season for a southern course, which in these
latitudes lasts but a few months in the year, had been suffered
to escape.  The breezes blew steadily towards the north, and a
strong current, not far from shore, set in the same direction.
The winds frequently rose into tempests, and the unfortunate
voyagers were tossed about, for many days, in the boiling surges,
amidst the most awful storms of thunder and lightning, until, at
length, they found a secure haven in the island of Gallo, already
visited by Ruiz.  As they were now too strong in numbers to
apprehend an assault, the crews landed, and, experiencing no
molestation from the natives, they continued on the island for a
fortnight, refitting their damaged vessels, and recruiting
themselves after the fatigues of the ocean.  Then, resuming their
voyage, the captains stood towards the south until they reached
the Bay of St. Matthew. As they advanced along the coast, they
were struck, as Ruiz had been before, with the evidences of a
higher civilization constantly exhibited in the general aspect of
the country and its inhabitants.  The hand of cultivation was
visible in every quarter.  The natural appearance of the coast,
too, had something in it more inviting; for, instead of the
eternal labyrinth of mangrove-trees, with their complicated roots
snarled into formidable coils under the water, as if to waylay
and entangle the voyager, the low margin of the sea was covered
with a stately growth of ebony, and with a species of mahogany,
and other hard woods that take the most brilliant and variegated
polish.  The sandal-wood, and many balsamic trees of unknown
names, scattered their sweet odors far and wide, not in an
atmosphere tainted with vegetable corruption, but on the pure
breezes of the ocean, bearing health as well as fragrance on
their wings.  Broad patches of cultivated land intervened,
disclosing hill-sides covered with the yellow maize and the
potato, or checkered, in the lower levels, with blooming
plantations of cacao. *19

[Footnote 19: Xerez, Conq. del Peru, ap. Barcia, tom. III. p.
181. - Relacion sacada de la Biblioteca Imperial de Vienna, Ms. -
Naharro, Relacion Sumaria, Ms. - Montesinos, Annales, Ms., ano
1526. - Zarate, Conq. del Peru, lib. 1. cap. 1. - Relacion del
Primer. Descub., Ms.]

The villages became more numerous; and, as the vessels rode at
anchor off the port of Tacamez, the Spaniards saw before them a
town of two thousand houses or more, laid out into streets, with
a numerous population clustering around it in the suburbs. *20
The men and women displayed many ornaments of gold and precious
stones about their persons, which may seem strange, considering
that the Peruvian Incas claimed a monopoly of jewels for
themselves and the nobles on whom they condescended to bestow
them.  But, although the Spaniards had now reached the outer
limits of the Peruvian empire, it was not Peru, but Quito, and
that portion of it but recently brought under the sceptre of the
Incas, where the ancient usages of the people could hardly have
been effaced under the oppressive system of the American despots.
The adjacent country was, moreover, particularly rich in gold,
which, collected from the washings of the streams, still forms
one of the staple products of Barbacoas.  Here, too, was the fair
River of Emeralds, so called from the quarries of the beautiful
gem on its borders, from which the Indian monarchs enriched their
treasury. *21

[Footnote 20: Pizarro's secretary speaks of one of the towns as
containing 3,000 houses.  "En esta Tierra havia muchos
Mantenimientos, i la Gente tenia mui buena orden de vivir, los
Pueblos con sus Calles, i Placas: Pueblo havia que tenia mas de
tres mil Casas, i otros havia menores." Conq. del Peru, ap.
Barcia, tom. III. p. 181.]

[Footnote 21: Stevenson, who visited this part of the coast early
in the present century, is profuse in his description of its
mineral and vegetable treasures.  The emerald mine in the
neighbourhood of Las Esmeraldas, once so famous, is now placed
under the ban of a superstition, more befitting the times of the
Incas.  "I never visited it," says the traveller, "owing to the
superstitious dread of the natives, who assured me that it was
enchanted, and guarded by an enormous dragon, which poured forth
thunder and lightning on those who dared to ascend the river."
Residence in South America, vol. II. p. 406.]

The Spaniards gazed with delight on these undeniable evidences of
wealth, and saw in the careful cultivation of the soil a
comfortable assurance that they had at length reached the land
which had so long been seen in brilliant, though distant,
perspective before them.  But here again they were doomed to be
disappointed by the warlike spirit of the people, who, conscious
of their own strength, showed no disposition to quail before the
invaders.  On the contrary, several of their canoes shot out,
loaded with warriors, who, displaying a gold mask as their
ensign, hovered round the vessels with looks of defiance, and,
when pursued, easily took shelter under the lee of the land. *22

[Footnote 22: "Salieron a los dichos navios quatorce canoas
grandes con muchos Indios dos armados de oro y plata, y trahian
en la una canoa o en estandarte y encima de el un bolto de un
mucho desio de oro, y dieron una suelta a los navios por
avisarlos en manera que no los pudiese enojar, y asi dieron
vuelta acia a su pueblo, y los navios no los pudieron tomar
porque se metieron en los baxos junto a la tierra." Relacion
sacada de la Biblioteca Imperial de Vienna, Ms.]

A more formidable body mustered along the shore, to the number,
according to the Spanish accounts, of at least ten thousand
warriors, eager, apparently, to come to close action with the
invaders.  Nor could Pizarro, who had landed with a party of his
men in the hope of a conference with the natives, wholly prevent
hostilities; and it might have gone hard with the Spaniards,
hotly pressed by their resolute enemy so superior in numbers, but
for a ludicrous accident reported by the historians as happening
to one of the cavaliers. This was a fall from his horse, which so
astonished the barbarians, who were not prepared for this
division of what seemed one and the same being into two, that,
filled with consternation, they fell back, and left a way open
for the Christians to regain their vessels! *23

[Footnote 23: "Al tiempo del romper los unos con los otros, uno
de aquellos de caballo cayo del caballo abajo; y como los Indios
vieron dividirse aquel animal en dos partes, teniendo por cierto
que todo era una cosa, fue tanto el miedo que tubieron que
volvieron las espaldas dando voces a los suyos, diciendo, que se
habia hecho dos haciendo admiracion dello: lo cual no fue sin
misterio; porque a no acaecer esto se presume, que mataran todos
los cristianos." (Relacion del Primer.  Descub., Ms.) This way of
accounting for the panic of the barbarians is certainly quite as
credible as the explanation, under similar circumstances,
afforded by the apparition of the militant apostle St. James, so
often noticed by the historians of these wars.]
A council of war was now called.  It was evident that the forces
of the Spaniards were unequal to a contest with so numerous and
well-appointed a body of natives; and, even if they should
prevail here, they could have no hope of stemming the torrent
which must rise against them in their progress - for the country
was becoming more and more thickly settled, and towns and hamlets
started into view at every new headland which they doubled.  It
was better, in the opinion of some, - the faint-hearted, - to
abandon the enterprise at once, as beyond their strength.  But
Almagro took a different view of the affair.  "To go home," he
said, "with nothing done, would be ruin, as well as disgrace.
There was scarcely one but had left creditors at Panama, who
looked for payment to the fruits of this expedition.  To go home
now would be to deliver themselves at once into their hands.  It
would be to go to prison.  Better to roam a freeman, though in
the wilderness, than to lie bound with fetters in the dungeons of
Panama. *24 The only course for them," he concluded, "was the one
lately pursued.  Pizarro might find some more commodious place
where he could remain with part of the force, while he himself
went back for recruits to Panama.  The story they had now to tell
of the riches of the land, as they had seen them with their own
eyes, would put their expedition in a very different light, and
could not fail to draw to their banner as many volunteers as they

[Footnote 24: "No era bien bolver pobres, a pedir limosna, i
morir en las Carceles, los que tenian deudas." Herrera, Hist.
General, dec. 3, lib. 10, cap. 2.]

But this recommendation, however judicious, was not altogether to
the taste of the latter commander, who did not relish the part,
which constantly fell to him, of remaining behind in the swamps
and forests of this wild country.  "It is all very well," he said
to Almagro, "for you, who pass your time pleasantly enough,
careering to and fro in your vessel, or snugly sheltered in a
land of plenty at Panama; but it is quite another matter for
those who stay behind to droop and die of hunger in the
wilderness" *25 To this Almagro retorted with some heat,
professing his own willingness to take charge of the brave men
who would remain with him, if Pizarro declined it. The
controversy assuming a more angry and menacing tone, from words
they would have soon come to blows, as both, laying their hands
on their swords, were preparing to rush on each other, when the
treasurer Ribera, aided by the pilot Ruiz, succeeded in pacifying
them.  It required but little effort on the part of these cooler
counsellors to convince the cavaliers of the folly of a conduct
which must at once terminate the expedition in a manner little
creditable to its projectors.  A reconciliation consequently took
place, sufficient, at least in outward show, to allow the two
commanders to act together in concert.  Almagro's plan was then
adopted; and it only remained to find out the most secure and
convenient spot for Pizarro's quarters.

[Footnote 25: "Como iba, i venia en los Navios, adonde no le
faltaba Vitualla, no padecia la miseria de la hambre, i otras
angustias que tenian, i ponian a todos en estrema congoja."
(Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 3, lib. 10, cap. 2.) The cavaliers
of Cortes and Pizarro however doughty their achievements,
certainly fell short of those knights-errant, commemorated by
Hudibras, who,

"As some think,
Of old did neither eat nor drink;
Because, when thorough deserts vast
And regions desolate they past,
Unless they grazed, there's not one word
Of their provision on record;
Which made some confidently write,
They had no stomachs but to fight."]

Several days were passed in touching at different parts of the
coast, as they retraced their course; but everywhere the natives
appeared to have caught the alarm, and assumed a menacing, and
from their numbers a formidable, aspect.  The more northerly
region, with its unwholesome fens and forest, where nature wages
a war even more relentless than man, was not to be thought of.
In this perplexity, they decided on the little island of Gallo,
as being, on the whole, from its distance from the shore, and
from the scantiness of its population, the most eligible spot for
them in their forlorn and destitute condition. *26

[Footnote 26: Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Relacion
sacada de la Biblioteca Imperial de Vienna, Ms. - Naharro,
Relacion Sumaria, Ms. - Zarate, Conq. del Peru, lib. 1, cap. 1. -
Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 3, lib. 10, cap. 2.]

It was singularly unfortunate, that Pizarro, instead of striking
farther south, should have so long clung to the northern shores
of the continent. Dampier notices them as afflicted with
incessant rain; while the inhospitable forest and the
particularly ferocious character of the natives continued to make
these regions but little known down to his time.  See his Voyages
and Adventures, (London, 1776,) vol. I. chap. 14.]

But no sooner was the resolution of the two captains made known,
than a feeling of discontent broke forth among their followers,
especially those who were to remain with Pizarro on the island.
"What!" they exclaimed, "were they to be dragged to that obscure
spot to die by hunger?  The whole expedition had been a cheat and
a failure, from beginning to end.  The golden countries, so much
vaunted, had seemed to fly before them as they advanced; and the
little gold they had been fortunate enough to glean had all been
sent back to Panama to entice other fools to follow their
example.  What had they got in return for all their sufferings?
The only treasures they could boast were their bows and arrows,
and they were now to be left to die on this dreary island,
without so much as a rood of consecrated ground to lay their
bones in!" *27

[Footnote 27: "Miserablemente morir adonde aun no havia lugar
Sagrado, para sepultura de sus cuerpos." Herrera, Hist General,
dec. 3, lib. 10, cap. 3.]

In this exasperated state of feeling, several of the soldiers
wrote back to their friends, informing them of their deplorable
condition, and complaining of the cold-blooded manner in which
they were to be sacrificed to the obstinate cupidity of their
leaders.  But the latter were wary enough to anticipate this
movement, and Almagro defeated it by seizing all the letters in
the vessels, and thus cutting off at once the means of
communication with their friends at home.  Yet this act of
unscrupulous violence, like most other similar acts, fell short
of its purpose; for a soldier named Sarabia had the ingenuity to
evade it by introducing a letter into a ball of cotton, which was
to be taken to Panama as a specimen of the products of the
country, and presented to the governor's lady. *28

[Footnote 28: "Metieron en un ovillo de algodon una carta firmada
de muchos en que sumariamente daban cuenta de las hambres,
muertes y desnudez que padecian, y que era cosa de risa todo,
pues las riquezas se habian convertido en flechas, y no havia
otra cosa." Montesinos, Annales, Ms., ano 1527.]

The letter, which was signed by several of the disaffected
soldiery besides the writer, painted in gloomy colors the
miseries of their condition, accused the two commanders of being
the authors of this, and called on the authorities of Panama to
interfere by sending a vessel to take them from the desolate
spot, while some of them might still be found surviving the
horrors of their confinement.  The epistle concluded with a
stanza, in which the two leaders were stigmatized as partners in
a slaughter-house; one being employed to drive in the cattle for
the other to butcher.  The verses, which had a currency in their
day among the colonists to which they were certainly not entitled
by their poetical merits, may be thus rendered into corresponding

"Look out, Senor Governor,
For the drover while he's near;
Since he goes home to get the sheep
For the butcher, who stays here." *29

[Footnote 29: Xerez, Conq. del Peru, ap. Barcia, tom. III. p.
181. - Naharro, Relacion Sumaria, Ms. - Balboa, Hist. du Perou,
chap. 15.

"Al fin de la peticion que hacian en la carta al Governador puso
Juan de Sarabia, natural de Trujillo, esta cuarteta: -

Pues Senor Gobernador,
Mirelo bien por entero
que alla va el recogedor,
y aca queda el carnicero"

Montesinos, Annales Ms., ane 1527.]

Chapter IV

Indignation Of The Governor. - Stern Resolution Of Pizarro. -
Prosecution Of The Voyage. - Brilliant Aspect Of Tumbez. -
Discoveries Along The Coast. - Return To Panama. - Pizarro
Embarks For Spain.


Not long after Almagro's departure, Pizarro sent off the
remaining vessel, under the pretext of its being put in repair at
Panama.  It probably relieved him of a part of his followers,
whose mutinous spirit made them an obstacle rather than a help in
his forlorn condition, and with whom he was the more willing to
part from the difficulty of finding subsistence on the barren
spot which he now occupied.

Great was the dismay occasioned by the return of Almagro and his
followers, in the little community of Panama; for the letter,
surreptitiously conveyed in the ball of cotton, fell into the
hands for which it was intended, and the contents soon got abroad
with the usual quantity of exaggeration.  The haggard and
dejected mien of the adventurers, of itself, told a tale
sufficiently disheartening, and it was soon generally believed
that the few ill-fated survivors of the expedition were detained
against their will by Pizarro, to end their days with their
disappointed leader on his desolate island.

Pedro de los Rios, the governor, was so much incensed at the
result of the expedition, and the waste of life it had occasioned
to the colony, that he turned a deaf ear to all the applications
of Luque and Almagro for further countenance in the affair; he
derided their sanguine anticipations of the future, and finally
resolved to send an officer to the isle of Gallo, with orders to
bring back every Spaniard whom he should find still living in
that dreary abode.  Two vessels were immediately despatched for
the purpose, and placed under charge of a cavalier named Tafur, a
native of Cordova.
Meanwhile Pizarro and his followers were experiencing all the
miseries which might have been expected from the character of the
barren spot on which they were imprisoned.  They were, indeed,
relieved from all apprehensions of the natives, since these had
quitted the island on its occupation by the white men; but they
had to endure the pains of hunger even in a greater degree than
they had formerly experienced in the wild woods of the
neighbouring continent.  Their principal food was crabs and such
shell-fish as they could scantily pick up along the shores.
Incessant storms of thunder and lightning, for it was the rainy
season, swept over the devoted island, and drenched them with a
perpetual flood.  Thus, half-naked, and pining with famine, there
were few in that little company who did not feel the spirit of
enterprise quenched within them, or who looked for any happier
termination of their difficulties than that afforded by a return
to Panama.  The appearance of Tafur, therefore, with his two
vessels, well stored with provisions, was greeted with all the
rapture that the crew of a sinking wreck might feel on the
arrival of some unexpected succour; and the only thought, after
satisfying the immediate cravings of hunger, was to embark and
leave the detested isle for ever.

But by the same vessel letters came to Pizarro from his two
confederates, Luque and Almagro, beseeching him not to despair in
his present extremity, but to hold fast to his original purpose.
To return under the present circumstances would be to seal the
fate of the expedition; and they solemnly engaged, if he would
remain firm at his post, to furnish him in a short time with the
necessary means for going forward. *1

[Footnote 1: Xerez, Conq. del Peru, ap. Barcia, tom. III. p. 182.
- Zarate, Conq. del Peru, lib. 1, cap. 2. - Montesinos, Annales,
Ms., ano 1527. - Herrera, Hist. General dec. 3, lib. 10, cap. 3.
- Naharro Relacion Sumaria, Ms.]

A ray of hope was enough for the courageous spirit of Pizarro.
It does not appear that he himself had entertained, at any time,
thoughts of returning.  If he had, these words of encouragement
entirely banished them from his bosom, and he prepared to stand
the fortune of the cast on which he had so desperately ventured.
He knew, however, that solicitations or remonstrances would avail
little with the companions of his enterprise; and he probably did
not care to win over the more timid spirits who, by perpetually
looking back, would only be a clog on his future movements.  He
announced his own purpose, however, in a laconic but decided
manner, characteristic of a man more accustomed to act than to
talk, and well calculated to make an impression on his rough

Drawing his sword, he traced a line with it on the sand from east
to west.  Then turning towards the south, "Friends and comrades!"
he said, "on that side are toil, hunger, nakedness, the drenching
storm, desertion, and death; on this side, ease and pleasure.
There lies Peru with its riches; here, Panama and its poverty.
Choose, each man, what best becomes a brave Castilian.  For my
part, I go to the south." So saying, he stepped across the line.
*2 He was followed by the brave pilot Ruiz; next by Pedro de
Candia, a cavalier, born, as his name imports, in one of the
isles of Greece.  Eleven others successively crossed the line,
thus intimating their willingness to abide the fortunes of their
leader, for good or for evil. *3 Fame, to quote the enthusiastic
language of an ancient chronicler, has commemorated the names of
this little band, "who thus, in the face of difficulties
unexampled in history, with death rather than riches for their
reward, preferred it all to abandoning their honor, and stood
firm by their leader as an example of loyalty to future ages." *4

[Footnote 2: "Obedeciola Pizarro y antes que se egecutase saco un
Punal, y con notable animo hizo con la punta una raya de Oriente
a Poniente; y senalando al medio dia, que era la parte de su
noticia, y derrotero dijo: camaradas y amigos esta parte es la de
la muerte, de los trabajos, de las hambres, de la desnudez, de
los aguaceros, y desamparos; la otra la del gusto: Por aqui se ba
a Panama a ser pobres, por alla al Peru a ser ricos. Escoja el
que fuere buen Castellano lo que mas bien le estubiere.  Diciendo
esto paso la raya: siguieronle Barthome Ruiz natural de Moguer,
Pedro de Candi Griego, natural de Candia." Montesinos, Annales,
Ms., ano 1527.]

[Footnote 3: The names of these thirteen faithful companions are
preserved in the convention made with the Crown two years later,
where they are suitably commemorated for their loyalty.  Their
names should not be omitted in a history of the Conquest of Peru.
They were "Bartolome Ruiz, Cristoval de Peralta, Pedro de Candia,
Domingo de Soria Luce, Nicolas de Ribera, Francisco de Cuellar,
Alonso de Molina, Pedro Alcon, Garcia de Jerez, Anton de Carrion,
Alonso Briceno, Martin de Paz, Joan de la Torre."]

[Footnote 4: "Estos fueron los trece de la fama.  Estos los que
cercados de los mayores trabajos que pudo el Mundo ofrecer a
hombres, y los que estando mas para esperar la muerte que las
riquezas que se les prometian, todo lo pospusieron a la honra, y
siguieron a su capitan y caudillo para egemplo de lealtad en lo
futuro." Montesinos, Annales, Ms., ano 1527.]

But the act excited no such admiration in the mind of Tafur, who
looked on it as one of gross disobedience to the commands of the
governor, and as little better than madness, involving the
certain destruction of the parties engaged in it.  He refused to
give any sanction to it himself by leaving one of his vessels
with the adventurers to prosecute their voyage, and it was with
great difficulty that he could be persuaded even to allow them a
part of the stores which he had brought for their support.  This
had no influence on their determination, and the little party,
bidding adieu to their returning comrades, remained unshaken in
their purpose of abiding the fortunes of their commander. *5

[Footnote 5: Zarate, Conq. del Peru, lib. 1, cap. 2. -
Montesinos, Annales, Ms., ano 1527. - Naharro, Relacion Sumaria,
Ms. - Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 3, lib. 10, cap. 3.]

There is something striking to the imagination in the spectacle
of these few brave spirits, thus consecrating themselves to a
daring enterprise, which seemed as far above their strength as
any recorded in the fabulous annals of knight-errantry.  A
handful of men, without food, without clothing, almost without
arms, without knowledge of the land to which they were bound,
without vessel to transport them, were here left on a lonely rock
in the ocean with the avowed purpose of carrying on a crusade
against a powerful empire, staking their lives on its success.
What is there in the legends of chivalry that surpasses it?  This
was the crisis of Pizarro's fate.  There are moments in the lives
of men, which, as they are seized or neglected, decide their
future destiny. *6 Had Pizarro faltered from his strong purpose,
and yielded to the occasion, now so temptingly presented, for
extricating himself and his broken band from their desperate
position, his name would have been buried with his fortunes, and
the conquest of Peru would have been left for other and more
successful adventurers.  But his constancy was equal to the
occasion, and his conduct here proved him competent to the
perilous post he had assumed, and inspired others with a
confidence in him which was the best assurance of success.

[Footnote 6: This common sentiment is expressed with uncommon
beauty by the fanciful Boiardo, where he represents Rinaldo as
catching Fortune, under the guise of the fickle fairy Morgana, by
the forelock.  The Italian reader may not be displeased to
refresh his memory with it.

"Chi cerca in questo mondo aver tesoro,
O diletto, e piacere, honore, e stato,
Ponga la mano a questa chioma d'oro,
Ch'lo porto in fronte, e lo faro beato;
Ma quando ha in destro si fatto lavoro
Non prenda indugio, che'l tempo passato
Perduto e tutto, e non ritorna mai,
Ed io mi volto, e lui lascio con guai."

Orlando, Innamorato, lib. 2, canto 8.]

In the vessel that bore back Tafur and those who seceded from the
expedition the pilot Ruiz was also permitted to return, in order
to cooperate with Luque and Almagro in their application for
further succour.
Not long after the departure of the ships, it was decided by
Pizarro to abandon his present quarters, which had little to
recommend them, and which, he reflected, might now be exposed to
annoyance from the original inhabitants, should they take courage
and return, on learning the diminished number of the white men.
The Spaniards, therefore, by his orders, constructed a rude boat
or raft, on which they succeeded in transporting themselves to
the little island of Gorgona, twenty-five leagues to the north of
their present residence.  It lay about five leagues from the
continent, and was uninhabited.  It had some advantages over the
isle of Gallo; for it stood higher above the sea, and was
partially covered with wood, which afforded shelter to a species
of pheasant, and the hare or rabbit of the country, so that the
Spaniards, with their crossbows, were enabled to procure a
tolerable supply of game.  Cool streams that issued from the
living rock furnished abundance of water, though the drenching
rains that fell, without intermission, left them in no danger of
perishing by thirst.  From this annoyance they found some
protection in the rude huts which they constructed; though here,
as in their former residence, they suffered from the no less
intolerable annoyance of venomous insects, which multiplied and
swarmed in the exhalations of the rank and stimulated soil.  In
this dreary abode Pizarro omitted no means by which to sustain
the drooping spirits of his men. Morning prayers were duly said,
and the evening hymn to the Virgin was regularly chanted; the
festivals of the church were carefully commemorated, and every
means taken by their commander to give a kind of religious
character to his enterprise, and to inspire his rough followers
with a confidence in the protection of Heaven, that might support
them in their perilous circumstances. *7

[Footnote 7: "Cada Manana daban gracias a Dios: a las tardes
decian la Salve, i otras Oraciones, por las Horas: sabian las
Fiestas, i enian cuenta con los Viernes, i Domingos." Herrera,
Hist. General, dec. 3, lib. 10, cap. 3.]

In these uncomfortable quarters, their chief employment was to
keep watch on the melancholy ocean, that they might hail the
first signal of the anticipated succour.  But many a tedious
month passed away, and no sign of it appeared.  All around was
the same wide waste of waters, except to the eastward, where the
frozen crest of the Andes, touched with the ardent sun of the
equator, glowed like a ridge of fire along the whole extent of
the great continent.  Every speck in the distant horizon was
carefully noticed, and the drifting timber or masses of sea-weed,
heaving to and fro on the bosom of the waters, was converted by
their imaginations into the promised vessel; till, sinking under
successive disappointments, hope gradually gave way to doubt, and
doubt settled into despair. *8

[Footnote 8: "Al cabo de muchos Dias aguardando, estaban tan
angustiados, que los salages, que se hacian bien dentro de la
Mar, les parecia, que era el Navio." Herrera, Hist General, dec.
3, lib. 10, cap. 4.]

Meanwhile the vessel of Tafur had reached the port of Panama.
The tidings which she brought of the inflexible obstinacy of
Pizarro and his followers filled the governor with indignation.
He could look on it in no other light than as an act of suicide,
and steadily refused to send further assistance to men who were
obstinately bent on their own destruction.  Yet Luque and Almagro
were true to their engagements.  They represented to the
governor, that, if the conduct of their comrade was rash, it was
at least in the service of the Crown, and in prosecuting the
great work of discovery. Rios had been instructed, on his taking
the government, to aid Pizarro in the enterprise; and to desert
him now would be to throw away the remaining chance of success,
and to incur the responsibility of his death and that of the
brave men who adhered to him.  These remonstrances, at length, so
far operated on the mind of that functionary, that he reluctantly
consented that a vessel should be sent to the island of Gorgona,
but with no more hands than were necessary to work her, and with
positive instructions to Pizarro to return in six months and
report himself at Panama, whatever might be the future results of
his expedition.

Having thus secured the sanction of the executive, the two
associates lost no time in fitting out a small vessel with stores
and a supply of arms and ammunition, and despatched it to the
island.  The unfortunate tenants of this little wilderness, who
had now occupied it for seven months, *9 hardly dared to trust
their senses when they descried the white sails of the friendly
bark coming over the waters.  And although, when the vessel
anchored off the shore, Pizarro was disappointed to find that it
brought no additional recruits for the enterprise, yet he greeted
it with joy, as affording the means of solving the great problem
of the existence of the rich southern empire, and of thus opening
the way for its future conquest.  Two of his men were so ill,
that it was determined to leave them in the care of some of the
friendly Indians who had continued with him through the whole of
his sojourn, and to call for them on his return.  Taking with him
the rest of his hardy followers and the natives of Tumbez, he
embarked, and, speedily weighing anchor, bade adieu to the
"Hell," as it was called by the Spaniards, which had been the
scene of so much suffering and such undaunted resolution. *10

[Footnote 9: "Estubieron con estos trabajos con igualdad de animo
siete meses" Montesinos, Annales, Ms., ano 1527.]

[Footnote 10: Xerez, Conq. del Peru, ap. Barcia, tom. III. p.
182. - Montesinos, Annales, Ms., ano 1527. - Naharro, Relacion
Sumaria, Ms. - Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 3, lib. 10, cap. 4. -
Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms.]

Every heart was now elated with hope, as they found themselves
once more on the waters, under the guidance of the good pilot
Ruiz, who, obeying the directions of the Indians, proposed to
steer for the land of Tumbez, which would bring them at once into
the golden empire of the Incas, - the El Dorado, of which they
had been so long in pursuit.  Passing by the dreary isle of
Gallo, which they had such good cause to remember, they stood
farther out to sea until they made Point Tacumez, near which they
had landed on their previous voyage.  They did not touch at any
part of the coast, but steadily held on their way, though
considerably impeded by the currents, as well as by the wind,
which blew with little variation from the south.  Fortunately,
the wind was light, and, as the weather was favorable, their
voyage, though slow, was not uncomfortable.  In a few days, they
came in sight of Point Pasado, the limit of the pilot's former
navigation; and, crossing the line, the little bark entered upon
those unknown seas which had never been ploughed by European keel
before.  The coast, they observed, gradually declined from its
former bold and rugged character, gently sloping towards the
shore, and spreading out into sandy plains, relieved here and
there by patches of uncommon richness and beauty; while the white
cottages of the natives glistening along the margin of the sea,
and the smoke that rose among the distant hills, intimated the
increasing population of the country.
At length, after the lapse of twenty days from their departure
from the island, the adventurous vessel rounded the point of St.
Helena, and glided smoothly into the waters of the beautiful gulf
of Guayaquil.  The country was here studded along the shore with
towns and villages, though the mighty chain of the Cordilleras,
sweeping up abruptly from the coast, left but a narrow strip of
emerald verdure, through which numerous rivulets, spreading
fertility around them, wound their way into the sea.

The voyagers were now abreast of some of the most stupendous
heights of this magnificent range; Chimborazo, with its broad
round summit, towering like the dome of the Andes, and Cotopaxi,
with its dazzling cone of silvery white, that knows no change
except from the action of its own volcanic fires; for this
mountain is the most terrible of the American volcanoes, and was
in formidable activity at no great distance from the period of
our narrative. Well pleased with the signs of civilization that
opened on them at every league of their progress, the Spaniards,
at length, came to anchor, off the island of Santa Clara, lying
at the entrance of the bay of Tumbez. *11

[Footnote 11: According to Garcilasso, two years elapsed between
the departure from Gorgona and the arrival at Tumbez.  (Com.
Real., Parte 2, hb. 1, cap. 11.) Such gross defiance of
chronology is rather uncommon even in the narratives of these
transactions, where it is as difficult to fix a precise date,
amidst the silence, rather than the contradictions, of
contemporary statements, as if the events had happened before the
The place was uninhabited, but was recognized by the Indians on
board, as occasionally resorted to by the warlike people of the
neighbouring isle of Puna, for purposes of sacrifice and worship.
The Spaniards found on the spot a few bits of gold rudely wrought
into various shapes, and probably designed as offerings to the
Indian deity.  Their hearts were cheered, as the natives assured
them they would see abundance of the same precious metal in their
own city of Tumbez.

The following morning they stood across the bay for this place.
As they drew near, they beheld a town of considerable size, with
many of the buildings apparently of stone and plaster, situated
in the bosom of a fruitful meadow, which seemed to have been
redeemed from the sterility of the surrounding country be careful
and minute irrigation.  When at some distance from shore, Pizarro
saw standing towards him several large balsas, which were found
to be filled with warriors going on an expedition against the
island of Puna.  Running alongside of the Indian flotilla, he
invited some of the chiefs to come on board of his vessel.  The
Peruvians gazed with wonder on every object which met their eyes,
and especially on their own countrymen, whom they had little
expected to meet there.  The latter informed them in what manner
they had fallen into the hands of the strangers, whom they
described as a wonderful race of beings, that had come thither
for no harm, but solely to be made acquainted with the country
and its inhabitants.  This account was confirmed by the Spanish
commander, who persuaded the Indians to return in their balsas
and report what they had learned to their townsmen, requesting
them at the same time to provide his vessel with refreshments, as
it was his desire to enter into a friendly intercourse with the
The people of Tumbez were gathered along the shore, and were
gazing with unutterable amazement on the floating castle, which,
now having dropped anchor, rode lazily at its moorings in their
bay.  They eagerly listened to the accounts of their countrymen,
and instantly reported the affair to the curaca or ruler of the
district, who, conceiving that the strangers must be beings of a
superior order, prepared at once to comply with their request. It
was not long before several balsas were seen steering for the
vessel laden with bananas, plantains, yuca, Indian corn, sweet
potatoes, pine-apples, cocoa-nuts, and other rich products of the
bountiful vale of Tumbez.  Game and fish, also, were added, with
a number of llamas, of which Pizarro had seen the rude drawings
belonging to Balboa, but of which till now he had met with no
living specimen.  He examined this curious animal, the Peruvian
sheep, - or, as the Spaniards called it, the "little camel" of
the Indians, - with much interest, greatly admiring the mixture
of wool and hair which supplied the natives with the materials
for their fabrics.
At that time there happened to be at Tumbez an Inca noble, or
orejon, - for so, as I have already noticed, men of his rank were
called by the Spaniards, from the huge ornaments of gold attached
to their ears.  He expressed great curiosity to see the wonderful
strangers, and had, accordingly, come out with the balsas for the
purpose.  It was easy to perceive from the superior quality of
his dress, as well as from the deference paid to him by the
others, that he was a person of consideration, and Pizarro
received him with marked distinction.  He showed him the
different parts of the ship, explaining to him the uses of
whatever engaged his attention, and answering his numerous
queries, as well as he could, by means of the Indian
interpreters.  The Peruvian chief was especially desirous of
knowing whence and why Pizarro and his followers had come to
these shores. The Spanish captain replied, that he was the vassal
of a great prince, the greatest and most powerful in the world,
and that he had come to this country to assert his master's
lawful supremacy over it.  He had further come to rescue the
inhabitants from the darkness of unbelief in which they were now
wandering.  They worshipped an evil spirit, who would sink their
souls into everlasting perdition; and he would give them the
knowledge of the true and only God, Jesus Christ, since to
believe on him was eternal salvation. *12

[Footnote 12: The text abridges somewhat the discourse of the
military polemic; which is reported at length by Herrera, Hist.
General, dec. 3, lib. 10, cap. 4. - See also Montesinos, Annales,
Ms., ano 1527 - Conq. i Pob. del Piru, Ms. - Naharro, Relacion
Sumaria, Ms - Relacion del Primer. Descub. Ms.]

The Indian prince listened with deep attention and apparent
wonder; but answered nothing.  It may be, that neither he nor his
interpreters had any very distinct ideas of the doctrines thus
abruptly revealed to them.  It may be that he did not believe
there was any other potentate on earth greater than the Inca;
none, at least, who had a better right to rule over his
dominions.  And it is very possible he was not disposed to admit
that the great luminary whom he worshipped was inferior to the
God of the Spaniards. But whatever may have passed in the
untutored mind of the barbarian, he did not give vent to it, but
maintained a discreet silence, without any attempt to controvert
or to convince his Christian antagonist.

He remained on board the vessel till the hour of dinner, of which
he partook with the Spaniards, expressing his satisfaction at the
strange dishes, and especially pleased with the wine, which he
pronounced far superior to the fermented liquors of his own
country.  On taking leave, he courteously pressed the Spaniards
to visit Tumbez, and Pizarro dismissed him with the present,
among other things, of an iron hatchet, which had greatly excited
his admiration; for the use of iron, as we have seen, was as
little known to the Peruvians as to the Mexicans.

On the day following, the Spanish captain sent one of his own
men, named Alonso de Molina, on shore, accompanied by a negro who
had come in the vessel from Panama, together with a present for
the curaca of some swine and poultry, neither of which were
indigenous to the New World.  Towards evening his emissary
returned with a fresh supply of fruits and vegetables, that the
friendly people sent to the vessel.  Molina had a wondrous tale
to tell.  On landing, he was surrounded by the natives, who
expressed the greatest astonishment at his dress, his fair
complexion, and his long beard.  The women, especially,
manifested great curiosity in respect to him, and Molina seemed
to be entirely won by their charms and captivating manners.  He
probably intimated his satisfaction by his demeanour, since they
urged him to stay among them, promising in that case to provide
him with a beautiful wife.

Their surprise was equally great at the complexion of his sable
companion.  They could not believe it was natural, and tried to
rub off the imaginary dye with their hands.  As the African bore
all this with characteristic good-humor, displaying at the same
time his rows of ivory teeth, they were prodigiously delighted.
*13 The animals were no less above their comprehension; and, when
the cock crew, the simple people clapped their hands, and
inquired what he was saying. *14 Their intellects were so
bewildered by sights so novel, that they seemed incapable of
distinguishing between man and brute.

[Footnote 13: "No se cansaban de mirarle, hacianle labar, para
ver si se le quitaba la Tinta negra, i el lo hacia de buena gana,
riendose, i mostrando sus Dientes blancos." Herrera, Hist.
General, dec. 3, lib. 10, cap. 5.]

[Footnote 14: Ibid., ubi supra.]

Molina was then escorted to the residence of the curaca, whom he
found living in much state, with porters stationed at his doors,
and with a quantity of gold and silver vessels, from which he was
served.  He was then taken to different parts of the Indian city,
saw a fortress built of rough stone, and, though low, spreading
over a large extent of ground. *15 Near this was a temple; and
the Spaniard's description of its decorations, blazing with gold
and silver, seemed so extravagant, that Pizarro, distrusting his
whole account, resolved to send a more discreet and trustworthy
emissary on the following day. *16

[Footnote 15: "Cerca del solia estar una fortaleza muy fuerte y
de linda obra, hecha por los Yngas reyes del Cuzco y senores de
todo el Peru. . . . . .  Ya esta el edificio desta fortaleza muy
gastado y deshecho: mas no para que dexe de dar muestra de lo
mucho que fue." Cieza de Leon, Cronica, cap. 4.]

[Footnote 16: Conq. i Pob. del Piru, Ms. - Herrera, Hist.
General, loc. cit - Zarate, Conq. del Peru, lib. 1 cap. 2.]

The person selected was Pedro de Candia, the Greek cavalier
mentioned as one of the first who intimated his intention to
share the fortunes of his commander.  He was sent on shore,
dressed in complete mail as became a good knight, with his sword
by his side, and his arquebuse on his shoulder.  The Indians were
even more dazzled by his appearance than by Molina's, as the sun
fell brightly on his polished armour, and glanced from his
military weapons. They had heard much of the formidable arquebuse
from their townsmen who had come in the vessel, and they besought
Candia "to let it speak to them." He accordingly set up a wooden
board as a target, and, taking deliberate aim, fired off the
musket.  The flash of the powder and the startling report of the
piece, as the board, struck by the ball, was shivered into
splinters, filled the natives with dismay.  Some fell on the
ground, covering their faces with their hands, and others
approached the cavalier with feelings of awe, which were
gradually dispelled by the assurance they received from the
smiling expression of his countenance. *17

[Footnote 17: It is moreover stated that the Indians, desirous to
prove still further the superhuman nature of the Spanish
cavalier, let loose on him a tiger - a jaguar probably - which
was caged in the royal fortress.  But Don Pedro was a good
Catholic, and he gently laid the cross which he wore round his
neck on the animal's back, who, instantly forgetting his
ferocious nature, crouched at the cavalier's feet, and began to
play round him in innocent gambols.  The Indians, now more amazed
than ever, nothing doubted of the sanctity of their guest, and
bore him in triumph on their shoulders to the temple. - This
credible anecdote is repeated, without the least qualification or
distrust, by several contemporary writers.  (See Naharro,
Relacion Sumaria, Ms. - Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 3, lib. 10,
cap. 5. - Cieza de Leon, Cronica, cap. 54. - Garcilasso, Com.
Real., Parte 2, lib. 1, cap. 12.) This last author may have had
his version from Candia's own son, with whom he tells us he was
brought up at school.  It will no doubt find as easy admission
with those of the present day, who conceive that the age of
miracles has not yet past]

They then showed him the same hospitable attentions which they
had paid to Molina; and his description of the marvels of the
place, on his return, fell nothing short of his predecessor's.
The fortress, which was surrounded by a triple row of wall, was
strongly garrisoned.  The temple he described as literally
tapestried with plates of gold and silver.  Adjoining this
structure was a sort of convent appropriated to the Inca's
destined brides, who manifested great curiosity to see him.
Whether this was gratified is not clear; but Candia described the
gardens of the convent, which he entered, as glowing with
imitations of fruits and vegetables all in pure gold and silver!
*18 He had seen a number of artisans at work, whose sole business
seemed to be to furnish these gorgeous decorations for the
religious houses.

[Footnote 18: "Que habia visto un jardin donde las yerbas eran de
oro imitando en un todo a las naturales, arboles con frutas de lo
mismo, y otras muchas cosas a este modo, con que aficiono
grandemente a sus companeros a esta conquista." Montesinos,
Annales, ano 1527.]

The reports of the cavalier may have been somewhat over-colored.
*19 It was natural that men coming from the dreary wilderness, in
which they had been buried the last six months, should have been
vividly impressed by the tokens of civilization which met them on
the Peruvian coast.  But Tumbez was a favorite city of the
Peruvian princes.  It was the most important place on the
northern borders of the empire, contiguous to the recent
acquisition of Quito. The great Tupac Yupanqui had established a
strong fortress there, and peopled it with a colony of mitimaes.
The temple, and the house occupied by the Virgins of the Sun, had
been erected by Huayna Capac, and were liberally endowed by that
Inca, after the sumptuous fashion of the religious establishments
of Peru.  The town was well supplied with water by numerous
aqueducts, and the fruitful valley in which it was embosomed, and
the ocean which bathed its shores, supplied ample means of
subsistence to a considerable population.  But the cupidity of
the Spaniards, after the Conquest, was not slow in despoiling the
place of its glories; and the site of its proud towers and
temples, in less than half a century after that fatal period, was
to be traced only by the huge mass of ruins that encumbered the
ground. *20

[Footnote 19: The worthy knight's account does not seem to have
found favor with the old Conqueror, so often cited in these
pages, who says, that, when they afterwards visited Tumbez, the
Spaniards found Candia's relation a lie from beginning to end,
except, indeed, in respect to the temple; though the veteran
acknowledges that what was deficient in Tumbez was more than made
up by the magnificence of other places in the empire not then
visited.  "Lo cual fue mentira; porque despues que todos los
Espanoles entramos en ella, se vio por vista de ojos haber
mentido en todo, salvo en lo del templo, que este era cosa de
ver, aunque mucho mas de lo que aquel encarecio, lo que falto en
esta ciudad, se hallo despues en otras que muchas leguas mas
adelante se descubrieron." Relacion del Primer. Descub., Ms.]

[Footnote 20: Cieza de Leon, who crossed this part of the country
in 1548, mentions the wanton manner in which the hand of the
Conqueror had fallen on the Indian edifices, which lay in ruin,
even at that early period.  Cronica, cap. 67.]

The Spaniards were nearly mad with joy, says an old writer, at
receiving these brilliant tidings of the Peruvian city.  All
their fond dreams were now to be realized, and they had at length
reached the realm which had so long flitted in visionary splendor
before them.  Pizarro expressed his gratitude to Heaven for
having crowned his labors with so glorious a result; but he
bitterly lamented the hard fate which, by depriving him of his
followers, denied him, at such a moment, the means of availing
himself of his success. Yet he had no cause for lamentation; and
the devout Catholic saw in this very circumstance a providential
interposition which prevented the attempt at conquest, while such
attempts would have been premature.  Peru was not yet torn
asunder by the dissensions of rival candidates for the throne;
and, united and strong under the sceptre of a warlike monarch,
she might well have bid defiance to all the forces that Pizarro
could muster.  "It was manifestly the work of Heaven," exclaims a
devout son of the Church, "that the natives of the country should
have received him in so kind and loving a spirit, as best fitted
to facilitate the conquest; for it was the Lord's hand which led
him and his followers to this remote region for the extension of
the holy faith, and for the salvation of souls." *21

[Footnote 21: "I si le recibiesen con amor, hiciese su Mrd. lo
que mas conveniente le pareciese al efecto de su conquista:
porque tenia entendido, que el haverlos traido Dios era para que
su santa fe se dilatase i aquellas almas se salvasen." Naharro,
Relacion Sumaria, Ms.]

Having now collected all the information essential to his object,
Pizarro, after taking leave of the natives of Tumbez, and
promising a speedy return, weighed anchor, and again turned his
prow towards the south.  Still keeping as near as possible to the
coast, that no place of importance might escape his observation,
he passed Cape Blanco, and, after sailing about a degree and a
half, made the port of Payta.  The inhabitants, who had notice of
his approach, came out in their balsas to get sight of the
wonderful strangers, bringing with them stores of fruits, fish,
and vegetables, with the same hospitable spirit shown by their
countrymen at Tumbez.
After staying here a short time, and interchanging presents of
trifling value with the natives, Pizarro continued his cruise;
and, sailing by the sandy plains of Sechura for an extent of near
a hundred miles, he doubled the Punta de Aguja, and swept down
the coast as it fell off towards the east, still carried forward
by light and somewhat variable breezes.  The weather now became
unfavorable, and the voyagers encountered a succession of heavy
gales, which drove them some distance out to sea, and tossed them
about for many days.  But they did not lose sight of the mighty
ranges of the Andes, which, as they proceeded towards the south,
were still seen, at nearly the same distance from the shore,
rolling onwards, peak after peak, with their stupendous surges of
ice, like some vast ocean, that had been suddenly arrested and
frozen up in the midst of its wild and tumultuous career.  With
this landmark always in view, the navigator had little need of
star or compass to guide his bark on her course.

As soon as the tempest had subsided, Pizarro stood in again for
the continent, touching at the principal points as he coasted
along.  Everywhere he was received with the same spirit of
generous hospitality; the natives coming out in their balsas to
welcome him, laden with their little cargoes of fruits and
vegetables, of all the luscious varieties that grow in the tierra
caliente.  All were eager to have a glimpse of the strangers, the
"Children of the Sun," as the Spaniards began already to be
called, from their fair complexions, brilliant armour, and the
thunderbolts which they bore in their hands. *22 The most
favorable reports, too, had preceded them, of the urbanity and
gentleness of their manners, thus unlocking the hearts of the
simple natives, and disposing them to confidence and kindness.
The iron-hearted soldier had not yet disclosed the darker side of
his character. He was too weak to do so.  The hour of Conquest
had not yet come.

[Footnote 22: "Que resplandecian como el Sol. LIamabanles hijos
del Sol por esto." Montesinos, Annales, Ms., ano 1528.]

In every place Pizarro received the same accounts of a powerful
monarch who ruled over the land, and held his court on the
mountain plains of the interior, where his capital was depicted
as blazing with gold and silver, and displaying all the profusion
of an Oriental satrap.  The Spaniards, except at Tumbez, seem to
have met with little of the precious metals among the natives on
the coast.  More than one writer asserts that they did not covet
them, or, at least, by Pizarro's orders, affected not to do so.
He would not have them betray their appetite for gold, and
actually refused gifts when they were proffered! *23 It is more
probable that they saw little display of wealth, except in the
embellishments of the temples and other sacred buildings, which
they did not dare to violate.  The precious metals, reserved for
the uses of religion and for persons of high degree, were not
likely to abound in the remote towns and hamlets on the coast.

[Footnote 23: Pizarro wished the natives to understand, says
Father Naharro, that their good alone, and not the love of gold,
had led him to their distant land!  "Sin haver querido recibir el
oro, plata i perlas que les ofrecieron, a fin de que conociesen
no era codicia, sino deseo de su bien el que les habia traido de
tan lejas tierras a las suyas." Relacion Sumaria, Ms.]
Yet the Spaniards met with sufficient evidence of general
civilization and power to convince them that there was much
foundation for the reports of the natives.  Repeatedly they saw
structures of stone and plaster, and occasionally showing
architectural skill in the execution, if not elegance of design.
Wherever they cast anchor, they beheld green patches of
cultivated country redeemed from the sterility of nature, and
blooming with the variegated vegetation of the tropics; while a
refined system of irrigation, by means of aqueducts and canals,
seemed to be spread like a net-work over the surface of the
country, making even the desert to blossom as the rose.  At many
places where they landed they saw the great road of the Incas
which traversed the sea-coast, often, indeed, lost in the
volatile sands, where no road could be maintained, but rising
into a broad and substantial causeway, as it emerged on a firmer
soil.  Such a provision for internal communication was in itself
no slight monument of power and civilization.

Still beating to the south, Pizarro passed the site of the future
flourishing city of Truxillo, founded by himself some years
later, and pressed on till he rode off the port of Santa.  It
stood on the banks of a broad and beautiful stream; but the
surrounding country was so exceedingly arid that it was
frequently selected as a burial-place by the Peruvians, who found
the soil most favorable for the preservation of their mummies.
So numerous, indeed, were the Indian guacas, that the place might
rather be called the abode of the dead than of the living. *24

[Footnote 24: "Lo que mas me admiro, quando passe por este valle,
fue ver la muchedumbre que tienen de sepolturas: y que por todas
las sierras y secadales en los altos del valle: ay numero grande
de apartados, hechos a su usanca, todo cubiertas de huessos de
muertos.  De manera que lo que ay en este valle mas que ver, es
las sepolturas de los muertos, y los campos que labraron siendo
vivos." Cieza de Leon, Cronica, cap. 70.]

Having reached this point, about the ninth degree of southern
latitude, Pizarro's followers besought him not to prosecute the
voyage farther.  Enough and more than enough had been done, they
said, to prove the existence and actual position of the great
Indian empire of which they had so long been in search.  Yet,
with their slender force, they had no power to profit by the
discovery.  All that remained, therefore, was to return and
report the success of their enterprise to the governor at Panama.
Pizarro acquiesced in the reasonableness of this demand.  He had
now penetrated nine degrees farther than any former navigator in
these southern seas, and, instead of the blight which, up to this
hour, had seemed to hang over his fortunes, he could now return
in triumph to his countrymen.  Without hesitation, therefore, he
prepared to retrace his course, and stood again towards the
On his way, he touched at several places where he had before
landed. At one of these, called by the Spaniards Santa Cruz, he
had been invited on shore by an Indian woman of rank, and had
promised to visit her on his return.  No sooner did his vessel
cast anchor off the village where she lived, than she came on
board, followed by a numerous train of attendants. Pizarro
received her with every mark of respect, and on her departure
presented her with some trinkets which had a real value in the
eyes of an Indian princess.  She urged the Spanish commander and
his companions to return the visit, engaging to send a number of
hostages on board, as security for their good treatment.  Pizarro
assured her that the frank confidence she had shown towards them
proved that this was unnecessary.  Yet, no sooner did he put off
in his boat, the following day, to go on shore, than several of
the principal persons in the place came along-side of the ship to
be received as hostages during the absence of the Spaniards, - a
singular proof of consideration for the sensitive apprehensions
of her guests.
Pizarro found that preparations had been made for his reception
in a style of simple hospitality that evinced some degree of
taste.  Arbours were formed of luxuriant and wide-spreading
branches, interwoven with fragrant flowers and shrubs that
diffused a delicious perfume through the air.  A banquet was
provided, teeming with viands prepared in the style of the
Peruvian cookery, and with fruits and vegetables of tempting hue
and luscious to the taste, though their names and nature were
unknown to the Spaniards. After the collation was ended, the
guests were entertained with music and dancing by a troop of
young men and maidens simply attired, who exhibited in their
favorite national amusement all the agility and grace which the
supple limbs of the Peruvian Indians so well qualified them to
display.  Before his departure, Pizarro stated to his kind host
the motives of his visit to the country, in the same manner as he
had done on other occasions, and he concluded by unfurling the
royal banner of Castile, which he had brought on shore,
requesting her and her attendants to raise it in token of their
allegiance to his sovereign.  This they did with great
good-humor, laughing all the while, says the chronicler, and
making it clear that they had a very imperfect conception of the
serious nature of the ceremony.  Pizarro was contented with this
outward display of loyalty, and returned to his vessel well
satisfied with the entertainment he had received, and meditating,
it may be, on the best mode of repaying it, hereafter, by the
subjugation and conversion of the country.

The Spanish commander did not omit to touch also at Tumbez, on
his homeward voyage.  Here some of his followers, won by the
comfortable aspect of the place and the manners of the people,
intimated a wish to remain, conceiving, no doubt, that it would
be better to live where they would be persons of consequence than
to return to an obscure condition in the community of Panama.
One of these men was Alonso de Molina, the same who had first
gone on shore at this place, and been captivated by the charms of
the Indian beauties.  Pizarro complied with their wishes,
thinking it would not be amiss to find, on his return, some of
his own followers who would be instructed in the language and
usages of the natives.  He was also allowed to carry back in his
vessel two or three Peruvians, for the similar purpose of
instructing them in the Castilian.  One of them, a youth named by
the Spaniards Felipillo, plays a part of some importance in the
history of subsequent events.

On leaving Tumbez, the adventurers steered directly for Panama,
touching only, on their way, at the ill-fated island of Gorgona
to take on board their two companions who were left there too ill
to proceed with them.  One had died, and, receiving the other,
Pizarro and his gallant little band continued their voyage; and,
after an absence of at least eighteen months, found themselves
once more safely riding at anchor in the harbour of Panama. *25

[Footnote 25: Conq. i Pob. del Piru, Ms. - Montesinos, Annales,
Ms., ano 1528. - Naharro, Relacion Sumaria, Ms. - Pedro Pizarro,
Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 4, lib. 2,
cap. 6, 7. - Relacion del Primer. Descub. Ms.]

The sensation caused by their arrival was great, as might have
been expected.  For there were few, even among the most sanguine
of their friends, who did not imagine that they had long since
paid for their temerity, and fallen victims to the climate or the
natives, or miserably perished in a watery grave.  Their joy was
proportionably great, therefore, as they saw the wanderers now
returned, not only in health and safety, but with certain tidings
of the fair countries which had so long eluded their grasp.  It
was a moment of proud satisfaction to the three associates, who,
in spite of obloquy, derision, and every impediment which the
distrust of friends or the coldness of government could throw in
their way, had persevered in their great enterprise until they
had established the truth of what had been so generally denounced
as a chimera.  It is the misfortune of those daring spirits who
conceive an idea too vast for their own generation to comprehend,
or, at least, to attempt to carry out, that they pass for
visionary dreamers. Such had been the fate of Luque and his
associates.  The existence of a rich Indian empire at the south,
which, in their minds, dwelling long on the same idea and alive
to all the arguments in its favor, had risen to the certainty of
conviction, had been derided by the rest of their countrymen as a
mere mirage of the fancy, which, on nearer approach, would melt
into air; while the projectors, who staked their fortunes on the
adventure, were denounced as madmen.  But their hour of triumph,
their slow and hard-earned triumph, had now arrived.

Yet the governor, Pedro de los Rios, did not seem, even at this
moment, to be possessed with a conviction of the magnitude of the
discovery, - or, perhaps, he was discouraged by its very
magnitude.  When the associates, now with more confidence,
applied to him for patronage in an undertaking too vast for their
individual resources, he coldly replied, "He had no desire to
build up other states at the expense of his own; nor would he be
led to throw away more lives than had already been sacrificed by
the cheap display of gold and silver toys and a few Indian
sheep!" *26

[Footnote 26: "No entendia de despoblar su Governacion, para que
se fuesen a poblar nuevas Tierras, muriendo en tal demanda mas
Gente de la que havia muerto, cebar do a los Hombres con la
muestra de las Ovejas, Oro, i Plata, que havian traido." Herrera,
Hist. General, dec. 4, lib 3, cap. 1.]

Sorely disheartened by this repulse from the only quarter whence
effectual aid could be expected, the confederates, without funds,
and with credit nearly exhausted by their past efforts, were
perplexed in the extreme. Yet to stop now, - what was it but to
abandon the rich mine which their own industry and perseverance
had laid open, for others to work at pleasure?  In this extremity
the fruitful mind of Luque suggested the only expedient by which
they could hope for success.  This was to apply to the Crown
itself. No one was so much interested in the result of the
expedition.  It was for the government, indeed, that discoveries
were to be made, that the country was to be conquered.  The
government alone was competent to provide the requisite means,
and was likely to take a much broader and more liberal view of
the matter than a petty colonial officer.

But who was there qualified to take charge of this delicate
mission? Luque was chained by his professional duties to Panama;
and his associates, unlettered soldiers, were much better fitted
for the business of the camp than of the court.  Almagro, blunt,
though somewhat swelling and ostentatious in his address, with a
diminutive stature and a countenance naturally plain, now much
disfigured by the loss of an eye, was not so well qualified for
the mission as his companion in arms, who, possessing a good
person and altogether a commanding presence, was plausible, and,
with all his defects of education, could, where deeply
interested, be even eloquent in discourse. The ecclesiastic,
however, suggested that the negotiation should be committed to
the Licentiate Corral, a respectable functionary, then about to
return on some public business to the mother country.  But to
this Almagro strongly objected.  No one, he said, could conduct
the affair so well as the party interested in it.  He had a high
opinion of Pizarro's prudence, his discernment of character, and
his cool, deliberate policy. *27 He knew enough of his comrade to
have confidence that his presence of mind would not desert him,
even in the new, and therefore embarrassing, circumstances in
which he would be placed at court.  No one, he said, could tell
the story of their adventures with such effect, as the man who
had ben the chief actor in them. No one could so well paint the
unparalleled sufferings and sacrifices which they had
encountered; no other could tell so forcibly what had been done,
what yet remained to do, and what assistance would be necessary
to carry it into execution.  He concluded, with characteristic
frankness, by strongly urging his confederate to undertake the

[Footnote 27: "E por pura importunacion de Almagro cupole a
Pizarro, por que siempre Almagro le tubo respeto, e deseo
honrarle." Oviedo, Hist. de las Indias Ms, Parte 3. lib. 8, cap.

Pizarro felt the force of Almagro's reasoning, and, though with
undisguised reluctance, acquiesced in a measure which was less to
his taste than an expedition to the wilderness.  But Luque came
into the arrangement with more difficulty.  "God grant, my
children," exclaimed the ecclesiastic, "that one of you may not
defraud the other of his blessing!" *28 Pizarro engaged to
consult the interests of his associates equally with his own.
But Luque, it is clear, did not trust Pizarro.

[Footnote 28: "Plegue a Dios, Hijos, que no os hurteis la
bendicion el uno al otro que yo todavia holgaria, que a lo menos
fuerades entrambos." Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 4. lib. 3, cap.

There was some difficulty in raising the funds necessary for
putting the envoy in condition to make a suitable appearance at
court; so low had the credit of the confederates fallen, and so
little confidence was yet placed in the result of their splendid
discoveries.  Fifteen hundred ducats were at length raised; and
Pizarro, in the spring of 1528, bade adieu to Panama, accompanied
by Pedro de Candia. *29 He took with him, also, some of the
natives, as well as two or three llamas, various nice fabrics of
cloth, with many ornaments and vases of gold and silver, as
specimens of the civilization of the country, and vouchers for
his wonderful story.

[Footnote 29: "Juntaronle mil y quinientos pesos de oro, que dio
de buena voluntad Dn Fernando de Luque." Montesinos, Annales,
Ms., ano 1528."]

Of all the writers on ancient Peruvian history, no one has
acquired so wide celebrity, or been so largely referred to by
later compilers, as the Inca Garcilasso de la Vega.  He was born
at Cuzco, in 1540; and was a mestizo, that is, of mixed descent,
his father being European, and his mother Indian.  His father,
Garcilasso de la Vega, was one of that illustrious family whose
achievements, both in arms and letters, shed such lustre over the
proudest period of the Castilian annals.  He came to Peru, in the
suite of Pedro de Alvarado, soon after the country had been
gained by Pizarro. Garcilasso attached himself to the fortunes of
this chief, and, after his death, to those of his brother
Gonzalo, - remaining constant to the latter, through his
rebellion, up to the hour of his rout at Xaquixaguana, when
Garcilasso took the same course with most of his faction, and
passed over to the enemy.  But this demonstration of loyalty,
though it saved his life, was too late to redeem his credit with
the victorious party; and the obloquy which he incurred by his
share in the rebellion threw a cloud over his subsequent
fortunes, and even over those of his son, as it appears, in after

The historian's mother was of the Peruvian blood royal.  She was
niece of Huayna Capac, and granddaughter of the renowned Tupac
Inca Yupanqui. Garcilasso, while he betrays obvious satisfaction
that the blood of the civilized European flows in his veins,
shows himself not a little proud of his descent from the royal
dynasty of Peru; and this he intimated by combining with his
patronymic the distinguishing title of the Peruvian princes, -
subscribing himself always Garcilasso Inca de la Vega.
His early years were passed in his native land, where he was
reared in the Roman Catholic faith, and received the benefit of
as good an education as could be obtained amidst the incessant
din of arms and civil commotion. In 1560, when twenty years of
age, he left America, and from that time took up his residence in
Spain.  Here he entered the military service, and held a
captain's commission in the war against the Moriscos, and,
afterwards, under Don John of Austria.  Though he acquitted
himself honorably in his adventurous career, he does not seem to
have been satisfied with the manner in which his services were
requited by the government.  The old reproach of the father's
disloyalty still clung to the son, and Garcilasso assures us that
this circumstance defeated all his efforts to recover the large
inheritance of landed property belonging to his mother, which had
escheated to the Crown.  "Such were the prejudices against me,"
says he, "that I could not urge my ancient claims or
expectations; and I left the army so poor and so much in debt,
that I did not care to show myself again at court; but was
obliged to withdraw into an obscure solitude, where I lead a
tranquil life for the brief space that remains to me, no longer
deluded by the world or its vanities."

The scene of this obscure retreat was not, however, as the reader
might imagine from this tone of philosophic resignation, in the
depths of some rural wilderness, but in Cordova, once the gay
capital of Moslem science, and still the busy haunt of men.  Here
our philosopher occupied himself with literary labors, the more
sweet and soothing to his wounded spirit, that they tended to
illustrate the faded glories of his native land, and exhibit them
in their primitive splendor to the eyes of his adopted
countrymen.  "And I have no reason to regret," he says in his
Preface to his account of Florida, "that Fortune has not smiled
on me, since this circumstance has opened a literary career
which, I trust, will secure to me a wider and more enduring fame
than could flow from any worldly prosperity."

In 1609, he gave to the world the First Part of his great work,
the Commentarios Reales, devoted to the history of the country
under the Incas; and in 1616, a few months before his death, he
finished the Second Part, embracing the story of the Conquest,
which was published at Cordova the following year.  The
chronicler, who thus closed his labors with his life, died at the
ripe old age of seventy-six.  He left a considerable sum for the
purchase of masses for his soul, showing that the complaints of
his poverty are not to be taken literally.  His remains were
interred in the cathedral church of Cordova, in a chapel which
bears the name of Garcilasso; and an inscription was placed on
his monument, intimating the high respect in which the historian
was held both for his moral worth and his literary attainments.
The First Part of the Commentarios Reales is occupied, as already
noticed, with the ancient history of the country, presenting a
complete picture of its civilization under the Incas, - far more
complete than has been given by any other writer.  Garcilasso's
mother was but ten years old at the time of her cousin
Atahuallpa's accession, or rather usurpation, as it is called by
the party of Cuzco.  She had the good fortune to escape the
massacre which, according to the chronicler, befell most of her
kindred, and with her brother continued to reside in their
ancient capital after the Conquest.  Their conversations
naturally turned to the good old times of the Inca rule, which,
colored by their fond regrets, may be presumed to have lost
nothing as seen through the magnifying medium of the past.  The
young Garcilasso listened greedily to the stories which recounted
the magnificence and prowess of his royal ancestors, and though
he made no use of them at the time, they sunk deep into his
memory, to be treasured up for a future occasion.  When he
prepared, after the lapse of many years, in his retirement at
Cordova, to compose the history of his country, he wrote to his
old companions and schoolfellows, of the Inca family, to obtain
fuller information than he could get in Spain on various matters
of historical interest.  He had witnessed in his youth the
ancient ceremonies and usages of his countrymen, understood the
science of their quipus, and mastered many of their primitive
traditions.  With the assistance he now obtained from his
Peruvian kindred, he acquired a familiarity with the history of
the great Inca race, and of their national institutions, to an
extent that no person could have possessed, unless educated in
the midst of them, speaking the same language, and with the same
Indian blood flowing in his veins.  Garcilasso, in short, was the
representative of the conquered race; and we might expect to find
the lights and shadows of the picture disposed under his pencil,
so as to produce an effect very different from that which they
had hitherto exhibited under the hands of the Conquerors.

Such, to a certain extent, is the fact; and this circumstance
affords a means of comparison which would alone render his works
of great value in arriving at just historic conclusions.  But
Garcilasso wrote late in life, after the story had been often
told by Castilian writers.  He naturally deferred much to men,
some of whom enjoyed high credit on the score both of their
scholarship and their social position.  His object, he professes,
was not so much to add any thing new of his own, as to correct
their errors and the misconceptions into which they had been
brought by their ignorance of the Indian languages and the usages
of his people.  He does, in fact, however, go far beyond this;
and the stores of information which he has collected have made
his work a large repository, whence later laborers in the same
field have drawn copious materials.  He writes from the fulness
of his heart, and illuminates every topic that he touches with a
variety and richness of illustration, that leave little to be
desired by the most importunate curiosity.  The difference
between reading his Commentaries and the accounts of European
writers is the difference that exists between reading a work in
the original and in a bald translation.  Garcilasso's writings
are an emanation from the Indian mind.

Yet his Commentaries are open to a grave objection, - and one
naturally suggested by his position.  Addressing himself to the
cultivated European, he was most desirous to display the ancient
glories of his people, and still more of the Inca race, in their
most imposing form.  This, doubtless, was the great spur to his
literary labors, for which previous education, however good for
the evil time on which he was cast, had far from qualified him.
Garcilasso, therefore, wrote to effect a particular object.  He
stood forth as counsel for his unfortunate countrymen, pleading
the cause of that degraded race before the tribunal of posterity.
The exaggerated tone of panegyric consequent on this becomes
apparent in every page of his work.  He pictures forth a state of
society, such as an Utopian philosopher would hardly venture to
depict.  His royal ancestors became the types of every imaginary
excellence, and the golden age is revived for a nation, which,
while the war of proselytism is raging on its borders, enjoys
within all the blessings of tranquillity and peace.  Even the
material splendors of the monarchy, sufficiently great in this
land of gold, become heightened, under the glowing imagination of
the Inca chronicler, into the gorgeous illusions of a fairy tale.

Yet there is truth at the bottom of his wildest conceptions, and
it would be unfair to the Indian historian to suppose that he did
not himself believe most of the magic marvels which he describes.
There is no credulity like that of a Christian convert, - one
newly converted to the faith.  From long dwelling in the darkness
of paganism, his eyes, when first opened to the light of truth,
have not acquired the power of discriminating the just
proportions of objects, of distinguishing between the real and
the imaginary. Garcilasso was not a convert, indeed, for he was
bred from infancy in the Roman Catholic faith.  But he was
surrounded by converts and neophytes, - by those of his own
blood, who, after practising all their lives the rites of
paganism, were now first admitted into the Christian fold.  He
listened to the teachings of the missionary, learned from him to
give implicit credit to the marvellous legends of the Saints, and
the no less marvellous accounts of his own victories in his
spiritual warfare for the propagation of the faith. Thus early
accustomed to such large drafts on his credulity, his reason lost
its heavenly power of distinguishing truth from error, and he
became so familiar with the miraculous, that the miraculous was
no longer a miracle.
Yet, while large deductions are to be made on this account from
the chronicler's reports, there is always a germ of truth which
it is not difficult to detect, and even to disengage from the
fanciful covering which envelopes it; and after every allowance
for the exaggerations of national vanity, we shall find an
abundance of genuine information in respect to the antiquities of
his country, for which we shall look in vain in any European

Garcilasso's work is the reflection of the age in which he lived.
It is addressed to the imagination, more than to sober reason.
We are dazzled by the gorgeous spectacle it perpetually exhibits,
and delighted by the variety of amusing details and animated
gossip sprinkled over its pages.  The story of the action is
perpetually varied by discussions on topics illustrating its
progress, so as to break up the monotony of the narrative, and
afford an agreeable relief to the reader.  This is true of the
First Part of his great work.  In the Second there was no longer
room for such discussion.  But he has supplied the place by
garrulous reminiscences, personal anecdotes, incidental
adventures, and a host of trivial details, - trivial in the eyes
of the pedant, - which historians have been too willing to
discard, as below the dignity of history.  We have the actors in
this great drama in their private dress, become acquainted with
their personal habits, listen to their familiar sayings, and, in
short, gather up those minutiae which in the aggregate make up so
much of life, and not less of character.

It is this confusion of the great and the little, thus artlessly
blended together, that constitutes one of the charms of the old
romantic chronicle, - not the less true that, in this respect, it
approaches nearer to the usual tone of romance.  It is in such
writings that we may look to find the form and pressure of the
age.  The worm-eaten state-papers, official correspondence,
public records, are all serviceable, indispensable, to history.
They are the framework on which it is to repose; the skeleton of
facts which gives it its strength and proportions.  But they are
as worthless as the dry bones of the skeleton, unless clothed
with the beautiful form and garb of humanity, and instinct with
the spirit of the age. - Our debt is large to the antiquarian,
who with conscientious precision lays broad and deep the
foundations of historic truth; and no less to the philosophic
annalist who exhibits man in the dress of public life, - man in
masquerade; but our gratitude must surely not be withheld from
those, who, like Garcilasso de la Vega, and many a romancer of
the Middle Ages, have held up the mirror - distorted though it
may somewhat be - to the interior of life, reflecting every
object, the great and the mean, the beautiful and the deformed,
with their natural prominence and their vivacity of coloring, to
the eye of the spectator.  As a work of art, such a production
may be thought to be below criticism.  But, although it defy the
rules of art in its composition, it does not necessarily violate
the principles of taste; for it conforms in its spirit to the
spirit of the age in which it was written.  And the critic, who
coldly condemns it on the severe principles of art, will find a
charm in its very simplicity, that will make him recur again and
again to its pages, while more correct and classical compositions
are laid aside and forgotten.

I cannot dismiss this notice of Garcilasso, though already long
protracted, without some allusion to the English translation of
his Commentaries.  It appeared in James the Second's reign, and
is the work of Sir Paul Rycaut, Knight.  It was printed at
London, in 1688, in folio, with considerable pretension in its
outward dress, well garnished with wood-cuts, and a frontispiece
displaying the gaunt and rather sardonic features, not of the
author, but his translator.  The version keeps pace with the
march of the original, corresponding precisely in books and
chapters, and seldom, though sometimes, using the freedom, so
common in these ancient versions, of abridgment and omission.
Where it does depart from the original, it is rather from
ignorance than intention.  Indeed, as far as the plea of
ignorance will avail him, the worthy knight may urge it stoutly
in his defence.  No one who reads the book will doubt his limited
acquaintance with his own tongue, and no one who compares it with
the original will deny his ignorance of the Castilian.  It
contains as many blunders as paragraphs, and most of them such as
might shame a schoolboy.  Yet such are the rude charms of the
original, that this ruder version of it has found considerable
favor with readers; and Sir Paul Rycaut's translation, old as it
is, may still be met with in many a private, as well as public

Book III: Conquest Of Peru

Chapter I

Pizarro's Reception At Court. - His Capitulation With The Crown.
- He Visits His Birthplace. - Returns To The New World. -
Difficulties With Almagro. - His Third Expedition. - Adventures
On The Coast. - Battles In The Isle Of Puna.


Pizarro and his officer, having crossed the Isthmus, embarked at
Nombre de Dios for the old country, and, after a good passage,
reached Seville early in the summer of 1528.  There happened to
be at that time in port a person well known in the history of
Spanish adventure as the Bachelor Enciso.  He had taken an active
part in the colonization of Tierra Firme, and had a pecuniary
claim against the early colonists of Darien, of whom Pizarro was
one.  Immediately on the landing of the latter, he was seized by
Enciso's orders, and held in custody for the debt.  Pizarro, who
had fled from his native land as a forlorn and houseless
adventurer, after an absence of more than twenty years, passed,
most of them, in unprecedented toil and suffering, now found
himself on his return the inmate of a prison.  Such was the
commencement of those brilliant fortunes which, as he had
trusted, awaited him at home.  The circumstance excited general
indignation; and no sooner was the Court advised of his arrival
in the country, and the great purpose of his mission, than orders
were sent for his release, with permission to proceed at once on
his journey.

Pizarro found the emperor at Toledo, which he was soon to quit,
in order to embark for Italy.  Spain was not the favorite
residence of Charles the Fifth, in the earlier part of his reign.
He was now at that period of it when he was enjoying the full
flush of his triumphs over his gallant rival of France, whom he
had defeated and taken prisoner at the great battle of Pavia; and
the victor was at this moment preparing to pass into Italy to
receive the imperial crown from the hands of the Roman Pontiff.
Elated by his successes and his elevation to the German throne,
Charles made little account of his hereditary kingdom, as his
ambition found so splendid a career thrown open to it on the wide
field of European politics.  He had hitherto received too
inconsiderable returns from his transatlantic possessions to give
them the attention they deserved.  But, as the recent acquisition
of Mexico and the brilliant anticipations in respect to the
southern continent were pressed upon his notice, he felt their
importance as likely to afford him the means of prosecuting his
ambitious and most expensive enterprises.
Pizarro, therefore, who had now come to satisfy the royal eyes,
by visible proofs, of the truth of the golden rumors which, from
time to time, had reached Castile, was graciously received by the
emperor.  Charles examined the various objects which his officer
exhibited to him with great attention.  He was particularly
interested by the appearance of the llama, so remarkable as the
only beast of burden yet known on the new continent; and the fine
fabrics of woollen cloth, which were made from its shaggy sides,
gave it a much higher value, in the eyes of the sagacious
monarch, than what it possessed as an animal for domestic labor.
But the specimens of gold and silver manufacture, and the
wonderful tale which Pizarro had to tell of the abundance of the
precious metals, must have satisfied even the cravings of royal

[See Pizarro And Charles V: Pizarro describes to Charles V of
Spain the tempting riches of Peru]

Pizarro, far from being embarrassed by the novelty of his
situation, maintained his usual self-possession, and showed that
decorum and even dignity in his address which belong to the
Castilian.  He spoke in a simple and respectful style, but with
the earnestness and natural eloquence of one who had been an
actor in the scenes he described, and who was conscious that the
impression he made on his audience was to decide his future
destiny.  All listened with eagerness to the account of his
strange adventures by sea and land, his wanderings in the
forests, or in the dismal and pestilent swamps on the sea-coast,
without food, almost without raiment, with feet torn and bleeding
at every step, with his few companions becoming still fewer by
disease and death, and yet pressing on with unconquerable spirit
to extend the empire of Castile, and the name and power of her
sovereign; but when he painted his lonely condition on the
desolate island, abandoned by the government at home, deserted by
all but a handful of devoted followers, his royal auditor, though
not easily moved, was affected to tears.  On his departure from
Toledo, Charles commended the affairs of his vassal in the most
favorable terms to the consideration of the Council of the
Indies. *1

[Footnote 1: Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Naharro,
Relacion Sumaria, Ms. - Conq. i. Pob. del Piru, Ms.

"Hablaba tan bien en la materia, que se llevo los aplausos y
atencion en Toledo donde el Emperador estaba diole audiencia con
mucho gusto, tratolo amoroso, y oyole tierno, especialmente
cuando le hizo relacion de su consistencia y de los trece
compaeros en la Isla en medio de tantos trabajos." Montesinos,
Annales, Ms., ao 1528.]

There was at this time another man at court, who had come there
on a similar errand from the New World, but whose splendid
achievements had already won for him a name that threw the rising
reputation of Pizarro comparatively into the shade.  This man was
Hernando Cortes, the Conqueror of Mexico.  He had come home to
lay an empire at the feet of his sovereign, and to demand in
return the redress of his wrongs, and the recompense of his great
services.  He was at the close of his career, as Pizarro was at
the commencement of his; the Conqueror of the North and of the
South; the two men appointed by Providence to overturn the most
potent of the Indian dynasties, and to open the golden gates by
which the treasures of the New World were to pass into the
coffers of Spain.

Notwithstanding the emperor's recommendation, the business of
Pizarro went forward at the tardy pace with which affairs are
usually conducted in the court of Castile.  He found his limited
means gradually sinking under the expenses incurred by his
present situation, and he represented, that, unless some measures
were speedily taken in reference to his suit, however favorable
they might be in the end, he should be in no condition to profit
by them. The queen, accordingly, who had charge of the business,
on her husband's departure, expedited the affair, and on the
twenty-sixth of July, 1529, she executed the memorable
Capitulation, which defined the powers and privileges of Pizarro.

The instrument secured to that chief the right of discovery and
conquest in the province of Peru, or New Castile, - as the
country was then called in the same manner as Mexico had received
the name of New Spain, - for the distance of two hundred leagues
south of Santiago.  He was to receive the titles and rank of
Governor and Captain-General of the province, together with those
of Adelantado, and Alguacil Mayor, for life; and he was to have a
salary of seven hundred and twenty-five thousand maravedis, with
the obligation of maintaining certain officers and military
retainers, corresponding with the dignity of his station.  He was
to have the right to erect certain fortresses, with the absolute
government of them; to assign encomiendas of Indians, under the
limitations prescribed by law; and, in fine, to exercise nearly
all the prerogatives incident to the authority of a viceroy.

His associate, Almagro, was declared commander of the fortress of
Tumbez, with an annual rent of three hundred thousand maravedis,
and with the further rank and privileges of an hidalgo.  The
reverend Father Luque received the reward of his services in the
Bishopric of Tumbez, and he was also declared Protector of the
Indians of Peru.  He was to enjoy the yearly stipend of a
thousand ducats, - to be derived, like the other salaries and
gratuities in this instrument, from the revenues of the conquered
Nor were the subordinate actors in the expedition forgotten.
Ruiz received the title of Grand Pilot of the Southern Ocean,
with a liberal provision; Candia was placed at the head of the
artillery; and the remaining eleven companions on the desolate
island were created hidalgos and cavalleros, and raised to
certain municipal dignities, - in prospect.
Several provisions of a liberal tenor were also made, to
encourage emigration to the country.  The new settlers were to be
exempted from some of the most onerous, but customary taxes, as
the alcabala, or to be subject to them only in a mitigated form.
The tax on the precious metals drawn from mines was to be
reduced, at first, to one tenth, instead of the fifth imposed on
the same metals when obtained by barter or by rapine.

It was expressly enjoined on Pizarro to observe the existing
regulations for the good government and protection of the
natives; and he was required to carry out with him a specified
number of ecclesiastics, with whom he was to take counsel in the
conquest of the country, and whose efforts were to be dedicated
to the service and conversion of the Indians; while lawyers and
attorneys, on the other hand, whose presence was considered as
boding ill to the harmony of the new settlements, were strictly
prohibited from setting foot in them.

Pizarro, on his part, was bound, in six months from the date of
the instrument, to raise a force, well equipped for the service,
of two hundred and fifty men, of whom one hundred might be drawn
from the colonies; and the government engaged to furnish some
trifling assistance in the purchase of artillery and military
stores.  Finally, he was to be prepared, in six months after his
return to Panama, to leave that port and embark on his
expedition. *2

[Footnote 2: This remarkable document, formerly in the archives
of Simancas, and now transferred to the Archivo General de las
Indias in Seville, was transcribed for the rich collection of the
late Don Martin Fernandez de Navarrete, to whose kindness I am
indebted for a copy of it. - It will be found printed entire, in
the original, in Appendix, No. 7.]

Such are some of the principal provisions of this Capitulation,
by which the Castilian government, with the sagacious policy
which it usually pursued on the like occasions, stimulated the
ambitious hopes of the adventurer by high-sounding titles, and
liberal promises of reward contingent on his success, but took
care to stake nothing itself on the issue of the enterprise.  It
was careful to reap the fruits of his toil, but not to pay the
cost of them.

A circumstance, that could not fail to be remarked in these
provisions, was the manner in which the high and lucrative posts
were accumulated on Pizarro, to the exclusion of Almagro, who, if
he had not taken as conspicuous a part in personal toil and
exposure, had, at least, divided with him the original burden of
the enterprise, and, by his labors in another direction, had
contributed quite as essentially to its success.  Almagro had
willingly conceded the post of honor to his confederate; but it
had been stipulated, on Pizarro's departure for Spain, that,
while he solicited the office of Governor and Captain-General for
himself, he should secure that of Adelantado for his companion.
In like manner, he had engaged to apply for the see of Tumbez for
the vicar of Panama, and the office of Alguacil Mayor for the
pilot Ruiz.  The bishopric took the direction that was concerted,
for the soldier could scarcely claim the mitre of the prelate;
but the other offices, instead of their appropriate distribution,
were all concentred in himself. Yet it was in reference to his
application for his friends, that Pizarro had promised on his
departure to deal fairly and honorably by them all. *3

[Footnote 3: "Al fin se capitulo, que Francisco Picarro negociase
la Governacion para si: i para Diego de Almagro, el
Adelantamiento: i para Hernando de Luque, el Obispado: i para
Bartolome Ruiz, el Alguacilazgo Maior: i Mercedes para los que
quedaban vivos, de los trece Comapaeros, afirmando siempre
Francisco Picarro, que todo lo queria para ellos, i prometiendo,
que negociaria lealmente, i sin ninguna cautela." Herrera, Hist.
General, dec. 4, lib. 3, cap. 1.]

It is stated by the military chronicler, Pedro Pizarro, that his
kinsman did, in fact, urge the suit strongly in behalf of
Almagro; but that he was refused by the government, on the ground
that offices of such paramount importance could not be committed
to different individuals.  The ill effects of such an arrangement
had been long since felt in more than one of the Indian colonies,
where it had led to rivalry and fatal collision. *4 Pizarro,
therefore, finding his remonstrances unheeded, had no alternative
but to combine the offices in his own person, or to see the
expedition fall to the ground.  This explanation of the affair
has not received the sanction of other contemporary historians.
The apprehensions expressed by Luque, at the time of Pizarro's
assuming the mission, of some such result as actually occurred,
founded, doubtless, on a knowledge of his associate's character,
may warrant us in distrusting the alleged vindication of his
conduct, and our distrust will not be diminished by familiarity
with his subsequent career. Pizarro's virtue was not of a kind to
withstand temptation, - though of a much weaker sort than that
now thrown in his path.

[Footnote 4: "Y don Francisco Picarro pidio conforme a lo que
llevava capitulado y hordenado con sus compaeros ya dicho, y en
el consejo se le rrespondio que no avia lugar de dar governacion
a dos compaeros, a caussa de que en santa marta se avia dado
ansi a dos compaeros y el uno avia muerto al otro . . . . . .
Pues pedido, como digo, muchas vezes por don Francisco Picarro se
les hiziese la merced a ambos compaeros, se le rrespondio la
pidiesse parassi sino que se daria a otro, y visto que no avia
lugar lo que pedia y queria pedio se le hiziese la merced a el, y
ansi se le hizo." Descub. y Conq. Ms.]

The fortunate cavalier was also honored with the habit of St.
Jago; *5 and he was authorized to make an important innovation in
his family escutcheon, - for by the father's side he might claim
his armorial bearings. The black eagle and the two pillars
emblazoned on the royal arms were incorporated with those of the
Pizarros; and an Indian city, with a vessel in the distance on
the waters, and the llama of Peru, revealed the theatre and the
character of his exploits; while the legend announced, that
"under the auspices of Charles, and by the industry, the genius,
and the resources of Pizarro, the country had been discovered and
reduced to tranquillity," - thus modestly intimating both the
past and prospective services of the Conqueror. *6

[Footnote 5: Xerez, Conq. del Peru, ap. Barcia, tom. III. p. 182.
- Oviedo, Hist. de las Indias, Ms., Parte 3, lib. 8, cap. 1. -
Caro de Torres, Historia de las Ordenes Militares, (ed. Madrid,
1629,) p. 113.]

[Footnote 6: "Caroli Caesaris auspicio, et labore, ingenio, ac
impensa Ducis Picarro inventa, et pacata.' Herrera, Hist.
General, dec. 4 lib. 6, cap. 5.]

These arrangements having been thus completed to Pizarro's
satisfaction, he left Toledo for Truxillo, his native place, in
Estremadura, where he thought he should be most likely to meet
with adherents for his new enterprise, and where it doubtless
gratified his vanity to display himself in the palmy, or at least
promising, state of his present circumstances.  If vanity be ever
pardonable, it is certainly in a man who, born in an obscure
station in life, without family, interest, or friends to back
him, has carved out his own fortunes in the world, and, by his
own resources, triumphed over all the obstacles which nature and
accident had thrown in his way.  Such was the condition of
Pizarro, as he now revisited the place of his nativity, where he
had hitherto been known only as a poor outcast, without a home to
shelter, a father to own him, or a friend to lean upon.  But he
now found both friends and followers, and some who were eager to
claim kindred with him, and take part in his future fortunes.
Among these were four brothers. Three of them, like himself, were
illegitimate; one of whom, named Francisco Martin de Alcantara,
was related to him by the mother's side; the other two, named
Gonzalo and Juan Pizarro, were descended from the father.  "They
were all poor, and proud as they were poor," says Oviedo, who had
seen them; "and their eagerness for gain was in proportion to
their poverty." *7

[Footnote 7: "Trujo tres o cuatro hermanos suyos tan soberbios
como pobres, e tan sin hacienda como deseosos de alcanzarla."
Hist. de las Indias Ms., Parte 3, lib. 8, cap 1.]

The remaining and eldest brother, named Hernando, was a
legitimate son, - "legitimate," continues the same caustic
authority, "by his pride, as well as by his birth." His features
were plain, even disagreeably so; but his figure was good.  He
was large of stature, and, like his brother Francis, had on the
whole an imposing presence. *8 In his character, he combined some
of the worst defects incident to the Castilian.  He was jealous
in the extreme; impatient not merely of affront, but of the least
slight, and implacable in his resentment.  He was decisive in his
measures, and unscrupulous in their execution.  No touch of pity
had power to arrest his arm.  His arrogance was such, that he was
constantly wounding the self-love of those with whom he acted;
thus begetting an ill-will which unnecessarily multiplied
obstacles in his path.  In this he differed from his brother
Francis, whose plausible manners smoothed away difficulties, and
conciliated confidence and cooperation in his enterprises.
Unfortunately, the evil counsels of Hernando exercised an
influence over his brother which more than compensated the
advantages derived from his singular capacity for business.

[Footnote 8: Oviedo's portrait of him is by no means flattering.
He writes like one too familiar with the original.  "E de todos
ellos el Hernando Pizarro solo era legitimo, e mas legitimado en
la soberbia, hombre de alta estatura e grueso, la lengua e labios
gordos, e la punta de la nariz con sobrada carne e encendida, y
este fue el desavenidor y estorbador del sosiego de todos y en
especial de los dos viejos companeros Francisco Pizarro e Diego
de Almagro." Hist de las Indias, Ms., ubi supra.]

Notwithstanding the general interest which Pizarro's adventures
excited in his country, that chief did not find it easy to comply
with the provisions of the Capitulation in respect to the amount
of his levies.  Those who were most astonished by his narrative
were not always most inclined to take part in his fortunes.  They
shrunk from the unparalleled hardships which lay in the path of
the adventurer in that direction; and they listened with visible
distrust to the gorgeous pictures of the golden temples and
gardens of Tumbez, which they looked upon as indebted in some
degree, at least, to the coloring of his fancy, with the obvious
purpose of attracting followers to his banner.  It is even said
that Pizarro would have found it difficult to raise the necessary
funds, but for the seasonable aid of Cortes, a native of
Estremadura like himself, his companion in arms in early days,
and, according to report, his kinsman. *9 No one was in a better
condition to hold out a helping hand to a brother adventurer,
and, probably, no one felt greater sympathy in Pizarro's
fortunes, or greater confidence in his eventual success, than the
man who had so lately trod the same career with renown.

[Footnote 9: Pizarro y Orellana, Varones Ilustres, p. 143.]
The six months allowed by the Capitulation had elapsed, and
Pizarro had assembled somewhat less than his stipulated
complement of men, with which he was preparing to embark in a
little squadron of three vessels at Seville; but, before they
were wholly ready, he received intelligence that the officers of
the Council of the Indies proposed to inquire into the condition
of the vessels, and ascertain how far the requisitions had been
complied with.

Without loss of time, therefore, Pizarro, afraid, if the facts
were known, that his enterprise might be nipped in the bud,
slipped his cables, and crossing the bar of San Lucar, in
January, 1530, stood for the isle of Gomera, - one of the
Canaries, - where he ordered his brother Hernando, who had charge
of the remaining vessels, to meet him.

Scarcely had he gone, before the officers arrived to institute
the search.  But when they objected the deficiency of men, they
were easily - perhaps willingly - deceived by the pretext that
the remainder had gone forward in the vessel with Pizarro.  At
all events, no further obstacles were thrown in Hernando's way,
and he was permitted, with the rest of the squadron, to join his
brother, according to agreement, at Gomera.
After a prosperous voyage, the adventurers reached the northern
coast of the great southern continent, and anchored off the port
of Santa Marta. Here they received such discouraging reports of
the countries to which they were bound, of forests teeming with
insects and venomous serpents, of huge alligators that swarmed on
the banks of the streams, and of hardships and perils such as
their own fears had never painted, that several of Pizarro's men
deserted; and their leader, thinking it no longer safe to abide
in such treacherous quarters, set sail at once for Nombre de
Soon after his arrival there, he was met by his two associates,
Luque and Almagro, who had crossed the mountains for the purpose
of hearing from his own lips the precise import of the
capitulation with the Crown.  Great, as might have been expected,
was Almagro's discontent at learning the result of what he
regarded as the perfidious machinations of his associate.  "Is it
thus," he exclaimed, "that you have dealt with the friend who
shared equally with you in the trials, the dangers, and the cost
of the enterprise; and this, notwithstanding your solemn
engagements on your departure to provide for his interests as
faithfully as your own?  How could you allow me to be thus
dishonored in the eyes of the world by so paltry a compensation,
which seems to estimate my services as nothing in comparison with
your own?" *10

[Footnote 10: Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 4, lib. 7, cap. 9. -
Pedro Pizarro Descub. y Conq., Ms.]

Pizarro, in reply, assured his companion that he had faithfully
urged his suit, but that the government refused to confide powers
which intrenched so closely on one another to different hands.
He had no alternative, but to accept all himself or to decline
all; and he endeavoured to mitigate Almagro's displeasure by
representing that the country was large enough for the ambition
of both, and that the powers conferred on himself were, in fact,
conferred on Almagro, since all that he had would ever be at his
friend's disposal, as if it were his own.  But these honeyed
words did not satisfy the injured party; and the two captains
soon after returned to Panama with feelings of estrangement, if
not hostility, towards one another, which did not augur well for
their enterprise.

Still, Almagro was of a generous temper, and might have been
appeased by the politic concessions of his rival, but for the
interference of Hernando Pizarro, who, from the first hour of
their meeting, showed little respect for the veteran, which,
indeed, the diminutive person of the latter was not calculated to
inspire, and who now regarded him with particular aversion as an
impediment to the career of his brother.

Almagro's friends - and his frank and liberal manners had secured
him many - were no less disgusted than himself with the
overbearing conduct of this new ally.  They loudly complained
that it was quite enough to suffer from the perfidy of Pizarro,
without being exposed to the insults of his family, who had now
come over with him to fatten on the spoils of conquest which
belonged to their leader.  The rupture soon proceeded to such a
length, that Almagro avowed his intention to prosecute the
expedition without further cooperation with his partner, and
actually entered into negotiations for the purchase of vessels
for that object.  But Luque, and the Licentiate Espinosa, who had
fortunately come over at that time from St. Domingo, now
interposed to repair a breach which must end in the ruin of the
enterprise, and the probable destruction of those most interested
in its success.  By their mediation, a show of reconciliation was
at length effected between the parties, on Pizarro's assurance
that he would relinquish the dignity of Adelantado in favor of
his rival, and petition the emperor to confirm him in the
possession of it; - an assurance, it may be remarked, not easy to
reconcile with his former assertion in respect to the avowed
policy of the Crown in bestowing this office.  He was, moreover,
to apply for a distinct government for his associate, so soon as
he had become master of the country assigned to himself; and was
to solicit no office for either of his own brothers, until
Almagro had been first provided for.  Lastly, the former contract
in regard to the division of the spoil into three equal shares
between the three original associates was confirmed in the most
explicit manner.  The reconciliation thus effected among the
parties answered the temporary purpose of enabling them to go
forward in concert in the expedition.  But it was only a thin
scar that had healed over the wound, which, deep and rankling
within, waited only fresh cause of irritation to break out with a
virulence more fatal than ever. *11

[Footnote 11: Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Naharro,
Relacion Sumaria, Ms. - Montesinos, Annales, Ms., ano 1529. -
Relacion del Primer. Descub., Ms. - Zarate, Conq. del Peru, lib.
1, cap. 3. - Oviedo, Hist. de las Indias, Ms., Parte 3, lib. 8,
cap. 1.

There seems to have been little good-will, at bottom, between any
of the confederates; for Father Luque wrote to Oviedo that both
of his partners had repaid his services with ingratitude. -
"Padre Luque, companero de estos Capitanes, con cuya hacienda
hicieron ellos sus hechos, puesto que el uno e el otro se lo
pagaron con ingratitud segun a mi me lo escribio el mismo electo
de su mano." Ibid., loc. cit.]

No time was now lost in preparing for the voyage.  It found
little encouragement, however, among the colonists of Panama, who
were too familiar with the sufferings on the former expeditions
to care to undertake another, even with the rich bribe that was
held out to allure them.  A few of the old company were content
to follow out the adventure to its close; and some additional
stragglers were collected from the province of Nicaragua, - a
shoot, it may be remarked, from the colony of Panama.  But
Pizarro made slender additions to the force brought over with him
from Spain, though this body was in better condition, and, in
respect to arms, ammunition, and equipment generally, was on a
much better footing than his former levies. The whole number did
not exceed one hundred and eighty men, with twenty-seven horses
for the cavalry.  He had provided himself with three vessels, two
of them of a good size, to take the place of those which he had
been compelled to leave on the opposite side of the Isthmus at
Nombre de Dios; an armament small for the conquest of an empire,
and far short of that prescribed by the capitulation with the
Crown.  With this the intrepid chief proposed to commence
operations, trusting to his own successes, and the exertions of
Almagro, who was to remain behind, for the present, to muster
reinforcements. *12

[Footnote 12: The numerical estimates differ, as usual.  I
conform to the statement of Pizarro's secretary, Xerez, Conq. del
Peru, ap. Barcia, tom. III. p. 182.]

On St. John the Evangelist's day, the banners of the company and
the royal standard were consecrated in the cathedral church of
Panama; a sermon was preached before the little army by Fray Juan
de Vargas, one of the Dominicans selected by the government for
the Peruvian mission; and mass was performed, and the sacrament
administered to every soldier previous to his engaging in the
crusade against the infidel. *13 Having thus solemnly invoked the
blessing of Heaven on the enterprise, Pizarro and his followers
went on board their vessels, which rode at anchor in the Bay of
Panama, and early in January, 1531, sallied forth on his third
and last expedition for the conquest of Peru.

[Footnote 13: "El qual haviendo hecho bendecir en la Iglesia
mayor las banderas i estandarte real dia de San Juan Evangelista
de dicho ano de 1530, i que todos los soldados confesasen i
comulgasen en el convento de Nuestra Senora de la Merced, dia de
los Inocentes en la misa cantada que se celebro con toda
solemnidad i sermon que predico el P. Presentdo Fr. Juan de
Vargas, uno de los 5 religiosos que en cumplimiento de la
obediencia de sus prelados i orden del Emperador pasaban a la
conquista." Naharro, Relacion Sumaria, Ms.]

It was his intention to steer direct for Tumbez, which held out
so magnificent a show of treasure on his former voyage.  But head
winds and currents, as usual, baffled his purpose, and after a
run of thirteen days, much shorter than the period formerly
required for the same distance, his little squadron came to
anchor in the Bay of St. Matthew, about one degree north; and
Pizarro, after consulting with his officers, resolved to
disembark his forces and advance along the coast, while the
vessels held their course at a convenient distance from the

The march of the troops was severe and painful in the extreme;
for the road was constantly intersected by streams, which,
swollen by the winter rains, widened at their mouths into
spacious estuaries.  Pizarro, who had some previous knowledge of
the country, acted as guide as well as commander of the
expedition.  He was ever ready to give aid where it was needed,
encouraging his followers to ford or swim the torrents as they
best could, and cheering the desponding by his own buoyant and
courageous spirit.
At length they reached a thick-settled hamlet, or rather town, in
the province of Coaque.  The Spaniards rushed on the place, and
the inhabitants, without offering resistance, fled in terror to
the neighbouring forests, leaving their effects - of much greater
value than had been anticipated - in the hands of the invaders.
"We fell on them, sword in hand," says one of the Conquerors,
with some naivete; "for, if we had advised the Indians of our
approach, we should never have found there such store of gold and
precious stones." *14 The natives, however, according to another
authority, stayed voluntarily; "for, as they had done no harm to
the white men, they flattered themselves none would be offered to
them, but that there would be only an interchange of good offices
with the strangers," *15 - an expectation founded, it may be, on
the good character which the Spaniards had established for
themselves on their preceding visit, but in which the simple
people now found themselves most unpleasantly deceived.

[Footnote 14: "Pues llegados a este pueblo de Coaque dieron de
supito sin savello la gente del porque si estuvieran avisados.
No se tomara la cantidad de oro y esmeraldas que en el se
tomaron." Pedro Pizarre, Descub. y Conq., Ms]

[Footnote 15: Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 4, lib. 7, cap. 9.]
Rushing into the deserted dwellings, the invaders found there,
besides stuffs of various kinds, and food most welcome in their
famished condition, a large quantity of gold and silver wrought
into clumsy ornaments, together with many precious stones; for
this was the region of the esmeraldas, or emeralds, where that
valuable gem was most abundant.  One of these jewels that fell
into the hands of Pizarro, in this neighbourhood, was as large as
a pigeon's egg.  Unluckily, his rude followers did not know the
value of their prize; and they broke many of them in pieces by
pounding them with hammers. *16 They were led to this
extraordinary proceeding, it is said, by one of the Dominican
missionaries, Fray Reginaldo de Pedraza, who assured them that
this was the way to prove the true emerald, which could not be
broken.  It was observed that the good father did not subject his
own jewels to this wise experiment; but, as the stones, in
consequence of it, fell in value, being regarded merely as
colored glass, he carried back a consider able store of them to
Panama. *17

[Footnote 16: Relacion del Primer. Descub., Ms. - Zarate, Conq.
del Peru, lib. 1, cap. 4.

"A lo que se ha entendido en las esmeraldas ovo gran hierro y
torpedad en algunas Personas por no conoscellas.  Aunque quieren
decir que algunos que las conoscieron las guardaron.  Pero
ffinalmente muchos vbieron esmeraldas de mucho valor; vnos las
provavan en yunques, dandolas con martillos, diziendo que si hera
esmeralda no se quebraria; otros las despreciaban, diziendo que
era vidrio." Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms.]

[Footnote 17: Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Herrera,
Hist. General, dec. 4, lib. 7, cap. 9.]

The gold and silver ornaments rifled from the dwellings were
brought together and deposited in a common heap; when a fifth was
deducted for the Crown, and Pizarro distributed the remainder in
due proportions among the officers and privates of his company.
This was the usage invariably observed on the like occasions
throughout the Conquest.  The invaders had embarked in a common
adventure.  Their interest was common, and to have allowed every
one to plunder on his own account would only have led to
insubordination and perpetual broils.  All were required,
therefore, on pain of death, to contribute whatever they
obtained, whether by bargain or by rapine, to the general stock;
and all were too much interested in the execution of the penalty
to allow the unhappy culprit, who violated the law, any chance of
escape. *18

[Footnote 18: "Los Espanoles las rrecoxeron y juntaron el oro y
la plata, porque asi estava mandado y hordenado sopena de la vida
el que otra cossa hiziese, porque todos lo avian de traet a
monton para que de alli el governador lo rrepartiese, dando a
cada uno confforme a su persona y meritos de servicios; y esta
horden se guardo en toda esta tierra en la conquista della, y al
que se le hallara oro o plata escondido muriera por ello, y deste
medio nadie oso escondello." Pedro Pizarro, Descub y Conq., Ms.]
Pizarro, with his usual policy, sent back to Panama a large
quantity of the gold, no less than twenty thousand castellanos in
value, in the belief that the sight of so much treasure, thus
speedily acquired, would settle the doubts of the wavering, and
decide them on joining his banner. *19 He judged right.  As one
of the Conquerors piously expresses it, "It pleased the Lord that
we should fall in with the town of Coaque, that the riches of the
land might find credit with the people, and that they should
flock to it." *20

[Footnote 19: The booty was great, indeed, if, as Pedro Pizarro,
one of the Conquerors present, says, it amounted in value to
200,000 gold castellanos. "Aqui se hallo mucha chaquira de oro y
de plata, muchas coronas hechas de oro a manera de imperiales, y
otras muchas piezas en que se avaleo montar mas de dozientos mill
castellanos." (Descub. y Conq., Ms.) Naharro, Montesinos, and
Herrera content themselves with stating that he sent back 20,000
castellanos in the vessels to Panama.]

[Footnote 20: "Fueron a dar en vn pueblo que se dezia Coaque que
fue nuestro Senor servido tapasen con el, porque con lo que en el
se hallo se acredito la tierra y vino gente a ella." Pedro
Pizarro, Descub y Conq., Ms.]

Pizarro, having refreshed his men, continued his march along the
coast, but no longer accompanied by the vessels, which had
returned for recruits to Panama.  The road, as he advanced, was
checkered with strips of sandy waste, which, drifted about by the
winds, blinded the soldiers, and afforded only treacherous
footing for man and beast.  The glare was intense; and the rays
of a vertical sun beat fiercely on the iron mail and the thick
quilted doublets of cotton, till the fainting troops were almost
suffocated with the heat.  To add to their distresses, a strange
epidemic broke out in the little army.  It took the form of
ulcers, or rather hideous warts of great size, which covered the
body, and when lanced, as was the case with some, discharged such
a quantity of blood as proved fatal to the sufferer.  Several
died of this frightful disorder, which was so sudden in its
attack, and attended with such prostration of strength, that
those who lay down well at night were unable to lift their hands
to their heads in the morning. *21 The epidemic, which made its
first appearance during this invasion, and which did not long
survive it, spread over the country, sparing neither native nor
white man. *22 It was one of those plagues from the vial of
wrath, which the destroying angel, who follows in the path of the
conqueror, pours out on the devoted nations.

[Footnote 21: Naharro, Relacion Sumaria, Ms. - Pedro Pizarro,
Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Montesinos, Annales, Ms., ano 1530.]

[Footnote 22: Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 2, lib. 1, cap. 15.]
The Spaniards rarely experienced on their march either resistance
or annoyance from the inhabitants, who, instructed by the example
of Coaque, fled with their effects into the woods and
neighbouring mountains.  No one came out to welcome the strangers
and offer the rites of hospitality, as on their last visit to the
land.  For the white men were no longer regarded as good beings
that had come from heaven, but as ruthless destroyers, who,
invulnerable to the assaults of the Indians, were borne along on
the backs of fierce animals, swifter than the wind, with weapons
in their hands, that scattered fire and desolation as they went.
Such were the stories now circulated of the invaders, which,
preceding them everywhere on their march, closed the hearts, if
not the doors, of the natives against them.  Exhausted by the
fatigue of travel and by disease, and grievously disappointed at
the poverty of the land, which now offered no compensation for
their toils, the soldiers of Pizarro cursed the hour in which
they had enlisted under his standard, and the men of Nicaragua,
in particular, says the old chronicler, calling to mind their
pleasant quarters in their luxurious land, sighed only to return
to their Mahometan paradise. *23

[Footnote 23: Aunque ellos no ninguno por aver venido, porque
como avian dexado el paraiso de mahoma que hera Nicaragua y
hallaron la isla alzada y falta de comidas y la mayor parte de la
gente enfferma y no oro ni plata como atras avian hallado,
algunos y todos se holgaran de volver de adonde avian venido."
Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms.]

At this juncture the army was gladdened by the sight of a vessel
from Panama, which brought some supplies, together with the royal
treasurer, the veedor or inspector, the comptroller, and other
high officers appointed by the Crown to attend the expedition.
They had been left in Spain by Pizarro, in consequence of his
abrupt departure from the country; and the Council of the Indies,
on learning the circumstance, had sent instructions to Panama to
prevent the sailing of his squadron from that port.  But the
Spanish government, with more wisdom, countermanded the order,
only requiring the functionaries to quicken their own departure,
and take their place without loss of time in the expedition.

The Spaniards in their march along the coast had now advanced as
far as Puerto Viejo.  Here they were soon after joined by another
small reinforcement of about thirty men, under an officer named
Belalcazar, who subsequently rose to high distinction in this
service.  Many of the followers of Pizarro would now have halted
at this spot and established a colony there. But that chief
thought more of conquering than of colonizing, at least for the
present; and he proposed, as his first step, to get possession of
Tumbez, which he regarded as the gate of the Peruvian empire.
Continuing his march, therefore, to the shores of what is now
called the Gulf of Guayaquil, he arrived off the little island of
Puna, lying at no great distance from the Bay of Tumbez.  This
island, he thought, would afford him a convenient place to encamp
until he was prepared to make his descent on the Indian city.

The dispositions of the islanders seemed to favor his purpose.
He had not been long in their neighbourhood, before a deputation
of the natives, with their cacique at their head, crossed over in
their balsas to the main land to welcome the Spaniards to their
residence.  But the Indian interpreters of Tumbez, who had
returned with Pizarro from Spain, and continued with the camp,
put their master on his guard against the meditated treachery of
the islanders, whom they accused of designing to destroy the
Spaniards by cutting the ropes that held together the floats, and
leaving those upon them to perish in the waters.  Yet the
cacique, when charged by Pizarro with this perfidious scheme,
denied it with such an air of conscious innocence, that the
Spanish commander trusted himself and his followers, without
further hesitation, to his conveyance, and was transported in
safety to the shores of Puna.
Here he was received in a hospitable manner, and his troops were
provided with comfortable quarters.  Well satisfied with his
present position, Pizarro resolved to occupy it until the
violence of the rainy season was passed, when the arrival of the
reinforcements he expected would put him in better condition for
marching into the country of the Inca.
The island, which lies in the mouth of the river of Guayaquil,
and is about eight leagues in length by four in breadth, at the
widest part, was at that time partially covered with a noble
growth of timber.  But a large portion of it was subjected to
cultivation, and bloomed with plantations of cacao, of the sweet
potato, and the different products of a tropical clime, evincing
agricultural knowledge as well as industry in the population.
They were a warlike race; but had received from their Peruvian
foes the appellation of "perfidious." It was the brand fastened
by the Roman historians on their Carthaginian enemies, - with
perhaps no better reason. The bold and independent islanders
opposed a stubborn resistance to the arms of the Incas; and,
though they had finally yielded, they had been ever since at
feud, and often in deadly hostility, with their neighbours of
The latter no sooner heard of Pizarro's arrival on the island,
than, trusting, probably, to their former friendly relations with
him, they came over in some number to the Spanish quarters.  The
presence of their detested rivals was by no means grateful to the
jealous inhabitants of Puna, and the prolonged residence of the
white men on their island could not be otherwise than burdensome.
In their outward demeanour they still maintained the same show of
amity; but Pizarro's interpreters again put him on his guard
against the proverbial perfidy of their hosts.  With his
suspicions thus roused, the Spanish commander was informed that a
number of the chiefs had met together to deliberate on a plan of
insurrection.  Not caring to wait for the springing of the mine,
he surrounded the place of meeting with his soldiers and made
prisoners of the suspected chieftains.  According to one
authority, they confessed their guilt. *24 This is by no means
certain.  Nor is it certain that they meditated an insurrection.
Yet the fact is not improbable in itself; though it derives
little additional probability from the assertion of the hostile
interpreters.  It is certain, however, that Pizarro was satisfied
of the existence of a conspiracy; and, without further
hesitation, he abandoned his wretched prisoners, ten or twelve in
number, to the tender mercies of their rivals of Tumbez, who
instantly massacred them before his eyes. *25

[Footnote 24: Xeres, Conq. del Peru, ap. Barcia, tom. III. p.

[Footnote 25: "Y el marques don Francisco Picarro, por tenellos
por amigos y estuviesen de paz quando alla passasen, les dio
algunos principales los quales ellos matavan en presencia de los
espanoles, cortandoles las cavezas por el cogote." Pedro Pizarro,
Descub. y Conq., Ms.]

Maddened by this outrage, the people of Puna sprang to arms, and
threw themselves at once, with fearful yells and the wildest
menaces of despair, on the Spanish camp.  The odds of numbers
were greatly in their favor, for they mustered several thousand
warriors.  But the more decisive odds of arms and discipline were
on the side of their antagonists; and, as the Indians rushed
forward in a confused mass to the assault, the Castilians coolly
received them on their long pikes, or swept them down by the
volleys of their musketry. Their ill-protected bodies were easily
cut to pieces by the sharp sword of the Spaniard; and Hernando
Pizarro, putting himself at the head of the cavalry, charged
boldly into the midst, and scattered them far and wide over the
field, until, panic-struck by the terrible array of steel-clad
horsemen, and the stunning reports and the flash of fire-arms,
the fugitives sought shelter in the depths of their forests.  Yet
the victory was owing, in some degree, at least, - if we may
credit the Conquerors, - to the interposition of Heaven; for St.
Michael and his legions were seen high in the air above the
combatants, contending with the arch-enemy of man, and cheering
on the Christians by their example! *26

[Footnote 26: The city of San Miguel was so named by Pizarro to
commemorate the event, - and the existence of such a city may be
considered by some as establishing the truth of the miracle. -
"En la batalla de Puna vieron muchos, ya de los Indios, ya de los
nuestros, que habia en el aire otros dos campos, uno acaudillado
por el Arcangel Sn Miguel con espada y rodela, y otro por Luzbel
y sus secuaces; mas apenas cantaron los Castellanos la victoria
huyeron los diablos, y formando un gran torvellino de viento se
oyeron en el aire unas terribles voces que decian, Vencistenos!
Miguel vencistenos!  De aqui torno Dn Francisco Pizarro tanta
devocion al sto Arcangel, que prometio llamar la primera ciudad
que fundase de su nombre; cumpliolo asi como veremos adelante."
Montesinos, Annales, Ms., ano 1530.]

Not more than three or four Spaniards fell in the fight; but many
were wounded, and among them Hernando Pizarro, who received a
severe injury in the leg from a javelin.  Nor did the war end
here; for the implacable islanders, taking advantage of the cover
of night, or of any remissness on the part of the invaders, were
ever ready to steal out of their fastnesses and spring on their
enemy's camp, while, by cutting off his straggling parties, and
destroying his provisions, they kept him in perpetual alarm.
In this uncomfortable situation, the Spanish commander was
gladdened by the appearance of two vessels off the island.  They
brought a reinforcement consisting of a hundred volunteers
besides horses for the cavalry.  It was commanded by Hernando de
Soto, a captain afterwards famous as the discoverer of the
Mississippi, which still rolls its majestic current over the
place of his burial, - a fitting monument for his remains, as it
is of his renown. *27
[See Fernando de Soto: A Captain famous as the discoverer of

[Footnote 27: The transactions in Puna are given at more or less
length by Naharro, Relacion Sumaria, Ms. - Conq. i Pob. del Peru,
Ms. - Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Montesinos, Annales,
Ms., ubi supra. - Relacion del Primer.  Descub., Ms. - Xerez,
Conq. del Peru, ap. Barcia, tom. III. pp. 182, 183.]

This reinforcement was most welcome to Pizarro, who had been long
discontented with his position on an island, where he found
nothing to compensate the life of unintermitting hostility which
he was compelled to lead.  With these recruits, he felt himself
in sufficient strength to cross over to the continent, and resume
military operations on the proper theatre for discovery and
conquest.  From the Indians of Tumbez he learned that the country
had been for some time distracted by a civil war between two sons
of the late monarch, competitors for the throne.  This
intelligence he regarded as of the utmost importance, for he
remembered the use which Cortes had made of similar dissensions
among the tribes of Anahuac.  Indeed, Pizarro seems to have had
the example of his great predecessor before his eyes on more
occasions than this.  But he fell far short of his model; for,
notwithstanding the restraint he sometimes put upon himself, his
coarser nature and more ferocious temper often betrayed him into
acts most repugnant to sound policy, which would never have been
countenanced by the Conqueror of Mexico.

Chapter II

Peru At The Time Of The Conquest. - Reign Of Huayna Capac. - The
Inca Brothers. - Contest For The Empire. - Triumph And Cruelties
Of Atahuallpa.

Before accompanying the march of Pizarro and his followers into
the country of the Incas, it is necessary to make the reader
acquainted with the critical situation of the kingdom at that
time.  For the Spaniards arrived just at the consummation of an
important revolution, - at a crisis most favorable to their views
of conquest, and but for which, indeed, the conquest, with such a
handful of soldiers, could never have been achieved.
In the latter part of the fifteenth century died Tupac Inca
Yupanqui, one of the most renowned of the "Children of the Sun,"
who, carrying the Peruvian arms across the burning sands of
Atacama, penetrated to the remote borders of Chili, while in the
opposite direction he enlarged the limits of the empire by the
acquisition of the southern provinces of Quito.  The war in this
quarter was conducted by his son Huayna Capac, who succeeded his
father on the throne, and fully equalled him in military daring
and in capacity for government.
Under this prince, the whole of the powerful state of Quito,
which rivalled that of Peru itself in wealth and refinement, was
brought under the sceptre of the Incas; whose empire received, by
this conquest, the most important accession yet made to it since
the foundation of the dynasty of Manco Capac.  The remaining days
of the victorious monarch were passed in reducing the independent
tribes on the remote limits of his territory, and, still more, in
cementing his conquests by the introduction of the Peruvian
polity.  He was actively engaged in completing the great works of
his father, especially the high-roads which led from Quito to the
capital.  He perfected the establishment of posts, took great
pains to introduce the Quichua dialect throughout the empire,
promoted a better system of agriculture, and in fine, encouraged
the different branches of domestic industry and the various
enlightened plans of his predecessors for the improvement of his
people. Under his sway, the Peruvian monarchy reached its most
palmy state; and under both him and his illustrious father it was
advancing with such rapid strides in the march of civilization as
would soon have carried it to a level with the more refined
despotisms of Asia, furnishing the world, perhaps, with higher
evidence of the capabilities of the American Indian than is
elsewhere to be found on the great western continent. - But other
and gloomier destinies were in reserve for the Indian races.

The first arrival of the white men on the South American shores
of the Pacific was about ten years before the death of Huayna
Capac, when Balboa crossed the Gulf of St. Michael, and obtained
the first clear report of the empire of the Incas.  Whether
tidings of these adventurers reached the Indian monarch's ears is
doubtful.  There is no doubt, however, that he obtained the news
of the first expedition under Pizarro and Almagro, when the
latter commander penetrated as far as the Rio de San Juan, about
the fourth degree north.  The accounts which he received made a
strong impression on the mind of Huayna Capac.  He discerned in
the formidable prowess and weapons of the invaders proofs of a
civilization far superior to that of his own people. He intimated
his apprehension that they would return, and that at some day,
not far distant, perhaps, the throne of the Incas might be shaken
by these strangers, endowed with such incomprehensible powers. *1
To the vulgar eye, it was a little speck on the verge of the
horizon; but that of the sagacious monarch seemed to descry in it
the dark thunder-cloud, that was to spread wider and wider till
it burst in fury on his nation!

[Footnote 1: Sarmiento, an honest authority, tells us he had this
from some of the Inca lords who heard it, Relacion, Ms., cap.

There is some ground for believing thus much.  But other
accounts, which have obtained a popular currency, not content
with this, connect the first tidings of the white men with
predictions long extant in the country, and with supernatural
appearances, which filled the hearts of the whole nation with
dismay.  Comets were seen flaming athwart the heavens.
Earthquakes shook the land; the moon was girdled with rings of
fire of many colors; a thunderbolt fell on one of the royal
palaces and consumed it to ashes; and an eagle, chased by several
hawks, was seen, screaming in the air, to hover above the great
square of Cuzco, when, pierced by the talons of his tormentors,
the king of birds fell lifeless in the presence of many of the
Inca nobles, who read in this an augury of their own destruction!
Huayna Capac himself, calling his great officers around him, as
he found he was drawing near his end, announced the subversion of
his empire by the race of white and bearded strangers, as the
consummation predicted by the oracles after the reign of the
twelfth Inca, and he enjoined it on his vassals not to resist the
decrees of Heaven, but to yield obedience to its messengers. *2

[Footnote 2: A minute relation of these supernatural occurrences
is given by the Inca Garcilasso de la Vega, (Com. Real., Parte 1,
lib. 9, cap. 14,) whose situation opened to him the very best
sources of information, which is more than counterbalanced by the
defects in his own character as an historian, - his childish
credulity, and his desire to magnify and mystify every thing
relating to his own order, and, indeed, his nation.  His work is
the source of most of the facts - and the falsehoods - that have
obtained circulation in respect to the ancient Peruvians.
Unfortunately, at this distance of time, it is not always easy to
distinguish the one from the other.]
Such is the report of the impressions made by the appearance of
the Spaniards in the country, reminding one of the similar
feelings of superstitious terror occasioned by their appearance
in Mexico.  But the traditions of the latter land rest on much
higher authority than those of the Peruvians, which, unsupported
by contemporary testimony, rest almost wholly on the naked
assertion of one of their own nation, who thought to find,
doubtless, in the inevitable decrees of Heaven, the best apology
for the supineness of his countrymen.

It is not improbable that rumors of the advent of a strange and
mysterious race should have spread gradually among the Indian
tribes along the great table-land of the Cordilleras, and should
have shaken the hearts of the stoutest warriors with feelings of
undefined dread, as of some impending calamity.  In this state of
mind, it was natural that physical convulsions, to which that
volcanic country is peculiarly subject, should have made an
unwonted impression on their minds; and that the phenomena, which
might have been regarded only as extraordinary, in the usual
seasons of political security, should now be interpreted by the
superstitious soothsayer as the handwriting on the heavens, by
which the God of the Incas proclaimed the approaching downfall of
their empire.

Huayna Capac had, as usual with the Peruvian princes, a multitude
of concubines, by whom he left a numerous posterity.  The heir to
the crown, the son of his lawful wife and sister, was named
Huascar. *3 At the period of the history at which we are now
arrived, he was about thirty years of age.  Next to the
heir-apparent, by another wife, a cousin of the monarch's, came
Manco Capac, a young prince who will occupy an important place in
our subsequent story.  But the best-beloved of the Inca's
children was Atahuallpa.  His mother was the daughter of the last
Scyri of Quito, who had died of grief, it was said, not long
after the subversion of his kingdom by Huayna Capac. The princess
was beautiful, and the Inca, whether to gratify his passion, or,
as the Peruvians say, willing to make amends for the ruin of her
parents, received her among his concubines.  The historians of
Quito assert that she was his lawful wife; but this dignity,
according to the usages of the empire, was reserved for maidens
of the Inca blood.

[Footnote 3: Huascar, in the Quichua dialect, signifies "a
cable." The reason of its being given to the heir apparent is
remarkable.  Huayna Capac celebrated the birth of the prince by a
festival, in which he introduced a massive gold chain for the
nobles to hold in their hands as they performed their national
dances.  The chain was seven hundred feet in length, and the
links nearly as big round as a man's wrist!  (See Zarate, Conq.
del Peru, lib. 1, cap. 14. - Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 1,
lib. 9, cap. 1.) The latter writer had the particulars, he tells
us, from his old Inca uncle, - who seems to have dealt largely in
the marvellous; not too largely for his audience, however, as the
story has been greedily circulated by most of the Castilian
writers, both of that and of the succeeding age.]
The latter years of Huayna Capac were passed in his new kingdom
of Quito.  Atahuallpa was accordingly brought up under his own
eye, accompanied him, while in his tender years, in his
campaigns, slept in the same tent with his royal father, and ate
from the same plate. *4 The vivacity of the boy, his courage and
generous nature, won the affections of the old monarch to such a
degree, that he resolved to depart from the established usages of
the realm, and divide his empire between him and his elder
brother Huascar.  On his death-bed, he called the great officers
of the crown around him, and declared it to be his will that the
ancient kingdom of Quito should pass to Atahuallpa, who might be
considered as having a natural claim on it, as the dominion of
his ancestors.  The rest of the empire he settled on Huascar; and
he enjoined it on the two brothers to acquiesce in this
arrangement, and to live in amity with each other.  This was the
last act of the heroic monarch; doubtless, the most impolitic of
his whole life.  With his dying breath he subverted the
fundamental laws of the empire; and, while he recommended harmony
between the successors to his authority, he left in this very
division of it the seeds of inevitable discord. *5

[Footnote 4: "Atabalipa era bien quisto de los Capitanes viejos
de su Padre y de los Soldados, porque andubo en la guerra en su
ninez y porque andubo en la guerra en su niez porque el en vida
le mostro tanto amor que no le dejaba comer otra cosa que lo que
el le daba de su plato." Sarmiento, Relacion, Ms., cap. 66.]

[Footnote 5: Oviedo, Hist. de las Indias, Ms., Parte 1, lib. 8,
cap. 9. - Zarate, Conq. del Peru, lib. 1, cap. 12. - Sarmiento,
Relacion, Ms., cap. 65. - Xerez, Conq. del Peru, ap. Barcia, tom.
III. p. 201.]

His death took place, as seems probable, at the close of 1525,
not quite seven years before Pizarro's arrival at Puna. *6 The
tidings of his decease spread sorrow and consternation throughout
the land; for, though stern and even inexorable to the rebel and
the long-resisting foe, he was a brave and magnanimous monarch,
and legislated with the enlarged views of a prince who regarded
every part of his dominions as equally his concern.  The people
of Quito, flattered by the proofs which he had given of
preference for them by his permanent residence in that country,
and his embellishment of their capital, manifested unfeigned
sorrow at his loss; and his subjects at Cuzco, proud of the glory
which his arms and his abilities had secured for his native land,
held him in no less admiration; *7 while the more thoughtful and
the more timid, in both countries, looked with apprehension to
the future, when the sceptre of the vast empire, instead of being
swayed by an old and experienced hand, was to be consigned to
rival princes, naturally jealous of one another, and, from their
age, necessarily exposed to the unwholesome influence of crafty
and ambitious counsellors.  The people testified their regret by
the unwonted honors paid to the memory of the deceased Inca.  His
heart was retained in Quinto, and his body, embalmed after the
fashion of the country, was transported to Cuzco, to take its
place in the great temple of the Sun, by the side of the remains
of his royal ancestors.  His obsequies were celebrated with
sanguinary splendor in both the capitals of his far-extended
empire; and several thousand of the imperial concubines, with
numerous pages and officers of the palace, are said to have
proved their sorrow, or their superstition, by offering up their
own lives, that they might accompany their departed lord to the
bright mansions of the Sun. *8.

[Footnote 6: The precise date of this event, though so near the
time of the Conquest, is matter of doubt.  Balboa, a contemporary
with the Conquerors, and who wrote at Quito, where the Inca died,
fixes it at 1525.  (Hist. du Perou, chap. 14.) Velasco, another
inhabitant of the same place, after an investigation of the
different accounts, comes to the like conclusion. (Hist. de
Quito, tom. I. p. 232.) Dr. Robertson, after telling us that
Huayna Capac died in 1529, speaks again of this event as having
happened in 1527. (Conf. America, vol. III. pp. 25, 381.) Any
one, who has been bewildered by the chronological snarl of the
ancient chronicles, will not be surprised at meeting occasionally
with such inconsistencies in a writer who is obliged to take them
as his guides.]

[Footnote 7: One cannot doubt this monarch's popularity with the
female part of his subjects, at least, if, as the historian of
the Incas tells us, "he was never known to refuse a woman, of
whatever age or degree she might be, any favor that she asked of
him"!  Com. Real. Parte 1, lib. 8, cap. 7.]

[Footnote 8: Sarmiento, Relacion, Ms., cap. 65. - Herrera, Hist.
General dec. 5, lib. 3, cap. 17.]

For nearly five years after the death of Huayna Capac, the royal
brothers reigned, each over his allotted portion of the empire,
without distrust of one another, or, at least, without collision.
It seemed as if the wish of their father was to be completely
realized, and that the two states were to maintain their
respective integrity and independence as much as if they had
never been united into one.  But, with the manifold causes for
jealousy and discontent, and the swarms of courtly sycophants,
who would find their account in fomenting these feelings, it was
easy to see that this tranquil state of things could not long
endure.  Nor would it have endured so long, bur for the more
gentle temper of Huascar, the only party who had ground for
complaint.  He was four or five years older than his brother, and
was possessed of courage not to be doubted; but he was a prince
of a generous and easy nature, and perhaps, if left to himself,
might have acquiesced in an arrangement which, however
unpalatable, was the will of his deified father.  But Atahuallpa
was of a different temper.  Warlike, ambitious, and daring, he
was constantly engaged in enterprises for the enlargement of his
own territory, though his crafty policy was scrupulous not to aim
at extending his acquisitions in the direction of his royal
brother.  His restless spirit, however, excited some alarm at the
court of Cuzco, and Huascar, at length, sent an envoy to
Atahuallpa, to remonstrate with him on his ambitious enterprises,
and to require him to render him homage for his kingdom of Quito.

This is one statement.  Other accounts pretend that the immediate
cause of rupture was a claim instituted by Huascar for the
territory of Tumebamba, held by his brother as part of his
patrimonial inheritance.  It matters little what was the
ostensible ground of collision between persons placed by
circumstances in so false a position in regard to one another,
that collision must, at some time or other, inevitably occur.

The commencement, and, indeed, the whole course, of hostilities
which soon broke out between the rival brothers are stated with
irreconcilable, and, considering the period was so near to that
of the Spanish invasion, with unaccountable discrepancy.  By some
it is said, that, in Atahuallpa's first encounter with the troops
of Cuzco, he was defeated and made prisoner near Tumebamba, a
favorite residence of his father in the ancient territory of
Quito, and in the district of Canaris.  From this disaster he
recovered by a fortunate escape from confinement, when, regaining
his capital, he soon found himself at the head of a numerous
army, led by the most able and experienced captains in the
empire.  The liberal manners of the young Atahuallpa had endeared
him to the soldiers, with whom, as we have seen, he served more
than one campaign in his father's lifetime.  These troops were
the flower of the great army of the Inca, and some of them had
grown gray in his long military career, which had left them at
the north, where they readily transferred their allegiance to the
young sovereign of Quito.  They were commanded by two officers of
great consideration, both possessed of large experience in
military affairs, and high in the confidence of the late Inca.
One of them was named Quizquiz; the other, who was the maternal
uncle of Atahuallpa, was called Chalicuchima.

With these practised warriors to guide him, the young monarch put
himself at the head of his martial array, and directed his march
towards the south.  He had not advanced farther than Ambato,
about sixty miles distant from his capital, when he fell in with
a numerous host, which had been sent against him by his brother,
under the command of a distinguished chieftain, of the Inca
family.  A bloody battle followed, which lasted the greater part
of the day; and the theatre of combat was the skirts of the
mighty Chimborazo. *9

[Footnote 9: Garcilasso denies that anything but insignificant
skirmishes took place before the decisive action fought on the
plains of Cusco, But the Licentiate Sarmiento, who gathered his
accounts of these events, as he tells us, from the actors in
them, walked over the field of battle at Ambato, when the ground
was still covered with the bones of the slain.  "Yo he pasado por
este Pueblo y he visto el Lugar donde dicen que esta Batalla se
dio y cierto segun hay la osamenta devienon aun de morir mas
gente de la que cuentan." Relacion, Ms., cap. 69.]

The battle ended favorably for Atahuallpa, and the Peruvians were
routed with great slaughter, and the loss of their commander.
The prince of Quito availed himself of his advantage to push
forward his march until he arrived before the gates of Tumebamba,
which city, as well as the whole district of Canaris, though an
ancient dependency of Quito, had sided with his rival in the
contest.  Entering the captive city like a conqueror, he put the
inhabitants to the sword, and razed it with all its stately
edifices, some of which had been reared by his own father, to the
ground.  He carried on the same war of extermination, as he
marched through the offending district of Canaris.  In some
places, it is said, the women and children came out, with green
branches in their hands, in melancholy procession, to deprecate
his wrath; but the vindictive conqueror, deaf to their
entreaties, laid the country waste with fire and sword, sparing
no man capable of bearing arms who fell into his hands. *10

[Footnote 10: "Cuentan muchos Indios a quien yo lo oi, que por
amansar su ira, mandaron a un escuadron grande de ninos y a otro
de hombres de toda edad, que saliesen hasta las ricas andas donde
venia con gran pompa, llevando en las manos ramos verdes y ojas
de palma, y que le pidiesen la gracia y amistad suya para el
pueblo, sin mirar la injuria pasada, y que en tantos clamores se
lo suplicaron, y con tanta humildad, que bastara quebrantar
corazones de piedra, mas poca impresion hicieron en el cruel de
Atabalipa, porque dicen que mando a sus capitanes y gentes que
matasen a todos aquellos que habian venido, lo cual fue hecho, no
perdonando sino a algunos ninos y a las mugeres sagradas del
Templo." Sarmiento, Relacion Ms. cap. 70.]
The fate of Canaris struck terror into the hearts of his enemies,
and one place after another opened its gates to the victor, who
held on his triumphant march towards the Peruvian capital.  His
arms experienced a temporary check before the island of Puna,
whose bold warriors maintained the cause of his brother.  After
some days lost before this place, Atahuallpa left the contest to
their old enemies, the people of Tumbez, who had early given in
their adhesion to him, while he resumed his march and advanced as
far as Caxamalca, about seven degrees south.  Here he halted with
a detachment of the army, sending forward the main body under the
command of his two generals, with orders to move straight upon
Cuzco.  He preferred not to trust himself farther in the enemy's
country, where a defeat might be fatal.  By establishing his
quarters at Caxamalca, he would be able to support his generals,
in case of a reverse, or, at worst, to secure his retreat on
Quito, until he was again in condition to renew hostilities.
The two commanders, advancing by rapid marches, at length crossed
the Apurimac river, and arrived within a short distance of the
Peruvian capital. - Meanwhile, Huascar had not been idle.  On
receiving tidings of the discomfiture of his army at Ambato, he
made every exertion to raise levies throughout the country.  By
the advice, it is said, of his priests - the most incompetent
advisers in times of danger - he chose to await the approach of
the enemy in his own capital; and it was not till the latter had
arrived within a few leagues of Cuzco, that the Inca, taking
counsel of the same ghostly monitors, sallied forth to give him

The two armies met on the plains of Quipaypan, in the
neighbourhood of the Indian metropolis.  Their numbers are stated
with the usual discrepancy; but Atahuallpa's troops had
considerably the advantage in discipline and experience, for many
of Huascar's levies had been drawn hastily together from the
surrounding country.  Both fought, however, with the desperation
of men who felt that everything was at stake.  It was no longer a
contest for a province, but for the possession of an empire.
Atahuallpa's troops, flushed with recent success, fought with the
confidence of those who relied on their superior prowess; while
the loyal vassals of the Inca displayed all the self-devotion of
men who held their own lives cheap in the service of their

The fight raged with the greatest obstinacy from sunrise to
sunset; and the ground was covered with heaps of the dying and
the dead, whose bones lay bleaching on the battle-field long
after the conquest by the Spaniards.  At length, fortune declared
in favor of Atahuallpa; or rather, the usual result of superior
discipline and military practice followed.  The ranks of the Inca
were thrown into irretrievable disorder, and gave way in all
directions.  The conquerors followed close on the heels of the
flying.  Huascar himself, among the latter, endeavoured to make
his escape with about a thousand men who remained round his
person.  But the royal fugitive was discovered before he had left
the field; his little party was enveloped by clouds of the enemy,
and nearly every one of the devoted band perished in defence of
their Inca. Huascar was made prisoner, and the victorious chiefs
marched at once on his capital, which they occupied in the name
of their sovereign. *11

[Footnote 11: Cieza de Leon, Cronica, cap. 77. - Oviedo, Hist. de
las Indias, Ms., Parte 3, lib. 8, cap. 9. - Xerez, Conq. del
Peru, ap. Barcia, tom. III. p. 202. - Zarate. Conq. del Peru,
lib. 1, cap. 12. - Sarmiento, Relacion, Ms., cap. 70. - Pedro
Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms.]

These events occurred in the spring of 1532, a few months before
the landing of the Spaniards.  The tidings of the success of his
arms and the capture of his unfortunate brother reached
Atahuallpa at Caxamalca.  He instantly gave orders that Huascar
should be treated with the respect due to his rank, but that he
should be removed to the strong fortress of Xauxa, and held there
in strict confinement.  His orders did not stop here, - if we are
to receive the accounts of Garcilasso de la Vega, himself of the
Inca race, and by his mother's side nephew of the great Huayna
According to this authority, Atahuallpa invited the Inca nobles
throughout the country to assemble at Cuzco, in order to
deliberate on the best means of partitioning the empire between
him and his brother.  When they had met in the capital, they were
surrounded by the soldiery of Quito, and butchered without mercy.
The motive for this perfidious act was to exterminate the whole
of the royal family, who might each one of them show a better
title to the crown than the illegitimate Atahuallpa.  But the
massacre did not end here.  The illegitimate offspring, like
himself, half-brothers of the monster, ali, in short, who had any
of the Inca blood in their veins, were involved in it; and with
an appetite for carnage unparalleled in the annals of the Roman
Empire or of the French Republic, Atahuallpa ordered all the
females of the blood royal, his aunts, nieces, and cousins, to be
put to death, and that, too, with the most refined and lingering
tortures.  To give greater zest to his revenge, many of the
executions took place in the presence of Huascar himself, who was
thus compelled to witness the butchery of his own wives and
sisters, while, in the extremity of anguish, they in vain called
on him to protect them! *12

[Footnote 12: Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 1, lib. 9, cap. 35 -

"A las Mugeres, Hermanas, Tias, Sobrinas, Primas Hermanas, y
Madrastras de Atahuallpa, colgavan de los Arboles, y de muchas
Horcas mui altas que hicieron: a unas colgaron de los cabellos, a
otras por debajo de los bracos, y a otras de otras maneras feas,
que por la honestidad se callan: davanles sus hijuelos, que los
tuviesen en bracos, tenianlos hasta que se les caian, y se
aporreavan" (Ibid., cap. 37.) The variety of torture shows some
invention in the writer, or, more probably, in the writer's
uncle, the ancient Inca, the raconteur of these Blue beard

Such is the tale told by the historian of the Incas, and received
by him, as he assures us, from his mother and uncle, who, being
children at the time, were so fortunate as to be among the few
that escaped the massacre of their house. *13 And such is the
account repeated by many a Castilian writer since, without any
symptom of distrust.  But a tissue of unprovoked atrocities like
these is too repugnant to the principles of human nature, - and,
indeed, to common sense, to warrant our belief in them on
ordinary testimony.

[Footnote 13: "Las crueldades, que Atahuallpa en los de la Sangre
Real hico, dire de Relacion de mi Madre, y de un Hermano suio,
que se llamo Don Fernando Huallpa Tupac Inca Yupanqui, que
entonces eran Ninos de menos de diez Anos." Ibid., Parte 1, lib.
9, cap. 14.]

The annals of semi-civilized nations unhappily show that there
have been instances of similar attempts to extinguish the whole
of a noxious race, which had become the object of a tyrant's
jealousy; though such an attempt is about as chimerical as it
would be to extirpate any particular species of plant, the seeds
of which had been borne on every wind over the country. But, if
the attempt to exterminate the Inca race was actually made by
Atahuallpa, how comes it that so many of the pure descendants of
the blood royal - nearly six hundred in number - are admitted by
the historian to have been in existence seventy years after the
imputed massacre? *14 Why was the massacre, instead of being
limited to the legitimate members of the royal stock, who could
show a better title to the crown than the usurper, extended to
all, however remotely, or in whatever way, connected with the
race?  Why were aged women and young maidens involved in the
proscription, and why were they subjected to such refined and
superfluous tortures, when it is obvious that beings so impotent
could have done nothing to provoke the jealousy of the tyrant?
Why, when so many were sacrificed from some vague apprehension of
distant danger, was his rival Huascar, together with his younger
brother Manco Capac, the two men from whom the conqueror had most
to fear, suffered to live?  Why, in short, is the wonderful tale
not recorded by others before the time of Garcilasso, and nearer
by half a century to the events themselves? *15

[Footnote 14: This appears from a petition for certain
immunities, forwarded to Spain in 1603, and signed by five
hundred and sixty-seven Indians of the royal Inca race.  (Ibid.,
Parte 3, lib. 9, cap. 40.) Oviedo says that Huayna Capac left a
hundred sons and daughters, and that most of them were alive at
the time of his writing.  "Tubo cien hijos y hijas, y la mayor
parte de ellos son vivos." Hist. de las Indias, Ms., Parte 3,
lib. 8, cap. 9.]

[Footnote 15: I have looked in vain for some confirmation of this
story in Oviedo, Sarmiento, Xerez, Cieza de Leon, Zarate, Pedro
Pizarro, Gomara, - all living at the time, and having access to
the best sources of information; and all, it may be added,
disposed to do stern justice to the evil qualities of the Indian

That Atahuallpa may have been guilty of excesses, and abused the
rights of conquest by some gratuitous acts of cruelty, may be
readily believed; for no one, who calls to mind his treatment of
the Canaris, - which his own apologists do not affect to deny,
*16 - will doubt that he had a full measure of the vindictive
temper which belongs to

'Those souls of fire, and Children of the Sun,
With whom revenge was virtue."

But there is a wide difference between this and the monstrous and
most unprovoked atrocities imputed to him; implying a diabolical
nature not to be admitted on the evidence of an Indian partisan,
the sworn foe of his house, and repeated by Castilian
chroniclers, who may naturally seek, by blazoning the enormities
of Atahuallpa, to find some apology for the cruelty of their
countrymen towards him.

[Footnote 16: No one of the apologists of Atahuallpa goes quite
so far as Father Velasco, who, in the over-flowings of his
loyalty for a Quito monarch, regards his massacre of the Canares
as a very fair retribution for their offences.  "Si les auteurs
dont je viens de parler sietaient trouves dans les memes
circonstances qu'Atahuallpa et avaient eprouve autant d'offenses
graves et de trahisons, je ne croirai jamais qu'ils eussent agi
autrement"!  Hist. de Quito, tom. I p. 253.]

The news of the great victory was borne on the wings of the wind
to Caxamalca; and loud and long was the rejoicing, not only in
the camp of Atahuallpa, but in the town and surrounding country;
for all now came in, eager to offer their congratulations to the
victor, and do him homage.  The prince of Quito no longer
hesitated to assume the scarlet borla, the diadem of the Incas.
His triumph was complete.  He had beaten his enemies on their own
ground; had taken their capital; had set his foot on the neck of
his rival, and won for himself the ancient sceptre of the
Children of the Sun. But the hour of triumph was destined to be
that of his deepest humiliation. Atahuallpa was not one of those
to whom, in the language of the Grecian bard, "the Gods are
willing to reveal themselves." *17 He had not read the
handwriting on the heavens.  The small speck, which the
clear-sighted eye of his father had discerned on the distant
verge of the horizon, though little noticed by Atahuallpa, intent
on the deadly strife with his brother, had now risen high towards
the zenith, spreading wider and wider, till it wrapped the skies
in darkness, and was ready to burst in thunders on the devoted
[Footnote 17: v. 161.]

Chapter III

The Spaniards Land At Tumbez. - Pizarro Reconnoitres The Country.
- Foundation Of San Miguel. - March Into The Interior. - Embassy
From The Inca. - Adventures On The March - Reach The Foot Of The


We left the Spaniards at the island of Puna, preparing to make
their descent on the neighbouring continent at Tumbez.  This port
was but a few leagues distant, and Pizarro, with the greater part
of his followers, passed over in the ships, while a few others
were to transport the commander's baggage and the military stores
on some of the Indian balsas.  One of the latter vessels which
first touched the shore was surrounded, and three persons who
were on the raft were carried off by the natives to the adjacent
woods and there massacred.  The Indians then got possession of
another of the balsas, containing Pizarro's wardrobe; but, as the
men who defended it raised loud cries for help, they reached the
ears of Hernando Pizarro, who, with a small body of horse, had
effected a landing some way farther down the shore. A broad tract
of miry ground, overflowed at high water, lay between him and the
party thus rudely assailed by the natives.  The tide was out, and
the bottom was soft and dangerous.  With little regard to the
danger, however, the bold cavalier spurred his horse into the
slimy depths, and followed by his men, with the mud up to their
saddle-girths, they plunged forward until they came into the
midst of the marauders, who, terrified by the strange apparition
of the horsemen, fled precipitately, without show of fight, to
the neighbouring forests.

This conduct of the natives of Tumbez is not easy to be
explained; considering the friendly relations maintained with the
Spaniards on their preceding visit, and lately renewed in the
island of Puna.  But Pizarro was still more astonished, on
entering their town, to find it not only deserted, but, with the
exception of a few buildings, entirely demolished.  Four or five
of the most substantial private dwellings, the great temple, and
the fortress - and these greatly damaged, and wholly despoiled of
their interior decorations - alone survived to mark the site of
the city, and attest its former splendor. *1 The scene of
desolation filled the conquerors with dismay; for even the raw
recruits, who had never visited the coast before, had heard the
marvelous stories of the golden treasures of Tumbez, and they had
confidently looked forward to them as an easy spoil after all
their fatigues. But the gold of Peru seemed only like a deceitful
phantom, which, after beckoning them on through toil and danger,
vanished the moment they attempted to grasp it.

[Footnote 1: Xerez, Conq del Peru, ap. Barcia, tom. III. p. 185.
"Aunque lo del templo del Sol en quien ellos adoran era cosa de
ver, porque tenian grandes edificios, y todo el por de dentro y
de fuera pintado de grandes pinturas y ricos matizes de colores,
porque los hay en aquella tierra." Relacion del Primer. Descub.,

Pizarro despatched a small body of troops in pursuit of the
fugitives; and, after some slight skirmishing, they got
possession of several of the natives, and among them, as it
chanced, the curaca of the place.  When brought before the
Spanish commander, he exonerated himself from any share in the
violence offered to the white men, saying that it was done by a
lawless party of his people, without his knowledge at the time;
and he expressed his willingness to deliver them up to
punishment, if they could be detected.  He explained the
dilapidated condition of the town by the long wars carried on
with the fierce tribes of Puna, who had at length succeeded in
getting possession of the place, and driving the inhabitants into
the neighbouring woods and mountains.  The Inca, to whose cause
they were attached, was too much occupied with his own feuds to
protect them against their enemies.

Whether Pizarro gave any credit to the cacique's exculpation of
himself may be doubted.  He dissembled his suspicions, however,
and, as the Indian lord promised obedience in his own name, and
that of his vassals, the Spanish general consented to take no
further notice of the affair.  He seems now to have felt for the
first time, in its full force, that it was his policy to gain the
good-will of the people among whom he had thrown himself in the
face of such tremendous odds.  It was, perhaps, the excesses of
which his men had been guilty in the earlier stages of the
expedition that had shaken the confidence of the people of
Tumbez, and incited them to this treacherous retaliation.

Pizarro inquired of the natives who now, under promise of
impunity, came into the camp, what had become of his two
followers that remained with them in the former expedition.  The
answers they gave were obscure and contradictory.  Some said,
they had died of an epidemic; others, that they had died of an
epidemic; others, that they had perished in the war with Puna;
and others intimated, that they had lost their lives in
consequence of some outrage attempted on the Indian women.  It
was impossible to arrive at the truth.  The last account was not
the least probable.  But, whatever might be the cause, there was
no doubt they had both perished.

This intelligence spread an additional gloom over the Spaniards;
which was not dispelled by the flaming pictures now given by the
natives of the riches of the land, and of the state and
magnificence of the monarch in his distant capital among the
mountains.  Nor did they credit the authenticity of a scroll of
paper, which Pizarro had obtained from an Indian, to whom it had
been delivered by one of the white men left in the country.
"Know, whoever you may be," said the writing, "that may chance to
set foot in this country, that it contains more gold and silver
than there is iron in Biscay." This paper, when shown to the
soldiers, excited only their ridicule, as a device of their
captain to keep alive their chimerical hopes. *2

[Footnote 2: For the account of the transactions in Tumbez, see
Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Oviedo, Hist. de las
Indias, Ms., Parte 3, lib. 8, cap. 1. - Relacion del Primer.
Descub., Ms. - Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 4, lib. 9 cap. 1, 2.
- Xerez, Conq. de Peru, ap Barcia tom. III. p. 185.]

Pizarro now saw that it was not politic to protract his stay in
his present quarters, where a spirit of disaffection would soon
creep into the ranks of his followers, unless their spirits were
stimulated by novelty or a life of incessant action.  Yet he felt
deeply anxious to obtain more particulars than he had hitherto
gathered of the actual condition of the Peruvian empire, of its
strength and resources, of the monarch who ruled over it, and of
his present situation.  He was also desirous, before taking any
decisive step for penetrating the country, to seek out some
commodious place for a settlement, which might afford him the
means of a regular communication with the colonies, and a place
of strength, on which he himself might retreat in case of

[See Peruvian Settlement: pizarro was desirous of seeking out
some commodius place for a settlement.]

He decided, therefore, to leave part of his company at Tumbez,
including those who, from the state of their health, were least
able to take the field, and with the remainder to make an
excursion into the interior, and reconnoitre the land, before
deciding on any plan of operations.  He set out early in May,
1532; and, keeping along the more level regions himself, sent a
small detachment under the command of Hernando de Soto to explore
the skirts of the vast sierra.

He maintained a rigid discipline on the march, commanding his
soldiers to abstain from all acts of violence, and punishing
disobedience in the most prompt and resolute manner. *3 The
natives rarely offered resistance.  When they did so, they were
soon reduced, and Pizarro, far from vindictive measures, was open
to the first demonstrations of submission.  By this lenient and
liberal policy, he soon acquired a name among the inhabitants
which effaced the unfavorable impressions made of him in the
earlier part of the campaign.  The natives, as he marched through
the thick-settled hamlets which sprinkled the level region of
between the Cordilleras and the ocean, welcomed him with rustic
hospitality, providing good quarters for his troops, and abundant
supplies, which cost but little in the prolific soil of the
tierra caliente.  Everywhere Pizarro made proclamation that he
came in the name of the Holy Vicar of God and of the sovereign of
Spain, requiring the obedience of the inhabitants as true
children of the Church, and vassals of his lord and master.  And
as the simple people made no opposition to a formula, of which
they could not comprehend a syllable, they were admitted as good
subjects of the Crown of Castile, and their act of homage - or
what was readily interpreted as such - was duly recorded and
attested by the notary. *4

[Footnote 3: "Mando el Gobernador por eregon e so graves penas
que no le fuese hecha fuerza ni descortesia e que se les hiciese
muv buen tratamiento por los Espanoles e sus criados." Oviedo,
Hist. de las Indias, Ms., Parte 3, lib. 8, cap. 2.]

[Footnote 4: "E mandabales notificar o dar a entender con las
lenguas el requerimiento que su Magestad manda que se les haga a
los Indios para traellos en conocimiento de nuestra Santa fe
catolica, y requiriendoles con la paz, e que obedezcan a la
Iglesia e Apostolica de Roma, e en lo temporal den la obediencia
a su Magestad e a los Reyes sus succesores en los regnos de
Castilla i de Leon; respondieron que asi lo querian e harian,
guardarian e cumplirian enteramente; e el Gobernador los recibio
por tales vasallos de sus Magestades por auto publico de
notarios.' Ibid., Ms., ubi supra.]
At the expiration of some three or four weeks spent in
reconnoitring the country, Pizarro came to the conclusion that
the most eligible site for his new settlement was in the rich
valley of Tangarala, thirty leagues south of Tumbez, traversed by
more than one stream that opens a communication with the ocean.
To this spot, accordingly, he ordered the men left at Tumbez to
repair at once in their vessels; and no sooner had they arrived,
than busy preparations were made for building up the town in a
manner suited to the wants of the colony.  Timber was procured
from the neighbouring woods. Stones were dragged from their
quarries, and edifices gradually rose, some of which made
pretensions to strength, if not to elegance.  Among them were a
church, a magazine for public stores, a hall of justice, and a
fortress. A municipal government was organized, consisting of
regidores, alcaldes, and the usual civic functionaries.  The
adjacent territory was parcelled out among the residents, and
each colonist had a certain number of the natives allotted to
assist him in his labors; for, as Pizarro's secretary remarks,
"it being evident that the colonists could not support themselves
without the services of the Indians, the ecclesiastics and the
leaders of the expedition all agreed that a repartimiento of the
natives would serve the cause of religion, and tend greatly to
their spiritual welfare, since they would thus have the
opportunity of being initiated in the true faith." *5

[Footnote 5: Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y. Conq., Ms. - Conq. i. Pob.
del Peru, Ms. - Cieza de Leon, Cronica, cap. 55. - Relacion del
Primer. Descub., Ms.

"Porque los Vecinos, sin aiuda i servicios de los Naturales no se
podian sostener, ni poblarse el Pueblo . . . . . . A esta causa,
con acuerdo de el Religioso, i de los Oficiales que les parecio
convenir asi al servicio de Dios, i bien de los Naturales, el
Governador deposito los Caciques, i Indios en los Vecinos de este
Pueblo, porque los aiudasen a sostener, i los Christianos los
doctrinasen en nuestra Santa Fe, conforme a los Mandamientos de
su Magestad." Xerez Conq. del Peru, ap. Barcia, tom. III. p.
Having made these arrangements with such conscientious regard to
the welfare of the benighted heathen, Pizarro gave his infant
city the name of San Miguel, in acknowledgment of the service
rendered him by that saint in his battles with the Indians of
Puna.  The site originally occupied by the settlement was
afterward found to be so unhealthy, that it was abandoned for
another on the banks of the beautiful Piura.  The town is still
of some note for its manufactures, though dwindled from its
ancient importance; but the name of San Miguel de Piura, which it
bears, still commemorates the foundation of the first European
colony in the empire of the Incas.
Before quitting the new settlement, Pizarro caused the gold and
silver ornaments which he had obtained in different parts of the
country to be melted down into one mass, and a fifth to be
deducted for the Crown.  The remainder, which belonged to the
troops, he persuaded them to relinquish for the present; under
the assurance of being repaid from the first spoils that fell
into their hands. *6 With these funds, and other articles
collected in the course of the campaign, he sent back the vessels
to Panama.  The gold was applied to paying off the ship-owners,
and those who had furnished the stores for the expedition.  That
he should so easily have persuaded his men to resign present
possession for a future contingency is proof that the spirit of
enterprise was renewed in their bosoms in all its former vigor,
and that they looked forward with the same buoyant confidence to
the results.

[Footnote 6: "E sacado el quinto para su Magestad, lo restante
que pertenecio al Egercito de la Conquista, el Gobernador le tomo
prestado de los companeros para se lo pagal del primer oro que se
obiese." Oviedo, Hist. de las Indias, Ms. Parte 3, lib. 8, cap.

In his late tour of observation, the Spanish commander had
gathered much important intelligence in regard to the state of
the kingdom.  He had ascertained the result of the struggle
between the Inca brothers, and that the victor now lay with his
army encamped at the distance of only ten or twelve days' journey
from San Miguel.  The accounts he heard of the opulence and power
of that monarch, and of his great southern capital, perfectly
corresponded with the general rumors before received; and
contained, therefore, something to stagger the confidence, as
well as to stimulate the cupidity, of the invaders.

Pizarro would gladly have seen his little army strengthened by
reinforcements, however small the amount; and on that account
postponed his departure for several weeks.  But no reinforcement
arrived; and, as he received no further tidings from his
associates, he judged that longer delay would, probably, be
attended with evils greater than those to be encountered on the
march; that discontents would inevitably spring up in a life of
inaction, and the strength and spirits of the soldier sink under
the enervating influence of a tropical climate.  Yet the force at
his command, amounting to less than two hundred soldiers in all,
after reserving fifty for the protection of the new settlement,
seemed but a small one for the conquest of an empire.  He might,
indeed, instead of marching against the Inca, take a southerly
direction towards the rich capital of Cuzco.  But this would only
be to postpone the hour of reckoning.  For in what quarter of the
empire could he hope to set his foot, where the arm of its master
would not reach him?  By such a course, moreover, he would show
his own distrust of himself. He would shake that opinion of his
invincible prowess, which he had hitherto endeavoured to impress
on the natives, and which constituted a great secret of his
strength; which, in short, held sterner sway over the mind than
the display of numbers and mere physical force.  Worse than all,
such a course would impair the confidence of his troops in
themselves and their reliance on himself.  This would be to palsy
the arm of enterprise at once.  It was not to be thought of.

But while Pizarro decided to march into the interior, it is
doubtful whether he had formed any more definite plan of action.
We have no means of knowing his intentions, at this distance of
time, otherwise than as they are shown by his actions.
Unfortunately, he could not write, and he has left no record,
like the inestimable Commentaries of Cortes, to enlighten us as
to his motives.  His secretary, and some of his companions in
arms, have recited his actions in detail; but the motives which
led to them they were not always so competent to disclose.

It is possible that the Spanish general, even so early as the
period of his residence at San Miguel, may have meditated some
daring stroke, some effective coup-de-main, which, like that of
Cortes, when he carried off the Aztec monarch to his quarters,
might strike terror into the hearts of the people, and at once
decide the fortunes of the day.  It is more probable, however,
that he now only proposed to present himself before the Inca, as
the peaceful representative of a brother monarch, and, by these
friendly demonstrations, disarm any feeling of hostility, or even
of suspicion.  When once in communication with the Indian prince,
he could regulate his future course by circumstances.

On the 24th of September, 1532, five months after landing at
Tumbez, Pizarro marched out at the head of his little body of
adventurers from the gates of San Miguel, having enjoined it on
the colonists to treat their Indian vassals with humanity, and to
conduct themselves in such a manner as would secure the good-will
of the surrounding tribes.  Their own existence, and with it the
safety of the army and the success of the undertaking, depended
on this course.  In the place were to remain the royal treasurer,
the veedor, or inspector of metals, and other officers of the
crown; and the command of the garrison was intrusted to the
contador, Antonio Navarro. *7 Then putting himself at the head of
his troops, the chief struck boldly into the heart of the country
in the direction where, as he was informed, lay the camp of the
Inca.  It was a daring enterprise, thus to venture with a handful
of followers into the heart of a powerful empire, to present
himself, face to face, before the Indian monarch in his own camp,
encompassed by the flower of his victorious army!  Pizarro had
already experienced more than once the difficulty of maintaining
his ground against the rude tribes of the north, so much inferior
in strength and numbers to the warlike legions of Peru.  But the
hazard of the game, as I have already more than once had occasion
to remark, constituted its great charm with the Spaniard.  The
brilliant achievements of his countrymen, on the like occasions,
with means so inadequate, inspired him with confidence in his own
good star, and this confidence was one source of his success.
Had he faltered for a moment, had he stopped to calculate
chances, he must inevitably have failed; for the odds were too
great to be combated by sober reason.  They were only to be met
triumphantly by the spirit of the knight-errant.

[Footnote 7: Xerez, Conq. del Peru, ap. Oviedo, Hist. de las
Indias, Ms., Barcia, tom. III. p. 187. - Pedro Parte 3, lib. 8,
cap. 10. Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - ]

After crossing the smooth waters of the Piura, the little army
continued to advance over a level district intersected by streams
that descended from the neighbouring Cordilleras.  The face of
the country was shagged over with forests of gigantic growth, and
occasionally traversed by ridges of barren land, that seemed like
shoots of the adjacent Andes, breaking up the surface of the
region into little sequestered valleys of singular loveliness.
The soil, though rarely watered by the rains of heaven, was
naturally rich, and wherever it was refreshed with moisture, as
on the margins of the streams, it was enamelled with the
brightest verdure.  The industry of the inhabitants, moreover,
had turned these streams to the best account, and canals and
aqueducts were seen crossing the low lands in all directions, and
spreading over the country, like a vast network, diffusing
fertility and beauty around them.  The air was scented with the
sweet odors of flowers, and everywhere the eye was refreshed by
the sight of orchards laden with unknown fruits, and of fields
waving with yellow grain and rich in luscious vegetables of every
description that teem in the sunny clime of the equator. The
Spaniards were among a people who had carried the refinements of
husbandry to a greater extent than any yet found on the American
continent; and, as they journeyed through this paradise of
plenty, their condition formed a pleasing contrast to what they
had before endured in the dreary wilderness of the mangroves.

Everywhere, too, they were received with confiding hospitality by
the simple people; for which they were no doubt indebted, in a
great measure, to their own inoffensive deportment.  Every
Spaniard seemed to be aware, that his only chance of success lay
in conciliating the good opinion of the inhabitants, among whom
he had so recklessly cast his fortunes.  In most of the hamlets,
and in every place of considerable size, some fortress was to be
found, or royal caravansary, destined for the Inca on his
progresses, the ample halls of which furnished abundant
accommodations for the Spaniards; who were thus provided with
quarters along their route at the charge of the very government
which they were preparing to overturn. *8

[Footnote 8: Oviedo, Hist. de las Indias, Ms., Parte 3, lib. 8,
cap. 4. - Naharro, Relacion Sumaria, Ms. - Conq. i Pob. del Piru,
Ms. - Relacion del Primer.  Descub., Ms.]

On the fifth day after leaving San Miguel, Pizarro halted in one
of these delicious valleys, to give his troops repose, and to
make a more complete inspection of them.  Their number amounted
in all to one hundred and seventy-seven, of which sixty-seven
were cavalry.  He mustered only three arquebusiers in his whole
company, and a few crossbow-men, altogether not exceeding twenty.
*9 The troops were tolerably well equipped, and in good
condition.  But the watchful eye of their commander noticed with
uneasiness, that, notwithstanding the general heartiness in the
cause manifested by his followers, there were some among them
whose countenances lowered with discontent, and who, although
they did not give vent to it in open murmurs, were far from
moving with their wonted alacrity.  He was aware, that, if this
spirit became contagious, it would be the ruin of the enterprise;
and he thought it best to exterminate the gangrene at once, and
at whatever cost, than to wait until it had infected the whole
system.  He came to an extraordinary resolution.

[Footnote 9: There is less discrepancy in the estimate of the
Spanish force here than usual.  The paucity of numbers gave less
room for it.  No account carries them as high as two hundred.  I
have adopted that of the Secretary Xerez, (Conq. del Peru, ap.
Barcia, tom. III. p. 187,) who has been followed by Oviedo,
(Hist. de las Indias, Ms., Parte 3, lib. 1, cap 3,) and by the
judicious Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 5, lib. 1, cap 2.]

Calling his men together, he told them that "a crisis had now
arrived in their affairs, which it demanded all their courage to
meet.  No man should think of going forward in the expedition,
who could not do so with his whole heart, or who had the least
misgiving as to its success.  If any repented of his share in it,
it was not too late to turn back.  San Miguel was but poorly
garrisoned, and he should be glad to see it in greater strength.
Those who chose might return to this place, and they should be
entitled to the same proportion of lands and Indian vassals as
the present residents.  With the rest, were they few or many, who
chose to take their chance with him, he should pursue the
adventure to the end." *10

[Footnote 10: "Que todos los que quiriesen bolverse a la ciudad
de San Miguel y avecindarse alli demas de los vecinos que alli
quedaban el los depositaria repartimientos de Indios con que se
sortubiesen como lo habia hecho con los otros vecinos; e que con
los Espanoles quedasen, pocos o muchos, iria a conquistar e
pacificar la tierra en demanda y persecucion del camino que
llevaba." Oviedo, Hist. de las Indias.  Ms., Parte 3, lib. 8,
cap. 3.]

It was certainly a remarkable proposal for a commander, who was
ignorant of the amount of disaffection in his ranks, and who
could not safely spare a single man from his force, already far
too feeble for the undertaking. Yet, by insisting on the wants of
the little colony of San Miguel, he afforded a decent pretext for
the secession of the malecontents, and swept away the barrier of
shame which might have still held them in the camp.
Notwithstanding the fair opening thus afforded, there were but
few, nine in all, who availed themselves of the general's
permission.  Four of these belonged to the infantry, and five to
the horse.  The rest loudly declared their resolve to go forward
with their brave leader; and, if there were some whose voices
were faint amidst the general acclamation, they, at least,
relinquished the right of complaining hereafter, since they had
voluntarily rejected the permission to return. *11 This stroke of
policy in their sagacious captain was attended with the best
effects.  He had winnowed out the few grains of discontent,
which, if left to themselves, might have fermented in secret till
the whole mass had swelled into mutiny.  Cortes had compelled his
men to go forward heartily in his enterprise, by burning their
vessels, and thus cutting off the only means of retreat.
Pizarro, on the other hand, threw open the gates to the
disaffected and facilitated their departure.  Both judged right,
under their peculiar circumstances, and both were perfectly

[Footnote 11: Ibid., Ms., loc. cit. - Herrera, Hist. General,
dec. 5, lib. 1. cap. 2. - Xerez, Conq. del Peru, ap. Barcia, tom.
III. p. 187.]

Feeling himself strengthened, instead of weakened, by his loss,
Pizarro now resumed his march, and, on the second day, arrived
before a place called Zaran, situated in a fruitful valley among
the mountains.  Some of the inhabitants had been drawn off to
swell the levies of Atahuallpa.  The Spaniards had repeated
experience on their march of the oppressive exactions of the
Inca, who had almost depopulated some of the valleys to obtain
reinforcements for his army.  The curaca of the Indian town,
where Pizarro now arrived, received him with kindness and
hospitality, and the troops were quartered as usual in one of the
royal tambos or caravansaries, which were found in all the
principal places. *12

[Footnote 12: Conq. i Pob. del Piru, Ms.]

Yet the Spaniards saw no signs of their approach to the royal
encampment, though more time had already elapsed than was
originally allowed for reaching it.  Shortly before entering
Zaran, Pizarro had heard that a Peruvian garrison was established
in a place called Caxas, lying among the hills, at no great
distance from his present quarters.  He immediately despatched a
small party under Hernando de Soto in that direction, to
reconnoitre the ground, and bring him intelligence of the actual
state of things, at Zaran, where he would halt until his
officer's return.

Day after day passed on, and a week had elapsed before tidings
were received of his companions, and Pizarro was becoming
seriously alarmed for their fate, when on the eighth morning Soto
appeared, bringing with him an envoy from the Inca himself.  He
was a person of rank, and was attended by several followers of
inferior condition.  He had met the Spaniards at Caxas, and now
accompanied them on their return, to deliver his sovereign's
message, with a present to the Spanish commander.  The present
consisted of two fountains, made of stone, in the form of
fortresses; some fine stuffs of woollen embroidered with gold and
silver; and a quantity of goose-flesh, dried and seasoned in a
peculiar manner, and much used as a perfume, in a pulverized
state, by the Peruvian nobles. *13 The Indian ambassador came
charged also with his master's greeting to the strangers, whom
Atahu allpa welcomed to his country, and invited to visit him in
his camp among the mountains. *14

[Footnote 13: "Dos Fortalecas a manera de Fuente, figuradas en
Piedra, con que beba, i dos cargas de Patos secos, desollados,
para que hechos polvos, se sahume con ellos, porque asi se usa
entre los Senores de su Tierra: i que le embiaba a decir, que el
tiene voluntad de ser su Amigo, i esperalle de Paz en Caxamalca."
Xerez, Conq. del Peru, ap. Barcia, tom. III. p. 189.]

[Footnote 14: Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Oviedo, Hist.
de las Indias, Ms., Parte 3, lib. 8, cap. 3. - Relacion del
Primer. Descub., Ms. - Xerez, Conq. del Peru, ap. Barcia, tom.
III. p. 189.

Garcilasso de la Vega tells us that Atahuallpa's envoy addressed
the Spanish commander in the most humble and deprecatory manner,
as Son of the Sun and of the great God Viracocha.  He adds, that
he was loaded with a prodigious present of all kinds of game,
living and dead, gold and silver vases, emeralds, turquoises,
&c., &c, enough to furnish out the finest chapter of the Arabian
Nights.  (Com. Real., Parte 2, lib. 1, cap. 19.) It is
extraordinary that none of the Conquerors who had a quick eye for
these dainties, should allude to them.  One cannot but suspect
that the "old uncle" was amusing himself at his young nephew's
expense; and, as it has proved, at the expense of most of his
readers, who receive the Inca's fairy tales as historic facts.]

Pizarro well understood that the Inca's object in this diplomatic
visit was less to do him courtesy, than to inform himself of the
strength and condition of the invaders.  But he was well pleased
with the embassy, and dissembled his consciousness of its real
purpose.  He caused the Peruvian to be entertained in the best
manner the camp could afford, and paid him the respect, says one
of the Conquerors, due to the ambassador of so great a monarch.
*15 Pizarro urged him to prolong his visit for some days, which
the Indian envoy declined, but made the most of his time while
there, by gleaning all the information he could in respect to the
uses of every strange article which he saw, as well as the object
of the white men's visit to the land, and the quarter whence they

[Footnote 15: "I mando, que le diesen de comer a el, i a los que
con el venian, i todo lo que huviesen menester, i fuesen bien
aposentados, como Embajadores de tan Gran Senor." Xerez, Conq.
del Peru, ap. Barcia, tom. III. p. 189.]

The Spanish captain satisfied his curiosity in all these
particulars. The intercourse with the natives, it may be here
remarked, was maintained by means of two of the youths who had
accompanied the Conquerors on their return home from their
preceding voyage.  They had been taken by Pizarro to Spain, and,
as much pains had been bestowed on teaching them the Castilian,
they now filled the office of interpreters, and opened an easy
communication with their countrymen.  It was of inestimable
service; and well did the Spanish commander reap the fruits of
his forecast. *16

[Footnote 16: "Los Indios de la tierra se entendian muy bien con
los Espanoles, porque aquellos mochachos Indios que en el
decubrimiento de la tierra Pizarro truxo a Espana, entendian muy
bien nuestra lengua, y los tenia alli, con los cuales se entendia
muy bien con todos los naturales de la tierra.  (Relacion del
Primer.  Descub., Ms.) Yet it is a proof of the ludicrous
blunders into which the Conquerors were perpetually falling, that
Pizarro's secretary constantly confounds the Inca's name with
that of his capital.  Huayna Capac, he always styles "old Cuzco,"
and his son Huasca. "young Cuzco."]

On the departure of the Peruvian messenger, Pizarro presented him
with a cap of crimson cloth, some cheap but showy ornaments of
glass, and other toys, which he had brought for the purpose from
Castile.  He charged the envoy to tell his master, that the
Spaniards came from a powerful prince, who dwelt far beyond the
waters; that they had heard much of the fame of Atahuallpa's
victories, and were come to pay their respects to him, and to
offer their services by aiding him with their arms against his
enemies; and he might be assured, they would not halt on the
road, longer than was necessary, before presenting themselves
before him.

Pizarro now received from Soto a full account of his late
expedition. That chief, on entering Caxas, found the inhabitants
mustered in hostile array, as if to dispute his passage.  But the
cavalier soon convinced them of his pacific intentions, and,
laying aside their menacing attitude, they received the Spaniards
with the same courtesy which had been shown them in most places
on their march.

Here Soto found one of the royal officers, employed in collecting
the tribute for the government.  From this functionary he learned
that the Inca was quartered with a large army at Caxamalca, a
place of considerable size on the other side of the Cordillera,
where he was enjoying the luxury of the warm baths, supplied by
natural springs, for which it was then famous, as it is at the
present day.  The cavalier gathered, also, much important
information in regard to the resources and the general policy of
government, the state maintained by the Inca, and the stern
severity with which obedience to the law was everywhere enforced.
He had some opportunity of observing this for himself, as, on
entering the village, he saw several Indians hanging dead by
their heels, having been executed for some violence offered to
the Virgins of the Sun, of whom there was a convent in the
neighbourhood. *17

[Footnote 17: "A la entrada del Pueblo havia ciertos Indios
ahorcados de los pies: i supo de este Principal, que Atabalipa
los mando matar, porque uno de ellos entro en la Casa de las
Mugeres a dormir con una: al qual, i a todos los Porteros que
consintieron, ahorco." Xerez, Conq. del Peru, ap. Barcia, ton.
III. p. 188.]

From Caxas, De Soto had passed to the adjacent town of
Guancabamba, much larger, more populous, and better built than
the preceding.  The houses, instead of being made of clay baked
in the sun, were many of them constructed of solid stone, so
nicely put together, that it was impossible to detect the line of
junction.  A river, which passed through the town, was traversed
by a bridge, and the high road of the Incas, which crossed this
district, was far superior to that which the Spaniards had seen
on the sea-board.  It was raised in many places, like a causeway,
paved with heavy stone flags, and bordered by trees that afforded
a grateful shade to the passenger, while streams of water were
conducted through aqueducts along the sides to slake his thirst.
At certain distances, also, they noticed small houses, which,
they were told, were for the accommodation of the traveller, who
might thus pass, without inconvenience, from one end of the
kingdom to the other. *18 In another quarter they beheld one of
those magazines destined for the army, filled with grain, and
with articles of clothing; and at the entrance of the town was a
stone building, occupied by a public officer, whose business it
was to collect the tolls or duties on various commodities brought
into the place, or carried out of it. *19 - These accounts of De
Soto not only confirmed all that the Spaniards had heard of the
Indian empire, but greatly raised their ideas of its resources
and domestic policy.  They might well have shaken the confidence
of hearts less courageous.

[Footnote 18: "Van por este camino canos de agua de donde los
caminantes beben, traidos de sus nacimientos de otras partes, y a
cada jornada una Casa a manera de Venta donde se aposentan los
que van e vienen.' Oviedo, Hist. de las Indias, Ms. Parte 3, lib.
8, cap. 3.]

[Footnote 19: "A la entrada de este Camino en el Pueblo de Cajas
esta una casa al principio de una puente donde reside una guarda
que recibe el Portazgo de todos los que van e vienen, e paganlo
en la misma cosa que llevan, y ninguno puede sacar carga del
Pueblo sino la mete, y esta costumbre es alli antigua." Oviedo,
Hist. de las Indias, Ms, ubi supra.]

Pizarro, before leaving his present quarters, despatched a
messenger to San Miguel with particulars of his movements,
sending, at the same time, the articles received from the Inca,
as well as those obtained at different places on the route.  The
skill shown in the execution of some of these fabrics excited
great admiration, when sent to Castile.  The fine woollen cloths,
especially, with their rich embroidery, were pronounced equal to
silk, from which it was not easy to distinguish them.  It was
probably the delicate wool of the vicuna, none of which had then
been seen in Europe. *20

[Footnote 20: "Piezas de lana de la tierra, que era cosa mucho de
ver segun su primer e gentileza, e no se sabian determinar si era
seda o lana segun su fineza con muchas labores i figuras de oro
de martillo de tal manera asentado en la ropa que era cosa de
marabillar." Oviendo, Hist. de las Indias, Ms., Parte 3 lib. 8,
cap. 4.]

Pizarro, having now acquainted himself with the most direct route
to Caxamalca, - the Caxamalca of the present day, - resumed his
march, taking a direction nearly south.  The first place of any
size at which he halted was Motupe, pleasantly situated in a
fruitful valley, among hills of no great elevation, which cluster
round the base of the Cordilleras.  The place was deserted by its
curaca, who, with three hundred of its warriors, had gone to join
the standard of their Inca.  Here the general, notwithstanding
his avowed purpose to push forward without delay, halted four
days.  The tardiness of his movements can be explained only by
the hope, which he may have still entertained, of being joined by
further reinforcements before crossing the Cordilleras.  None
such appeared, however; and advancing across a country in which
tracts of sandy plain were occasionally relieved by a broad
expanse of verdant meadow, watered by natural streams and still
more abundantly by those brought through artificial channels, the
troops at length arrived at the borders of a river.  It was broad
and deep, and the rapidity of the current opposed more than
ordinary difficulty to the passage. Pizarro, apprehensive lest
this might be disputed by the natives on the opposite bank,
ordered his brother Hernando to cross over with a small
detachment under cover of night, and secure a safe landing for
the rest of the troops.  At break of day Pizarro made
preparations for his own passage, by hewing timber in the
neighboring woods, and constructing a sort of floating bridge, on
which before nightfall the whole company passed in safety, the
horses swimming, being led by the bridle.  It was a day of severe
labor, and Pizarro took his own share in it freely, like a common
soldier, having ever a word of encouragement to say to his
On reaching the opposite side, they learned from their comrades
that the people of the country, instead of offering resistance,
had fled in dismay. One of them, having been taken and brought
before Hernando Pizarro, refused to answer the questions put to
him respecting the Inca and his army; till, being put to the
torture, he stated that Atahuallpa was encamped, with his whole
force, in three separate divisions, occupying the high grounds
and plains of Caxamalca.  He further stated, that the Inca was
aware of the approach of the white men and of their small number,
and that he was purposely decoying them into his own quarters,
that he might have them more completely in his power.

This account, when reported by Hernando to his brother, caused
the latter much anxiety.  As the timidity of the peasantry,
however, gradually wore off, some of them mingled with the
troops, and among them the curaca or principal person of the
village.  He had himself visited the royal camp, and he informed
the general that Atahuallpa lay at the strong town of
Guamachucho, twenty leagues or more south of Caxamalca, with an
army of at least fifty thousand men.

These contradictory statements greatly perplexed the chieftain;
and he proposed to one of the Indians who had borne him company
during a great part of the march, to go as a spy into the Inca's
quarters, and bring him intelligence of his actual position, and,
as far as he could learn them, of his intentions towards the
Spaniards.  But the man positively declined this dangerous
service, though he professed his willingness to go as an
authorized messenger of the Spanish commander.

Pizarro acquiesced in this proposal, and instructed his envoy to
assure the Inca that he was advancing with all convenient speed
to meet him.  He was to acquaint the monarch with the uniformly
considerate monarch with the uniformly considerate conduct of the
Spaniards towards his subjects, in their progress through the
land, and to assure him that they were now coming in full
confidence of finding in him the same amicable feelings towards
themselves. The emissary was particularly instructed to observe
if the strong passes on the road were defended, or if any
preparations of a hostile character were to be discerned.  This
last intelligence he was to communicate to the general by means
of two or three nimble-footed attendants, who were to accompany
him on his mission. *21

[Footnote 21: Oviedo, Hist. de las Indias, Ms.  Parte 3, lib. 8,
cap. 4. - Conq. i Pob. del Piru, Ms. - Relacion del Primer,
Descub., Ms. - Xerez, Conq. del Peru, ap Barcia, tom. III. p.

Having taken this precaution, the wary commander again resumed
his march, and at the end of three days reached the base of the
mountain rampart, behind which lay the ancient town of Caxamalca.
Before him rose the stupendous Andes, rock piled upon rock, their
skirts below dark with evergreen forests, varied here and there
by terraced patches of cultivated garden, with the peasant's
cottage clinging to their shaggy sides, and their crests of snow
glittering high in the heavens, - presenting altogether such a
wild chaos of magnificence and beauty as no other mountain
scenery in the world can show. Across this tremendous rampart,
through a labyrinth of passes, easily capable of defence by a
handful of men against an army, the troops were now to march. To
the right ran a broad and level road, with its border of friendly
shades, and wide enough for two carriages to pass abreast. It was
one of the great routes leading to Cuzco, and seemed by its
pleasant and easy access to invite the wayworn soldier to choose
it in preference to the dangerous mountain defiles.  Many were
accordingly of opinion that the army should take this course, and
abandon the original destination of Caxamalca.  But such was not
the decision of Pizarro.

The Spaniards had everywhere proclaimed their purpose, he said,
to visit the Inca in his camp.  This purpose had been
communicated to the Inca himself. To take an opposite direction
now would only be to draw on them the imputation of cowardice,
and to incur Atahuallpa's contempt.  No alternative remained but
to march straight across the sierra to his quarters.  "Let every
one of you," said the bold cavalier, "take heart and go forward
like a good soldier, nothing daunted by the smallness of your
numbers.  For in the greatest extremity God ever fights for his
own; and doubt not he will humble the pride of the heathen, and
bring him to the knowledge of the true faith, the great end and
object of the Conquest." *22

[Footnote 22: "Que todos se animasen y esforzasen a hacer como de
ellos esperaba y como buenos espanoles lo suelen hacer, e que no
les pusiese temor la multitud que se decia que habia de gente ni
el poco numero de los cristianos, que aunque menos fuesen e mayor
el egercito contrario, la ayuda de Dios es mucho mayor, y en las
mayores necesidades socorre y faborece a los suyos para
desbaratar y abajar la soberbia de los infieles e traerlos en
conocimiento de nuestra Sta fe catolica." Ovieda, Hist. de las
Indias, Ms., Parte 3, lib. 8, cap. 4.]

Pizarro, like Cortes, possessed a good share of that frank and
manly eloquence which touches the heart of the soldier more than
the parade of rhetoric or the finest flow of elocution.  He was a
soldier himself, and partook in all the feelings of the soldier,
his joys, his hopes, and his disappointments.  He was not raised
by rank and education above sympathy with the humblest of his
followers.  Every chord in their bosoms vibrated with the same
pulsations as his own, and the conviction of this gave him a
mastery over them.  "Lead on," they shouted, as he finished his
brief but animating address, "lead on wherever you think best.
We will follow with good-will, and you shall see that we can do
our duty in the cause of God and the King!" *23 There was no
longer hesitation.  All thoughts were now bent on the instant
passage of the Cordilleras.

[Footnote 23: 'Todos digeron que fuese por el Camino que quisiese
i viese que mas convenia, que todos le seguirian con buena
voluntad e obra al tiempo del efecto, y veria lo que cada uno de
ellos haria en servicio de Dios e de su Magestad." Ibid., Ms,
loc. cit.]

Chapter IV

Severe Passage Of The Andes. - Embassies From Atahuallpa. - The
Spaniards Reach Caxamalca. - Embassy To The Inca. - Interview
With The Inca. - Despondency Of The Spaniards


That night Pizarro held a council of his principal officers, and
it was determined that he should lead the advance, consisting of
forty horse and sixty foot, and reconnoitre the ground; while the
rest of the company, under his brother Hernando, should occupy
their present position till they received further orders.

At early dawn the Spanish general and his detachment were under
arms, and prepared to breast the difficulties of the sierra.
These proved even greater than had been foreseen.  The path had
been conducted in the most judicious manner round the rugged and
precipitous sides of the mountains, so as best to avoid the
natural impediments presented by the ground.  But it was
necessarily so steep, in many places, that the cavalry were
obliged to dismount, and, scrambling up as they could, to lead
their horses by the bridle.  In many places too, where some huge
crag or eminence overhung the road, this was driven to the very
verge of the precipice; and the traveller was compelled to wind
along the narrow ledge of rock, scarcely wide enough for his
single steed, where a misstep would precipitate him hundreds,
nay, thousands, of feet into the dreadful abyss!  The wild passes
of the sierra, practicable for the half-naked Indian, and even
for the sure and circumspect mule, - an animal that seems to have
been created for the roads of the Cordilleras, - were formidable
to the man-at-arms encumbered with his panoply of mail.  The
tremendous fissures or quebradas, so frightful in this mountain
chain, yawned open, as if the Andes had been split asunder by
some terrible convulsion, showing a broad expanse of the
primitive rock on their sides, partially mantled over with the
spontaneous vegetation of ages; while their obscure depths
furnished a channel for the torrents, that, rising in the heart
of the sierra, worked their way gradually into light, and spread
over the savannas and green valleys of the tierra caliente on
their way to the great ocean.

Many of these passes afforded obvious points of defence; and the
Spaniards, as they entered the rocky defiles, looked with
apprehension lest they might rouse some foe from his ambush.
This apprehension was heightened, as, at the summit of a steep
and narrow gorge, in which they were engaged, they beheld a
strong work, rising like a fortress, and frowning, as it were, in
gloomy defiance on the invaders.  As they drew near this building
which was of solid stone, commanding an angle of the road, they
almost expected to see the dusky forms of the warriors rise over
the battlements, and to receive their tempest of missiles on
their bucklers; for it was in so strong a position, that a few
resolute men might easily have held there an army at bay.  But
they had the satisfaction to find the place untenanted, and their
spirits were greatly raised by the conviction that the Indian
monarch did not intend to dispute their passage, when it would
have been easy to do so with success.

Pizarro now sent orders to his brother to follow without delay;
and, after refreshing his men, continued his toilsome ascent, and
before nightfall reached an eminence crowned by another fortress,
of even greater strength than the preceding.  It was built of
solid masonry, the lower part excavated from the living rock, and
the whole work executed with skill not inferior to that of the
European architect. *1

[Footnote 1: "Tan ancha la Cerca como qualquier Fortaleca de
Espana, con sus Puertas: que si en esta Tierra oviese los
Maestros, i Herramientas de Espana, no pudiera ser mejor labrada
la Cerca." Xerez, Conq. del Peru, ap. Barcia, tom. III. p. 192.]

Here Pizarro took up his quarters for the night.  Without waiting
for the arrival of the rear, on the following morning he resumed
his march, leading still deeper into the intricate gorges of the
sierra.  The climate had gradually changed, and the men and
horses, especially the latter, suffered severely from the cold,
so long accustomed as they had been to the sultry climate of the
tropics. *2 The vegetation also had changed its character; and
the magnificent timber which covered the lower level of the
country had gradually given way to the funereal forest of pine,
and, as they rose still higher, to the stunted growth of
numberless Alpine plants, whose hardy natures found a congenial
temperature in the icy atmosphere of the more elevated regions.
These dreary solitudes seemed to be nearly abandoned by the brute
creation as well as by man.  The light-footed vicuna, roaming in
its native state, might be sometimes seen looking down from some
airy cliff, where the foot of the hunter dared not venture.  But
instead of the feathered tribes whose gay plumage sparkled in the
deep glooms of the tropical forests, the adventurers now beheld
only the great bird of the Andes, the loathsome condor, who,
sailing high above the clouds, followed with doleful cries in the
track of the army, as if guided by instinct in the path of blood
and carnage.

[Footnote 2: "Es tanto el frio que hace en esta Sierra, que como
los Caballos venian hechos al calor, que en los Valles hacia,
algunos de ellos se resfriaron." Ibid., p. 191.]

At length they reached the crest of the Cordillera, where it
spreads out into a bold and bleak expanse, with scarce the
vestige of vegetation, except what is afforded by the pajonal, a
dried yellow grass, which, as it is seen from below, encircling
the base of the snow-covered peaks, looks, with its brilliant
straw-color lighted up in the rays of an ardent sun, like a
setting of gold round pinnacles of burnished silver.  The land
was sterile, as usual in mining districts, and they were drawing
near the once famous gold quarries on the way to Caxamalca;

"Rocks rich in gems, and mountains big with mines,
That on the high equator ridgy rise."

Here Pizarro halted for the coming up of the rear.  The air was
sharp and frosty; and the soldiers, spreading their tents,
lighted fires, and, huddling round them, endeavoured to find some
repose after their laborious march. *3

[Footnote 3: "E aposentaronse los Espanoles en sus toldos o
pabellones de algodon de la tierra que llevaban, e haciendo
fuegos para defenderse del mucho frio que en aquella Sierra
hacen, porque sin ellos no se pudieron valer sin padecer mucho
trabajo; y segun a los cristianos les parecio, y aun como era lo
cierto, no podia haber mas frio en parte de Espana en invierno.
Oviedo, Hist. de las Indias, Ms., Parte 3, lib. 8, cap. 4.]

They had not been long in these quarters, when a messenger
arrived, one of those who had accompanied the Indian envoy sent
by Pizarro to Atahuallpa. He informed the general that the road
was free from enemies, and that an embassy from the Inca was on
its way to the Castilian camp.  Pizarro now sent back to quicken
the march of the rear, as he was unwilling that the Peruvian
envoy should find him with his present diminished numbers.  The
rest of the army were not far distant, and not long after reached
the encampment.
In a short time the Indian embassy also arrived, which consisted
of one of the Inca nobles and several attendants, bringing a
welcome present of llamas to the Spanish commander.  The Peruvian
bore, also, the greetings of his master, who wished to know when
the Spaniards would arrive at Caxamalca, that he might provide
suitable refreshments for them.  Pizarro learned that the Inca
had left Guamachucho, and was now lying with a small force in the
neighbourhood of Caxamalca, at a place celebrated for its natural
springs of warm water.  The Peruvian was an intelligent person,
and the Spanish commander gathered from him many particulars
respecting the late contests which had distracted the empire.

As the envoy vaunted in lofty terms the military prowess and
resources of his sovereign, Pizarro thought it politic to show
that it had no power to overawe him.  He expressed his
satisfaction at the triumphs of Atahuallpa, who, he acknowledged,
had raised himself high in the rank of Indian warriors. But he
was as inferior, he added with more policy than politeness, to
the monarch who ruled over the white men, as the petty curacas of
the country were inferior to him.  This was evident from the ease
with which a few Spaniards had overrun this great continent,
subduing one nation after another, that had offered resistance to
their arms.  He had been led by the fame of Atahuallpa to visit
his dominions, and to offer him his services in his wars; and, if
he were received by the Inca in the same friendly spirit with
which he came, he was willing, for the aid he could render him,
to postpone awhile his passage across the country to the opposite
seas.  The Indian, according to the Castilian accounts, listened
with awe to this strain of glorification from the Spanish
commander.  Yet it is possible that the envoy was a better
diplomatist than they imagined; and that he understood it was
only the game of brag at which he was playing with his more
civilized antagonist. *4

[Footnote 4: Xerez, Conq. del Peru, ap. Barcia, tom. III. p. 193.
- Oviedo, Hist. de las Indias, Ms., Parte 3, lib. 8, cap. 5.]

On the succeeding morning, at an early hour, the troops were
again on their march, and for two days were occupied in threading
the airy defiles of the Cordilleras.  Soon after beginning their
descent on the eastern side, another emissary arrived from the
Inca, bearing a message of similar import to the preceding, and a
present, in like manner, of Peruvian sheep.  This was the same
noble that had visited Pizarro in the valley.  He now came in
more state, quaffing chicha - the fermented juice of the maize -
from golden goblets borne by his attendants, which sparkled in
the eyes of the rapacious adventurers. *5

[Footnote 5: "Este Embajardor traia servicio de Senor, i cinco, o
seis Vasos de Oro fino, con que bebia, i con ellos daba a beber a
los Espanoles de la Chicha que traia." Xerez, Conq. del Peru, ap.
Barcia, tom III. p 193. - Oviedo, Hist. de las Indias, Ms., ubi

The latter author, in this part of his work, has done little more
than make a transcript of that of Xerez.  His indorsement of
Pizarro's secretary, however, is of value, from the fact that,
with less temptation to misstate or overstate, he enjoyed
excellent opportunities for information.]
While he was in the camp, the Indian messenger, originally sent
by Pizarro to the Inca, returned, and no sooner did he behold the
Peruvian, and the honorable reception which he met with from the
Spaniards, than he was filled with wrath, which would have vented
itself in personal violence, but for the interposition of the
by-standers.  It was hard, he said, that this Peruvian dog should
be thus courteously treated, when he himself had nearly lost his
life on a similar mission among his countrymen.  On reaching the
Inca's camp, he had been refused admission to his presence, on
the ground that he was keeping a fast and could not be seen.
They had paid no respect to his assertion that he came as an
envoy from the white men, and would, probably, not have suffered
him to escape with life, if he had not assured them that any
violence offered to him would be retaliated in full measure on
the persons of the Peruvian envoys, now in the Spanish quarters.
There was no doubt, he continued, of the hostile intentions of
Atahuallpa; for he was surrounded with a powerful army, strongly
encamped about a league from Caxamalca, while that city was
entirely evacuated by its inhabitants.
To all this the Inca's envoy coolly replied, that Pizarro's
messenger might have reckoned on such a reception as he had
found, since he seemed to have taken with him no credentials of
his mission.  As to the Inca's fast, that was true; and, although
he would doubtless have seen the messenger, had he known there
was one from the strangers, yet it was not safe to disturb him at
these solemn seasons, when engaged in his religious duties.  The
troops by whom he was surrounded were not numerous, considering
that the Inca was at that time carrying on an important war; and
as to Caxamalca, it was abandoned by the inhabitants in order to
make room for the white men, who were so soon to occupy it. *6

[Footnote 6: Xerez, Conq. del Peru, ap. Barcia, tom. III. p. 194.
- Oviedo Hist. de las Indias, Ms., ubi supra.]

This explanation, however plausible, did not altogether satisfy
the general; for he had too deep a conviction of the cunning of
Atahuallpa, whose intentions towards the Spaniards he had long
greatly distrusted.  As he proposed, however, to keep on friendly
relations with the monarch for the present, it was obviously not
his cue to manifest suspicion.  Affecting, therefore, to give
full credit to the explanation of the envoy, he dismissed him
with reiterated assurances of speedily presenting himself before
the Inca.

The descent of the sierra, though the Andes are less precipitous
on their eastern side than towards the west, was attended with
difficulties almost equal to those of the upward march; and the
Spaniards felt no little satisfaction, when, on the seventh day,
they arrived in view of the valley of Caxamalca, which, enamelled
with all the beauties of cultivation, lay unrolled like a rich
and variegated carpet of verdure, in strong contrast with the
dark forms of the Andes, that rose up everywhere around it.  The
valley is of an oval shape, extending about five leagues in
length by three in breadth.  It was inhabited by a population of
a superior character to any which the Spaniards had met on the
other side of the mountains, as was argued by the superior style
of their attire, and the greater cleanliness and comfort visible
both in their persons and dwellings. *7 As far as the eye could
reach, the level tract exhibited the show of a diligent and
thrifty husbandry.  A broad river rolled through the meadows,
supplying facilities for copious irrigation by means of the usual
canals and subterraneous aqueducts.  The land, intersected by
verdant hedge-rows, was checkered with patches of various
cultivation; for the soil was rich, and the climate, if less
stimulating than that of the sultry regions of the coast, was
more favorable to the hardy products of the temperate latitudes.
Below the adventurers, with its white houses glittering in the
sun, lay the little city of Caxamalca, like a sparkling gem on
the dark skirts of the sierra.  At the distance of about a league
farther, across the valley, might be seen columns of vapor rising
up towards the heavens, indicating the place of the famous hot
baths, much frequented by the Peruvian princes.  And here, too,
was a spectacle less grateful to the eyes of the Spaniards; for
along the slope of the hills a white cloud of pavilions was seen
covering the ground, as thick as snow-flakes, for the space,
apparently, of several miles.  "It filled us all with amazement,"
exclaims one of the Conquerors, "to behold the Indians occupying
so proud a position!  So many tents, so well appointed, as were
never seen in the Indies till now The spectacle caused something
like confusion and even fear in the stoutest bosom.  But it was
too late to turn back, or to betray the least sign of weakness,
since the natives in our own company would, in such case, have
been the first to rise upon us.  So, with as bold a countenance
as we could, after coolly surveying the ground, we prepared for
our entrance into Caxamalca." *8

[Footnote 7: Xerez, Conq. del Peru, ap. Barcia, tom. III. p.

[Footnote 8: "Y eran tantas las tiendas que parecian, que cierto
nos puso harto espanto, porque no pensabamos que Indios pudiesen
tener tan soberbia estancia, ni tantas tiendas, ni tan a punto,
lo cual hasta alli en las Indias nunca se vio, que nos causo a
todos los Espanoles harta confusion y temor; aunque no convenia
mostrarse, ni menos volver atras, porque si alguna flaqueza en
nosotros sintieran, los mismos Indios que llevabamos nos mataran,
y ansi con animoso semblante, despues de haber muy bien atalayado
el pueblo y tiendas que he dicho, abajamos por el valle abajo, y
entramos en el pueblo de Cajamalca." Relacion del Primer.
Descub., Ms.]

What were the feelings of the Peruvian monarch we are not
informed, when he gazed on the martial cavalcade of the
Christians, as, with banners streaming, and bright panoplies
glistening in the rays of the evening sun, it emerged from the
dark depths of the sierra, and advanced in hostile array over the
fair domain, which, to this period, had never been trodden by
other foot than that of the red man.  It might be, as several of
the reports had stated, that the Inca had purposely decoyed the
adventurers into the heart of his populous empire, that he might
envelope them with his legions, and the more easily become master
of their property and persons. *9 Or was it from a natural
feeling of curiosity, and relying on their professions of
friendship, that he had thus allowed them, without any attempt at
resistance, to come into his presence?  At all events, he could
hardly have felt such confidence in himself, as not to look with
apprehension, mingled with awe, on the mysterious strangers, who,
coming from an unknown world, and possessed of such wonderful
gifts, had made their way across mountain and valley, in spite of
every obstacle which man and nature had opposed to them.

[Footnote 9: This was evidently the opinion of the old Conqueror,
whose imperfect manuscript forms one of the best authorities for
this portion of our narrative.  "Teniendonos en muy poco, y no
haciendo cuenta que 190 hombres le habian de ofender.  dio lugar
y consintio que pasasemos por aquel paso y por otros muchos tan
malos como el, porque realmente, a lo que despues se supo y
averiguo, su intencion era vernos y preguntarnos, de donde
veniamos?  y quien nos habia hechado alli?  y que queriamos?
Porque era muy sabio y discreto, y aunque sin luz ni escriptura,
amigo de saber y de sotil entendimiento; y despues de holgadose
con nosotros, tomarnos los caballos y las cosas que a el mas le
aplacian, y sacrificar a los demas." Relacion del Primer.
Descub., Ms.]

Pizarro, meanwhile, forming his little corps into three
divisions, now moved forward, at a more measured pace, and in
order of battle, down the slopes that led towards the Indian
city.  As he drew near, no one came out to welcome him; and he
rode through the streets without meeting with a living thing, or
hearing a sound, except the echoes, sent back from the deserted
dwellings, of the tramp of the soldiery.

It was a place of considerable size, containing about ten
thousand inhabitants, somewhat more, probably, than the
population assembled at this day within the walls of the modern
city of Caxamalca. *10 The houses, for the most part, were built
of clay, hardened in the sun; the roofs thatched, or of timber.
Some of the more ambitious dwellings were of hewn stone; and
there was a convent in the place, occupied by the Virgins of the
Sun, and a temple dedicated to the same tutelar deity, which last
was hidden in the deep embowering shades of a grove on the skirts
of the city.  On the quarter towards the Indian camp was a square
- if square it might be called, which was almost triangular in
form - of an immense size, surrounded by low buildings.  These
consisted of capacious halls, with wide doors or opening
communicating with the square.  They were probably intended as a
sort of barracks for the Inca's soldiers. *11 At the end of the
plaza, looking towards the country, was a fortress of stone, with
a stairway leading from the city, and a private entrance from the
adjoining suburbs.  There was still another fortress on the
rising ground which commanded the town, built of hewn stone, and
encompassed by three circular walls, - or rather one and the same
wall, which wound up spirally around it.  It was a place of great
strength, and the workmanship showed a better knowledge of
masonry, and gave a higher impression of the architectural
science of the people, than any thing the Spaniards had yet seen.

[Footnote 10: According to Stevenson, this population, which is
of a very mixed character, amounts, or did amount some thirty
years ago, to about seven thousand.  That sagacious traveller
gives an animated description of the city, in which he resided
some time, and which he seems to have regarded with peculiar
predilection.  Yet it does not hold probably the relative rank at
the present day, that it did in that of the Incas.  Residence in
South America, vol. II. p. 131.]

[Footnote 11: Carta de Hern. Pizarro, ap. Oviedo, Hist. de las
Indias, Ms. Parte 3, lib. 8, cap. 15. - Xerez Conq. del Peru, ap.
Barcia, tom III. p. 195.]

[Footnote 12: "Fuercas son, que entre Indios no se han visto
tales." Xerez, Conq. del Peru, ap. Barcia, tom. III. p. 195. -
Relacion del Primer. Descub., Ms.]

It was late in the afternoon of the fifteenth of November, 1532,
when the Conquerors entered the city of Caxamalca.  The weather,
which had been fair during the day, now threatened a storm, and
some rain mingled with hail - for it was unusually cold - began
to fall. *13 Pizarro, however, was so anxious to ascertain the
dispositions of the Inca, that he determined to send an embassy,
at once, to his quarters.  He selected for this, Hernando de Soto
with fifteen horse, and, after his departure, conceiving that the
number was too small, in case of any unfriendly demonstrations by
the Indians, he ordered his brother Hernando to follow with
twenty additional troopers.  This captain and one other of his
party have left us an account of the excursion. *14

[Footnote 13: "Desde a poco rato comenco a llover, i caer
granico." (Xerez, Conq. del Peru, ap. Barcia, tom. III. p. 195.)
Caxamalca, in the Indian tongue, signifies "place of frost"; for
the temperature, though usually bland and genial, is sometimes
affected by frosty winds from the east, very pernicious to
vegetation.  Stervenson, Residence in South America, vol. II. p.

[Footnote 14: Carta de Hern. Pizarro, Ms.  The Letter of Hernando
Pizarro, addressed to the Royal Audience of St. Domingo, gives a
full account of the extraordinary events recorded in this and the
ensuing chapter, in which that cavalier took a prominent part.
Allowing for the partialities incident to a chief actor in the
scenes he describes, no authority can rank higher.  The
indefatigable Oviedo, who resided in St. Domingo, saw its
importance, and fortunately incorporated the document in his
great work, Hist. de las Indias, Ms., Parte 3, lib. 8, cap. 15. -
The anonymous author of the Relacion del Primer.  Descub., Ms.,
was also detached on this service.]
Between the city and the imperial camp was a causeway, built in a
substantial manner across the meadow land that intervened.  Over
this the cavalry galloped at a rapid pace, and, before they had
gone a league, they came in front of the Peruvian encampment,
where it spread along the gentle slope of the mountains.  The
lances of the warriors were fixed in the ground before their
tents, and the Indian soldiers were loitering without, gazing
with silent astonishment at the Christians cavalcade, as with
clangor of arms and shrill blast of trumpet it swept by, like
some fearful apparition, on the wings of the wind.

The party soon came to a broad but shallow stream, which, winding
through the meadow, formed a defence for the Inca's position.
Across it was a wooden bridge; but the cavaliers, distrusting its
strength, preferred to dash through the waters, and without
difficulty gained the opposite bank. A battalion of Indian
warriors was drawn up under arms on the farther side of the
bridge, but they offered no molestation to the Spaniards; and
these latter had strict orders from Pizarro - scarcely necessary
in their present circumstances - to treat the natives with
courtesy.  One of the Indians pointed out the quarter occupied by
the Inca. *15

[Footnote 15: Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Carta de Hern
Pizarro, Ms.]

It was an open court-yard, with a light building or
pleasure-house in the centre, having galleries running around it,
and opening in the rear on a garden.  The walls were covered with
a shining plaster, both white and colored, and in the area before
the edifice was seen a spacious tank or reservoir of stone, fed
by aqueducts that supplied it with both warm and cold water. *16
A basin of hewn stone - it may be of a more recent construction -
still bears, on the spot, the name of the "Inca's bath." *17 The
court was filled with Indian nobles, dressed in gayly ornamented
attire, in attendance on the monarch, and with women of the royal
household.  Amidst this assembly it was not difficult to
distinguish the person of Atahuallpa, though his dress was
simpler than that of his attendants.  But he wore on his head the
crimson borla or fringe, which, surrounding the forehead, hung
down as low as the eyebrow.  This was the well-known badge of
Peruvian sovereignty, and had been assumed by the monarch only
since the defeat of his brother Huascar. He was seated on a low
stool or cushion, somewhat after the Morisco or Turkish fashion,
and his nobles and principal officers stood around him, with
great ceremony, holding the stations suited to their rank. *18
[Footnote 16: Xerez, Conq. del Peru, ap. Barcia. tom. III. p.

"Y al estanque venian dos canos de agua, uno caliente y otro
frio, y alli se templava la una con la otra, para quando el Senor
se queria banar o sus mugeres que otra persona no osava entrar en
el so pena de la vida." Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y. Conq., Ms.]

[Footnote 17: Stevenson, Residence in South America, vol. II. p.

[Footnote 18: Xerez, Conq. del Peru, ap. Barcia, tom. III. p.
196. - Carta de Hern. Pizarro, Ms.

The appearance of the Peruvian monarch is described in simple but
animated style by the Conqueror so often quoted, one of the
party.  "Llegados al patio de la dicha casa que tenia delante
della, vimos estar en medio de gran muchedumbre de Indios
asentado aquel gran Senor Atabalica (de quien tanta noticia, y
tantas cosas nos habian dicho) con una corona en la cabeza, y una
borla que le salia della, y le cubria toda la frente, la cual era
la insinia real, sentado en una sillecita muy baja del suelo,
como los turcos y moros acostumbran sentarse, el cual estaba con
tanta magestad y aparato cual nunca se ha visto jamas, porque
estaba cercado de mas de seiscientos Senores de su tierra."
Relacion del Primer. Descub., Ms.]

The Spaniards gazed with much interest on the prince, of whose
cruelty and cunning they had heard so much, and whose valor had
secured to him the possession of the empire.  But his countenance
exhibited neither the fierce passions nor the sagacity which had
been ascribed to him; and, though in his bearing he showed a
gravity and a calm consciousness of authority well becoming a
king, he seemed to discharge all expression from his features,
and to discover only the apathy so characteristic of the American
races.  On the present occasion, this must have been in part, at
least, assumed.  For it is impossible that the Indian prince
should not have contemplated with curious interest a spectacle so
strange, and, in some respects, appalling, as that of these
mysterious strangers, for which no previous description could
have prepared him.

Hernando Pizarro and Soto, with two or three only of their
followers, slowly rode up in front of the Inca; and the former,
making a respectful obeisance, but without dismounting, informed
Atahuallpa that he came as an ambassador from his brother, the
commander of the white men, to acquaint the monarch with their
arrival in his city of Caxamalca.  They were the subjects of a
mighty prince across the waters, and had come, he said, drawn
thither by the report of his great victories, to offer their
services, and to impart to him the doctrines of the true faith
which they professed; and he brought an invitation from the
general to Atahuallpa that the latter would be pleased to visit
the Spaniards in their present quarters. quarter.
To all this the Inca answered not a word; nor did he make even a
sign of acknowledgment that he comprehended it; though it was
translated for him by Felipillo, one of the interpreters already
noticed.  He remained silent, with his eyes fastened on the
ground; but one of his nobles, standing by his side, answered,
"It is well." *19 This was an embarrassing situation for the
Spaniards, who seemed to be as wide from ascertaining the real
disposition of the Peruvian monarch towards themselves, as when
the mountains were between them.

[Footnote 19: "Las cuales por el oidas, con ser su inclinacion
pereguntarnos y saber de donde veniamos, y que queriamos, y ver
nuestras personas y caballos, tubo tanta serenidad en el rostro,
y tanta gravedad en su persona, que no quiso responder palabra a
lo que se le decia, salvo que un Senor de aquellos que estaban
par de el respondia: bien esta." Relacion del Primer. Descub.,

In a courteous and respectful manner, Hernando Pizarro again
broke the silence by requesting the Inca to speak to them
himself, and to inform them what was his pleasure. *20 To this
Atahuallpa condescended to reply, while a faint smile passed over
his features, - "Tell your captain that I am keeping a fast,
which will end to-morrow morning.  I will then visit him, with my
chieftains.  In the mean time, let him occupy the public
buildings on the square, and no other, till I come, when I will
order what shall be done." *21

[Footnote 20: "Visto por el dicho Hernando Pizarro que el no
hablaba y que aquella tercera persona respondia de suyo, torno le
a suplicar, que el hablase por su boca, y le respondiese lo que
quisiese." Ibid., Ms., ubi supra.]

[Footnote 21: "El cual a esto volvio la cabeza a mirarle
sonriendose y le dijo: Decid a ese Capitan que os embia aca; que
yo estoy en ayuno, y le acabo manana por la manana, que en
bebiendo una vez, yo ire con algunos destos principales mios a
verme con el, que en tanto el se aposente en esas casas que estan
en la plaza que son comunes a todos, y que no entren en otra
ninguna hasta que Yo vaya, que Yo mandare lo que se ha de hacer."
Ibid., Ms., ubi supra.

In this singular interview I have followed the account of the
cavalier who accompanied Hernando Pizarro, in preference to the
latter, who represents himself as talking in a lordly key, that
savours too much of the vaunt of the hidalgo.]

Soto, one of the party present at this interview, as before
noticed, was the best mounted and perhaps the best rider in
Pizarro's troop.  Observing that Atahuallpa looked with some
interest on the fiery steed that stood before him, champing the
bit and pawing the ground with the natural impatience of a
war-horse, the Spaniard gave him the rein, and, striking his iron
heel into his side, dashed furiously over the plain; then,
wheeling him round and round, displayed all the beautiful
movements of his charger, and his own excellent horsemanship.
Suddenly checking him in full career, he brought the animal
almost on his haunches, so near the person of the Inca, that some
of the foam that flecked his horse's sides was thrown on the
royal garments.  But Atahuallpa maintained the same marble
composure as before, though several of his soldiers, whom De Soto
passed in the course, were so much disconcerted by it, that they
drew back in manifest terror, an act of timidity for which they
paid dearly, if, as the Spaniards assert, Atahuallpa caused them
to be put to death that same evening for betraying such unworthy
weakness to the strangers. *22

[Footnote 22: Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Relacion del
Primer. Descub., Ms.

"I algunos Indios, con miedo, se desviaron de la Carrera, por lo
qual Atabalipa los hico luego matar." (Zarate, Conq. del Peru,
lib. 2, cap. 4.) - Xerez states that Atahuallpa confessed this
himself, in conversation with the Spaniards after he was taken
prisoner. - Soto's charger might well have made the Indians
start, if, as Balboa says, he took twenty feet at a leap, and
this with a knight in armour on his back!  Hist. du Perou, chap.
Refreshments were now offered by the royal attendants to the
Spaniards, which they declined, being unwilling to dismount.
They did not refuse, however, to quaff the sparkling chicha from
golden vases of extraordinary size, presented to them by the
dark-eyed beauties of the harem. *23 Taking then a respectful
leave of the Inca, the cavaliers rode back to Caxamalca, with
many moody speculations on what they had seen; on the state and
opulence of the Indian monarch; on the strength of his military
array, their excellent appointments, and the apparent discipline
in their ranks, - all arguing a much higher degree of
civilization, and consequently of power, than any thing they had
witnessed in the lower regions of the country.  As they
contrasted all this with their own diminutive force, too far
advanced, as they now were, for succour to reach them, they felt
they had done rashly in throwing themselves into the midst of so
formidable an empire, and were filled with gloomy forebodings of
the result. *24 Their comrades in the camp soon caught the
infectious spirit of despondency, which was not lessened as night
came on, and they beheld the watch-fires of the Peruvians
lighting up the sides of the mountains, and glittering in the
darkness, "as thick," says one who saw them, "as the stars of
heaven." *25

[Footnote 23: Relacion del Primer. Descub., Ms. - Xerez, Conq.
del Peru, ap. Barcia, tom. III. p. 196.]

[Footnote 24: "Hecho esto y visto y atalayado la grandeza del
ejercito, y las tiendas que era bien de ver, nos bolvimos a donde
el dicho capitan nos estaba esperando, harto espantados de lo que
habiamos visto, habiendo y tomando entre nosotros muchos acuerdos
y opiniones de lo que se debia hacer, estando todos con mucho
temor por ser tan pocos, y estar tan metidos en la tierra donde
no podiamos ser socorridos." (Relacion del Primer.  Descub., Ms.)
Pedro Pizarro is honest enough to confirm this account of the
consternation of the Spaniards.  (Descub. y Conq., Ms.) Fear was
a strange sensation for the Castilian cavalier.  But if he did
not feel some touch of it on that occasion, he must have been
akin to that doughty knight who, as Charles V. pronounced, "never
could have snuffed a candle with his fingers."]

[Footnote 25: "Hecimos la guardia en la plaza, de donde se vian
los fuegos del ejercito de los Indios, lo cual era cosa
espantable, que como estaban en una ladera la mayor parte, y tan
juntos unos de otros, no pa recia sino un cielo muy estrellado."
Relacion del Primer. Descub., Ms]

Yet there was one bosom in that little host which was not touched
with the feeling either of fear or dejection.  That was
Pizarro's, who secretly rejoiced that he had now brought matters
to the issue for which he had so long panted.  He saw the
necessity of kindling a similar feeling in his followers, or all
would be lost.  Without unfolding his plans, he went round among
his men, beseeching them not to show faint hearts at this crisis,
when they stood face to face with the foe whom they had been so
long seeking. "They were to rely on themselves, and on that
Providence which had carried them safe through so many fearful
trials.  It would not now desert them; and if numbers, however
great, were on the side of their enemy, it mattered little when
the arm of Heaven was on theirs." *26 The Spanish cavalier acted
under the combined influence of chivalrous adventure and
religious zeal.  The latter was the most effective in the hour of
peril; and Pizarro, who understood well the characters he had to
deal with, by presenting the enterprise as a crusade, kindled the
dying embers of enthusiasm in the bosoms of his followers, and
restored their faltering courage.

[Footnote 26: Xerez, Conq. del Peru, ap. Barcia, tom. III. p.
197. - Nanarro Relacion Sumaria, Ms]

He then summoned a council of his officers, to consider the plan
of operations, or rather to propose to them the extraordinary
plan on which he had himself decided.  This was to lay an
ambuscade for the Inca, and take him prisoner in the face of his
whole army!  It was a project full of peril, - bordering, as it
might well seem, on desperation.  But the circumstances of the
Spaniards were desperate.  Whichever way they turned, they were
menaced by the most appalling dangers; and better was it bravely
to confront the danger, than weakly to shrink from it, when there
was no avenue for escape.
To fly was now too late.  Whither could they fly?  At the first
signal of retreat, the whole army of the Inca would be upon them.
Their movements would be anticipated by a foe far better
acquainted with the intricacies of the sierra than themselves;
the passes would be occupied, and they would be hemmed in on all
sides; while the mere fact of this retrograde movement would
diminish the confidence and with it the effective strength of his
own men, while it doubled that of his enemy.

Yet to remain long inactive in his present position seemed almost
equally perilous.  Even supposing that Atahuallpa should
entertain friendly feelings towards the Christians, they could
not confide in the continuance of such feelings.  Familiarity
with the white men would soon destroy the idea of any thing
supernatural, or even superior, in their natures.  He would feel
contempt for their diminutive numbers.  Their horses, their arms
and showy appointments, would be an attractive bait in the eye of
the barbaric monarch, and when conscious that he had the power to
crush their possessors, he would not be slow in finding a pretext
for it.  A sufficient one had already occurred in the high-handed
measures of the Conquerors, on their march through his dominions.

But what reason had they to flatter themselves that the Inca
cherished such a disposition towards them?  He was a crafty and
unscrupulous prince, and, if the accounts they had repeatedly
received on their march were true, had ever regarded the coming
of the Spaniards with an evil eye.  It was scarcely possible he
should do otherwise.  His soft messages had only been intended to
decoy them across the mountains, where, with the aid of his
warriors, he might readily overpower them.  They were entangled
in the toils which the cunning monarch had spread for them.

Their only remedy, then, was to turn the Inca's arts against
himself; to take him, if possible, in his own snare.  There was
no time to be lost; for any day might bring back the victorious
legions who had recently won his battles at the south, and thus
make the odds against the Spaniards far greater than now.

Yet to encounter Atahuallpa in the open field would be attended
with great hazard; and even if victorious, there would be little
probability that the person of the Inca, of so much importance,
would fall into the hands of the victors.  The invitation he had
so unsuspiciously accepted to visit them in their quarters
afforded the best means for securing this desirable prize. Nor
was the enterprise so desperate, considering the great advantages
afforded by the character and weapons of the invaders, and the
unexpectedness of the assault.  The mere circumstance of acting
on a concerted plan would alone make a small number more than a
match for a much larger one.  But it was not necessary to admit
the whole of the Indian force into the city before the attack;
and the person of the Inca once secured, his followers, astounded
by so strange an event, were they few or many, would have no
heart for further resistance; - and with the Inca once in his
power, Pizarro might dictate laws to the empire.

In this daring project of the Spanish chief, it was easy to see
that he had the brilliant exploit of Cortes in his mind, when he
carried off the Aztec monarch in his capital.  But that was not
by violence, at least not by open violence, - and it received the
sanction, compulsory though it were, of the monarch himself.  It
was also true that the results in that case did not altogether
justify a repetition of the experiment; since the people rose in
a body to sacrifice both the prince and his kidnappers.  Yet this
was owing, in part, at least, to the indiscretion of the latter.
The experiment in the outset was perfectly successful; and, could
Pizarro once become master of the person of Atahuallpa, he
trusted to his own discretion for the rest.  It would, at least,
extricate him from his present critical position, by placing in
his power an inestimable guaranty for his safety; and if he could
not make his own terms with the Inca at once, the arrival of
reinforcements from home would, in all probability, soon enable
him to do so.

Pizarro having concerted his plans for the following day, the
council broke up, and the chief occupied himself with providing
for the security of the camp during the night.  The approaches to
the town were defended; sentinels were posted at different
points, especially on the summit of the fortress, where they were
to observe the position of the enemy, and to report any movement
that menaced the tranquillity of the night.  After these
precautions, the Spanish commander and his followers withdrew to
their appointed quarters, - but not to sleep.  At least, sleep
must have come late to those who were aware of the decisive plan
for the morrow; that morrow which was to be the crisis of their
fate, - to crown their ambitious schemes with full success, or
consign them to irretrievable ruin!

Chapter V

Desperate Plan Of Pizarro. - Atahuallpa Visits The Spaniards. -
Horrible Massacre. - The Inca A Prisoner. - Conduct Of The
Conquerors. - Splendid Promises Of The Inca - Death Of Huascar.


The clouds of the evening had passed away, and the sun rose
bright on the following morning, the most memorable epoch in the
annals of Peru.  It was Saturday, the sixteenth of November,
1532.  The loud cry of the trumpet called the Spaniards to arms
with the first streak of dawn; and Pizarro, briefly acquainting
them with the plan of the assault, made the necessary

The plaza, as mentioned in the preceding chapter, was defended on
its three sides by low ranges of buildings, consisting of
spacious halls with wide doors or vomitories opening into the
square.  In these halls he stationed his cavalry in two
divisions, one under his brother Hernando, the other under De
Soto.  The infantry he placed in another of the buildings,
reserving twenty chosen men to act with himself as occasion might
require Pedro de Candia, with a few soldiers and the artillery, -
comprehending under this imposing name two small pieces of
ordnance, called falconets, - he established in the fortress. All
received orders to wait at their posts till the arrival of the
Inca. After his entrance into the great square, they were still
to remain under cover, withdrawn from observation, till the
signal was given by the discharge of a gun, when they were to cry
their war-cries, to rush out in a body from their covert, and,
putting the Peruvians to the sword, bear off the person of the
Inca.  The arrangement of the immense halls, opening on a level
with the plaza, seemed to be contrived on purpose for a coup de
theatre.  Pizarro particularly inculcated order and implicit
obedience, that in the hurry of the moment there should be no
confusion. Every thing depended on their acting with concert,
coolness, and celerity. *1

[Footnote 1: Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Relacion del
Primer. Descub., Ms. - Xerez, Conq. del Peru, ap. Barcia tom.
III. p. 197. - Carta de Hern. Pizarro, Ms. - Oviedo, Hist. de las
Indias Ms., Parte 3, lib. 8, cap 7]

The chief next saw that their arms were in good order; and that
the breastplates of their horses were garnished with bells, to
add by their noise to the consternation of the Indians.
Refreshments were, also, liberally provided, that the troops
should be in condition for the conflict.  These arrangements
being completed, mass was performed with great solemnity by the
ecclesiastics who attended the expedition; the God of battles was
invoked to spread his shield over the soldiers who were fighting
to extend the empire of the Cross; and all joined with enthusiasm
in the chant, "Exsurge, Domine," "Rise, O Lord!  and judge thine
own cause." *2 One might have supposed them a company of martyrs,
about to lay down their lives in defence of their faith, instead
of a licentious band of adventurers, meditating one of the most
atrocious acts of perfidy on the record of history!  Yet,
whatever were the vices of the Castilian cavalier, hypocrisy was
not among the number.  He felt that he was battling for the
Cross, and under this conviction, exalted as it was at such a
moment as this into the predominant impulse, he was blind to the
baser motives which mingled with the enterprise.  With feelings
thus kindled to a flame of religious ardor, the soldiers of
Pizarro looked forward with renovated spirits to the coming
conflict; and the chieftain saw with satisfaction, that in the
hour of trial his men would be true to their leader and

[Footnote 2: "Los Eclesiasticos i Religiosos se ocuparon toda
aquella noche en oracion, pidiendo a Dios el mas conveniente
suceso a su sagrado servicio, exaltacion de la fe e salvacion de
tanto numero de almas, derramando muchas lagrimas i sangre en las
disciplinas que tomaron.  Francisco Pizarro animo a los soldados
con una mui cristiana platica que les hizo: con que, i
asegurarles los Eclesiasticos de parte de Dios i de su Madre
Santisima la vitoria, amanecieron todos mui deseosos de dar la
batalla, diciendo a voces, Exsurge Domine et judica causam tuam."
Naharro Relacion Sumaria, Ms.]

It was in the day before any movement was visible in the Peruvian
camp, where much preparation was making to approach the Christian
quarters with due state and ceremony.  A message was received
from Atahuallpa, informing the Spanish commander that he should
come with his warriors fully armed, in the same manner as the
Spaniards had come to his quarters the night preceding. This was
not an agreeable intimation to Pizarro, though he had no reason,
probably, to expect the contrary.  But to object might imply
distrust, or, perhaps, disclose, in some measure, his own
designs.  He expressed his satisfaction, therefore, at the
intelligence, assuring the Inca, that, come as he would, he would
be received by him as a friend and brother. *3

[Footnote 3: "El governador respondio: Di a tu Senor, que venga
en hora buena como quisiere, que de la manera que viniere lo
recebire como Amigo, i Hermano." Xerez, Conq. del Peru, ap.
Barcia, tom. III. p. 197. - Oviedo, Hist. de las Indias, Ms.,
Parte 3, lib. 8, cap. 7. - Carta de Hern. Pizarro, Ms.]

It was noon before the Indian procession was on its march, when
it was seen occupying the great causeway for a long extent.  In
front came a large body of attendants, whose office seemed to be
to sweep away every particle of rubbish from the road.  High
above the crowd appeared the Inca, borne on the shoulders of his
principal nobles, while others of the same rank marched by the
sides of his litter, displaying such a dazzling show of ornaments
on their persons, that, in the language of one of the Conquerors,
"they blazed like the sun." *4 But the greater part of the Inca's
forces mustered along the fields that lined the road, and were
spread over the broad meadows as far as the eye could reach. *5

[Footnote 4: "Hera tanta la pateneria que traian d'oro y plata
que hera cossa estrana lo que Reluzia con el Sol.' Pedro Pizarro,
Descub. y Conq., Ms.]

[Footnote 5: To the eye of the old Conqueror so often quoted, the
number of Peruvian warriors appeared not less than 50,000; "mas
de cin cuenta mil que tenia de guerra' (Relacion del Primer.
Descub., Ms.) To Pizarro's secretary, as they lay encamped along
the hills, they seemed about 30,000.  (Xerez, Conq. del Peru, ap.
Barcia, tom. III. p. 196.) However gratifying to the imagination
to repose on some precise number, it is very rare that one can do
so with safety, in estimating the irregular and tumultuous levies
of a barbarian host.]

When the royal procession had arrived within half a mile of the
city, it came to a halt; and Pizarro saw with surprise that
Atahuallpa was preparing to pitch his tents, as if to encamp
there.  A messenger soon after arrived, informing the Spaniards
that the Inca would occupy his present station the ensuing night,
and enter the city on the following morning.
This intelligence greatly disturbed Pizarro, who had shared in
the general impatience of his men at the tardy movements of the
Peruvians.  The troops had been under arms since daylight, the
cavalry mounted, and the infantry at their post, waiting in
silence the coming of the Inca.  A profound stillness reigned
throughout the town, broken only at intervals by the cry of the
sentinel from the summit of the fortress, as he proclaimed the
movements of the Indian army.  Nothing, Pizarro well knew, was so
trying to the soldier as prolonged suspense, in a critical
situation like the present; and he feared lest his ardor might
evaporate, and be succeeded by that nervous feeling natural to
the bravest soul at such a crisis, and which, if not fear, is
near akin to it. *6 He returned an answer, therefore, to
Atahuallpa, deprecating his change of purpose; and adding that he
had provided every thing for his entertainment, and expected him
that night to sup with him. *7

[Footnote 6: Pedro Pizarro says that an Indian spy reported to
Atahuallpa, that the white men were all huddled together in the
great halls on the square, in much consternation, llenos de
miedo, which was not far from the truth, adds the cavalier.
(Descub. y Conq., Ms.)]

[Footnote 7: Pedro Pizarro, Descub.  y Conq., Ms.

"Asentados sus toldos envio a decir al gobernador que ya era
tarde, que el queria dormir alli, que por la manana vernia: el
gobernador le envio a decir que le rogaba que viniese luego,
porque le esperaba a cenar, e que no habia de cenar, hasta que
fuese." Carta de Hern. Pizarro, Ms.]
This message turned the Inca from his purpose; and, striking his
tents again, he resumed his march, first advising the general
that he should leave the greater part of his warriors behind, and
enter the place with only a few of them, and without arms, *8 as
he preferred to pass the night at Caxamalca. At the same time he
ordered accommodations to be provided for himself and his retinue
in one of the large stone buildings, called, from a serpent
sculptured on the walls, "the House of the Serpent." *9 - No
tidings could have been more grateful to the Spaniards.  It
seemed as if the Indian monarch was eager to rush into the snare
that had been spread for him!  The fanatical cavalier could not
fail to discern in it the immediate finger of Providence.

[Footnote 8: "El queria vernir luego, e que venia sin armas.  E
luego Atabaliva se movio para venir, e dejo alli la gente con las
armas, e llevo consigo hasta cinco o seis mil indios sin armas,
salvo que debajo de las camisetas traian unas porras pequenas, e
hondas, e bolsas con piedras." Carta de Hern. Pizarro Ms.]

[Footnote 9: Xerez, Conq. del Peru, ap Barcia, tom. III. p. 197.]
It is difficult to account for this wavering conduct of
Atahuallpa, so different from the bold and decided character
which history ascribes to him. There is no doubt that he made his
visit to the white men in perfect good faith; though Pizarro was
probably right in conjecturing that this amiable disposition
stood on a very precarious footing.  There is as little reason to
suppose that he distrusted the sincerity of the strangers; or he
would not thus unnecessarily have proposed to visit them unarmed.
His original purpose of coming with all his force was doubtless
to display his royal state, and perhaps, also, to show greater
respect for the Spaniards; but when he consented to accept their
hospitality, and pass the night in their quarters, he was willing
to dispense with a great part of his armed soldiery, and visit
them in a manner that implied entire confidence in their good
faith.  He was too absolute in his own empire easily to suspect;
and he probably could not comprehend the audacity with which a
few men, like those now assembled in Caxamalca, meditated an
assault on a powerful monarch in the midst of his victorious
army.  He did not know the character of the Spaniard.
It was not long before sunset, when the van of the royal
procession entered the gates of the city.  First came some
hundreds of the menials, employed to clear the path from every
obstacle, and singing songs of triumph as they came, "which, in
our ears," says one of the Conquerors, "sounded like the songs of
hell"! *10 Then followed other bodies of different ranks, and
dressed in different liveries.  Some wore a showy stuff,
checkered white and red, like the squares of a chess-board. *11
Others were clad in pure white, bearing hammers or maces of
silver or copper; *12 and the guards, together with those in
immediate attendance on the prince, were distinguished by a rich
azure livery, and a profusion of gay ornaments, while the large
pendants attached to the ears indicated the Peruvian noble.

[Footnote 10: Relacion del Primer. Descub., Ms.]

[Footnote 11: "Blanca y colorada como las casas de un ajedrez."
Ibid., Ms.]

[Footnote 12: "Con martillos en las manos de cobre y plata."
Ibid., Ms.]

Elevated high above his vassals came the Inca Atahuallpa, borne
on a sedan or open litter, on which was a sort of throne made of
massive gold of inestimable value. *13 The palanquin was lined
with the richly colored plumes of tropical birds, and studded
with shining plates of gold and silver. *14 The monarch's attire
was much richer than on the preceding evening.  Round his neck
was suspended a collar of emeralds of uncommon size and
brilliancy. *15 His short hair was decorated with golden
ornaments, and the imperial borla encircled his temples.  The
bearing of the Inca was sedate and dignified; and from his lofty
station he looked down on the multitudes below with an air of
composure, like one accustomed to command.

[Footnote 13: "El asiento que traia sobre las andas era un tablon
de oro que peso un quintal de oro segun dicen los historiadores
25,000 pesos o ducados." Naharro, Relacion Sumaria, Ms.]

[Footnote 14: "Luego venia mucha Gente con Armaduras, Patenas, i
Coronas do oro i Plata: entre estos venia Atabaliba, en una
Litera, aforrada de Pluma de Papagaios, de muchas colores,
guarnecida de chapas de Oro, i Plata." Xerez, Conq. del Peru, ap.
Barcia, tom. III. p. 198.]

[Footnote 15: Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms.

"Venia la persona de Atabalica, la cual traian ochenta Senores en
hombros todos bestidos de una librea azul muy rica, y el bestido
su persona muy ricamente con su corona en la cabeza, y al cuello
un collar de emeraldas grandes." Relacion del Primer. Descub.,

As the leading files of the procession entered the great square,
larger, says an old chronicler, than any square in Spain, they
opened to the right and left for the royal retinue to pass.
Every thing was conducted with admirable order.  The monarch was
permitted to traverse the plaza in silence, and not a Spaniard
was to be seen.  When some five or six thousand of his people had
entered the place, Atahuallpa halted, and, turning round with an
inquiring look, demanded, "Where are the strangers?"

At this moment Fray Vicente de Valverde, a Dominican friar,
Pizarro's chaplain, and afterward Bishop of Cuzco, came forward
with his breviary, or, as other accounts say, a Bible, in one
hand, and a crucifix in the other, and, approaching the Inca,
told him, that he came by order of his commander to expound to
him the doctrines of the true faith, for which purpose the
Spaniards had come from a great distance to his country.  The
friar then explained, as clearly as he could, the mysterious
doctrine of the Trinity, and, ascending high in his account,
began with the creation of man, thence passed to his fall, to his
subsequent redemption by Jesus Christ, to the crucifixion, and
the ascension, when the Saviour left the Apostle Peter as his
Vicegerent upon earth.  This power had been transmitted to the
successors of the Apostle, good and wise men, who, under the
title of Popes, held authority over all powers and potentates on
earth.  One of the last of these Popes had commissioned the
Spanish emperor, the most mighty monarch in the world, to conquer
and convert the natives in this western hemisphere; and his
general, Francisco Pizarro, had now come to execute this
important mission. The friar concluded with beseeching the
Peruvian monarch to receive him kindly; to abjure the errors of
his own faith, and embrace that of the Christians now proffered
to him, the only one by which he could hope for salvation; and,
furthermore, to acknowledge himself a tributary of the Emperor
Charles the Fifth, who, in that even, would aid and protect him
as his loyal vassal. *16

[Footnote 16: Montesinos says that Valverde read to the Inca the
regular formula used by the Spaniards in their Conquests.
(Annales, Ms., ano 1533.) But that address, though absurd enough,
did not comprehend the whole range of theology ascribed to the
chaplain on this occasion.  Yet it is not impossible. But I have
followed the report of Fray Naharro, who collected his
information from the actors in the tragedy, and whose minuter
statement is corroborated by the more general testimony of both
the Pizarros and the secretary Xerez.]

Whether Atahuallpa possessed himself of every link in the curious
chain of argument by which the monk connected Pizarro with St.
Peter, may be doubted.  It is certain, however, that he must have
had very incorrect notions of the Trinity, if, as Garcilasso
states, the interpreter Felipillo explained it by saying, that
"the Christians believed in three Gods and one God, and that made
four." *17 But there is no doubt he perfectly comprehended that
the drift of the discourse was to persuade him to resign his
sceptre and acknowledge the supremacy of another.

[Footnote 17: "Por dezir Dios trino y uno dixo Dios tres y uno
son quatre sumando los numeros por darse a entender." Com. Real.,
Parte 2, lib. 1, cap. 23.]

The eyes of the Indian monarch flashed fire, and his dark brow
grew darker as he replied, - "I will be no man's tributary.  I am
greater than any prince upon earth.  Your emperor may be a great
prince; I do not doubt it, when I see that he has sent his
subjects so far across the waters; and I am willing to hold him
as a brother.  As for the Pope of whom you speak, he must be
crazy to talk of giving away countries which do not belong to
him.  For my faith," he continued, "I will not change it Your own
God, as you say, was put to death by the very men whom he
created.  But mine," he concluded, pointing to his Deity, - then,
alas!  sinking in glory behind the mountains, - "my God still
lives in the heavens, and looks down on his children." *18

[Footnote 18: See Appendix, No. 8, where the reader will find
extracts in the original from several contemporary Mss., relating
to the capture of Atahuallpa.]

He then demanded of Valverde by what authority he had said these
things. The friar pointed to the book which he held, as his
authority.  Atahuallpa, taking it, turned over the pages a
moment, then, as the insult he had received probably flashed
across his mind, he threw it down with vehemence, and exclaimed,
- "Tell your comrades that they shall give me an account of their
doings in my land.  I will not go from here, till they have made
me full satisfaction for all the wrongs they have committed." *19

[Footnote 19: Some accounts describe him as taxing the Spaniards
in much more unqualified terms.  (See Appendix, No. 8.) but
language is not likely to be accurately reported in such seasons
of excitement. - According to some authorities, Atahuallpa let
the volume drop by accident.  (Montesinos, Annales, Ms., ano
1533. - Balboa, Hist. du Perou, chap. 22.) But the testimony, as
far as we have it, of those present, concurs in representing it
as stated in the text.  And, if he spoke with the heat imputed to
him, this act would only be in keeping.]

The friar, greatly scandalized by the indignity offered to the
sacred volume, stayed only to pick it up, and, hastening to
Pizarro, informed him of what had been done, exclaiming, at the
same time, - "Do you not see, that, while we stand here wasting
our breath in talking with this dog, full of pride as he is, the
fields are filling with Indians?  Set on, at once; I absolve
you." *20 Pizarro saw that the hour had come.  He waved a white
scarf in the air, the appointed signal.  The fatal gun was fired
from the fortress. Then, springing into the square, the Spanish
captain and his followers shouted the old war-cry of "St. Jago
and at them." It was answered by the battle-cry of every Spaniard
in the city, as, rushing from the avenues of the great halls in
which they were concealed, they poured into the plaza, horse and
foot, each in his own dark column, and threw themselves into the
midst of the Indian crowd. The latter, taken by surprise, stunned
by the report of artillery and muskets, the echoes of which
reverberated like thunder from the surrounding buildings, and
blinded by the smoke which rolled in sulphurous volumes along the
square, were seized with a panic.  They knew not whither to fly
for refuge from the coming ruin Nobles and commoners, - all were
trampled down under the fierce charge of the cavalry, who dealt
their blows, right and left, without sparing; while their swords,
flashing through the thick gloom, carried dismay into the hearts
of the wretched natives, who now, for the first time, saw the
horse and his rider in all their terrors.  They made no
resistance, - as, indeed, they had no weapons with which to make
it. Every avenue to escape was closed, for the entrance to the
square was choked up with the dead bodies of men who had perished
in vain efforts to fly; and, such was the agony of the survivors
under the terrible pressure of their assailants, that a large
body of Indians, by their convulsive struggles, burst through the
wall of stone and dried clay which formed part of the boundary of
the plaza!  It fell, leaving an opening of more than a hundred
paces, through which multitudes now found their way into the
country, still hotly pursued by the cavalry, who, leaping the
fallen rubbish, hung on the rear of the fugitives, striking them
down in all directions. *21

[Footnote 20: "Visto esto por el Frayle y lo poco que
aprovechaban sus palabras, tomo su libro, y abajo su cabeza, y
fuese para donde estaba el dicho Pizarro, casi corriendo, y
dijole: No veis lo que pasa: para que estais en comedimientos y
requerimientos con este perro lleno de soberbia que vienen los
campos llenos de Indios?  Salid a el, - que yo os absuelvo."
(Relacion del Primer. Descub., Ms.) The historian should be slow
in ascribing conduct so diabolical to Father Valverde, without
evidence.  Two of the Conquerors present, Pedro Pizarro and
Xerez, simply state that the monk reported to his commander the
indignity offered to the sacred volume.  but Hernando Pizarro and
the author of the Relacion del Primer. Descub., both
eyewitnesses, and Naharro, Zarate, Gomara, Balboa, Herrera, the
Inca Titucussi Yupanqui, all of whom obtained their information
from persons who were eyewitnesses, state the circumstances, with
little variation, as in the text.  Yet Oviedo indorses the
account of Xerez, and Garcilasso de la Vega insists on Valverde's
innocence of any attempt to rouse the passion of his comrades.]

[Footnote 21: Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Xerez, Conq.
del Peru, ap. Barcia, tom. III. p. 198. - Carta de Hern. Pizarro,
Ms. - Oviedo, Hist. de las Indias, Ms., Parte 3. lib. 8, cap. 7.
- Relacion del Primer. Descub., Ms. - Zarate, Conq. del Peru,
lib. 2, cap. 5. - Instruccion del Inga Titucussi Yupanqui, Ms.]

Meanwhile the fight, or rather massacre, continued hot around the
Inca, whose person was the great object of the assault.  His
faithful nobles, rallying about him, threw themselves in the way
of the assailants, and strove, by tearing them from their
saddles, or, at least, by offering their own bosoms as a mark for
their vengeance, to shield their beloved master. It is said by
some authorities, that they carried weapons concealed under their
clothes.  If so, it availed them little, as it is not pretended
that they used them.  But the most timid animal will defend
itself when at bay. That they did not so in the present instance
is proof that they had no weapons to use. *22 Yet they still
continued to force back the cavaliers, clinging to their horses
with dying grasp, and, as one was cut down, another taking the
place of his fallen comrade with a loyalty truly affecting.

[Footnote 22: The author of the Relacion del Primero
Descubrimiento speaks of a few as having bows and arrows, and of
others as armed with silver and copper mallets or maces, which
may, however, have been more for ornament than for service in
fight. - Pedro Pizarro and some later writers say that the
Indians brought thongs with them to bind the captive white men. -
Both Hernando Pizarro and the secretary Xerez agree that their
only arms were secreted under their clothes; but as they do not
pretend that these were used, and as it was announced by the Inca
that he came without arms, the assertion may well be doubted, -
or rather discredited.  All authorities without exception, agree
that no attempt was made at resistance.]
The Indian monarch, stunned and bewildered, saw his faithful
subjects falling round him without fully comprehending his
situation.  The litter on which he rode heaved to and fro, as the
mighty press swayed backwards and forwards; and he gazed on the
overwhelming ruin, like some forlorn mariner, who, tossed about
in his bark by the furious elements, sees the lightning's flash
and hears the thunder bursting around him with the consciousness
that he can do nothing to avert his fate.  At length, weary with
the work of destruction, the Spaniards, as the shades of evening
grew deeper, felt afraid that the royal prize might, after all,
elude them; and some of the cavaliers made a desperate attempt to
end the affray at once by taking Atahuallpa's life.  But Pizarro,
who was nearest his person, called out with Stentorian voice,
"Let no one, who values his life, strike at the Inca"; *23 and,
stretching out his arm to shield him, received a wound on the
hand from one of his own men, - the only wound received by a
Spaniards in the action. *24

[Footnote 23: "El marquez dio bozes diciendo.  Nadie hiera al
indio so pena de la vida." Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms.]

[Footnote 24: Whatever discrepancy exists among the Castilian
accounts in other respects, all concur in this remarkable fact, -
that no Spaniard, except their general, received a wound on that
occasion. Pizarro saw in this a satisfactory argument for
regarding the Spaniards, this day, as under the especial
protection of Providence.  See Xerez, Conq. del Peru, ap. Barcia,
tom. III. p. 199.]

The struggle now became fiercer than ever round the royal litter.
It reeled more and more, and at length, several of the nobles who
supported it having been slain, it was overturned, and the Indian
prince would have come with violence to the ground, had not his
fall been broken by the efforts of Pizarro and some other of the
cavaliers, who caught him in their arms.  The imperial borla was
instantly snatched from his temples by a soldier named Estete,
*25 and the unhappy monarch, strongly secured, was removed to a
neighbouring building, where he was carefully guarded.

[Footnote 25: Miguel Estete, who long retained the silken diadem
as a trophy of the exploit, according to Garcilasso de la Vega,
(Com. Real., Parte 2, lib. 1, cap. 27,) an indifferent authority
for any thing in this part of his history.  This popular writer,
whose work, from his superior knowledge of the institutions of
the country, has obtained greater credit, eve in what relates to
the Conquest, than the reports of the Conquerors themselves, has
indulged in the romantic vein to an unpardonable extent, in his
account of the capture of Atahuallpa.  According to him, the
Peruvian monarch treated the invaders from the first with supreme
deference, as descendants of Viracocha, predicted by his oracles
as to come and rule over the land.  But if this flattering homage
had been paid by the Inca, it would never have escaped the notice
of the Conquerors.  Garcilasso had read the Commentaries of
Cortes, as he somewhere tells us; and it is probable that that
general's account, well founded, it appears, of a similar
superstition among the Aztecs suggested to the historian the idea
of a corresponding sentiment in the Peruvians, which, while it
flattered the vanity of the Spaniards, in some degree vindicated
his own countrymen from the charge of cowardice, incurred by
their too ready submission; for, however they might be called on
to resist men, it would have been madness to resist the decrees
of Heaven. Yet Garcilasso's romantic version has something in it
so pleasing to the imagination, that it has even found favor with
the majority of readers.  The English student might have met with
a sufficient corrective in the criticism of the sagacious and
skeptical Robertson.]

All attempt at resistance now ceased.  The fate of the Inca soon
spread over town and country.  The charm which might have held
the Peruvians together was dissolved.  Every man thought only of
his own safety.  Even the soldiery encamped on the adjacent
fields took the alarm, and, learning the fatal tidings, were seen
flying in every direction before their pursuers, who in the heat
of triumph showed no touch of mercy.  At length night, more
pitiful than man, threw her friendly mantle over the fugitives,
and the scattered troops of Pizarro rallied once more at the
sound of the trumpet in the bloody square of Caxamalca.

The number of slain is reported, as usual, with great
discrepancy. Pizarro's secretary says two thousand natives fell.
*26 A descendant of the Incas - a safer authority than Garcilasso
- swells the number to ten thousand. *27 Truth is generally found
somewhere between the extremes.  The slaughter was incessant, for
there was nothing to check it.  That there should have been no
resistance will not appear strange, when we consider the fact,
that the wretched victims were without arms, and that their
senses must have been completely overwhelmed by the strange and
appalling spectacle which burst on them so unexpectedly.  "What
wonder was it," said an ancient Inca to a Spaniard, who repeats
it, "what wonder that our countrymen lost their wits, seeing
blood run like water, and the Inca, whose person we all of us
adore, seized and carried off by a handful of men?" *28 Yet
though the massacre was incessant, it was short in duration.  The
whole time consumed by it, the brief twilight of the tropics, did
not much exceed half an hour; a short period, indeed, - yet long
enough to decide the fate of Peru, and to subvert the dynasty of
the Incas.

[Footnote 26: Xerez, Conq. del Peru, ap. Barcia, tom. III. p.

[Footnote 27: "Los mataron a todos con los Cavallos con espadas
con arcabuzes como quien mata ovejas - sin hacerles nadie
resistencia que no se escaparon de mas de diez mil, doscientos,"
Instruc. del Inga Titucussi, Ms.

This document, consisting of two hundred folio pages, is signed
by a Peruvian Inca, grandson of the great Huayna Capac, and
nephew, consequently, of Atahuallpa.  It was written in 1570, and
designed to set forth to his Majesty Philip II. the claims of
Titucussi and the members of his family to the royal bounty.  In
the course of the Memorial, the writer takes occasion to
recapitulate some of the principal events in the latter years of
the empire; and though sufficiently prolix to tax even the
patience of Philip II., it is of much value as an historical
document, coming from one of the royal race of Peru.]

[Footnote 28: Montesinos, Annales, Ms., ano 1532.

According to Naharro, the Indians were less astounded by the wild
uproar caused by the sudden assault of the Spaniards, though
"this was such that it seemed as if the very heavens were
falling," than by a terrible apparition which appeared in the air
during the onslaught.  It consisted of a woman and a child, and,
at their side, a horseman all clothed in white on a milk-white
charger, - doubtless the valiant St. James, - who, with his sword
glancing lightning, smote down the infidel host, and rendered
them incapable of resistance.  This miracle the good father
reports on the testimony of three of his Order, who were present
in the action, and who received it from numberless of the
natives.  Relacion Sumaria, Ms.]

That night Pizarro kept his engagement with the Inca, since he
had Atahuallpa to sup with him.  The banquet was served in one of
the halls facing the great square, which a few hours before had
been the scene of slaughter, and the pavement of which was still
encumbered with the dead bodies of the Inca's subjects.  The
captive monarch was placed next his conqueror.  He seemed like
one who did not yet fully comprehend the extent of his calamity.
If he did, he showed an amazing fortitude.  "It is the fortune of
war," he said; *29 and, if we may credit the Spaniards, he
expressed his admiration of the adroitness with which they had
contrived to entrap him in the midst of his own troops. *30 He
added, that he had been made acquainted with the progress of the
white men from the hour of their landing; but that he had been
led to undervalue their strength from the insignificance of their
numbers.  He had no doubt he should be easily able to overpower
them, on their arrival at Caxamalca, by his superior strength;
and, as he wished to see for himself what manner of men they
were, he had suffered them to cross the mountains, meaning to
select such as he chose for his own service, and, getting
possession of their wonderful arms and horses, put the rest to
death. *31

[Footnote 29: "Diciendo que era uso de Guerra vencer, i ser
vencido." Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 5, lib. 2, cap. 12.]

[Footnote 30: "Haciendo admiracion de la traza que tenia hecha."
Relacion del Primer. Descub., Ms.]

[Footnote 31: "And in my opinion," adds the Conqueror who reports
the speech, "he had good grounds for believing he could do this,
since nothing but the miraculous interposition of Heaven could
have saved us." Ibid., Ms.]

That such may have been Atahuallpa's purpose is not improbable.
It explains his conduct in not occupying the mountain passes,
which afforded such strong points of defence against invasion.
But that a prince so astute, as by the general testimony of the
Conquerors he is represented to have been, should have made so
impolitic a disclosure of his hidden motives is not so probable.
The intercourse with the Inca was carried on chiefly by means of
the interpreter Felipillo, or little Philip, as he was called,
from his assumed Christian name, - a malicious youth, as it
appears, who bore no good-will to Atahuallpa, and whose
interpretations were readily admitted by the Conquerors, eager to
find some pretext for their bloody reprisals.
Atahuallpa, as elsewhere notice, was, at this time, about thirty
years of age.  He was well made, and more robust than usual with
his countrymen. His head was large, and his countenance might
have been called handsome, but that his eyes, which were
bloodshot, gave a fierce expression to his features.  He was
deliberate in speech, grave in manner, and towards his own people
stern even to severity; though with the Spaniards he showed
himself affable, sometimes even indulging in sallies of mirth.

[Footnote 32: Xerez, Conq. del Peru, ap. Barcia, tom. III. p.

Pizarro paid every attention to his royal captive, and
endeavoured to lighten, if he could not dispel, the gloom which,
in spite of his assumed equanimity, hung over the monarch's brow.
He besought him not to be case down by his reverses, for his lot
had only been that of every prince who had resisted the white
men.  They had come into the country to proclaim the gospel, the
religion of Jesus Christ; and it was no wonder they had
prevailed, when his shield was over them.  Heaven had permitted
that Atahuallpa's pride should be humbled, because of his hostile
intentions towards the Spaniards, and the insults he had offered
to the sacred volume. But he bade the Inca take courage and
confide in him, for the Spaniards were a generous race, warring
only against those who made war on them, and showing grace to all
who submitted! *33 - Atahuallpa may have thought the massacre of
that day an indifferent commentary on this vaunted lenity.

[Footnote 33: "Nosotros vsamos de piedad con nuestros Enemigos
vencidos, i no hacemos Guerra, sino a los que nos la hacen, i
pudiendolos destruir no lo hacemos, antes los perdona mos."
Ibid., tom. III. p. 199.]

Before retiring for the night, Pizarro briefly addressed his
troops on their present situation.  When he had ascertained that
not a man was wounded, he bade them offer up thanksgivings to
Providence for so great a miracle; without its care, they could
never have prevailed so easily over the host of their enemies;
and he trusted their lives had been reserved for still greater
things.  But if they would succeed, they had much to do for
themselves.  They were in the heart of a powerful kingdom,
encompassed by foes deeply attached to their own sovereign.  They
must be ever on their guard, therefore, and be prepared at any
hour to be roused from their slumbers by the call of the trumpet.
*34 - Having then posted his sentinels, placed a strong guard
over the apartment of Atahuallpa, and taken all the precautions
of a careful commander, Pizarro withdrew to repose; and, if he
could really feel, that, in the bloody scenes of the past day, he
had been fighting only the good fight of the Cross, he doubtless
slept sounder than on the night preceding the seizure of the

[Footnote 34: Ibid., ubi supra. - Pedro Pizarro, Descub. i.
Conq., Ms.]

On the following morning, the first commands of the Spanish chief
were to have the city cleansed of its impurities; and the
prisoners, of whom there were many in the camp, were employed to
remove the dead, and give them decent burial.  His next care was
to despatch a body of about thirty horse to the quarters lately
occupied by Atahuallpa at the baths, to take possession of the
spoil, and disperse the remnant of the Peruvian forces which
still hung about the place.

Before noon, the party which he had detached on this service
returned with a large troop of Indians, men and women, among the
latter of whom were many of the wives and attendants of the Inca.
The Spaniards had met with no resistance; since the Peruvian
warriors, though so superior in number, excellent in
appointments, and consisting mostly of able-bodied young men, -
for the greater part of the veteran forces were with the Inca's
generals at the south, - lost all heart from the moment of their
sovereign's captivity.  There was no leader to take his place;
for they recognized no authority but that of the Child of the
Sun, and they seemed to be held by a sort of invisible charm near
the place of his confinement; while they gazed with superstitious
awe on the white men, who could achieve so audacious an
enterprise. *35

[Footnote 35: From this time, says Ondegardo, the Spaniards, who
hitherto had been designated as the "men with beards," barbudos,
were called by the natives, from their fair-complexioned deity,
Viracochas.  The people of Cuzco, who bore no goodwill to the
captive Inca, "looked upon the strangers," says the author, "as
sent by Viracocha himself." (Rel. Prim., Ms.) It reminds us of a
superstition, or rather an amiable fancy, among the ancient
Greeks, that "the stranger came from Jupiter."]

The number of Indian prisoners was so great, that some of the
Conquerors were for putting them all to death, or, at least,
cutting off their hands, to disable them from acts of violence,
and to strike terror into their countrymen. *36 The proposition,
doubtless, came from the lowest and most ferocious of the
soldiery.  But that it should have been made at all shows what
materials entered into the composition of Pizarro's company.  The
chief rejected it at once, as no less impolitic than inhuman, and
dismissed the Indians to their several homes, with the assurance
that none should be harmed who did not offer resistance to the
white men.  A sufficient number, however, were retained to wait
on the Conquerors, who were so well provided, in this respect,
that the most common soldier was attended by a retinue of menials
that would have better suited the establishment of a noble. *37

[Footnote 36: "Algunos fueron de opinion, que matasen a todos los
Hombres de Guerra, o les cortasen las manos." Xerez, Hist. del
Peru, ap. Barcia, tom. III. p. 200.]

[Footnote 37: "Cada Espanol de los que alli ivan tomaron para si
mui gran cantidad tanto que como andava todo a rienda suelta
havia Espanol que tenia docientas piezas de Indios Indias de
servicio." Conq. i. Pob. del Piru, Ms.]

The Spaniards had found immense droves of llamas under the care
of their shepherds in the neighbourhood of the baths, destined
for the consumption of the Court.  Many of them were now suffered
to roam abroad among their native mountains; though Pizarro
caused a considerable number to be reserved for the use of the
army.  And this was no small quantity, if, as one of the
Conquerors says, a hundred and fifty of the Peruvian sheep were
frequently slaughtered in a day. *38 Indeed, the Spaniards were
so improvident in their destruction of these animals, that, in a
few years, the superb flocks, nurtured with so much care by the
Peruvian government, had almost disappeared from the land. *39

[Footnote 38: "Se matan cada Dia, ciento i cinquenta." Xerez,
Conq. del Peru, ap. Barcia, tom. III. p. 202.]

[Footnote 39: Cieza de Leon, Cronica, cap. 80. - Ondegardo, Rel.
Seg., Ms.

"Hasta que los destruian todos sin haver Espanol ni Justicia que
lo defendiese ni amparase." Conq. i Pob. del Piru, Ms.]

The party sent to pillage the Inca's pleasure house brought back
a rich booty in gold and silver, consisting chiefly of plate for
the royal table, which greatly astonished the Spaniards by their
size and weight.  These, as well as some large emeralds obtained
there, together with the precious spoils found on the bodies of
the Indian nobles who had perished in the massacre, were placed
in safe custody, to be hereafter divided.  In the city of
Caxamalca, the troops also found magazines stored with goods,
both cotton and woollen, far superior to any they had seen, for
fineness of texture, and the skill with which the various colors
were blended.  They were piled from the floors to the very roofs
of the buildings, and in such quantity, that, after every soldier
had provided himself with what he desired, it made no sensible
diminution of the whole amount. *40

[Footnote 40: Xerez, Conq. del Peru, ap. Barcia, tom. III. p.

There was enough, says the anonymous Conqueror, for several
ship-loads. "Todas estas cosas de tiendas y ropas de lana y
algodon eran en tan gran cantidad, que a mi parecer fueran
menester muchos navios en que supieran." Relacion del Primer.
Descub., Ms.]

Pizarro would now gladly have directed his march on the Peruvian
capital. But the distance was great, and his force was small.
This must have been still further crippled by the guard required
for the Inca, and the chief feared to involve himself deeper in a
hostile empire so populous and powerful, with a prize so precious
in his keeping.  With much anxiety, therefore, he looked for
reinforcements from the colonies; and he despatched a courier to
San Miguel, to inform the Spaniards there of his recent
successes, and to ascertain if there had been any arrival from
Panama. Meanwhile he employed his men in making Caxamalca a more
suitable residence for a Christian host, by erecting a church,
or, perhaps, appropriating some Indian edifice to this use, in
which mass was regularly performed by the Dominican fathers, with
great solemnity.  The dilapidated walls of the city were also
restored in a more substantial manner than before, and every
vestige was soon effaced of the hurricane that had so recently
swept over it.

It was not long before Atahuallpa discovered, amidst all the show
of religious zeal in his Conquerors, a lurking appetite more
potent in most of their bosoms than either religion or ambition.
This was the love of gold. He determined to avail himself of it
to procure his own freedom.  The critical posture of his affairs
made it important that this should not be long delayed. His
brother Huascar, ever since his defeat, had been detained as a
prisoner, subject to the victor's orders.  He was now at
Andamarca, at no great distance from Caxamalca; and Atahuallpa
feared, with good reason, that, when his own imprisonment was
known, Huascar would find it easy to corrupt his guards, make his
escape, and put himself at the head of the contested empire,
without a rival to dispute it.

In the hope, therefore, to effect his purpose by appealing to the
avarice of his keepers, he one day told Pizarro, that, if he
would set him free, he would engage to cover the floor of the
apartment on which they stood with gold.  Those present listened
with an incredulous smile; and, as the Inca received no answer,
he said, with some emphasis, that "he would not merely cover the
floor, but would fill the room with gold as high as he could
reach"; and, standing on tiptoe, he stretched out his hand
against the wall. All stared with amazement; while they regarded
it as the insane boast of a man too eager to procure his liberty
to weigh the meaning of his words.  Yet Pizarro was sorely
perplexed.  As he had advanced into the country, much that he had
seen, and all that he had heard, had confirmed the dazzling
reports first received of the riches of Peru.  Atahuallpa himself
had given him the most glowing picture of the wealth of the
capital, where the roofs of the temples were plated with gold,
while the walls were hung with tapestry and the floors inlaid
with tiles of the same precious metal.  There must be some
foundation for all this.  At all events, it was safe to accede to
the Inca's proposition; since, by so doing, he could collect, at
once, all the gold at his disposal, and thus prevent its being
purloined or secreted by the natives.  He therefore acquiesced in
Atahuallpa's offer, and, drawing a red line along the wall at the
height which the Inca had indicated, he caused the terms of the
proposal to be duly recorded by the notary.  The apartment was
about seventeen feet broad, by twenty-two feet long, and the line
round the walls was nine feet from the floor. *41 This space was
to be filled with gold; but it was understood that the gold was
not to be melted down into ingots, but to retain the original
form of the articles into which it was manufactured, that the
Inca might have the benefit of the space which they occupied.  He
further agreed to fill an adjoining room of smaller dimensions
twice full with silver, in like manner; and he demanded two
months to accomplish all this. *42

[Footnote 41: I have adopted the dimensions given by the
secretary Xerez, (Conq. del Peru, ap. Barcia, tom. III. p. 202.)
According to Hernando Pizarro, the apartment was nine feet high,
but thirty-five feet long by seventeen or eighteen feet wide.
(Carta, Ms.) The most moderate estimate is large enough.
Stevenson says that they still show "a large room, part of the
old palace, and now the residence of the Cacique Astopilca, where
the ill-fated Inca was kept a prisoner"; and he adds that the
line traced on the wall is still visible.  (Residence in South
America, vol. II. p. 163.) Peru abounds in remains as ancient as
the Conquest; and it would not be surprising that the memory of a
place so remarkable as this should be preserved, - though any
thing but a memorial to be cherished by the Spaniards.]

[Footnote 42: The facts in the preceding paragraph are told with
remarkable uniformity by the ancient chroniclers.  (Conf. Pedro
Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Carta de Hern. Pizarro, Ms. -
Xerez, Conq. del Peru, ap. Barcia, ubi supra. - Naharro, Relacion
Sumaria, Ms. - Zarate, Conq. del Peru, lib. 2, cap. 6. - Gomara,
Hist. de las Ind., cap. 114. - Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 5,
lib. 2, cap. 1.)

Both Naharro and Herrera state expressly that Pizarro promised
the Inca his liberation on fulfilling the compact.  This is not
confirmed by the other chroniclers, who, however, do not intimate
that the Spanish general declined the terms.  And as Pizarro, by
all accounts, encouraged his prisoner to perform his part of the
contract, it must have been with the understanding implied, if
not expressed, that he would abide by the other.  It is most
improbable that the Inca would have stripped himself of his
treasures, if he had not so understood it.]

No sooner was this arrangement made, than the Inca despatched
couriers to Cuzco and the other principal places in the kingdom,
with orders that the gold ornaments and utensils should be
removed from the royal palaces, and from the temples and other
public buildings, and transported without loss of time to
Caxamalca.  Meanwhile he continued to live in the Spanish
quarters, treated with the respect due to his rank, and enjoying
all the freedom that was compatible with the security of his
person.  Though not permitted to go abroad, his limbs were
unshackled, and he had the range of his own apartments under the
jealous surveillance of a guard, who knew too well the value of
the royal captive to be remiss.  He was allowed the society of
his favorite wives, and Pizarro took care that his domestic
privacy should not be violated.  His subjects had free access to
their sovereign, and every day he received visits from the Indian
nobles, who came to bring presents, and offer condolence to their
unfortunate master.  On such occasions, the most potent of these
great vassals never ventured into his presence, without first
stripping off their sandals, and bearing a load on their backs in
token of reverence.  The Spaniards gazed with curious eyes on
these acts of homage, or rather of slavish submission, on the one
side, and on the air of perfect indifference with which they were
received, as a matter of course, on the other; and they conceived
high ideas of the character of a prince who, even in his present
helpless condition, could inspire such feelings of awe in his
subjects.  The royal levee was so well attended, and such
devotion was shown by his vassals to the captive monarch, as did
not fail, in the end, to excite some feelings of distrust in his
keepers. *43

[Footnote 43: Relacion del Primer. Descub., Ms. - Naharro,
Relacion Sumaria, Ms. - Zarate, Conq. del Peru lib. 2, cap. 6.]

Pizarro did not neglect the opportunity afforded him of
communicating the truths of revelation to his prisoner, and both
he and his chaplain, Father Valverde, labored in the same good
work.  Atahuallpa listened with composure and apparent attention.
But nothing seemed to move him so much as the argument with which
the military polemic closed his discourse, - that it could not be
the true God whom Atahuallpa worshipped, since he had suffered
him to fall into the hands of his enemies.  The unhappy monarch
assented to the force of this, acknowledging that his Deity had
indeed deserted him in his utmost need. *44

[Footnote 44: "I mas dijo Atabalipa, que estaba espantado de lo
que el Governador le havia dicho: que bien conocia que aquel que
hablaba en su Idolo, no es Dios verdadero pues tan poco le
aiudo." Xerez Conq. del Peru, ap. Barcia, tom. III. p. 203.]

Yet his conduct towards his brother Huascar, at this time, too
clearly proves, that, whatever respect he may have shown for the
teachers, the doctrines of Christianity had made little
impression on his heart.  No sooner had Huascar been informed of
the capture of his rival, and of the large ransom he had offered
for his deliverance, than, as the latter had foreseen, he made
every effort to regain his liberty, and sent, or attempted to
send, a message to the Spanish commander, that he would pay a
much larger ransom than that promised by Atahuallpa, who, never
having dwelt in Cuzco, was ignorant of the quantity of treasure
there, and where it was deposited.
Intelligence of all this was secretly communicated to Atahuallpa
by the persons who had his brother in charge; and his jealousy,
thus roused, was further heightened by Pizarro's declaration,
that he intended to have Huascar brought to Caxamalca, where he
would himself examine into the controversy, and determine which
of the two had best title to the sceptre of the Incas. Pizarro
perceived, from the first, the advantages of a competition which
would enable him, by throwing his sword into the scale he
preferred, to give it a preponderance.  The party who held the
sceptre by his nomination would henceforth be a tool in his
hands, with which to work his pleasure more effectually than he
could well do in his own name.  It was the game, as every reader
knows, played by Edward the First in the affairs of Scotland, and
by many a monarch, both before and since, - and though their
examples may not have been familiar to the unlettered soldier,
Pizarro was too quick in his perceptions to require, in this
matter, at least, the teachings of history.
Atahuallpa was much alarmed by the Spanish commander's
determination to have the suit between the rival candidates
brought before him; for he feared, that, independently of the
merits of the case, the decision would be likely to go in favor
of Huascar, whose mild and ductile temper would make him a
convenient instrument in the hands of his conquerors.  Without
further hesitation, he determined to remove this cause of
jealousy for ever, by the death of his brother.

His orders were immediately executed, and the unhappy prince was
drowned, as was commonly reported, in the river of Andamarca,
declaring with his dying breath that the white men would avenge
his murder, and that his rival would not long survive him. *45 -
Thus perished the unfortunate Huascar, the legitimate heir of the
throne of the Incas, in the very morning of life, and the
commencement of his reign; a reign, however, which had been long
enough to call forth the display of many excellent and amiable
qualities, though his nature was too gentle to cope with the bold
and fiercer temper of his brother.  Such is the portrait we have
of him from the Indian and Castilian chroniclers, though the
former, it should be added, were the kinsmen of Huascar, and the
latter certainly bore no goodwill to Atahuallpa. *46

[Footnote 45: Both the place and the manner of Huascar's death
are reported with much discrepancy by the historians.  All agree
in the one important fact, that he died a violent death at the
instigation of his brother.  Conf. Herrera, Hist. General, dec.
5, lib. 3, cap. 2. - Xerez, Conq. del Peru, ap. Barcia, tom. III.
p. 204. - Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Naharro, Relacion
Sumaria, Ms. - Zarate, Conq. del Peru, lib. 2, cap. 6. - Instruc.
del Inga Titucussi, Ms.]

[Footnote 46: Both Garcillaso de la Vega and Titucussi Yupanqui
were descendants from Huayna Capac, of the pure Peruvian stock,
the natural enemies, therefore, of their kinsman of Quito, whom
they regarded as a usurper.  Circumstances brought the Castilians
into direct collision with Atahuallpa, and it was natural they
should seek to darken his reputation by contrast with the fair
character of his rival.]

That prince received the tidings of Huascar's death with every
mark of surprise and indignation.  He immediately sent for
Pizarro, and communicated the event to him with expressions of
the deepest sorrow.  The Spanish commander refused, at first, to
credit the unwelcome news, and bluntly told the Inca, that his
brother could not be dead, and that he should be answerable for
his life. *47 To this Atahuallpa replied by renewed assurances of
the fact, adding that the deed had been perpetrated, without his
privity, by Huascar's keepers, fearful that he might take
advantage of the troubles of the country to make his escape.
Pizarro, on making further inquiries, found that the report of
his death was but too true.  That it should have been brought
about by Atahuallpa's officers, without his express command,
would only show, that, by so doing, they had probably anticipated
their master's wishes.  The crime, which assumes in our eyes a
deeper dye from the relation of the parties, had not the same
estimation among the Incas, in whose multitudinous families the
bonds of brotherhood must have sat loosely, - much too loosely to
restrain the arm of the despot from sweeping away any obstacle
that lay in his path.

[Footnote 47: "Sabido esto por el Gobernador, mostro, que el
pesaba mucho: i dijo que era mentira, que no le havian muerto,
que lo trujesen luego vivo: i sino, que el mandaria matar a
Atabalipa." Xerez, Conq. del Peru, ap. Barcia, tom. III. p. 204.]

Chapter VI

Gold Arrives For The Ransom. - Visit To Pachacamac. - Demolition
Of The Idol. - The Inca's Favorite General. - The Inca's Life In
Confinement. - Envoy's Conduct In Cuzco. - Arrival Of Almagro.


Several weeks had now passed since Atahuallpa's emissaries had
been despatched for the gold and silver that were to furnish his
ransom to the Spaniards.  But the distances were great, and the
returns came in slowly. They consisted, for the most part, of
massive pieces of plate, some of which weighed two or three
arrobas, - a Spanish weight of twenty-five pounds.  On some days,
articles of the value of thirty or forty thousand pesos de oro
were brought in, and, occasionally, of the value of fifty or even
sixty thousand pesos.  The greedy eyes of the Conquerors gloated
on the shining heaps of treasure, which were transported on the
shoulders of the Indian porters, and, after being carefully
registered, were placed in safe deposit under a strong guard.
They now began to believe that the magnificent promises of the
Inca would be fulfilled.  But, as their avarice was sharpened by
the ravishing display of wealth, such as they had hardly dared to
imagine, they became more craving and impatient.  They made no
allowance for the distance and the difficulties of the way, and
loudly inveighed against the tardiness with which the royal
commands were executed.  They even suspected Atahuallpa of
devising this scheme only to gain a pretext for communicating
with his subjects in distant places, and of proceeding as
dilatorily as possible, in order to secure time for the execution
of his plans.  Rumors of a rising among the Peruvians were
circulated, and the Spaniards were in apprehension of some
general and sudden assault on their quarters.  Their new
acquisitions gave them additional cause for solicitude; like a
miser, they trembled in the midst of their treasures. *1

[Footnote 1: Zarate, Conq. del Peru, lib. 2, sap. 6. - Naharro,
Relacion Sumaria, Ms. - Xerez, Conq. del Peru, ap. Barcia, tom.
III. p. 204.]

Pizarro reported to his captive the rumors that were in
circulation among the soldiers, naming, as one of the places
pointed out for the rendezvous of the Indians, the neighbouring
city of Guamachucho.  Atahuallpa listened with undisguised
astonishment, and indignantly repelled the charge, as false from
beginning to end.  "No one of my subjects," said he, "would dare
to appear in arms, or to raise his finger, without my orders.
You have me," he continued, "in your power.  Is not my life at
your disposal?  And what better security can you have for my
fidelity?" He then represented to the Spanish commander, that the
distances of many of the places were very great; that to Cuzco,
the capital, although a message might be sent by post, through a
succession of couriers, in five days from Caxamalca, it would
require weeks for a porter to travel over the same ground, with a
heavy load on his back.  "But that you may be satisfied I am
proceeding in good faith," he added, "I desire you will send some
of your own people to Cuzco.  I will give them a safe-conduct,
and, when there, they can superintend the execution of the
commission, and see with their own eyes that no hostile movements
are intended." It was a fair offer, and Pizarro, anxious to get
more precise and authentic information of the state of the
country, gladly availed himself of it. *2

[Footnote 2: Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Xerez, Conq.
del Peru, ap. Barcia, tom. III. pp. 203, 204. - Naharro, Relacion
Sumaria, Ms.]

Before the departure of these emissaries, the general had
despatched his brother Hernando with about twenty horse and a
small body of infantry to the neighbouring town of Guamachucho,
in order to reconnoitre the country, and ascertain if there was
any truth in the report of an armed force having assembled there.
Hernando found every thing quiet, and met with a kind reception
from the natives.  But before leaving the place, he received
further orders from his brother to continue his march to
Pachacamac, a town situated on the coast, at least a hundred
leagues distant from Caxamalca. It was consecrated as the seat of
the great temple of the deity of that name, whom the Peruvians
worshipped as the Creator of the world.  It is said that they
found there altars raised to this god, on their first occupation
of the country; and, such was the veneration in which he was held
by the natives, that the Incas, instead of attempting to abolish
his worship, deemed it more prudent to sanction it conjointly
with that of their own deity, the Sun. Side by side, the two
temples rose on the heights that overlooked the city of
Pachacamac, and prospered in the offerings of their respective
votaries. "It was a cunning arrangement," says an ancient writer,
"by which the great enemy of man secured to himself a double
harvest of souls." *3

[Footnote 3: "El demonio Pachacama alegre con este concierto,
afirman que mostraua en sus respuestas gran contento: pues con lo
vno y lo otro era el seruido, y quedauan las animas de los
simples malauenturados presas en su poder." Cieza de Leon,
Cronica, cap. 72.]

But the temple of Pachacamac continued to maintain its
ascendency; and the oracles delivered from its dark and
mysterious shrine, were held in no less repute among the natives
of Tavantinsuyu, (or "the four quarters of the world," as Peru
under the Incas was called,) than the oracles of Delphi obtained
among the Greeks.  Pilgrimages were made to the hallowed spot
from the most distant regions, and the city of Pachacamac became
among the Peruvians what Mecca was among the Mahometans, or
Cholula with the people of Anahuac.  The shrine of the deity,
enriched by the tributes of the pilgrims, gradually became one of
the most opulent in the land, and Atahuallpa, anxious to collect
his ransom as speedily as possible, urged Pizarro to send a
detachment in that direction, to secure the treasures before they
could be secreted by the priests of the temple.

It was a journey of considerable difficulty.  Two thirds of the
route lay along the table-land of the Cordilleras, intersected
occasionally by crests of the mountain range, that imposed no
slight impediment to their progress.  Fortunately, much of the
way, they had the benefit of the great road to Cuzco, and
"nothing in Christendom," exclaims Hernando Pizarro, "equals the
magnificence of this road across the sierra." *4 In some places,
the rocky ridges were so precipitous, that steps were cut in them
for the travellers; and though the sides were protected by heavy
stone balustrades or parapets, it was with the greatest
difficulty that the horses were enabled to scale them.  The road
was frequently crossed by streams, over which bridges of wood and
sometimes of stone were thrown; though occasionally, along the
declivities of the mountains, the waters swept down in such
furious torrents, that the only method of passing them was by the
swinging bridges of osier, of which, till now, the Spaniards had
had little experience.  They were secured on either bank to heavy
buttresses of stone.  But as they were originally designed for
nothing heavier than the foot-passenger and the llama, and, as
they had something exceedingly fragile in their appearance, the
Spaniards hesitated to venture on them with their horses.
Experience, however, soon showed they were capable of bearing a
much greater weight; and though the traveller, made giddy by the
vibration of the long avenue, looked with a reeling brain into
the torrent that was tumbling at the depth of a hundred feet or
more below him, the whole of the cavalry effected their passage
without an accident.  At these bridges, it may be remarked, they
found persons stationed whose business it was to collect toll for
the government from all travellers. *5

[Footnote 4: "El camino de las sierras es cosa de ver, porque en
verdad en tierra tan fragosa en la cristiandad no se han visto
tan hermosos caminos, toda la mayor parte de calzada." Carta,

[Footnote 5: "Todos los arroyos tienen puentes de piedra o de
madera: en un rio grande, que era muy caudaloso e muy grande, que
pasamos dos veces, hallamos puentes de red, que es cosa
maravillosa de ver; pasamos por ellas los caballos; tienen en
cada pasaje dos puentes, la una por donde pasa la gente comun, la
otra por donde pasa el senor de la tierra o sus capitanes: esta
tienen siempre cerrada e indios que la guardan; estos indios
cobran portazgo de los que pasan." Carta de Hern.  Pizarro, Ms. -
Also Relacion del Primer. Descub., Ms.]

The Spaniards were amazed by the number as well as magnitude of
the flocks of llamas which they saw browsing on the stunted
herbage that grows in the elevated regions of the Andes.  Some
times they were gathered in inclosures, but more usually were
roaming at large under the conduct of their Indian shepherds; and
the Conquerors now learned, for the first time, that these
animals were tended with as much care, and their migrations as
nicely regulated, as those of the vast flocks of merinos in their
own country. *6

[Footnote 6: A comical blunder has been made by the printer, in
M. Ter naux-Compans's excellent translation of Xerez, in the
account of this expedition.  "On trouve sur toute la route
beaucoup de porcs, de lamas." (Relation de la Conquete du Perou,
p. 157.) The substitution of porcs for parcs might well lead the
reader into the error of supposing that swine existed in Peru
before the Conquest.]

The table-land and its declivities were thickly sprinkled with
hamlets and towns, some of them of considerable size; and the
country in every direction bore the marks of a thrifty husbandry.
Fields of Indian corn were to be seen in all its different
stages, from the green and tender ear to the yellow ripeness of
harvest time.  As they descended into the valleys and deep
ravines that divided the crests of the Cordilleras, they were
surrounded by the vegetation of a warmer climate, which delighted
the eye with the gay livery of a thousand bright colors, and
intoxicated the senses with its perfumes.  Everywhere the natural
capacities of the soil were stimulated by a minute system of
irrigation, which drew the fertilizing moisture from every stream
and rivulet that rolled down the declivities of the Andes; while
the terraced sides of the mountains were clothed with gardens and
orchards that teemed with fruits of various latitudes.  The
Spaniards could not sufficiently admire the industry with which
the natives had availed themselves of the bounty of Nature, or
had supplied the deficiency where she had dealt with a more
parsimonious hand.

Whether from the commands of the Inca, or from the awe which
their achievements had spread throughout the land, the Conquerors
were received, in every place through which they passed, with
hospitable kindness.  Lodgings were provided for them, with ample
refreshments from the well-stored magazines, distributed at
intervals along the route.  In many of the towns the inhabitants
came out to welcome them with singing and dancing; and, when they
resumed their march, a number of able-bodied porters were
furnished to carry forward their baggage. *7

[Footnote 7: Carta de Hern.  Pizarro, Ms. - Estete, ap. Barcia,
tom. III. pp. 206, 207. - Relacion del Primer.  Descub., Ms.

Both the last-cited author and Miguel Estete, the royal veedor or
inspector, accompanied Hernando Pizarro on this expedition, and,
of course, were eyewitnesses, like himself, of what they relate.
Estete's narrative is incorporated by the secretary Xerez in his

At length, after some weeks of travel, severe even with all these
appliances, Hernando Pizarro arrived before the city of
Pachacamac.  It was a place of considerable population, and the
edifices were, many of them, substantially built.  The temple of
the tutelar deity consisted of a vast stone building, or rather
pile of buildings, which, clustering around a conical hill, had
the air of a fortress rather than a religious establishment.
But, though the walls were of stone, the roof was composed of a
light thatch, as usual in countries where rain seldom or never
falls, and where defence, consequently, is wanted chiefly against
the rays of the sun.

Presenting himself at the lower entrance of the temple, Hernando
Pizarro was refused admittance by the guardians of the portal.
But, exclaiming that "he had come too far to be stayed by the arm
of an Indian priest," he forced his way into the passage, and,
followed by his men, wound up the gallery which led to an area on
the summit of the mount, at one end of which stood a sort of
chapel.  This was the sanctuary of the dread deity.  The door was
garnished with ornaments of crystal, and with turquoises and bits
of coral. *8 Here again the Indians would have dissuaded Pizarro
from violating the consecrated precincts, when, at that moment,
the shock of an earthquake, that made the ancient walls tremble
to their foundation, so alarmed the natives, both those of
Pizarro's own company and the people of the place, that they fled
in dismay, nothing doubting that their incensed deity would bury
the invaders under the ruins, or consume them with his
lightnings.  But no such terror found its way into the breast of
the Conquerors, who felt that here, at least, they were fighting
the good fight of the Faith.

[Footnote 8: "Esta puerta era muy tejida de diversas cosas de
corales y turquesas y cristales y otras cosas." Relacion del
Primer. Descub., Ms]

Tearing open the door, Pizarro and his party entered.  But
instead of a hall blazing, as they had fondly imagined, with gold
and precious stones, offerings of the worshippers of Pachacamac,
they found themselves in a small and obscure apartment, or rather
den, from the floor and sides of which steamed up the most
offensive odors, - like those of a slaughter-house.  It was the
place of sacrifice.  A few pieces of gold and some emeralds were
discovered on the ground, and, as their eyes became accommodated
to the darkness, they discerned in the most retired corner of the
room the figure of the deity.  It was an uncouth monster, made of
wood, with the head resembling that of a man.  This was the god,
through whose lips Satan had breathed forth the far-famed oracles
which had deluded his Indian votaries! *9

[Footnote 9: "Aquel era Pachacama, el cual les sanaba de sus
enfermedades, y a lo que alli se entendio, el Demonio aparecia en
aquella cueba a aquellos sacerdotes y hablaba con ellos, y estos
entraban con las peticiones y ofrendas de los que venian en
romeria, que es cierto que del todo el Senorio de Atabalica iban
alli, como los Moros y Turcos van a la casa de Meca." Relacion
del Primer. Descub., Ms. - Also Estete, ap. Barcia, tom III. p.

Tearing the idol from its recess, the indignant Spaniards dragged
it into the open air, and there broke it into a hundred
fragments.  The place was then purified, and a large cross, made
of stone and plaster, was erected on the spot.  In a few years
the walls of the temple were pulled down by the Spanish settlers,
who found there a convenient quarry for their own edifices. But
the cross still remained spreading its broad arms over the ruins.
It stood where it was planted in the very heart of the stronghold
of Heathendom; and, while all was in ruins around it, it
proclaimed the permanent triumphs of the Faith.

The simple natives, finding that Heaven had no bolts in store for
the Conquerors, and that their god had no power to prevent the
profanation of his shrine, came in gradually and tendered their
homage to the strangers, whom they now regarded with feelings of
superstitious awe.  Pizarro profited by this temper to wean them,
if possible, from their idolatry; and though no preacher himself,
as he tells us, he delivered a discourse as edifying, doubtless,
as could be expected from the mouth of a soldier; *10 and, in
conclusion, he taught them the sign of the cross, as an
inestimable talisman to secure them against the future
machinations of the Devil. *11

[Footnote 10: "E a falta de predicador les nice mi sermon,
diciendo el engano en que vivian." Carta de Hern.  Pizarro, Ms.]

[Footnote 11: Ibid., Ms. - Relacion del Primer.  Descub., Ms. -
Estete, ap. Barcia, tom. III. p. 209.]

But the Spanish commander was not so absorbed in his spiritual
labors as not to have an eye to those temporal concerns for which
he came into this quarter.  He now found, to his chagrin, that he
had come somewhat too late; and that the priests of Pachacamac,
being advised of his mission, had secured much the greater part
of the gold, and decamped with it before his arrival. A quantity
was afterwards discovered buried in the grounds adjoining. *12
Still the amount obtained was considerable, falling little short
of eighty thousand castellanos, a sum which once would have been
deemed a compensation for greater fatigues than they had
encountered.  But the Spaniards had become familiar with gold;
and their imaginations, kindled by the romantic adventures in
which they had of late been engaged, indulged in visions which
all the gold of Peru would scarcely have realized.

[Footnote 12: "Y andando los tiepos el capitan Rodrigo Orgonez, y
Francisco de Godoy, y otros sacaron gra summa de oro y plata de
los enterramientos. Y aun se presume y tiene por cierto, que ay
mucho mas: pero como no se sabe donde esta enterrado, se pierde."
Cieza de Leon, Cronica, cap. 72.]

One prize, however, Hernando obtained by his expedition, which
went far to console him for the loss of his treasure.  While at
Pachacamac, he learned that the Indian commander Challcuchima lay
with a large force in the neighbourhood of Xauxa, a town of some
strength at a considerable distance among the mountains.  This
man, who was nearly related to Atahuallpa, was his most
experienced general, and together with Quizquiz, now at Cuzco,
had achieved those victories at the south which placed the Inca
on the throne. From his birth, his talents, and his large
experience, he was accounted second to no subject in the kingdom.
Pizarro was aware of the importance of securing his person.
Finding that the Indian noble declined to meet him on his return,
he determined to march at once on Xauxa and take the chief in his
own quarters.  Such a scheme, considering the enormous disparity
of numbers, might seem desperate even for Spaniards.  But success
had given them such confidence, that they hardly condescended to
calculate chances.
The road across the mountains presented greater difficulties than
those on the former march.  To add to the troubles of the
cavalry, the shoes of their horses were worn out, and their hoofs
suffered severely on the rough and stony ground.  There was no
iron at hand, nothing but gold and silver. In the present
emergency they turned even these to account; and Pizarro caused
the horses of the whole troop to be shod with silver.  The work
was done by the Indian smiths, and it answered so well, that in
this precious material they found a substitute for iron during
the remainder of the march. *13

[Footnote 13: "Hicieron hacer herrage de herraduras e clavos para
sus Caballos de Plata, los cuales hicieron los cien Indios
fundidores muy buenos e cuantos quisieron de ellos, con el cual
herrage andubieron dos meses." (Oviedo, Hist. de las Indias, Ms.,
Parte 3, lib. 8, cap. 16.) The author of the Relacion del Primero
Descubrimento, Ms., says they shod the horses with silver and
copper.  And another of the Peruvian Conquerors assures us they
used gold and silver.  (Relatione d'un Capitano Spagnuolo, ap
Ramusio, Navigationi et Viaggi, Venetia, 1565, tom. III. fol.
376.) All agree in the silver.]

Xauxa was a large and populous place; though we shall hardly
credit the assertion of the Conquerors, that a hundred thousand
persons assembled habitually in the great square of the city. *14
The Peruvian commander was encamped, it was said, with an army of
five-and-thirty thousand men at only a few miles' distance from
the town With some difficulty he was persuaded to an interview
with Pizarro.  The latter addressed him courteously, and urged
his return with him to the Castilian quarters in Caxamalca,
representing it as the command of the Inca.  Ever since the
capture of his master, Challcuchima had remained uncertain what
course to take.  The capture of the Inca in this sudden and
mysterious manner by a race of beings who seemed to have dropped
from the clouds, and that too in the very hour of his triumph,
had entirely bewildered the Peruvian chief.  He had concerted no
plan for the rescue of Atahuallpa, nor, indeed, did he know
whether any such movement would be acceptable to him.  He now
acquiesced in his commands, and was willing, at all events, to
have a personal interview with his sovereign. Pizarro gained his
end without being obliged to strike a single blow to effect it.
The barbarian, when brought into contact with the white man,
would seem to have been rebuked by his superior genius, in the
same manner as the wild animal of the forest is said to quail
before the steady glance of the hunter.

[Footnote 14: "Era mucha la Gente de aquel Pueblo, i de sus
Comarcas, que al parecer de los Espanoles, se juntaban cada Dia
en la Placa Principal cien mil Personas." Estete, ap. Barcia,
tom. III. p. 230.]

Challcuchima came attended by a numerous retinue.  He was borne
in his sedan on the shoulders of his vassals; and, as he
accompanied the Spaniards on their return through the country,
received everywhere from the inhabitants the homage paid only to
the favorite of a monarch.  Yet all this pomp vanished on his
entering the presence of the Inca, whom he approached with his
feet bare, while a light burden, which he had taken from one of
the attendants, was laid on his back.  As he drew near, the old
warrior, raising his hands to heaven, exclaimed, - "Would that I
had been here! - this would not then have happened"; then,
kneeling down, he kissed the hands and feet of his royal master,
and bathed them with his tears.  Atahuallpa, on his part,
betrayed not the least emotion, and showed no other sign of
satisfaction at the presence of his favorite counsellor, than by
simply bidding him welcome.  The cold demeanour of the monarch
contrasted strangely with the loyal sensibility of the subject.

[Footnote 15: Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms.

"The like of it," exclaims Estete. "was never before seen since
the Indies were discovered." Ibid., p. 231.]

The rank of the Inca placed him at an immeasurable distance above
the proudest of his vassals; and the Spaniards had repeated
occasion to admire the ascendency which, even in his present
fallen fortunes, he maintained over his people, and the awe with
which they approached him.  Pedro Pizarro records an interview,
at which he was present, between Atahuallpa and one of his great
nobles, who had obtained leave to visit some remote part of the
country on condition of returning by a certain day.  He was
detained somewhat beyond the appointed time, and, on entering the
presence with a small propitiatory gift for his sovereign, his
knees shook so violently, that it seemed, says the chronicler, as
if he would have fallen to the ground.  His master, however,
received him kindly, and dismissed him without a word of rebuke.

[Footnote 16: Pedro Pizarro, Descub. Conq., Ms.]

Atahuallpa in his confinement continued to receive the same
respectful treatment from the Spaniards as hitherto.  They taught
him to play with dice, and the more intricate game of chess, in
which the royal captive became expert, and loved to be guile with
it the tedious hours of his imprisonment. Towards his own people
he maintained as far as possible his wonted state and ceremonial.
He was attended by his wives and the girls of his harem, who, as
was customary, waited on him at table and discharged the other
menial offices about his person.  A body of Indian nobles were
stationed in the antechamber, but never entered the presence
unbidden; and when they did enter it, they submitted to the same
humiliating ceremonies imposed on the greatest of his subjects.
The service of his table was gold and silver plate.  His dress,
which he often changed, was composed of the wool of the vicuna
wrought into mantles, so fine that it had the appearance of silk.
He sometimes exchanged these for a robe made of the skins of
bats, as soft and sleek as velvet.  Round his head he wore the
llautu, a woollen turban or shawl of the most delicate texture,
wreathed in folds of various bright colors; and he still
continued to encircle his temples with the borla, the crimson
threads of which, mingled with gold, descended so as partly to
conceal his eyes The image of royalty had charms for him, when
its substance had departed.  No garment or utensil that had once
belonged to the Peruvian sovereign could ever be used by another.
When he laid it aside, it was carefully deposited in a chest,
kept for the purpose, and afterwards burned.  It would have been
sacrilege to apply to vulgar uses that which had been consecrated
by the touch of the Inca. *17

[Footnote 17: This account of the personal habits of Atahuallpa
is taken from Pedro Pizarro, who saw him often in his
confinement.  As his curious narrative is little known, I have
extracted the original in Appendix, No. 9.]

Not long after the arrival of the party from Pachacamac, in the
latter part of May, the three emissaries returned from Cuzco.
They had been very successful in their mission.  Owing to the
Inca's order, and the awe which the white men now inspired
throughout the country, the Spaniards had everywhere met with a
kind reception.  They had been carried on the shoulders of the
natives in the hamacas, or sedans, of the country; and, as they
had travelled all the way to the capital on the great imperial
road, along which relays of Indian carriers were established at
stated intervals, they performed this journey of more than six
hundred miles, not only without inconvenience, but with the most
luxurious ease.  They passed through many populous towns, and
always found the simple natives disposed to venerate them as
beings of a superior nature.  In Cuzco they were received with
public festivities, were sumptuously lodged, and had every want
anticipated by the obsequious devotion of the inhabitants.

Their accounts of the capital confirmed all that Pizarro had
before heard of the wealth and population of the city.  Though
they had remained more than a week in this place, the emissaries
had not seen the whole of it. The great temple of the Sun they
found literally covered with plates of gold. They had entered the
interior and beheld the royal mummies, seated each in his
gold-embossed chair, and in robes profusely covered with
ornaments.  The Spaniards had the grace to respect these, as they
had been previously enjoined by the Inca; but they required that
the plates which garnished the walls should be all removed.  The
Peruvians most reluctantly acquiesced in the commands of their
sovereign to desecrate the national temple, which every
inhabitant of the city regarded with peculiar pride and
veneration.  With less reluctance they assisted the Conquerors in
stripping the ornaments from some of the other edifices, where
the gold, however, being mixed with a large proportion of alloy,
was of much less value. *18

[Footnote 18: Rel. d'un Capitano Spagn., ap. Ramusio, tom. III.
fol. 375. - Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Herrera, Hist.
General, dec. 5, lib. 2, cap. 12, 13.]

The number of plates they tore from the temple of the Sun was
seven hundred; and though of no great thickness, probably, they
are compared in size to the lid of a chest, ten or twelve inches
wide. *19 A cornice of pure gold encircled the edifice, but so
strongly set in the stone, that it fortunately defied the efforts
of the spoilers.  The Spaniards complained of the want of
alacrity shown by the Indians in the work of destruction, and
said that there were other parts of the city containing buildings
rich in gold and silver which they had not been allowed to see.
In truth, their mission, which, at best, was a most ungrateful
one, had been rendered doubly annoying by the manner in which
they had executed it.  The emissaries were men of a very low
stamp, and, puffed up by the honors conceded to them by the
natives, they looked on themselves as entitled to these, and
contemned the poor Indians as a race immeasurably beneath the
European.  They not only showed the most disgusting rapacity, but
treated the highest nobles with wanton insolence. They even went
so far, it is said, as to violate the privacy of the convents,
and to outrage the religious sentiments of the Peruvians by their
scandalous amours with the Virgins of the Sun.  The people of
Cuzco were so exasperated, that they would have laid violent
hands on them, but for their habitual reverence for the Inca, in
whose name the Spaniards had come there.  As it was, the Indians
collected as much gold as was necessary to satisfy their unworthy
visitors, and got rid of them as speedily as possible. *20 It was
a great mistake in Pizarro to send such men. There were persons,
even in his company, who, as other occasions showed, had some
sense of self-respect, if not respect for the natives.

[Footnote 19: "I de las Chapas de oro, que esta Casa tenia,
quitaron setecientas Planchas . . . . . a manera de Tablas de
Caxas de a tres, i a quatro palmos de largo." Xerez, Conq. del
Peru, ap. Barcia, tom. III. p. 232.]
[Footnote 20: Herrera, Hist. General, ubi supra.]

The messengers brought with them, besides silver, full two
hundred cargas or loads of gold. *21 This was an important
accession to the contributions of Atahuallpa; and, although the
treasure was still considerably below the mark prescribed, the
monarch saw with satisfaction the time drawing nearer for the
completion of his ransom.

[Footnote 21: So says Pizarro's secretary.  "I vinieron docientas
cargas de Oro, i veinte i cinco de Plata." (Xerez, Conq. del
Peru, ap. Barcia, ubi supra.) A load, he says, was brought by
four Indians "Cargas de Paligueres, que las traen quatro Indios."
The meaning of paligueres - not a Spanish word - is doubtful.
Ternaux-Compans supposes, ingeniously enough, that it may have
something of the same meaning with palanquin, to which it bears
some resemblance]

Not long before this, an event had occurred which changed the
condition of the Spaniards, and had an unfavorable influence on
the fortunes of the Inca.  This was the arrival of Almagro at
Caxamalca, with a strong reinforcement.  That chief had
succeeded, after great efforts, in equipping three vessels, and
assembling a body of one hundred and fifty men, with which he
sailed from Panama, the latter part of the preceding year.  On
his voyage, he was joined by a small additional force from
Nicaragua, so that his whole strength amounted to one hundred and
fifty foot and fifty horse, well provided with the munitions of
war.  His vessels were steered by the old pilot Ruiz; but after
making the Bay of St. Matthew, he crept slowly along the coast,
baffled as usual by winds and currents, and experiencing all the
hardships incident to that protracted navigation.  From some
cause or other, he was not so fortunate as to obtain tidings of
Pizarro; and so disheartened were his followers, most of whom
were raw adventurers, that, when arrived at Puerto Viejo, they
proposed to abandon the expedition, and return at once to Panama.
Fortunately, one of the little squadron which Almagro had sent
forward to Tumbez brought intelligence of Pizarro and of the
colony he had planted at San Miguel.  Cheered by the tidings, the
cavalier resumed his voyage, and succeeded, at length, towards
the close of December, 1532, in bringing his whole party safe to
the Spanish settlement.

He there received the account of Pizarro's march across the
mountains, his seizure of the Inca, and, soon afterwards, of the
enormous ransom offered for his liberation.  Almagro and his
companions listened with undisguised amazement to this account of
his associate, and of a change in his fortunes so rapid and
wonderful that it seemed little less than magic.  At the same
time, he received a caution from some of the colonists not to
trust himself in the power of Pizarro, who was known to bear him
no goodwill.
Not long after Almagro's arrival at San Miguel, advices were sent
of it to Caxamalca, and a private note from his secretary Perez
informed Pizarro that his associate had come with no purpose of
cooperating with him, but with the intention to establish an
independent government.  Both of the Spanish captains seem to
have been surrounded by mean and turbulent spirits, who sought to
embroil them with each other, trusting, doubtless, to find their
own account in the rupture.  For once, however, their malicious
machinations failed.

Pizarro was overjoyed at the arrival of so considerable a
reinforcement, which would enable him to push his fortunes as he
had desired, and go forward with the conquest of the country.  He
laid little stress on the secretary's communication, since,
whatever might have been Almagro's original purpose, Pizarro knew
that the richness of the vein he had now opened in the land would
be certain to secure his cooperation in working it.  He had the
magnanimity, therefore, - for there is something magnanimous in
being able to stifle the suggestions of a petty rivalry in
obedience to sound policy, -to send at once to his ancient
comrade, and invite him, with many assurances of friendship, to
Caxamalca.  Almagro, who was of a frank and careless nature,
received the communication in the spirit in which it was made,
and, after some necessary delay, directed his march into the
interior.  But before leaving San Miguel, having become
acquainted with the treacherous conduct of his secretary, he
recompensed his treason by hanging him on the spot. *22

[Footnote 22: Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Xerez, Conq.
del Peru, ap. Barcia, tom. III. pp. 204, 205. - Relacion Sumaria,
Ms. - Conq. i Pob. del Piru, Ms - Relacion del Primer. Descub.
Ms. - Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 5, lib. 3, cap. 1.]

Almagro reached Caxamalca about the middle of February, 1533.
The soldiers of Pizarro came out to welcome their countrymen, and
the two captains embraced each other with every mark of cordial
satisfaction.  All past differences were buried in oblivion, and
they seemed only prepared to aid one another in following up the
brilliant career now opened to them in the conquest of an empire.

There was one person in Caxamalca on whom this arrival of the
Spaniards produced a very different impression from that made on
their own countrymen. This was the Inca Atahuallpa.  He saw in
the new-comers only a new swarm of locusts to devour his unhappy
country; and he felt, that, with his enemies thus multiplying
around him, the chances were diminished of recovering his
freedom, or of maintaining it, if recovered. A little
circumstance, insignificant in itself, but magnified by
superstition into something formidable, occurred at this time to
cast an additional gloom over his situation.

A remarkable appearance, somewhat of the nature of a meteor, or
it may have been a comet, was seen in the heavens by some
soldiers and pointed out to Atahuallpa.  He gazed on it with
fixed attention for some minutes, and then exclaimed, with a
dejected air, that "a similar sign had been seen in the skies a
short time before the death of his father Huayna Capac." *23 From
this day a sadness seemed to take possession of him, as he looked
with doubt and undefined dread to the future. - Thus it is, that,
in seasons of danger, the mind, like the senses, becomes morbidly
acute in its perceptions; and the least departure from the
regular course of nature, that would have passed unheeded in
ordinary times, to the superstitious eye seems pregnant with
meaning, as in some way or other connected with the destiny of
the individual.

[Footnote 23: Rel. d'un Capitano Spagn., ap. Ramusio, tom. III.
fol. 377 - Ciez de Leon, Cronica, cap. 65.]

Chapter VII

Immense Amount Of Treasure. - Its Division Among The Troops -
Rumors Of A Rising. - Trial Of The Inca. - His Execution -


The arrival of Almagro produced a considerable change in
Pizarro's prospects, since it enabled him to resume active
operations, and push forward his conquests in the interior.  The
only obstacle in his way was the Inca's ransom, and the Spaniards
had patiently waited, till the return of the emissaries from
Cuzco swelled the treasure to a large amount, though still below
the stipulated limit.  But now their avarice got the better of
their forbearance, and they called loudly for the immediate
division of the gold. To wait longer would only be to invite the
assault of their enemies, allured by a bait so attractive.  While
the treasure remained uncounted, no man knew its value, nor what
was to be his own portion.  It was better to distribute it at
once, and let every one possess and defend his own.  Several,
moreover, were now disposed to return home, and take their share
of the gold with them, where they could place it in safety But
these were few, while much the larger part were only anxious to
leave their present quarters, and march at once to Cuzco. More
gold, they thought, awaited them in that capital, than they could
get here by prolonging their stay; while every hour was precious,
to prevent the inhabitants from secreting their treasures, of
which design they had already given indication.

Pizarro was especially moved by the last consideration; and he
felt, that, without the capital, he could not hope to become
master of the empire. Without further delay, the division of the
treasure was agreed upon.
Yet, before making this, it was necessary to reduce the whole to
ingots of a uniform standard, for the spoil was composed of an
infinite variety of articles, in which the gold was of very
different degrees of purity.  These articles consisted of
goblets, ewers, salvers, vases of every shape and size, ornaments
and utensils for the temples and the royal palaces, tiles and
plates for the decoration of the public edifices, curious
imitations of different plants and animals.  Among the plants,
the most beautiful was the Indian corn, in which the golden ear
was sheathed in its broad leaves of silver, from which hung a
rich tassel of threads of the same precious metal. A fountain was
also much admired, which sent up a sparkling jet of gold, while
birds and animals of the same material played in the waters at
its base.  The delicacy of the workmanship of some of these, and
the beauty and ingenuity of the design, attracted the admiration
of better judges than the rude Conquerors of Peru. *1

[Footnote 1: Relatione de Pedro Sancho, ap. Ramusio, Viaggi, tom.
III. fol. 399. - Xerez, Conq. del Peru, ap. Barcia, tom. III. p.
233. - Zarate, Conq. del Peru, lib. 2, cap. 7.

Oviedo saw at St. Domingo the articles which Ferdinand Pizarro
was bearing to Castile; and he expatiates on several beautifully
wrought vases, richly chased, of very fine gold, and measuring
twelve inches in height and thirty round.  Hist. de las Indias,
Ms., Parte 3, lib. 8, cap. 16.]

Before breaking up these specimens of Indian art, it was
determined to send a quantity, which should be deducted from the
royal fifth, to the Emperor.  It would serve as a sample of the
ingenuity of the natives, and would show him the value of his
conquests.  A number of the most beautiful articles was selected,
to the amount of a hundred thousand ducats, and Hernando Pizarro
was appointed to be the bearer of them to Spain.  He was to
obtain an audience of Charles, and, at the same time that he laid
the treasures before him, he was to give an account of the
proceedings of the Conquerors, and to seek a further augmentation
of their powers and dignities.
No man in the army was better qualified for this mission, by his
address and knowledge of affairs, than Hernando Pizarro; no one
would be so likely to urge his suit with effect at the haughty
Castilian court.  But other reasons influenced the selection of
him at the present juncture.

His former jealousy of Almagro still rankled in his bosom, and he
had beheld that chief's arrival at the camp with feelings of
disgust, which he did not care to conceal.  He looked on him as
coming to share the spoils of victory, and defraud his brother of
his legitimate honors. Instead of exchanging the cordial greeting
proffered by Almagro at their first interview, the arrogant
cavalier held back in sullen silence.  His brother Francis was
greatly displeased at a conduct which threatened to renew their
ancient feud, and he induced Hernando to accompany him to
Almagro's quarters, and make some acknowledgment for his
uncourteous behaviour. *2 But, notwithstanding this show of
reconciliation, the general thought the present a favorable
opportunity to remove his brother from the scene of operations,
where his factious spirit more than counterbalanced his eminent
services. *3

[Footnote 2: Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 5, lib. 2, cap. 3.]

[Footnote 3: According to Oviedo it was agreed that Hernando
should have a share, much larger than he was entitled to, of the
Inca's ransom, in the hope that he would feel so rich as never to
desire to return again to Peru. "Trabajaron de le embiar rico por
quitarle de entre ellos, y porque yendo muy rico como fue no
tubiese voluntad de tornar a aquellas partes." Hist. de las
Indias, Ms., Parte 3, lib. 8 cap. 16.]

The business of melting down the plate was intrusted to the
Indian goldsmiths, who were thus required to undo the work of
their own hands.  They toiled day and night, but such was the
quantity to be recast, that it consumed a full month.  When the
whole was reduced to bars of a uniform standard, they were nicely
weighed, under the superintendence of the royal inspectors.  The
total amount of the gold was found to be one million, three
hundred and twenty-six thousand, five hundred and thirty-nine
pesos de oro, which, allowing for the greater value of money in
the sixteenth century, would be equivalent, probably, at the
present time, to near three millions and a half of pounds
sterling, or somewhat less than fifteen millions and a half of
dollars. *4 The quantity of silver was estimated at fifty-one
thousand six hundred and ten marks.  History affords no parallel
of such a booty - and that, too, in the most convertible form, in
ready money, as it were - having fallen to the lot of a little
band of military adventurers, like the Conquerors of Peru.  The
great object of the Spanish expeditions in the New World was
gold.  It is remarkable that their success should have been so
complete.  Had they taken the track of the English, the French,
or the Dutch, on the shores of the northern continent, how
different would have been the result!  It is equally worthy of
remark, that the wealth thus suddenly acquired, by diverting them
from the slow but surer and more permanent sources of national
prosperity, has in the end glided from their grasp, and left them
among the poorest of the nations of Christendom.

[Footnote 4: Acta de Reparticion del Rescate de Atahuallpa, Ms -
Xerez, Conq. del Peru, ap. Barcia, tom. III. p. 232.

In reducing the sums mentioned in this work, I have availed
myself -as I before did, in the History of the Conquest of Mexico
- of the labors of Senor Clemencin, formerly Secretary of the
Royal Academy of History at Madrid.  This eminent scholar, in the
sixth volume of the Memoirs of the Academy, prepared wholly by
himself, has introduced an elaborate essay on the value of the
currency in the reign of Ferdinand and Isabella.  Although this
period - the close of the fifteenth century - was somewhat
earlier than that of the Conquest of Peru, yet his calculations
are sufficiently near the truth for our purpose, since the
Spanish currency had not as yet been much affected by that
disturbing cause, - the influx of the precious metals from the
New World.

In inquiries into the currency of a remote age, we may consider,
in the first place, the specific value of the coin, - that is,
the value which it derives from the weight, purity, &c., of the
metal, circumstances easily determined.  In the second place, we
may inquire into the commercial or comparative worth of the
money, - that is, the value founded on a comparison of the
differences between the amount of commodities which the same sum
would purchase formerly, and at the present time.  The last
inquiry is attended with great embarrassment, from the difficulty
of finding any one article which may be taken as the true
standard of value.  Wheat, from its general cultivation and use,
has usually been selected by political economists as this
standard; and Clemencin has adopted it in his calculations.
Assuming wheat as the standard, he has endeavoured to ascertain
the value of the principal coins in circulation, at the time of
the "Catholic Kings." He makes no mention in his treatise of the
peso de oro, by which denomination the sums in the early part of
the sixteenth century were more frequently expressed than by any
other.  But he ascertains both the specific and the commercial
value of the castellano, which several of the old writers, as
Oviedo, Herrera, and Xerez, concur in stating as precisely
equivalent to the peso de oro.  From the results of his
calculations, it appears that the specific value of the
castellano, as stated by him in reals, is equal to three dollars
and seven cents of our own currency, while the commercial value
is nearly four times as great, or eleven dollars sixty-seven
cents, equal to two pounds twelve shillings and sixpence
sterling.  By adopting this as the approximate value of the peso
de oro, in the early part of the sixteenth century, the reader
may easily compute for himself the value, at that period, of the
sums mentioned in these pages; most of which are expressed in
that denomination.
I have been the more particular in this statement, since, in my
former work, I confined myself to the commercial value of the
money, which, being much greater than the specific value, founded
on the quality and weight of the metal, was thought by an
ingenious correspondent to give the reader an exaggerated
estimate of the sums mentioned in the history.  But it seems to
me that it is only this comparative or commercial value with
which the reader has any concern, indicating what amount of
commodities any given sum represents, that he may thus know the
real worth of that sum; - thus adopting the principle, though
conversely stated, of the old Hudibrastic maxim, -
"What is worth in anything,
But so much money as 't will bring."]

A new difficulty now arose in respect to the division of the
treasure. Almagro's followers claimed to be admitted to a share
of it; which, as they equalled, and, indeed, somewhat exceeded in
number Pizarro's company, would reduce the gains of these last
very materially.  "We were not here, it is true," said Almagro's
soldiers to their comrades, "at the seizure of the Inca, but we
have taken our turn in mounting guard over him since his capture,
have helped you to defend your treasures, and now give you the
means of going forward and securing your conquests.  It is a
common cause," they urged, "in which all are equally embarked,
and the gains should be shared equally between us."

But this way of viewing the matter was not at all palatable to
Pizarro's company, who alleged that Atahuallpa's contract had
been made exclusively with them; that they had seized the Inca,
had secured the ransom, had incurred, in short, all the risk of
the enterprise, and were not now disposed to share the fruits of
it with every one who came after them. - There was much force, it
could not be denied, in this reasoning, and it was finally
settled between the leaders, that Almagro's followers should
resign their pretensions for a stipulated sum of no great amount,
and look to the career now opened to them for carving out their
fortunes for themselves.

This delicate affair being this harmoniously adjusted, Pizarro
prepared, with all solemnity, for a division of the imperial
spoil.  The troops were called together in the great square, and
the Spanish commander, "with the fear of God before his eyes,"
says the record, "invoked the assistance of Heaven to do the work
before him conscientiously and justly." *5 The appeal may seem
somewhat out of place at the distribution of spoil so
unrighteously acquired; yet, in truth, considering the magnitude
of the treasure, and the power assumed by Pizarro to distribute
it according to the respective deserts of the individuals, there
were few acts of his life involving a heavier responsibility.  On
his present decision might be said to hang the future fortunes of
each one of his followers, - poverty or independence during the
remainder of his days.

[Footnote 5: "Segun Dios Nuestro Senor a diere a entender
teniendo su conciencia y para lo mejor hazer pedia el ayuda de
Dios Nuestro Senor, e imboco el auxilio divino." Acta de
Reparticion del Rescate, Ms.]

The royal fifth was first deducted, including the remittance
already sent to Spain.  The share appropriated by Pizarro
amounted to fifty-seven thousand two hundred and twenty-two pesos
of gold, and two thousand three hundred and fifty marks of
silver.  He had besides this the great chair or throne of the
Inca, of solid gold, and valued at twenty-five thousand pesos de
oro.  To his brother Hernando were paid thirty-one thousand and
eighty pesos of gold, and two thousand three hundred and fifty
marks of silver.  De Soto received seventeen thousand seven
hundred and forty pesos of gold, and seven hundred and
twenty-four marks of silver Most of the remaining cavalry, sixty
in number, received each eight thousand eight hundred and eighty
pesos of gold, and three hundred and sixty-two marks of silver,
though some had more, and a few considerably less.  The infantry
mustered in all one hundred and five men. Almost one fifth of
them were allowed, each, four thousand four hundred and forty
pesos of gold, and one hundred and eighty marks of silver, half
of the compensation of the troopers.  The remainder received one
fourth part less; though here again there were exceptions, and
some were obliged to content themselves with a much smaller share
of the spoil. *6

[Footnote 6: The particulars of the distribution are given in the
Acta de Reparticion del Rescate, an instrument drawn up and
signed by the royal notary.  The document, which as therefore of
unquestionable authority, is among the Mss. selected for me from
the collection of Munoz.]

The new church of San Francisco, the first Christian temple in
Peru, was endowed with two thousand two hundred and twenty pesos
of gold.  The amount assigned to Almagro's company was not
excessive, if it was not more than twenty thousand pesos; *7 and
that reserved for the colonists of San Miguel, which amounted
only to fifteen thousand pesos, was unaccountably small. *8 There
were among them certain soldiers, who at an early period of the
expedition, as the reader may remember abandoned the march, and
returned to San Miguel.  These, certainly, had little claim to be
remembered in the division of booty.  But the greater part of the
colony consisted of invalids, men whose health had been broken by
their previous hardships, but who still, with a stout and willing
heart, did good service in their military post on the sea-coast.
On what grounds they had forfeited their claims to a more ample
remuneration, it is not easy to explain.

[Footnote 7: "Se diese a la gente que vino con el Capital Diego
de Almagro para ayuda a pagar sus deudas y fletes y suplir
algunas necesidades que traian veinte mil pesos." (Acta de
Reparticion del Rescate, Ms.) Herrera says that 100,000 pesos
were paid to Almagro's men.  (Hist. General, dec. 5, lib. 2, cap.
3.) But it is not so set down in the instrument.]

[Footnote 8: "En treinta personas que quedaron en la ciudad de
san Miguel de Piura dolientes y otros que no vinieron ni se
hallaron en la prision de Atagualpa y toma del oro porque algunos
son pobres y otros tienen necesidad senalaba 15,000 ps de oro
para los repartir S. Senoria entre las dichas personas." Ibid.,

Nothing is said, in the partition, of Almagro himself, who, by
the terms of the original contract, might claim an equal share of
the spoil with his associate.  As little notice is taken of
Luque, the remaining partner.  Luque himself, was, indeed, no
longer to be benefited by worldly treasure.  He had died a short
time before Almagro's departure from Panama; *9 too soon to learn
the full success of the enterprise, which, but for his exertions,
must have failed; too soon to become acquainted with the
achievements and the crimes of Pizarro.  But the Licentiate
Espinosa, whom he represented, and who, it appears, had advanced
the funds for the expedition, was still living at St. Domingo,
and Luque's pretensions were explicitly transferred to him.  Yet
it is unsafe to pronounce, at this distance of time, on the
authority of mere negative testimony; and it must be admitted to
form a strong presumption in favor of Pizarro's general equity in
the distribution, that no complaint of it has reached us from any
of the parties present, nor from contemporary chroniclers. *10

[Footnote 9: Montesinos, Annales, Ms. ano 1533.]

[Footnote 10: The "Spanish Captain," several times cited, who
tells us he was one of the men appointed to guard the treasure,
does indeed complain that a large quantity of gold vases and
other articles remained undivided, a palpable injustice, he
thinks, to the honest Conquerors, who had earned all by their
hardships.  (Rel. d'un Capitano Spagn., ap. Ramusio, tom. III.
fol. 378, 379.) The writer, throughout his Relation, shows a full
measure of the coarse and covetous spirit which marked the
adventurers of Peru.]

The division of the ransom being completed by the Spaniards,
there seemed to be no further obstacle to their resuming active
operations, and commencing the march to Cuzco.  But what was to
be done with Atahuallpa?  In the determination of this question,
whatever was expedient was just. *11 To liberate him would be to
set at large the very man who might prove their most dangerous
enemy; one whose birth and royal station would rally round him
the whole nation, place all the machinery of government at his
control, and all its resources, - one, in short, whose bare word
might concentrate all the energies of his people against the
Spaniards, and thus delay for a long period, if not wholly
defeat, the conquest of the country.  Yet to hold him in
captivity was attended with scarcely less difficulty; since to
guard so important a prize would require such a division of their
force as must greatly cripple its strength, and how could they
expect, by any vigilance, to secure their prisoner against rescue
in the perilous passes of the mountains?

[Footnote 11: 'Y esto tenia por justo, pues era provechoso." It
is the sentiment imputed to Pizarro by Herrera, Hist. General,
dec. 5, lib 3, cap. 4.]

The Inca himself now loudly demanded his freedom.  The proposed
amount of the ransom had, indeed, not been fully paid.  It may be
doubted whether it ever would have been, considering the
embarrassments thrown in the way by the guardians of the temples,
who seemed disposed to secrete the treasures, rather than despoil
these sacred depositories to satisfy the cupidity of the
strangers.  It was unlucky, too, for the Indian monarch, that
much of the gold, and that of the best quality, consisted of flat
plates or tiles, which, however valuable, lay in a compact form
that did little towards swelling the heap.  But an immense amount
had been already realized, and it would have been a still greater
one, the Inca might allege, but for the impatience of the
Spaniards.  At all events, it was a magnificent ransom, such as
was never paid by prince or potentate before.

These considerations Atahuallpa urged on several of the
cavaliers, and especially on Hernando de Soto, who was on terms
of more familiarity with him than Pizarro.  De Soto reported
Atahuallpa's demands to his leader; but the latter evaded a
direct reply.  He did not disclose the dark purposes over which
his mind was brooding. *12 Not long afterward he caused the
notary to prepare an instrument, in which he fully acquitted the
Inca of further obligation in respect to the ransom.  This he
commanded to be publicly proclaimed in the camp, while at the
same time he openly declared that the safety of the Spaniards
required, that the Inca should be detained in confinement until
they were strengthened by additional reinforcements. *13

[Footnote 12: "I como no ahondaban los designios que tenia le
replicaban; pero el respondia, que iba mirando en ello." Herrera,
Hist. General, dec. 5, lib. 3, cap. 4.]

[Footnote 13: "Fatta quella fusione, il Governatore fece vn atto
innanzi al notaro nel quale liberaua il Cacique Atabalipa et
l'absolueua della promessa et parola che haueua oata a gli
Spagnuoli che lo presero della casa d'oro c'haueua lor cocessa,
il quale fece publicar publicamete a suon di trombe nella piazza
di quella citta di Caxamalca." (Pedro Sancho, Rel., ap. Ramusio,
tom. III. fol. 399.) The authority is unimpeachable, - for any
fact, at least, that makes against the Conquerors, - since the
Relatione was by one of Pizarro's own secretaries, and was
authorized under the hands of the general and his great

Meanwhile the old rumors of a meditated attack by the natives
began to be current among the soldiers.  They were repeated from
one to another, gaining something by every repetition.  An
immense army, it was reported, was mustering at Quito, the land
of Atahuallpa's birth, and thirty thousand Caribs were on their
way to support it. *14 The Caribs were distributed by the early
Spaniards rather indiscriminately over the different parts of
America, being invested with peculiar horrors as a race of

[Footnote 14: "De la Gente Natural de Quito vienen docientos mil
Hombres de Guerra, i treinta mil Caribes, que comen Carne
Humana." Xerez, Conq. del Peru, ap. Barcia, tom. III. p. 233. -
See also Pedro Sancho, Rel., ap. Ramusio, ubi supra.]

It was not easy to trace the origin of these rumors.  There was
in the camp a considerable number of Indians, who belonged to the
party of Huascar, and who were, of course, hostile to Atahuallpa.
But his worst enemy was Felipillo, the interpreter from Tumbez,
already mentioned in these pages. This youth had conceived a
passion, or, as some say, had been detected in an intrigue with,
one of the royal concubines. *15 The circumstance had reached the
ears of Atahuallpa, who felt himself deeply outraged by it.
"That such an insult should have been offered by so base a person
was an indignity," he said, "more difficult to bear than his
imprisonment"; *16 and he told Pizarro, "that, by the Peruvian
law, it could be expiated, not by the criminal's own death alone,
but by that of his whole family and kindred." *17 But Felipillo
was too important to the Spaniards to be dealt with so summarily;
nor did they probably attach such consequence to an offence
which, if report be true, they had countenanced by their own
example. *18 Felipillo, however, soon learned the state of the
Inca's feelings towards himself, and from that moment he regarded
him with deadly hatred.  Unfortunately, his malignant temper
found ready means for its indulgence.

[Footnote 15: "Pues estando asi atravesose in demonio de una
lengua que se dezia ffelipillo uno de los muchachos que el
marquez avia llevado a Espana que al presente hera lengua y
andava enamorado de una muger de Atabalipa." Pedro Pizarro,
Descub. y Conq., Ms.

The amour and the malice of Felipillo, which, Quintana seems to
think, rest chiefly on Garcilasso's authority, (see Espanoles
Celebres, tom. II. p. 210, nota,) are stated very explicitly by
Zarate, Naharro, Gomara, Balboa, all contemporaneous, though not,
like Pedro Pizarro, personally present in the army.]

[Footnote 16: "Diciendo que sentia mas aquel desacato, que su
prision." Zarate, Conq. del Peru, lib. 2, cap. 7.]

[Footnote 17: Ibid., loc. cit.]

[Footnote 18: "E le habian tomado sus mugeres e repartidolas en
su presencia e usaban de ellas de sus adulterios." Oviedo, Hist.
de las Indias, Ms., Parte 3, lib. 8, cap. 22.]

The rumors of a rising among the natives pointed to Atahuallpa as
the author of it.  Challcuchima was examined on the subject, but
avowed his entire ignorance of any such design, which he
pronounced a malicious slander. Pizarro next laid the matter
before the Inca himself, repeating to him the stories in
circulation, with the air of one who believed them.  "What
treason is this," said the general, "that you have meditated
against me, - me, who have ever treated you with honor, confiding
in your words, as in those of a brother?" "You jest," replied the
Inca, who, perhaps, did not feel the weight of this confidence;
"you are always jesting with me.  How could I or my people think
of conspiring against men so valiant as the Spaniards?  Do not
jest with me thus, I beseech you." *19 "This," continues
Pizarro's secretary, "he said in the most composed and natural
manner, smiling all the while to dissemble his falsehood, so that
we were all amazed to find such cunning in a barbarian." *20

[Footnote 19: "Burlaste conmigo?  siempre me hablas cosas de
burlas?  Que parte somos Yo, i toda mi Gente, para enojar a tan
valientes Hombres como vosotros?  No me digas esas burlas."
Xerez, Conq. del Peru, ap. Barcia, tom. III. p. 234.]

[Footnote 20: "De que los Espanoles que se las han oido, estan
espantados de ver en vn Hombre Barbaro tanta prudencia." Ibid.,
loc. cit.]

But it was not with cunning, but with the consciousness of
innocence, as the event afterwards proved, that Atahuallpa thus
spoke to Pizarro.  He readily discerned, however, the causes,
perhaps the consequences, of the accusation.  He saw a dark gulf
opening beneath his feet; and he was surrounded by strangers, on
none of whom he could lean for counsel or protection.  The life
of the captive monarch is usually short; and Atahuallpa might
have learned the truth of this, when he thought of Huascar
Bitterly did he now lament the absence of Hernando Pizarro, for,
strange as it may seem, the haughty spirit of this cavalier had
been touched by the condition of the royal prisoner, and he had
treated him with a deference which won for him the peculiar
regard and confidence of the Indian.  Yet the latter lost no time
in endeavouring to efface the general's suspicions, and to
establish his own innocence.  "Am I not," said he to Pizarro, "a
poor captive in your hands? How could I harbour the designs you
impute to me, when I should be the first victim of the outbreak?
And you little know my people, if you think that such a movement
would be made without my orders; when the very birds in my
dominions," said he, with somewhat of an hyper bole, "would
scarcely venture to fly contrary to my will." *21

[Footnote 21: "Pues si Yo no lo quiero, ni las Aves bolaran en mi
Tierra.' Zarate, Conq. del Peru, lib. 2 cap. 7.]

But these protestations of innocence had little effect on the
troops; among whom the story of a general rising of the natives
continued to gain credit every hour.  A large force, it was said,
was already gathered at Guamachucho, not a hundred miles from the
camp, and their assault might be hourly expected.  The treasure
which the Spaniards had acquired afforded a tempting prize, and
their own alarm was increased by the apprehension of losing it.
The patroles were doubled.  The horses were kept saddled and
bridled.  The soldiers slept on their arms; Pizarro went the
rounds regularly to see that every sentinel was on his post.  The
little army, in short, was in a state of preparation for instant

Men suffering from fear are not likely to be too scrupulous as to
the means of removing the cause of it.  Murmurs, mingled with
gloomy menaces, were now heard against the Inca, the author of
these machinations.  Many began to demand his life as necessary
to the safety of the army.  Among these, the most vehement were
Almagro and his followers.  They had not witnessed the seizure of
Atahuallpa.  They had no sympathy with him in his fallen state.
They regarded him only as an incumbrance, and their desire now
was to push their fortunes in the country, since they had got so
little of the gold of Caxamalca.  They were supported by
Riquelme, the treasurer, and by the rest of the royal officers.
These men had been left at San Miguel by Pizarro, who did not
care to have such officia spies on his movements.  But they had
come to the camp with Almagro, and they loudly demanded the
Inca's death, as indispensable to the tranquillity of the
country, and the interests of the Crown. *22

[Footnote 22: Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Relacion del
Primer. Descub., Ms. - Ped. Sancho, Rel., ap. Ramusio, tom. III.
fol. 100.

These cavaliers were all present in the camp.]

To these dark suggestions Pizarro turned - or seemed to turn - an
unwilling ear, showing visible reluctance to proceed to extreme
measures with his prisoner. *23 There were some few, and among
others Hernando de Soto, who supported him in these views, and
who regarded such measures as not at all justified by the
evidence of Atahuallpa's guilt.  In this state of things, the
Spanish commander determined to send a small detachment to
Guamachucho, to reconnoitre the country and ascertain what ground
there was for the rumors of an insurrection.  De Soto was placed
at the head of the expedition, which, as the distance was not
great, would occupy but a few days.

[Footnote 23: "Aunque contra voluntad del dicho Gobernador, que
nunca estubo bien en ello." Relacion del Primer. Descub., Ms. -
So also Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Ped. Sancho, Rel.,
ap Ramusio, ubi supra.]

After that cavalier's departure, the agitation among the
soldiers, instead of diminishing, increased to such a degree,
that Pizarro, unable to resist their importunities, consented to
bring Atahuallpa to instant trial. It was but decent, and
certainly safer, to have the forms of a trial.  A court was
organized, over which the two captains, Pizarro and Almagro, were
to preside as judges.  An attorney-general was named to prosecute
for the Crown, and counsel was assigned to the prisoner.

The charges preferred against the Inca, drawn up in the form of
interrogatories, were twelve in number.  The most important were,
that he had usurped the crown and assassinated his brother
Huascar; that he had squandered the public revenues since the
conquest of the country by the Spaniards, and lavished them on
his kindred and his minions, that he was guilty of idolatry, and
of adulterous practices, indulging openly in a plurality of
wives; finally, that he had attempted to excite an insurrection
against the Spaniards. *24

[Footnote 24: The specification of the charges against the Inca
is given by Garcilasso de la Vega.  (Com. Real., Parte 2, lib. 1,
cap. 37.) One could have wished to find them specified by some of
the actors in the tragedy.  But Garcilasso had access to the best
sources of information, and where there was no motive for
falsehood, as in the present instance, his word may probably be
taken. - The fact of a process being formally instituted against
the Indian monarch is explicitly recognized by several
contemporary writers, by Gomara, Oviedo, and Pedro Sancho.
Oviedo characterizes it as "a badly contrived and worse written
document, devised by a factious and unprincipled priest, a clumsy
notary without conscience, and others of the like stamp, who were
all concerned in this villany." (Hist. de las Indias, Ms., Parte
3, lib. 8, cap. 22.) Most authorities agree in the two principal
charges, - the assassination of Huascar, and the conspiracy
against the Spaniards.]
These charges, most of which had reference to national usages, or
to the personal relations of the Inca, over which the Spanish
conquerors had clearly no jurisdiction, are so absurd, that they
might well provoke a smile, did they not excite a deeper feeling.
The last of the charges was the only one of moment in such a
trial; and the weakness of this may be inferred from the care
taken to bolster it up with the others.  The mere specification
of the articles must have been sufficient to show that the doom
of the Inca was already sealed.

A number of Indian witnesses were examined, and their testimony,
filtrated through the interpretation of Felipillo, received, it
is said, when necessary, a very different coloring from that of
the original.  The examination was soon ended, and "a warm
discussion," as we are assured by one of Pizarro's own
secretaries, "took place in respect to the probable good or evil
that would result from the death of Atahuallpa." *25 It was a
question of expediency He was found guilty, - whether of all the
crime alleged we are not informed, - and he was sentenced to be
burnt alive in the great square of Caxamalca.  The sentence was
to be carried into execution that very night. They were not even
to wait for the return of De Soto, when the information he would
bring would go far to establish the truth or the falsehood of the
reports respecting the insurrection of the natives.  It was
desirable to obtain the countenance of Father Valverde to these
proceedings, and a copy of the judgment was submitted to the
friar for his signature, which he gave without hesitation,
declaring, that, "in his opinion, the Inca, at all events,
deserved death." *26

[Footnote 25: "Doppo l'essersi molto disputato, et ragionato del
danno et vtile che saria potuto auuenire per il viuere o morire
di Atabalipa, fu risoluto che si facesse giustitia di lui." (Ped.
Sancho, Rel., ap. Ramusio, tom. III. fol. 400.) It is the
language of a writer who may be taken as the mouthpiece of
Pizarro himself.  According to him, the conclave, which agitated
this "question of expediency," consisted of the "officers of the
Crown and those of the army, a certain doctor learned in the law,
that chanced to be with them, and the reverend Father Vicente de

[Footnote 26: "Respondio, que firmaria, que era bastante, para
que el Inga fuese condenado a muerte, porque aun en lo exterior
quisieron justificar su intento." Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 5,
lib. 3, cap. 4]

Yet there were some few in that martial conclave who resisted
these high-handed measures.  They considered them as a poor
requital of all the favors bestowed on them by the Inca, who
hitherto had received at their hands nothing but wrong.  They
objected to the evidence as wholly insufficient; and they denied
the authority of such a tribunal to sit in judgment on a
sovereign prince in the heart of his own dominions.  If he were
to be tried, he should be sent to Spain, and his cause brought
before the Emperor, who alone had power to determine it.

But the great majority - and they were ten to one - overruled
these objections, by declaring there was no doubt of Atahuallpa's
guilt, and they were willing to assume the responsibility of his
punishment.  A full account of the proceedings would be sent to
Castile, and the Emperor should be informed who were the loyal
servants of the Crown, and who were its enemies. The dispute ran
so high, that for a time it menaced an open and violent rupture;
till, at length, convinced that resistance was fruivless, the
weaker party, silenced, but not satisfied, contented themselves
with entering a written protest against these proceedings, which
would leave an indelible stain on the names of all concerned in
them. *27

[Footnote 27: Garcilasso has preserved the names of some of those
who so courageously, though ineffectually, resisted the popular
cry for the Inca s blood.  (Com. Real., Parte 2, lib. 1, cap.
37.) They were doubtless correct in denying the right of such a
tribunal to sit in judgment on an independent prince, like the
Inca of Peru; but not so correct in supposing that their master,
the Emperor, had a better right.  Vattel (Book II. ch. 4.)
especially animadverts on this pretended trial of Atahuallpa, as
a manifest outrage on the law of nations.]

When the sentence was communicated to the Inca, he was greatly
overcome by it.  He had, indeed, for some time, looked to such an
issue as probable, and had been heard to intimate as much to
those about him.  But the probability of such an event is very
different from its certainty, - and that, too, so sudden and
speedy.  For a moment, the overwhelming conviction of it unmanned
him, and he exclaimed, with tears in his eyes, - "What ave I
done, or my children, that I should meet such fate?  And from
your hands, too," said he, addressing Pizarro; "you, who have met
with friendship and kindness from my people, with whom I have
shared my treasures, who have received nothing but benefits from
my hands!" In the most piteous tones, he then implored that his
life might be spared, promising any guaranty that might be
required for the safety of every Spaniard in the army, -
promising double the ransom he had already paid, if time were
only given him to obtain it. *28

[Footnote 28: Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Herrera,
Hist. General, dec. 5, lib. 3, cap. 4. - Zarate, Conq. del Peru,
lib. 2, cap. 7.]

An eyewitness assures us that Pizarro was visibly affected, as he
turned away from the Inca, to whose appeal he had no power to
listen, in opposition to the voice of the army, and to his own
sense of what was due to the security of the country. *29
Atahuallpa, finding he had no power to turn his Conqueror from
his purpose, recovered his habitual self-possession, and from
that moment submitted himself to his fate with the courage of an
Indian warrior.

[Footnote 29: "I myself," says Pedro Pizarro, "saw the general
weep." "Yo vide llorar al marques de pesar por no podelle dar la
vida porque cierto temio los requirimientos y e rriezgo que avia
en la tierra si se soltava." Descub. y Conq., Ms]

The doom of the Inca was proclaimed by sound of trumqet in the
great square of Caxamalca; and, two hours after sunset, the
Spanish soldiery assembled by torch-light in the plaza to witness
the execution of the sentence.  It was on the twenty-ninth of
August, 1533.  Atahuallpa was led out chained hand and foot, -
for he had been kept in irons ever since the great excitement had
prevailed in the army respecting an assault.  Father Vicente de
Valverde was at his side, striving to administer consolation,
and, if possible, to persuade him at this last hour to abjure his
superstition and embrace the religion of his Conquerors.  He was
willing to save the soul of his victim from the terrible
expiation in the next world, to which he had so cheerfully
consigned his mortal part in this.

During Atahuallpa's confinement, the friar had repeatedly
expounded to him the Christian doctrines, and the Indian monarch
discovered much acuteness in apprehending the discourse of his
teacher.  But it had not carried conviction to his mind, and
though he listened with patience, he had shown no disposition to
renounce the faith of his fathers.  The Dominican made a last
appeal to him in this solemn hour; and, when Atahuallpa was bound
to the stake, with the fagots that were to kindle his funeral
pile lying around him, Valverde, holding up the cross, besought
him to embrace it and be baptized, promising that, by so doing,
the painful death to which he had been sentenced should be
commuted for the milder form of the garrote, - a mode of
punishment by strangulation, used for criminals in Spain. *30

[Footnote 30: Xerez, Conq. del Peru, ap. Barcia, tom. III. p.
234. - Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Conq. i Pob. del
Piru, Ms. - Ped. Sancho, Rel., ap. Ramusio, tom. III. fol. 400.

The garrote is a mode of execution by means of a noose drawn
round the criminal's neck, to the back part of which a stick is
attached.  By twisting this stick, the noose is tightened and
suffocation is produced.  This was the mode, probably, of
Atahuallpa execution.  In Spain, instead of the cord, an iron
collar is substituted, which, by means of a screw is compressed
round the throat of the sufferer.]

The unhappy monarch asked if this were really so, and, on its
being confirmed by Pizarro, he consented to abjure his own
religion, and receive baptism.  The ceremony was performed by
Father Valverde, and the new convert received the name of Juan de
Atahuallpa, - the name of Juan being conferred in honor of John
the Baptist, on whose day the event took place. *31

[Footnote 31: Velasco, Hist. de Quito, tom. I. p. 372.]

Atahuallpa expressed a desire that his remains might be
transported to Quito, the place of his birth, to be preserved
with those of his maternal ancestors.  Then turning to Pizarro,
as a last request, he implored him to take compassion on his
young children, and receive them under his protection. Was there
no other one in that dark company who stood grimly around him, to
whom he could look for the protection of his offspring?  Perhaps
he thought there was no other so competent to afford it, and that
the wishes so solemnly expressed in that hour might meet with
respect even from his Conqueror. Then, recovering his stoical
bearing, which for a moment had been shaken, he submitted himself
calmly to his fate, - while the Spaniards, gathering around,
muttered their credos for the salvation of his soul! *32 Thus by
the death of a vile malefactor perished the last of the Incas!

[Footnote 32: "Ma quando se lo vidde appressare per douer esser
morto, disse che raccomandaua al Gouernatore i suoi piccioli
figliuoli che volesse tenersegli appresso, & con queste valme
parole, & dicendo per l'anima sua li Soagnuoli che erano all
intorno il Credo, fu subito affogato." Ped. Sancho, Rel., ap.
Ramusio, tom. III. fol. 399. Xerez, Conq. del Peru, ap. Barcia,
tom. III. p. 234. - Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. -
Naharro, Relacion Sumaria, Ms. - Conq. i Pob. del Piru, Ms. -
Relacion del Primer. Descub., Ms - Zarate, Conq. del Peru, lib.
2, cap. 7.]

The death of Atahuallpa has many points of resemblance with that
of Caupolican, the great Araucanian chief, as described in the
historical epic of Ercilla.  Both embraced the religion of their
conquerors at the stake, though Caupolican was so far less
fortunate than the Peruvian monarch, that his conversion did not
save him from the tortures of a most agonizing death. He was
impaled and shot with arrows.  The spirited verses reflect so
faithfully the character of these early adventurers, in which the
fanaticism of the Crusader was mingled with the cruelty of the
conqueror, and they are so germane to the present subject, that I
would willingly quote the passage were it not too long.  See La
Araucana, Parte 2, canto 24.]
I have already spoken of the person and the qualities of
Atahuallpa. He had a handsome countenance, though with an
expression somewhat too fierce to be pleasing.  His frame was
muscular and well-proportioned; his air commanding; and his
deportment in the Spanish quarters had a degree of refinement,
the more interesting that it was touched with melancholy.  He is
accused of having been cruel in his wars, and bloody in his
revenge. *33 It may be true, but the pencil of an enemy would be
likely to overcharge the shadows of the portrait.  He is allowed
to have been bold, high-minded, and liberal. *34 All agree that
he showed singular penetration and quickness of perception.  His
exploits as a warrior had placed his valor beyond dispute. The
best homage to it is the reluctance shown by the Spaniards to
restore him to freedom.  They dreaded him as an enemy, and they
had done him too many wrongs to think that he could be their
friend.  Yet his conduct towards them from the first had been
most friendly; and they repaid it with imprisonment, robbery, and

[Footnote 33: "Thus he paid the penalty of his errors and
cruelties," says Xerez, "for he was the greatest butcher, as all
agree, that the world ever saw; making nothing of razing a whole
town to the ground for the most trifling offence, and massacring
a thousand persons for the fault of one!" (Conq. del Peru, ap.
Barcia, tom. III. p. 234.) Xerez was the private secretary of
Pizarro.  Sancho, who, on the departure of Xerez for Spain,
succeeded him in the same office, pays a more decent tribute to
the memory of the Inca, who, he trusts, "is received into glory,
since he died penitent for his sins, and in the true faith of a
Christian." Ped. Sancho, Rel., ap. Ramusio, tom. III. fol. 399.]

[Footnote 34: "El hera muy regalado, y muy Senor," says Pedro
Pizarro. (Descub. y Conq., Ms.) "Mui dispuesto, sabio, animoso,
franco," says Gomara. (Hist. de las Ind., cap. 118.)]

The body of the Inca remained on the place of execution through
the night.  The following morning it was removed to the church of
San Francisco, where his funeral obsequies were performed with
great solemnity.  Pizarro and the principal cavaliers went into
mourning, and the troops listened with devout attention to the
service of the dead from the lips of Father Valverde. *35 The
ceremony was interrupted by the sound of loud cries and wailing,
as of many voices at the doors of the church.  These were
suddenly thrown open, and a number of Indian women, the wives and
sisters of the deceased, rushing up the great aisle, surrounded
the corpse.  This was not the way, they cried, to celebrate the
funeral rites of an Inca; and they declared their intention to
sacrifice themselves on his tomb, and bear him company to the
land of spirits.  The audience, outraged by this frantic
behaviour, told the intruders that Atahuallpa had died in the
faith of a Christian, and that the God of the Christians abhorred
such sacrifices.  They then caused the women to be excluded from
the church, and several, retiring to their own quarters, laid
violent hands on themselves, in the vain hope of accompanying
their beloved lord to the bright mansions of the Sun. *36

[Footnote 35: The secretary Sancho seems to think that the
Peruvians must have regarded these funeral honors as an ample
compensation to Atahuallpa for any wrongs he may have sustained,
since they at once raised him to a level with the Spaniards!
Ibid., loc. cit.]

[Footnote 36: Relacion del Primer. Descub., Ms.

See Appendix, No. 10, where I have cited in the original several
of the contemporary notices of Atahuallpa's execution, which
being in manuscript are not very accessible, even to Spaniards.]

Atahuallpa's remains, notwithstanding his request, were laid in
the cemetery of San Francisco. *37 But from thence, as is
reported, after the Spaniards left Caxamalca, they were secretly
removed, and carried, as he had desired, to Quito.  The colonists
of a later time supposed that some treasures might have been
buried with the body.  But, on excavating the ground, neither
treasure nor remains were to be discovered. *38

[Footnote 37: "Oi dicen los indios que esta su sepulcro junto a
una Cruz de Piedra Blanca que esta en el Cementerio del Convento
de Sn Francisco." Montesinos, Annales, Ms., ano 1533.]

[Footnote 38: Oviedo, Hist. de las Indias, Ms., Parte 3, lib. 8,
cap. 22.

According to Stevenson, "In the chapel belonging to the common
gaol, which was formerly part of the palace, the altar stands on
the stone on which Atahuallpa was placed by the Spaniards and
strangled, and under which he was buried." (Residence in South
America, vol. II. p. 163.) Montesinos, who wrote more than a
century after the Conquest, tells us that "spots of blood were
still visible on a broad flagstone, in the prison of Caxamalca,
on which Atahuallpa was beheaded." (Annales, Ms., ano 1533.) -
Ignorance and credulity could scarcely go farther.]

A day or two after these tragic events, Hernando de Soto returned
from his excursion.  Great was his astonishment and indignation
at learning what had been done in his absence.  He sought out
Pizarro at once, and found him, says the chronicler, "with a
great felt hat, by way of mourning, slouched over his eyes," and
in his dress and demeanour exhibiting all the show of sorrow. *39
"You have acted rashly," said De Soto to him bluntly; "Atahuallpa
has been basely slandered.  There was no enemy as Guamachucho; no
rising among the natives.  I have met with nothing on the road
but demonstrations of good-will, and all is quiet.  If it was
necessary to bring the Inca to trial, he should have been taken
to Castile and judged by the Emperor.  I would have pledged
myself to see him safe on board the vessel." *40 Pizarro
confessed that he had been precipitate, and said that he had been
deceived by Riquelme, Valverde, and the others.  These charges
soon reached the ears of the treasurer and the Dominican, who, in
their turn, exculpated themselves, and upbraided Pizarro to his
face, as the only one responsible for the deed.  The dispute ran
high; and the parties were heard by the by-standers to give one
another the lie! *41 This vulgar squabble among the leaders, so
soon after the event, is the best commentary on the iniquity of
their own proceedings and the innocence of the Inca.

[Footnote 39: "Hallaronle monstrando mucho centimiento con un
gran sombrero de fieltro puesto en la cabeza por luto e muy
calado sobre los ojos." Oviedo, Hist. de las Indias, Ms., Parte
3, lib. 8, cap. 22.]

[Footnote 40: Ibid., Ms., ubi supra. - Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y
Conq., Ms. - See Appendix, no. 10.]

[Footnote 41: This remarkable account is given by Oviedo, not in
the body of his narrative, but in one of those supplementary
chapters, which he makes the vehicle of the most miscellaneous,
yet oftentimes important gossip, respecting the great
transactions of his history.  As he knew familiarly the leaders
in these transactions, the testimony which he collected, somewhat
at random, is of high authority.  The reader will find Oviedo's
account of the Inca's death extracted, in the original, among the
other notices of this catastrophe in Appendix, No. 10]

The treatment of Atahuallpa, from first to last, forms
undoubtedly one of the darkest chapters in Spanish colonial
history.  There may have been massacres perpetrated on a more
extended scale, and executions accompanied with a greater
refinement of cruelty.  But the blood-stained annals of the
Conquest afford no such example of cold-hearted and systematic
persecution, not of an enemy, but of one whose whole deportment
had been that of a friend and a benefactor.

From the hour that Pizarro and his followers had entered within
the sphere of Atahuallpa's influence, the hand of friendship had
been extended to them by the natives.  Their first act, on
crossing the mountains, was to kidnap the monarch and massacre
his people.  The seizure of his person might be vindicated, by
those who considered the end as justifying the means, on the
ground that it was indispensable to secure the triumphs of the
Cross. But no such apology can be urged for the massacre of the
unarmed and helpless population, - as wanton as it was wicked.

The long confinement of the Inca had been used by the Conquerors
to wring from him his treasures with the hard gripe of avarice.
During the whole of this dismal period, he had conducted himself
with singular generosity and good faith.  He had opened a free
passage to the Spaniards through every part of his empire; and
had furnished every facility for the execution of their plans.
When these were accomplished, and he remained an encumbrance on
their hands, notwithstanding their engagement, expressed or
implied, to release him, - and Pizarro, as we have seen, by a
formal act acquitted his captive of any further obligation on the
score of the ransom, - he was arraigned before a mock tribunal,
and, under pretences equally false and frivolous, was condemned
to an excruciating death.  From first to last, the policy of the
Spanish conquerors towards their unhappy victim is stamped with
barbarity and fraud.

It is not easy to acquit Pizarro of being in a great degree
responsible for this policy.  His partisans have labored to show,
that it was forced on him by the necessity of the case, and that
in the death of the Inca, especially, he yielded reluctantly to
the importunities of others. *42 But weak as is this apology, the
historian who has the means of comparing the various testimony of
the period will come to a different conclusion.  To him it will
appear, that Pizarro had probably long felt the removal of
Atahuallpa as essential to the success of his enterprise.  He
foresaw the odium that would be incurred by the death of his
royal captive without sufficient grounds; while he labored to
establish these, he still shrunk from the responsibility of the
deed, and preferred to perpetrate it in obedience to the
suggestions of others, rather than his own.  Like many an
unprincipled politician, he wished to reap the benefit of a bad
act, and let others take the blame of it.

[Footnote 42: "Contra su voluntad sentencio a muerte a
Atabalipa." (Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms.) "Contra
voluntad del dicho Gobernador." (Relacion del Primer. Descub.,
Ms.) "Ancora che molto li dispiacesse di venir a questo atto."
(Ped. Sancho, Rel., ap. Ramusio, tom. III. fol. 399.) Even Oviedo
seems willing to admit it possible that Pizarro may have been
somewhat deceived by others.  "Que tambien se puede creer que era
enganado." Hist. de las Indias, Ms., Parte 3, lib. 8, cap. 22.]

Almagro and his followers are reported by Pizarro's secretaries
to have first insisted on the Inca's death.  They were loudly
supported by the treasurer and the royal officers, who considered
it as indispensable to the interests of the Crown; and, finally,
the rumors of a conspiracy raised the same cry among the
soldiers, and Pizarro, with all his tenderness for his prisoner,
could not refuse to bring him to trial. - The form of a trial was
necessary to give an appearance of fairness to the proceedings.
That it was only form is evident from the indecent haste with
which it was conducted, - the examination of evidence, the
sentence, and the execution, being all on the same day.  The
multiplication of the charges, designed to place the guilt of the
accused on the strongest ground, had, from their very number, the
opposite effect, proving only the determination to convict him.
If Pizarro had felt the reluctance to his conviction which he
pretended, why did he send De Soto, Atahuallpa's best friend,
away, when the inquiry was to be instituted?  Why was the
sentence so summarily executed, as not to afford opportunity, by
that cavalier's return, of disproving the truth of the principal
charge, - the only one, in fact, with which the Spaniards had any
concern?  The solemn farce of mourning and deep sorrow affected
by Pizarro, who by these honors to the dead would intimate the
sincere regard he had entertained for the living, was too thin a
veil to impose on the most credulous.

It is not intended by these reflections to exculpate the rest of
the army, and especially its officers, from their share in the
infamy of the transaction.  But Pizarro, as commander of the
army, was mainly responsible for its measures.  For he was not a
man to allow his own authority to be wrested from his grasp, or
to yield timidly to the impulses of others.  He did not even
yield to his own.  His whole career shows him, whether for good
or for evil, to have acted with a cool and calculating policy.
A story has been often repeated, which refers the motives of
Pizarro's conduct, in some degree at least, to personal
resentment.  The Inca had requested one of the Spanish soldiers
to write the name of God on his nail. This the monarch showed to
several of his guards successively, and, as they read it, and
each pronounced the same word, the sagacious mind of the
barbarian was delighted with what seemed to him little short of a
miracle, - to which the science of his own nation afforded no
analogy.  On showing the writing to Pizarro, that chief remained
silent; and the Inca, finding he could not read, conceived a
contempt for the commander who was even less informed than his
soldiers.  This he did not wholly conceal, and Pizarro, aware of
the cause of it, neither forgot nor forgave it. *43 The anecdote
is reported not on the highest authority.  It may be true; but it
is unnecessary to look for the motives of Pizarro's conduct in
personal pique, when so many proofs are to be discerned of a dark
and deliberate policy.

[Footnote 43: The story is to be found in Garcilasso de la Vega,
(Com. Real., Parte 2, cap. 38,) and in no other writer of the
period, so far as I am aware.]

Yet the arts of the Spanish chieftain failed to reconcile his
countrymen to the atrocity of his proceedings.  It is singular to
observe the difference between the tone assumed by the first
chroniclers of the transaction, while it was yet fresh, and that
of those who wrote when the lapse of a few years had shown the
tendency of public opinion.  The first boldly avow the deed as
demanded by expediency, if not necessity; while they deal in no
measured terms of reproach with the character of their
unfortunate victim. *44 The latter, on the other hand, while they
extenuate the errors of the Inca, and do justice to his good
faith, are unreserved in their condemnation of the Conquerors, on
whose conduct, they say, Heaven set the seal of its own
reprobation, by bringing them all to an untimely and miserable
end. *45 The sentence of contemporaries has been fully ratified
by that of posterity; *46 and the persecution of Atahuallpa is
regarded with justice as having left a stain, never to be
effaced, on the Spanish arms in the New World.

[Footnote 44: I have already noticed the lavish epithets heaped
by Xerez on the Inca's cruelty.  This account was printed in
Spain, in 1534, the year after the execution.  "The proud
tyrant," says the other secretary, Sancho, "would have repaid the
kindness and good treatment he had received from the governor and
every one of us with the same coin with which he usually paid his
own followers, without any fault on their part, - by putting them
to death." (Ped. Sancho, Rel., ap. Ramusio, tom. III. fol. 399.)
"He deserved to die," says the old Spanish Conqueror before
quoted, "and all the country was rejoiced that he was put out of
the way." Rel. d'un Capitano Spagn., ap. Ramusio, tom. III. fol.

[Footnote 45: "Las demostraciones que despues se vieron bien
manifiestan lo mui injusta que fue, . . . . puesto que todos
quantos entendieron en ella tuvieron despues mui desastradas
muertes." (Naharro, Relacion Sumaria, Ms.) Gomara uses nearly the
same language. "No ai que reprehender a los que le mataron, pues
el tiempo, i sus pecados los castigaron despues; ca todos ellos
acabaron mal." (Hist. de las Ind., cap. 118.) According to the
former writer, Felipillo paid the forfeit of his crimes sometime
afterwards, - being hanged by Almagro on the expedition to Chili,
- when, as "some say, he confessed having perverted testimony
given in favor of Atahuallpa's innocence, directly against that
monarch." Oviedo, usually ready enough to excuse the excesses of
his countrymen, is unqualified in his condemnation of this whole
proceeding, (see Appendix, No. 10,) which, says another
contemporary, "fills every one with pity who has a spark of
humanity in his bosom." Conq. i Pob. del Piru, Ms.]

[Footnote 46: The most eminent example of this is given by
Quintana in his memoir of Pizarro, (Espanoles Celebres, tom.
II.,) throughout which the writer, rising above the mists of
national prejudice, which too often blind the eyes of his
countrymen, holds the scale of historic criticism with an
impartial hand, and deals a full measure of reprobation to the
actors in these dismal scenes.]

Chapter VIII

Disorders In Peru. - March To Cuzco. - Encounter With The
Natives. - Challcuchima Burnt. - Arrival In Cuzco. - Description
Of The City. - Treasure Found There.


The Inca of Peru was its sovereign in a peculiar sense.  He
received an obedience from his vassals more implicit than that of
any despot; for his authority reached to the most secret conduct,
- to the thoughts of the individual.  He was reverenced as more
than human. *1 He was not merely the head of the state, but the
point to which all its institutions converged, as to a common
centre, - the keystone of the political fabric, which must fall
to pieces by its own weight when that was withdrawn.  So it fared
on the death of Atahuallpa. *2 His death not only left the throne
vacant, without any certain successor, but the manner of it
announced to the Peruvian people that a hand stronger than that
of their Incas had now seized the sceptre, and that the dynasty
of the Children of the Sun had passed away for ever.

[Footnote 1: "Such was the awe in which the Inca was held," says
Pizarro, "that it was only necessary for him to intimate his
commands to that effect, and a Peruvian would at once jump down a
precipice, hang himself, or put an end to his life in any way
that was prescribed." Descub. y Conq., Ms.]

[Footnote 2: Oviedo tells us, that the Inca's right name was
Atabaliva, and that the Spaniards usually misspelt it, because
they thought much more of getting treasure for themselves, than
they did of the name of the person who owned it.  (Hist. de las
Indias, Ms., Parte 3, lib. 8, cap. 16.) Nevertheless, I have
preferred the authority of Garcilasso, who, a Peruvian himself,
and a near kinsman of the Inca, must be supposed to have been
well informed.  His countrymen, he says, pretended that the cocks
imported into Peru by the Spaniards, when they crowed, uttered
the name of Atahuallpa; "and I and the other Indian boys," adds
the historian, "when we were at school, used to mimic them." Com.
Real., Parte 1, lib. 9, cap. 23.]
The natural consequences of such a conviction followed.  The
beautiful order of the ancient institutions was broken up, as the
authority which controlled it was withdrawn.  The Indians broke
out into greater excesses from the uncommon restraint to which
they had been before subjected. Villages were burnt, temples and
palaces were plundered, and the gold they contained was scattered
or secreted.  Gold and silver acquired an importance in the eyes
of the Peruvian, when he saw the importance attached to them by
his conquerors.  The precious metals, which before served only
for purposes of state or religious decoration, were now hoarded
up and buried in caves and forests.  The gold and silver
concealed by the natives were affirmed greatly to exceed in
quantity that which fell into the hands of the Spaniards. *3 The
remote provinces now shook off their allegiance to the Incas.
Their great captains, at the head of distant armies, set up for
themselves.  Ruminavi, a commander on the borders of Quito,
sought to detach that kingdom from the Peruvian empire, and to
reassert its ancient independence.  The country, in short, was in
that state, in which old things are passing away, and the new
order of things has not yet been established.  It was in a state
of revolution.

[Footnote 3: "That which the Inca gave the Spaniards, said some
of the Indian nobles to Benalcazar, the conqueror of Quito, was
but as a kernel of corn, compared with the heap before him."
(Oviedo, Hist. de las Indias, Ms., Parte 3, lib. 8 cap. 22.) See
also Pedro Pizarro Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Relacion del Primer.
Descub., Ms.]

The authors of the revolution, Pizarro and his followers,
remained meanwhile at Caxamalca.  But the first step of the
Spanish commander was to name a successor to Atahuallpa.  It
would be easier to govern under the venerated authority to which
the homage of the Indians had been so long paid; and it was not
difficult to find a successor.  The true heir to the crown was a
second son of Huayna Capac, named Manco, a legitimate brother of
the unfortunate Huascar.  But Pizarro had too little knowledge of
the dispositions of this prince; and he made no scruple to prefer
a brother of Atahuallpa, and to present him to the Indian nobles
as their future Inca. We know nothing of the character of the
young Toparca, who probably resigned himself without reluctance
to a destiny which, however humiliating in some points of view,
was more exalted than he could have hoped to obtain in the
regular course of events.  The ceremonies attending a Peruvian
coronation were observed, as well as time would allow; the brows
of the young Inca were encircled with the imperial borla by the
hands of his conqueror, and he received the homage of his Indian
vassals.  They were the less reluctant to pay it, as most of
those in the camp belonged to the faction of Quito.
All thoughts were now eagerly turned towards Cuzco, of which the
most glowing accounts were circulated among the soldiers, and
whose temples and royal palaces were represented as blazing with
gold and silver.  With imaginations thus excited, Pizarro and his
entire company, amounting to almost five hundred men, of whom
nearly a third, probably, were cavalry, took their departure
early in September from Caxamalca, - a place ever memorable as
the theatre of some of the most strange and sanguinary scenes
recorded in history.  All set forward in high spirits, - the
soldiers of Pizarro from the expectation of doubling their
present riches, and Almagro's followers from the prospect of
sharing equally in the spoil with "the first conquerors." *4 The
young Inca and the old chief Challcuchima accompanied the march
in their litters, attended by a numerous retinue of vassals, and
moving in as much state and ceremony as if in the possession of
real power. *5

[Footnote 4: The "first conquerors," according to Garcilasso,
were held in especial honor by those who came after them, though
they were, on the whole, men of less consideration and fortune
than the later adventurers.  Com. Real., Parte 1 lib. 7, cap. 9.]

[Footnote 5: Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Naharro,
Relacion Sumaria, Ms. - Ped. Sancho Rel., ap. Ramusio, tom. III.
fol. 400.]

Their course lay along the great road of the Incas, which
stretched across the elevated regions of the Cordilleras, all the
way to Cuzco.  It was of nearly a uniform breadth, though
constructed with different degrees of care, according to the
ground. *6 Sometimes it crossed smooth and level valleys, which
offered of themselves little impediment to the traveller; at
other times, it followed the course of a mountain stream that
flowed round the base of some beetling cliff, leaving small space
for the foothold; at others, again, where the sierra was so
precipitous that it seemed to preclude all further progress, the
road, accommodated to the natural sinuosities of the ground,
wound round the heights which it would have been impossible to
scale directly. *7

[Footnote 6: "Va todo el camino de una traza y anchura hecho a
mano." Relacion del Primer. Descub., Ms.]

[Footnote 7: "En muchas partes viendo lo que esta adelante,
parece cosa impossible poderlo pasar." Ibid., Ms.]

But although managed with great address, it was a formidable
passage for the cavalry.  The mountain was hewn into steps, but
the rocky ledges cut up the hoofs of the horses; and, though the
troopers dismounted and led them by the bridle, they suffered
severely in their efforts to keep their footing. *8 The road was
constructed for man and the light-footed llama; and the only
heavy beast of burden at all suited to it was the sagacious and
sure-footed mule, with which the Spanish adventurers were not
then provided.  It was a singular chance that Spain was the land
of the mule; and thus the country was speedily supplied with the
very animal which seems to have been created for the difficult
passes of the Cordilleras.

[Footnote 8: Ped. Sancho, Rel. ap. Ramusio, tom. III. fol. 404.]
Another obstacle, often occurring, was the deep torrents that
rushed down in fury from the Andes.  They were traversed by the
hanging bridges of osier, whose frail materials were after a time
broken up by the heavy tread of the cavalry, and the holes made
in them added materially to the dangers of the passage.  On such
occasions, the Spaniards contrived to work their way across the
rivers on rafts, swimming their horses by the bridle. *9

[Footnote 9: Ibid., ubi supra. - Relacion del Primer. Descub.,

All along the route they found post-houses for the accommodation
of the royal couriers, established at regular intervals; and
magazines of grain and other commodities, provided in the
principal towns for the Indian armies. The Spaniards profited by
the prudent forecast of the Peruvian government.
Passing through several hamlets and towns of some note, the
principal of which were Guamachucho and Guanuco, Pizarro, after a
tedious march, came in sight of the rich valley of Xauxa.  The
march, though tedious, had been attended with little suffering,
except in crossing the bristling crests of the Cordilleras, which
occasionally obstructed their path, - a rough setting to the
beautiful valleys, that lay scattered like gems along this
elevated region.  In the mountain passes they found some
inconvenience from the cold; since, to move more quickly, they
had disencumbered themselves of all superfluous baggage, and were
even unprovided with tents. *10 The bleak winds of the mountains
penetrated the thick harness of the soldiers; but the poor
Indians, more scantily clothed and accustomed to a tropical
climate, suffered most severely.  The Spaniard seemed to have a
hardihood of body, as of soul, that rendered him almost
indifferent to climate.

[Footnote 10: "La notte dormirono tutti in quella campagna senza
coperto alcuno, sopra la neue, ne pur hebber souuenimento di
legne ne da man giare." Ped. Sancho, Rel. ap. Ramusio, tom. III.
fol. 401.]

On the march they had not been molested by enemies.  But more
than once they had seen vestiges of them in smoking hamlets and
ruined bridges. Reports, from time to time, had reached Pizarro
of warriors on his track; and small bodies of Indians were
occasionally seen like dusky clouds on the verge of the horizon,
which vanished as the Spaniards approached.  On reaching Xauxa,
however, these clouds gathered into one dark mass of warriors,
which formed on the opposite bank of the river that flowed
through the valley.
The Spaniards advanced to the stream, which, swollen by the
melting of the snows, was now of considerable width, though not
deep.  The bridge had been destroyed; but the Conquerors, without
hesitation, dashing boldly in, advanced, swimming and wading, as
they best could, to the opposite bank.  The Indians, disconcerted
by this decided movement, as they had relied on their watery
defences, took to flight, after letting off an impotent volley of
missiles.  Fear gave wings to the fugitives; but the horse and
his rider were swifter, and the victorious pursuers took bloody
vengeance on their enemy for having dared even to meditate

Xauxa was a considerable town.  It was the place already noticed
as having been visited by Hernando Pizarro.  It was seated in the
midst of a verdant valley, fertilized by a thousand little rills,
which the thrifty Indian husbandman drew from the parent river
that rolled sluggishly through the meadows.  There were several
capacious buildings of rough stone in the town, and a temple of
some note in the times of the Incas.  But the strong arm of
Father Valverde and his countrymen soon tumbled the heathen
deities from their pride of place, and established, in their
stead, the sacred effigies of the Virgin and Child.

Here Pizarro proposed to halt for some days, and to found a
Spanish colony.  It was a favorable position, he thought, for
holding the Indian mountaineers in check, while, at the same
time, it afforded an easy communication with the sea-coast.
Meanwhile he determined to send forward De Soto, with a
detachment of sixty horse, to reconnoitre the country in advance,
and to restore the bridges where demolished by the enemy. *11

[Footnote 11: Carta de la Justicia y Regi miento de la Ciudad de
Xauja, Ms - Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq. Ms. - Conq. i Pob. del
Piru, Ms - Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 5 lib. 4, cap. 10. -
Relacion de Primer. Descub., Ms.]

That active cavalier set forward at once, but found considerable
impediments to his progress.  The traces of an enemy became more
frequent as he advanced.  The villages were burnt, the bridges
destroyed, and heavy rocks and trees strewed in the path to
impede the march of the cavalry.  As he drew near to Bilcas, once
an important place, though now effaced from the map, he had a
sharp encounter with the natives, in a mountain defile, which
cost him the lives of two or three troopers.  The loss was light;
but any loss was felt by the Spaniards, so little accustomed, as
they had been of late, to resistance.

Still pressing forward, the Spanish captain crossed the river
Abancay, and the broad waters of the Apurimac; and, as he drew
near the sierra of Vilcaconga, he learned that a considerable
body of Indians lay in wait for him in the dangerous passes of
the mountains.  The sierra was several leagues from Cuzco; and
the cavalier, desirous to reach the further side of it before
nightfall, incautiously pushed on his wearied horses.  When he
was fairly entangled in its rocky defiles, a multitude of armed
warriors, springing, as it seemed, from every cavern and thicket
of the sierra, filled the air with their war-cries, and rushed
down, like one of their own mountain torrents, on the invaders,
as they were painfully tolling up the steeps.  Men and horses
were overturned in the fury of the assault, and the foremost
files, rolling back on those below, spread ruin and consternation
in their ranks. De Soto in vain endeavoured to restore order,
and, if possible, to charge the assailants. The horses were
blinded and maddened by the missiles, while the desperate
natives, clinging to their legs, strove to prevent their ascent
up the rocky pathway.  De Soto saw, that, unless he gained a
level ground which opened at some distance before him, all must
be lost.  Cheering on his men with the old battle-cry, that
always went to the heart of a Spaniard, he struck his spurs deep
into the sides of his wearied charger, and, gallantly supported
by his troop, broke through the dark array of warriors, and,
shaking them off to the right and left, at length succeeded in
placing himself on the broad level.

Here both parties paused, as if by mutual consent, for a few
moments. A little stream ran through the plain, at which the
Spaniards watered their horses; *12 and the animals, having
recovered wind, De Soto and his men made a desperate charge on
their assailants.  The undaunted Indians sustained the shock with
firmness; and the result of the combat was still doubtful, when
the shades of evening, falling thicker around them, separated the

[Footnote 12: Ped. Sancho, Rel., ap. Ramusio, tom. III. fol.

Both parties then withdrew from the field, taking up their
respective stations within bow-shot of each other, so that the
voices of the warriors on either side could be distinctly heard
in the stillness of the night.  But very different were the
reflections of the two hosts.  The Indians, exulting in their
temporary triumph, looked with confidence to the morrow to
complete it.  The Spaniards, on the other hand, were
proportionably discouraged.  They were not prepared for this
spirit of resistance in an enemy hitherto so tame. Several
cavaliers had fallen; one of them by a blow from a Peruvian
battle-axe, which clove his head to the chin, attesting the power
of the weapon, and of the arm that used it. *13 Several horses,
too, had been killed; and the loss of these was almost as
severely felt as that of their riders, considering the great cost
and difficulty of transporting them to these distant regions.
Few either of the men or horses escaped without wounds, and the
Indian allies suffered still more severely.

[Footnote 13: Ibid., loc cit.]

It seemed probable, from the pertinacity and a certain order
maintained in the assault, that it was directed by some leader of
military experience; perhaps the Indian commander Quizquiz, who
was said to be hanging round the environs of Cuzco with a
considerable force.

Notwithstanding the reasonable cause of apprehension for the
morrow, De Soto, like a stout-hearted cavalier, as he was, strove
to keep up the spirits of his followers.  If they had beaten off
the enemy when their horses were jaded, and their own strength
nearly exhausted, how much easier it would be to come off
victorious when both were restored by a night's rest; and he told
them to "trust in the Almighty, who would never desert his
faithful followers in their extremity." The event justified De
Soto's confidence in this seasonable succour.

From time to time, on his march, he had sent advices to Pizarro
of the menacing state of the country, till his commander,
becoming seriously alarmed, was apprehensive that the cavalier
might be over powered by the superior numbers of the enemy.  He
accordingly detached Almagro, with nearly all the remaining
horse, to his support, - unencumbered by infantry, that he might
move the lighter.  That efficient leader advanced by forced
marches, stimulated by the tidings which met him on the road; and
was so fortunate as to reach the foot of the sierra of Vilcaconga
the very night of the engagement.

There hearing of the encounter, he pushed forward without
halting, though his horses were spent with travel.  The night was
exceedingly dark, and Almagro, afraid of stumbling on the enemy's
bivouac, and desirous to give De Soto information of his
approach, commanded his trumpets to sound, till the notes,
winding through the defiles of the mountains, broke the slumbers
of his countrymen, sounding like blithest music in their ears.
They quickly replied with their own bugles, and soon had the
satisfaction to embrace their deliverers. *14

[Footnote 14: Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Herrera,
Hist. General, sec. 3, lib. 5, cap. 3.]

Great was the dismay of the Peruvian host, when the morning light
discovered the fresh reinforcement of the ranks of the Spaniards.
There was no use in contending with an enemy who gathered
strength from the conflict, and who seemed to multiply his
numbers at will.  Without further attempt to renew the fight,
they availed themselves of a thick fog, which hung over the lower
slopes of the hills, to effect their retreat, and left the passes
open to the invaders.  The two cavaliers then continued their
march until they extricated their forces from the sierra, when,
taking up a secure position, they proposed to await there the
arrival of Pizarro. *15

[Footnote 15: The account of De Soto's affair with the natives is
given in more or less detail, by Ped. Sancho Rel., ap. Ramusio,
tom. III. fol. 405, - Conq. i Pob. del Piru, Ms., - Relacion del
Primer. Descub., Ms., -Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms, -
parties al present in the army.]

The commander-in-chief, meanwhile, lay at Xauxa, where he was
greatly disturbed by the rumors which reached him of the state of
the country.  His enterprise, thus far, had gone forward so
smoothly, that he was no better prepared than his lieutenant to
meet with resistance from the natives.  He did not seem to
comprehend that the mildest nature might at last be roused by
oppression; and that the massacre of their Inca, whom they
regarded with such awful veneration, would be likely, if any
thing could do it, to wake them from their apathy.

The tidings which he now received of the retreat of the Peruvians
were most welcome; and he caused mass to be said, and
thanksgivings to be offered up to Heaven, "which had shown itself
thus favorable to the Christians throughout this mighty
enterprise." The Spaniard was ever a Crusader.  He was, in the
sixteenth century, what Coeur de Lion and his brave knights were
in the twelfth, with this difference; the cavalier of that day
fought for the Cross and for glory, while gold and the Cross were
the watchwords of the Spaniard.  The spirit of chivalry had waned
somewhat before the spirit of trade; but the fire of religious
enthusiasm still burned as bright under the quilted mail of the
American Conqueror, as it did of yore under the iron panoply of
the soldier of Palestine.

It seemed probable that some man of authority had organized, or
at least countenanced, this resistance of the natives, and
suspicion fell on the captive chief Challcuchima, who was accused
of maintaining a secret correspondence with his confederate,
Quizquiz.  Pizarro waited on the Indian noble, and, charging him
with the conspiracy, reproached him, as he had formerly done his
royal master, with ingratitude towards the Spaniards, who had
dealt with him so liberally.  He concluded by the assurance,
that, if he did not cause the Peruvians to lay down their arms,
and tender their submission at once, he should be burnt alive, so
soon as they reached Almagro's quarters. *16

[Footnote 16: Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Ped. Sancho,
Rel., ap Ramusio, tom. III. fol. 406.]

The Indian chief listened to the terrible menace with the utmost
composure.  He denied having had any communication with his
countrymen, and said, that, in his present state of confinement,
at least, he could have no power to bring them to submission.  He
then remained doggedly silent, and Pizarro did not press the
matter further. *17 But he placed a strong guard over his
prisoner, and caused him to be put in irons.  It was an ominous
proceeding, and had been the precursor of the death of

[Footnote 17: Ibid., ubi supra.]

Before quitting Xauxa, a misfortune befell the Spaniards in the
death of their creature, the young Inca Toparca.  Suspicion, of
course, fell on Challcuchima, now selected as the scape-goat for
all the offences of his nation. *18 It was a disappointment to
Pizarro, who hoped to find a convenient shelter for his future
proceedings under this shadow of royalty. *19

[Footnote 18: It seems, from the language of the letter addressed
to the Emperor by the municipality of Xauxa, that the troops
themselves were far from being convinced of Challcuchima's guilt.
"Publico fue, aunque dello no ubo averiguacion in certenidad, que
el capitan Chaliconiman le abia dado ierbas o a beber con que
murio." Carta de la Just. v Reg. de Xauja, Ms.]

[Footnote 19: According to Velasco, Toparsa, whom, however, he
calls by another name, tore off the diadem bestowed on him by
Pizarro, with disdain, and died in a few weeks of chagrin.
(Hist. de Quito, tom. I. p. 377.) This writer, a Jesuit of Quito,
seems to feel himself bound to make out as good a case for
Atahuallpa and his family, as if he had been expressly retained
in their behalf.  His vouchers - when he condescends to give any
- too rarely bear him out in his statements to inspire us with
much confidence in his correctness.]

The general considered it most prudent not to hazard the loss of
his treasures by taking them on the march, and he accordingly
left them at Xauxa, under a guard of forty soldiers, who remained
there in garrison.  No event of importance occurred on the road,
and Pizarro, having effected a junction with Almagro, their
united forces soon entered the vale of Xaquixaguana, about five
leagues from Cuzco.  This was one of those bright spots, so often
found embosomed amidst the Andes, the more beautiful from
contrast with the savage character of the scenery around it.  A
river flowed through the valley, affording the means of
irrigating the soil, and clothing it in perpetual verdure; and
the rich and flowering vegetation spread out like a cultivated
garden.  The beauty of the place and its delicious coolness
commended it as a residence for the Peruvian nobles, and the
sides of the hills were dotted with their villas, which afforded
them a grateful retreat in the heats of summer. *20 Yet the
centre of the valley was disfigured by a quagmire of some extent,
occasioned by the frequent overflowing of the waters; but the
industry of the Indian architects had constructed a solid
causeway, faced with heavy stone, and connected with the great
road, which traversed the whole breadth of the morass. *21

[Footnote 20: "Auia en este valle muy sumptuosos aposentos y
ricos adonde los senores del Cuzco salian a tomar sus plazeres y
solazes.' Cieza de Leon, Cronica, cap. 91.]

[Footnote 21: Ibid., ubi supra.]

In this valley Pizarro halted for several days, while he
refreshed his troops from the well-stored magazines of the Incas.
His first act was to bring Challcuchima to trial; if trial that
could be called, where sentence may be said to have gone hand in
hand with accusation.  We are not informed of the nature of the
evidence.  It was sufficient to satisfy the Spanish captains of
the chieftain's guilt.  Nor is it at all incredible that
Challcuchima should have secretly encouraged a movement among the
people, designed to secure his country's freedom and his own.  He
was condemned to be burnt alive on the spot.  "Some thought it a
hard measure," says Herrera; "but those who are governed by
reasons of state policy are apt to shut their eyes against every
thing else." *22 Why this cruel mode of execution was so often
adopted by the Spanish Conquerors is not obvious; unless it was
that the Indian was an infidel, and fire, from ancient date,
seems to have been considered the fitting doom of the infidel, as
the type of that inextinguishable flame which awaited him in the
regions of the damned.

[Footnote 22: Hist. General, dec. 5, lib. 6 cap. 3.]

Father Valverde accompanied the Peruvian chieftain to the stake.
He seems always to have been present at this dreary moment,
anxious to profit by it, if possible, to work the conversion of
the victim.  He painted in gloomy colors the dreadful doom of the
unbeliever, to whom the waters of baptism could alone secure the
ineffable glories of paradise. *23 It does not appear that he
promised any commutation of punishment in this world.  But his
arguments fell on a stony heart, and the chief coldly replied, he
"did not understand the religion of the white men." *24 He might
be pardoned for not comprehending the beauty of a faith which, as
it would seem, had borne so bitter fruits to him.  In the midst
of his tortures, he showed the characteristic courage of the
American Indian, whose power of endurance triumphs over the power
of persecution in his enemies, and he died with his last breath
invoking the name of Pachacamac.  His own followers brought the
fagots to feed the flames that consumed him. *25

[Footnote 23: Ped. Sancho, Rel., ap. Ramusio, tom. III. fol.

[Footnote 24: Ibid., loc. cit.]

[Footnote 25: Ibid. loc. cit. - Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq.,

The Ms. of the old Conqueror is so much damaged in this part of
it that much of his account is entirely effaced.]

Soon after this tragic event, Pizarro was surprised by a visit
from a Peruvian noble, who came in great state, attended by a
numerous and showy retinue.  It was the young prince Manco,
brother of the unfortunate Huascar, and the rightful successor to
the crown.  Being brought before the Spanish commander, he
announced his pretensions to the throne, and claimed the
protection of the strangers.  It is said he had meditated
resisting them by arms, and had encouraged the assaults made on
them on their march; but, finding resistance ineffectual, he had
taken this politic course, greatly to the displeasure of his more
resolute nobles.  However this may be, Pizarro listened to his
application with singular contentment, for he saw in this new
scion of the true royal stock, a more effectual instrument for
his purposes than he could have found in the family of Quito,
with whom the Peruvians had but little sympathy.  He received the
young man, therefore, with great cordiality, and did not hesitate
to assure him that he had been sent into the country by his
master, the Castilian sovereign, in order to vindicate the claims
of Huascar to the crown, and to punish the usurpation of his
rival. *26

[Footnote 26: Ped. Sancho, Rel., ap. Ramusio, tom. III. fol. 406.
- Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms.]

Taking with him the Indian prince, Pizarro now resumed his march.
It was interrupted for a few hours by a party of the natives, who
lay in wait for him in the neighbouring sierra.  A sharp skirmish
ensued, in which the Indians behaved with great spirit, and
inflicted some little injury on the Spaniards; but the latter, at
length, shaking them off, made good their passage through the
defile, and the enemy did not care to follow them into the open
It was late in the afternoon when the Conquerors came in sight of
Cuzco. *27 The descending sun was streaming his broad rays full
on the imperial city, where many an altar was dedicated to his
worship.  The low ranges of buildings, showing in his beams like
so many lines of silvery light, filled up the bosom of the valley
and the lower slopes of the mountains, whose shadowy forms hung
darkly over the fair city, as if to shield it from the menaced
profanation.  It was so late, that Pizarro resolved to defer his
entrance till the following morning.

[Footnote 27: "Y dos horas antes que el Sol se pusiese, llegaron
a vista de la ciudad del Cuzco.  "Relacion del Primer. Descub.,

That night vigilant guard was kept in the camp, and the soldiers
slept on their arms.  But it passed away without annoyance from
the enemy, and early on the following day, November 15, 1533,
Pizarro prepared for his entrance into the Peruvian capital. *28

[Footnote 28: The chronicles differ as to the precise date.
There can be no better authorities than Pedro Sancho's narrative
and the Letter of the Magistrates of Xauxa, which have followed
in the text]

The little army was formed into three divisions, of which the
centre, or "battle," as it was called, was led by the general.
The suburbs were thronged with a countless multitude of the
natives, who had flocked from the city and the surrounding
country to witness the showy, and, to them, startling pageant.
All looked with eager curiosity on the strangers, the fame of
whose terrible exploits had spread to the remotest parts of the
empire.  They gazed with astonishment on their dazzling arms and
fair complexions, which seemed to proclaim them the true Children
of the Sun; and they listened with feelings of mysterious dread,
as the trumpet sent forth its prolonged notes through the streets
of the capital, and the solid ground shook under the heavy tramp
of the cavalry.

The Spanish commander rode directly up the great square.  It was
surrounded by low piles of buildings, among which were several
palaces of the Incas.  One of these, erected by Huayna Capac, was
surmounted by a tower, while the ground-floor was occupied by one
or more immense halls, like those described in Caxamalca, where
the Peruvian nobles held their fetes in stormy weather.  These
buildings afforded convenient barracks for the troops, though,
during the first few weeks, they remained under their tents in
the open plaza, with their horses picketed by their side, ready
to repulse any insurrection of the inhabitants. *29

[Footnote 29: Ped. Sancho, Rel., ap. Ramusio, tom. III. fol. 407.
- Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 1, lib. 7, cap. 10. - Relacion
del Primer. Descub., Ms.]

The capital of the Incas, though falling short of the El Dorado
which had engaged their credulous fancies, astonished the
Spaniards by the beauty of its edifices, the length and
regularity of its streets, and the good order and appearance of
comfort, even luxury, visible in its numerous population. It far
surpassed all they had yet seen in the New World.  The population
of the city is computed by one of the Conquerors at two hundred
thousand inhabitants, and that of the suburbs at as many more.
*30 This account is not confirmed, as far as I have seen, by any
other writer.  But however it may be exaggerated, it is certain
that Cuzco was the metropolis of a great empire, the residence of
the Court and the chief nobility; frequented by the most skilful
mechanics and artisans of every description, who found a demand
for their ingenuity in the royal precincts; while the place was
garrisoned by a numerous soldiery, and was the resort, finally,
of emigrants from the most distant provinces.  The quarters
whence this motley population came were indicated by their
peculiar dress, and especially their head-gear, so rarely found
at all on the American Indian, which, with its variegated colors,
gave a picturesque effect to the groups and masses in the
streets.  The habitual order and decorum maintained in this
multifarious assembly showed the excellent police of the capital,
where the only sounds that disturbed the repose of the Spaniards
were the noises of feasting and dancing, which the natives, with
happy insensibility, constantly prolonged to a late hour of the
night. *31

[Footnote 30: "Esta ciudad era muy grande i mui populosa de
grandes edificios i comarcas, quando los Eespanoles entraron la
primera vex en ella havia gran cantidad de gente, seria pueblo de
mas de 40 mill. vecinos solamente lo que tomaba la ciudad, que
arravalles i comarca en deredor del Cuzco a 10 o 12 leguas creo
yo que havia docientos mill. Indios porque esto era lo mas
poblado de todos estos reinos." (Conq. i Pob. del Peru, Ms.) The
vecino or "householder" is computed, usually, as representing
five individuals. - Yet Father Valverde, in a letter written a
few years after tis, speaks of the city as having only three or
four thousand houses at the time of its occupation, and the
suburbs as having nineteen or twenty thousand.  (Cart al
Emperador, Ms., 20 de Marzo, 1539.) It is possible that he took
into the account only the better kind of houses, not considering
the mud huts, or rather hovels, which made so large a part of a
Peruvian town, as deserving notice.]

[Footnote 31: "Heran tantos los atambores que de noche se oian
por todas cartes bailando y cantando y belendo que toda la mayor
parte de la noche se les pasava en esto cotidianamente." Pedro
Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms.]

The edifices of the better sort - and they were very numerous -
were of stone, or faced with stone. *32 Among the principal were
the royal residences; as each sovereign built a new palace for
himself, covering, though low, a large extent of ground.  The
walls were sometimes stained of painted with gaudy tints, and the
gates, we are assured, were sometimes of colored marble. *33 In
the delicacy of the stone-work," says another of the Conquerors,
"the natives far excelled the Spaniards, though the roofs of
their dwellings, instead of tiles, were only of thatch, but put
together with the nicest art." *34 The sunny climate of Cuzco did
not require a very substantial material for defence against the

[Footnote 32: "La maggior parte di queste case sono di pietra, et
l'altre hano la meta della facciata di pietra." Ped. Sancho,
Rel., ap. Ramusio, tom. III. fol. 413.]

[Footnote 33: The buildings were usually of freestone.  There may
have been porphyry from the neighbouring mountains mixed with
this, which the Spaniards mistook for marble.]

[Footnote 34: "Todo labrado de piedra muy prima, que cierto toda
la canteria desta cibdad hace gran ventaja a la de Espana, aunque
carecen de teja que todas las casas sino es la fortaleza, que era
hecha de azoteas son cubiertas de paja, aunque tan primamente
puesta, que parece bien." Relacion del Primer. Descub., Ms.]

The most important building was the fortress, planted on a solid
rock, that rose boldly above the city.  It was built of hewn
stone, so finely wrought that it was impossible to detect the
line of junction between the blocks; and the approaches to it
were defended by three semicircular parapets, composed of such
heavy masses of rock, that it bore resemblance to the kind of
work known to architects as the Cyclopean.  The fortress was
raised to a height rare in Peruvian architecture; and from the
summit of the tower the eye of the spectator ranged over a
magnificent prospect, in which the wild features of the mountain
scenery, rocks, woods, and waterfalls, were mingled with the rich
verdure of the valley, and the shining city filling up the
foreground, - all blended in sweet harmony under the deep azure
of a tropical sky.

The streets were long and narrow.  They were arranged with
perfect regularity, crossing one another at right angles; and
from the great square diverged four principal streets connecting
with the high roads of the empire. The square itself, and many
parts of the city, were paved with a fine pebble. *35 Through the
heart of the capital ran a river of pure water, if it might not
be rather termed a canal, the banks or sides of which, for the
distance of twenty leagues, were faced with stone *36 Across this
stream, bridges, constructed of similar broad flags, were thrown,
at intervals, so as to afford an easy communication between the
different quarters of the capital. *37
[Footnote 35: Ped. Sancho, Rel., ap. Ramusio, tom. III., ubi

A passage in the Letter of the Municipality of Xauxa is worth
quoting, as confirming on the best authority some of the
interesting particulars mentioned in the text.  'Esta cibdad es
la mejor e maior que en la tierra se ha visto, i aun en Yndias; e
decimos a V. M. ques tan hermosa i de tan buenos edeficios que en
Espana seria muy de ver; tiene las calles por mucho concierto en
pedradas i por medio dellas un cano enlosado. la plaza es hecha
en cuadra i empedrada de quijas pequenas todas, todas las mas de
las casas son de Senores Principales hechas de canteria. esta en
una ladera de un zerro en el cual sobre el pueblo esta una
fortaleza mui bien obrada de canteria, tan de ver que por
Espanoles que han andado Reinos estranos, dicen no haver visto
otro edeficio igual al della." Carta de la Just. y Reg. de Xauja,

[Footnote 36: "Un rio, el cual baja por medio de la cibdad y
desde que nace, mas de veinte leguas por aquel valle abajo donde
hay muchas poblaciones, va enlosado todo por el suelo, y las
varrancas de una parte y de otra hechas de canteria labrada, cosa
nunca vista, ni oida." Relacion del Primer. Descub., Ms.]

[Footnote 37: The reader will find a few repetitions in this
chapter of what I have already said, in the Introduction, of
Cuzco under the Incas. But the facts here stated are for the most
part drawn from other sources, and some repetition was
unavoidable in order to give a distinct image of the capital.]
The most sumptuous edifice in Cuzco, in the times of the Incas,
was undoubtedly the great temple dedicated to the Sun, which,
studded with gold plates, as already noticed, was surrounded by
convents and dormitories for the priests, with their gardens and
broad parterres sparkling with gold.  The exterior ornaments had
been already removed by the Conquerors, - all but the frieze of
gold, which, imbedded in the stones, still encircled the
principal building.  It is probable that the tales of wealth, so
greedily circulated among the Spaniards, greatly exceeded the
truth.  If they did not, the natives must have been very
successful in concealing their treasures from the invaders.  Yet
much still remained, not only in the great House of the Sun, but
in the inferior temples which swarmed in the capital.

Pizarro, on entering Cuzco, had issued an order forbidding any
soldier to offer violence to the dwellings of the inhabitants.
*38 But the palaces were numerous, and the troops lost no time in
plundering them of their contents, as well as in despoiling the
religious edifices.  The interior decorations supplied them with
considerable booty.  They stripped off the jewels and rich
ornaments that garnished the royal mummies in the temple of
Coricancha.  Indignant at the concealment of their treasures,
they put the inhabitants, in some instances, to the torture, and
endeavoured to extort from them a confession of their
hiding-places. *39 They invaded the repose of the sepulchres, in
which the Peruvians often deposited their valuable effects, and
compelled the grave to give up its dead.  No place was left
unexplored by the rapacious Conquerors, and they occasionally
stumbled on a mine of wealth that rewarded their labors.

[Footnote 38: "Pues mando el marquez dar vn pregon que ningun
espanol fuese a entrar en las casas de los naturales o tomalles
nada." Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms.]

[Footnote 39: Gomara, Hist. de las Ind., cap 123.]

In a cavern near the city they found a number of vases of pure
gold, richly embossed with the figures of serpents, locusts, and
other animals. Among the spoil were four golden llamas and ten or
twelve statues of women, some of gold, others of silver, "which
merely to see," says one of the Conquerors, with some naivete,
"was truly a great satisfaction." The gold was probably thin, for
the figures were all as large as life; and several of them, being
reserved for the royal fifth, were not recast, but sent in their
original form to Spain. *40 The magazines were stored with
curious commodities; richly tinted robes of cotton and
feather-work, gold sandals, and slippers of the same material,
for the women, and dresses composed entirely of beads of gold.
*41 The grain and other articles of food, with which the
magazines were filled, were held in contempt by the Conquerors,
intent only on gratifying their lust for gold. *42 The time came
when the grain would have been of far more value.

[Footnote 40: "Et fra l'altre cose singolari, era veder quattro
castrati di fin oro molto grandi, et 10 o 12 statue di done,
della grandezza delle done di quel paese tutte d'oro fino, cosi
belle et ben fatte come se fossero viue. . . . . . Queste furono
date nel quinto che toccaua a S. M." (Ped. Sancho, Rel., ap.
Ramusio, tom. III fol.409.) "Muchas estatuas y figuras de oro y
plata enteras, hecha la forma toda de una muger, y del tamano
della, muy bien labradas." Relacion del Primer. Descub., Ms.]

[Footnote 41: "Avia ansi mismo miscmo otras muchas plumas de
diferentes colores para este efecto de hacer rropas que vestian
los senores y senoras y no otto otro en los tiempos de sus
fiestas; avia tambien mantas hechas de chaquira, de oro, y de
plata, que heran vnas quentecitas muy delicadas, que parecia cosa
de espanto ver su hechura." Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms.]

[Footnote 42: Ondegardo, Rel. Prim., Ms.]

Yet the amount of treasure in the capital did not equal the
sanguine expectations that had been formed by the Spaniards.  But
the deficiency was supplied by the plunder which they had
collected at various places on their march.  In one place, for
example, they met with ten planks or bars of solid silver, each
piece being twenty feet in length, one foot in breadth, and two
or three inches thick.  They were intended to decorate the
dwelling of an Inca noble. *43

[Footnote 43: "Pues andando yo buscando mahiz o otras cosas para
comer, acaso entre en vn buhio donde halle estos tablones de
plata que tengo dicho que heran hasta diez y de largo tenian
veinte pies y de anchor de vno y de gordor de tres dedos, di
noticia dello al marquez y el y todos los demas que con e.
estavan entraron a vello." Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms.]
The whole mass of treasure was brought into a common heap, as in
Caxamalca; and after some of the finer specimens had been
deducted for the Crown, the remainder was delivered to the Indian
goldsmiths to be melted down into ingots of a uniform standard.
The division of the spoil was made on the same principle as
before.  There were four hundred and eighty soldiers, including
the garrison of Xauxa, who were each to receive a share, that of
the cavalry being double that of the infantry.  The amount of
booty is stated variously by those present at the division of it.
According to some, it considerably exceeded the ransom of
Atahuallpa.  Others state it as less. Pedro Pizarro says that
each horseman got six thousand pesos de oro, and each one of the
infantry half that sum; *44 though the same discrimination was
made by Pizarro as before, in respect to the rank of the parties,
and their relative services.  But Sancho, the royal notary, and
secretary of the commander, estimates the whole amount as far
less, - not exceeding five hundred and eighty thousand and two
hundred pesos de oro, and two hundred and fifteen thousand marks
of silver. *45 In the absence of the official returns, it is
impossible to determine which is correct.  But Sancho's narrative
is countersigned, it may be remembered, by Pizarro and the royal
treasurer Riquelme, and doubtless, therefore, shows the actual
amount for which the Conquerors accounted to the Crown.

[Footnote 44: Descub. y Conq., Ms.]

[Footnote 45: Ped. Sancho, Rel., ap. Ramusio, tom. III. fol.

Whichever statement we receive, the sum, combined with that
obtained at Caxamalca, might well have satisfied the cravings of
the most avaricious. The sudden influx of so much wealth, and
that, too, in so transferable a form, among a party of reckless
adventures little accustomed to the possession of money, had its
natural effect.  It supplied them with the means of gaming, so
strong and common a passion with the Spaniards, that it may be
considered a national vice.  Fortunes were lost and won in a
single day, sufficient to render the proprietors independent for
life; and many a desperate gamester, by an unlucky throw of the
dice or turn of the cards, saw himself stripped in a few hours of
the fruits of years of toil, and obliged to begin over again the
business of rapine.  Among these, one in the cavalry service is
mentioned, named Leguizano, who had received as his share of the
booty the image of the Sun, which, raised on a plate of burnished
gold, spread over the walls in a recess of the great temple, and
which, for some reason or other, - perhaps because of its
superior fineness, - was not recast like the other ornaments.
This rich prize the spendthrift lost in a single night; whence it
came to be a proverb in Spain, Juega el Sol antes que amanezca,
"Play away the Sun before sunrise." *46

[Footnote 46: Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 1 lib. 3, cap. 20]
The effect of such a surfeit of the precious metals was instantly
felt on prices.  The most ordinary articles were only to be had
for exorbitant sums.  A quire of paper sold for ten pesos de oro;
a bottle of wine, for sixty; a sword, for forty or fifty; a
cloak, for a hundred, - sometimes more; a pair of shoes cost
thirty or forty pesos de oro, and a good horse could not be had
for less than twenty-five hundred. *47 Some brought a still
higher price.  Every article rose in value, as gold and silver,
the representatives of all, declined.  Gold and silver, in short,
seemed to be the only things in Cuzco that were not wealth.  Yet
there were some few wise enough to return contented with their
present gains to their native country.  Here their riches brought
them consideration and competence, and, while they excited the
envy of their countrymen, stimulated them to seek their own
fortunes in the like path of adventure.

[Footnote 47: Xerez, Conq. del Peru, ap. Barcia, tom. III. p.

Chapter IX

New Inca Crowned. - Municipal Regulations. - Terrible March Of
Alvarado. - Interview With Pizarro. - Foundation Of Lima. -
Hernando Pizarro Reaches Spain. - Sensation At Court. - Feuds Of
Almagro And The Pizarros.


The first care of the Spanish general, after the division of the
booty, was to place Manco on the throne, and to obtain for him
the recognition of his countrymen.  He, accordingly, presented
the young prince to them as their future sovereign, the
legitimate son of Huayna Capac, and the true heir of the Peruvian
sceptre.  The annunciation was received with enthusiasm by the
people, attached to the memory of his illustrious father, and
pleased that they were still to have a monarch rule over them of
the ancient line of Cuzco.

Every thing was done to maintain the illusion with the Indian
population.  The ceremonies of a coronation were studiously
observed.  The young prince kept the prescribed fasts and vigils;
and on the appointed day, the nobles and the people, with the
whole Spanish soldiery, assembled in the great square of Cuzco to
witness the concluding ceremony.  Mass was publicly performed by
Father Valverde, and the Inca Manco received the fringed diadem
of Peru, not from the hand of the high-priest of his nation, but
from his Conqueror, Pizarro.  The Indian lords then tendered
their obeisance in the customary form; after which the royal
notary read aloud the instrument asserting the supremacy of the
Castilian Crown, and requiring the homage of all present to its
authority.  This address was explained by an interpreter, and the
ceremony of homage was performed by each one of the parties
waving the royal banner of Castile twice or thrice with his
hands.  Manco then pledged the Spanish commander in a golden
goblet of the sparkling chicha; and, the latter having cordially
embraced the new monarch, the trumpets announced the conclusion
of the ceremony. *1 But it was not the note of triumph, but of
humiliation; for it proclaimed that the armed foot of the
stranger was in the halls of the Peruvian Incas; that the
ceremony of coronation was a miserable pageant; that their prince
himself was but a puppet in the hands of his Conqueror; and that
the glory of the Children of the Sun had departed for ever!

[Footnote 1: Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Ped. Sancho,
Rel., ap Ramusio, tom. III. fol. 407.]

Yet the people readily gave in to the illusion, and seemed
willing to accept this image of their ancient independence.  The
accession of the young monarch was greeted by all the usual fetes
and rejoicings.  The mummies of his royal ancestors, with such
ornaments as were still left to them, were paraded in the great
square.  They were attended each by his own numerous retinue, who
performed all the menial offices, as if the object of them were
alive and could feel their import.  Each ghostly form took its
seat at the banquet-table - now, alas! stripped of the
magnificent service with which it was wont to blaze at these high
festivals - and the guests drank deep to the illustrious dead.
Dancing succeeded the carousal, and the festivities, prolonged to
a late hour, were continued night after night by the giddy
population, as if their conquerors had not been intrenched in the
capital! *2 - What a contrast to the Aztecs in the conquest of

[Footnote 2: Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms

"Luego por la manana iba al enterramiento donde estaban cada uno
por orden embalsamados como es dicho, y asentados en sus sillas,
y con mucha veneracion y respeto, todos por orden los sacaban de
alli y los trahian a la ciudad, teniendo cada uno su litera, y
hombres con su librea, que le trujesen, y ansi desta manera todo
el servicio y aderezos como si estubiera vivo." Relacion del
Primer. Descub, Ms.]

Pizarro's next concern was to organize a municipal government for
Cuzco, like those in the cities of the parent country.  Two
alcaldes were appointed, and eight regidores, among which last
functionaries were his brothers Gonzalo and Juan.  The oaths of
office were administered with great solemnity, on the
twenty-fourth of March, 1534, in presence both of Spaniards and
Peruvians, in the public square; as if the general were willing
by this ceremony to intimate to the latter, that, while they
retained the semblance of their ancient institutions, the real
power was henceforth vested in their conquerors. *3 He invited
Spaniards to settle in the place by liberal grants of land and
houses, for which means were afforded by the numerous palaces and
public buildings of the Incas; and many a cavalier, who had been
too poor in his own country to find a place to rest in, now saw
himself the proprietor of a spacious mansion that might have
entertained the retinue of a prince. *4 From this time, says an
old chronicler, Pizarro, who had hitherto been distinguished by
his military title of "Captain-General," was addressed by that of
"Governor." *5 Both had been bestowed on him by the royal grant.
[Footnote 3: Ped. Sancho, Rel., ap. Ramusio, tom. III. fol. 409.
- Montesinos, Annales, Ms., ano 1534. - Actto de la fundacion del
Cuzco, Ms.

This instrument, which belongs to the collection of Munoz,
records not only the names of the magistrates, but of the vecinos
who formed the first population of the Christian capital.]

[Footnote 4: Actto de la fundacion del Cuzco, Ms. - Pedro
Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 1,
lib. 7, cap. 9, et seq.

When a building was of immense size, as happened with some of the
temples and palaces, it was assigned to two or even three of the
Conquerors, who each took his share of it.  Garcilasso, who
describes the city as it was soon after the Conquest,
commemorates with sufficient prolixity the names of the cavaliers
among whom the buildings were distributed.]

[Footnote 5: Montesinos, Annales, ano 1534.]

Nor did the chief neglect the interests of religion.  Father
Valverde, whose nomination as Bishop of Cuzco not long afterwards
received the Papal sanction, prepared to enter on the duties of
his office.  A place was selected for the cathedral of his
diocese, facing the plaza.  A spacious monastery subsequently
rose on the ruins of the gorgeous House of the Sun; its walls
were constructed of the ancient stones; the altar was raised on
the spot where shone the bright image of the Peruvian deity, and
the cloisters of the Indian temple were trodden by the friars of
St. Dominic. *6 To make the metamorphosis more complete, the
House of the Virgins of the Sun was replaced by a Roman Catholic
nunnery. *7 Christian churches and monasteries gradually
supplanted the ancient edifices, and such of the latter as were
suffered to remain, despoiled of their heathen insignia, were
placed under the protection of the Cross.

[Footnote 6: Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 1, lib. 3, cap. 20;
lib. 6, cap. 21. - Naharro, Relacion Sumaria, Ms.]

[Footnote 7: Ulloa, Voyage to S. America, book 7, ch. 12.

"The Indian nuns," says the author of the Relacion del Primer.
Descub., "lived chastely and in a holy manner." - "Their chastity
was all a feint," says Pedro Pizarro, "for they had constant
amours with the attendants on the temple." (Descub. y Conq., Ms.)
- What is truth? - In statements so contradictory, we may accept
the most favorable to the Peruvian.  The prejudices of the
Conqueror certainly did not lie on that side.]
The Fathers of St. Dominic, the Brethren of the Order of Mercy,
and other missionaries, now busied themselves in the good work of
conversion. We have seen that Pizarro was required by the Crown
to bring out a certain number of these holy men in his own
vessels; and every succeeding vessel brought an additional
reinforcement of ecclesiastics.  They were not all like the
Bishop of Cuzco, with hearts so seared by fanaticism as to be
closed against sympathy with the unfortunate natives. *8 They
were, many of them, men of singular humility, who followed in the
track of the conqueror to scatter the seeds of spiritual truth,
and, with disinterested zeal, devoted themselves to the
propagation of the Gospel.  Thus did their pious labors prove
them the true soldiers of the Cross, and showed that the object
so ostentatiously avowed of carrying its banner among the heathen
nations was not an empty vaunt.

[Footnote 8: Such, however, it is but fair to Valverde to state,
is not the language applied to him by the rude soldiers of the
Conquest.  The municipality of Xauxa, in a communication to the
Court, extol the Dominican as an exemplary and learned divine,
who had afforded much serviceable consolation to his countrymen.
"Es persona de mucho exemplo i Doctrina i con quien todos los
Espanoles an tenido mucho consuelo." (Carta de la Just. y Reg. de
Xauxa, Ms.) And yet this is not incompatible with a high degree
of insensibility to the natural rights of the natives.]

The effort to Christianize the heathen is an honorable
characteristic of the Spanish conquests.  The Puritan, with equal
religious zeal, did comparatively little for the conversion of
the Indian, content, as it would seem, with having secured to
himself the inestimable privilege of worshipping God in his own
way.  Other adventurers who have occupied the New World have
often had too little regard for religion themselves, to be very
solicitous about spreading it among the savages.  But the Spanish
missionary, from first to last, has shown a keen interest in the
spiritual welfare of the natives. Under his auspices, churches on
a magnificent scale have been erected, schools for elementary
instruction founded, and every rational means taken to spread the
knowledge of religious truth, while he has carried his solitary
mission into remote and almost inaccessible regions, or gathered
his Indian disciples into communities, like the good Las Casas in
Cumana, or the Jesuits in California and Paraguay.  At all times,
the courageous ecclesiastic has been ready to lift his voice
against the cruelty of the conqueror, and the no less wasting
cupidity of the colonist; and when his remonstrances, as was too
often the case, have proved unavailing, he has still followed to
bind up the broken-hearted, to teach the poor Indian resignation
under his lot, and light up his dark intellect with the
revelation of a holier and happier existence. - In reviewing the
blood-stained records of Spanish colonial history, it is but
fair, and at the same time cheering, to reflect, that the same
nation which sent forth the hard-hearted conqueror from its bosom
sent forth the missionary to do the work of beneficence, and
spread the light of Christian civilization over the farthest
regions of the New World.

While the governor, as we are henceforth to style him, lay at
Cuzco, he received repeated accounts of a considerable force in
the neighbourhood, under the command of Atahuallpa's officer,
Quizquiz.  He accordingly detached Almagro, with a small body of
horse and a large Indian force under the Inca Manco to disperse
the enemy, and, if possible, to capture their leader.  Manco was
the more ready to take part in the expedition, as the enemy were
soldiers of Quito, who, with their commander, bore no good-will
to himself.
Almagro, moving with his characteristic rapidity, was not long in
coming up with the Indian chieftain.  Several sharp encounters
followed, as the army of Quito fell back on Xauxa, near which a
general engagement decided the fate of the war by the total
discomfiture of the natives. Quizquiz fled to the elevated plains
of Quito, where he still held out with undaunted spirit against a
Spanish force in that quarter, till at length his own soldiers,
wearied by these long and ineffectual hostilities, massacred
their commander in cold blood. *9 Thus fell the last of the two
great officers of Atahuallpa, who, if their nation had been
animated by a spirit equal to their own, might long have
successfully maintained their soil against the invader.

[Footnote 9: Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Naharro,
Relacion Sumaria, Ms. - Oviedo, Hist. de las Indias, Ms., Parte
3, lib. 8, cap. 20. - Ped. Sancho, Rel., ap Ramusio, tom. III.
fol. 408. - Relacion del Primer. Descub., Ms.]

Some time before this occurrence, the Spanish governor, while in
Cuzco, received tidings of an event much more alarming to him
than any Indian hostilities.  This was the arrival on the coast
of a strong Spanish force, under command of Don Pedro de
Alvarado, the gallant officer who had served under Cortes with
such renown in the war of Mexico.  That cavalier, after forming a
brilliant alliance in Spain, to which he was entitled by his
birth and military rank, had returned to his government of
Guatemala, where his avarice had been roused by the magnificent
reports he daily received of Pizarro's conquests.  These
conquests, he learned, had been confined to Peru; while the
northern kingdom of Quito, the ancient residence of Atahuallpa,
and, no doubt, the principal depository of his treasures, yet
remained untouched. Affecting to consider this country as falling
without the governor's jurisdiction, he immediately turned a
large fleet, which he had intended for the Spice Islands, in the
direction of South America; and in March, 1534, he landed in the
bay of Caraques, with five hundred followers, of whom half were
mounted, and all admirably provided with arms and ammunition.  It
was the best equipped and most formidable array that had yet
appeared in the southern seas. *10

[Footnote 10: The number is variously reported by historians.
But from a egal investigation made in Guatemala, it appears that
the whole force amounted to 500, of which 230 were cavalry. -
Informacion echa en Santiago, Set. 15, 1536 Ms.]

Although manifestly an invasion of the territory conceded to
Pizarro by the Crown, the reckless cavalier determined to march
at once on Quito. With the assistance of an Indian guide, he
proposed to take the direct route across the mountains, a passage
of exceeding difficulty, even at the most favorable season.

After crossing the Rio Dable, Alvarado's guide deserted him, so
that he was soon entangled in the intricate mazes of the sierra;
and, as he rose higher and higher into the regions of winter, he
became surrounded with ice and snow, for which his men taken from
the warm countries of Guatemala, were but ill prepared.  As the
cold grew more intense, many of them were so benumbed, that it
was with difficulty they could proceed. The infantry, compelled
to make exertions, fared best.  Many of the troopers were frozen
stiff in their saddles.  The Indians, still more sensible to the
cold, perished by hundreds.  As the Spaniards huddled round their
wretched bivouacs, with such scanty fuel as they could glean, and
almost without food, they waited in gloomy silence the approach
of morning.  Yet the morning light, which gleamed coldly on the
cheerless waste, brought no joy to them.  It only revealed more
clearly the extent of their wretchedness.  Still struggling on
through the winding Puertos Nevados, or Snowy Passes, their track
was dismally marked by fragments of dress, broken harness, golden
ornaments, and other valuables plundered on their march, - by the
dead bodies of men, or by those less fortunate, who were left to
die alone in the wilderness.  As for the horses, their carcasses
were not suffered long to cumber the ground, as they were quickly
seized and devoured half raw by the starving soldiers, who, like
the famished condors, now hovering in troops above their heads,
greedily banqueted on the most offensive offal to satisfy the
gnawings of hunger.
Alvarado, anxious to secure the booty which had fallen into his
hands at an earlier part of his march, encouraged every man to
take what gold he wanted from the common heap, reserving only the
royal fifth.  But they only answered, with a ghastly smile of
derision, "that food was the only gold for them." Yet in this
extremity, which might seem to have dissolved the very ties of
nature, there are some affecting instances recorded of
self-devotion; of comrades who lost their lives in assisting
others, and of parents and husbands (for some of the cavaliers
were accompanied by their wives) who, instead of seeking their
own safety, chose to remain and perish in the snows with the
objects of their love.

To add to their distress, the air was filled for several days
with thick clouds of earthy particles and cinders, which blinded
the men, and made respiration exceedingly difficult. *11 This
phenomenon, it seems probable, was caused by an eruption of the
distant Cotopaxi, which, about twelve leagues southeast of Quito,
rears up its colossal and perfectly symmetrical cone far above
the limits of eternal snow, - the most beautiful and the most
terrible of the American volcanoes. *12 At the time of Alvarado's
expedition, it was in a state of eruption, the earliest instance
of the kind on record, though doubtless not the earliest. *13
Since that period, it has been in frequent commotion, sending up
its sheets of flame to the height of half a mile, spouting forth
cataracts of lava that have overwhelmed towns and villages in
their career, and shaking the earth with subterraneous thunders,
that, at the distance of more than a hundred leagues, sounded
like the reports of artillery! *14 Alvarado's followers,
unacquainted with the cause of the phenomenon, as they wandered
over tracts buried in snow, - the sight of which was strange to
them, - in an atmosphere laden with ashes, became bewildered by
this confusion of the elements, which Nature seemed to have
contrived purposely for their destruction.  Some of these men
were the soldiers of Cortes, steeled by many a painful march, and
many a sharp encounter with the Aztecs.  But this war of the
elements, they now confessed, was mightier than all.

[Footnote 11: "It began to rain earthy particles from the
heavens," says Oviedo, "that blinded the men and horses, so that
the trees and bushes were full of dirt." Hist. de las Indias,
Ms., Parte 3, lib. 8, cap. 20.]

[Footnote 12: Garcilasso says the shower of ashes came from the
"volcano of Quito." (Com. Real., Parte 2, lib. 2, cap. 2.) Cieza
de Leon only says from one of the volcanoes in that region.
(Cronica, cap. 41.) Neither of them specify the name.  Humboldt
accepts the common opinion, that Cotopaxi was intended.
Researches, I. 123.]

[Footnote 13: A popular tradition among the natives states, that
a large fragment of porphyry near the base of the cone was thrown
out in an eruption, which occurred at the moment of Atahuallpa's
death. - But such tradition will hardly pass for history.]

[Footnote 14: A minute account of this formidable mountain is
given by M. de Humboldt, (Researches, I. 118, et seq.,) and more
circumstantially by Condamine.  (Voyage a l'Equateur, pp. 48 - 56
156 - 160.) The latter philosopher would have attempted to scale
the almost perpendicular walls of the volcano, but no one was
hardy enough to second him.]

At length, Alvarado, after sufferings, which even the most hardy,
probably, could have endured but a few days longer, emerged from
the Snowy Pass, and came on the elevated table-land, which
spreads out, at the height of more than nine thousand feet above
the ocean, in the neighbourhood of Riobamba.  But one fourth of
his gallant army had been left to feed the condor in the
wilderness, besides the greater part, at least two thousand, of
his Indian auxiliaries.  A great number of his horses, too, had
perished; and the men and horses that escaped were all of them
more or less injured by the cold and the extremity of suffering.
- Such was the terrible passage of the Puertos Nevados, which I
have only briefly noticed as an episode to the Peruvian conquest,
but the account of which, in all its details, though it occupied
but a few weeks in duration, would give one a better idea of the
difficulties encountered by the Spanish cavaliers, than volumes
of ordinary narrative. *15

[Footnote 15: By far the most spirited and thorough record of
Alvarado's march is given by Herrera, who has borrowed the pen of
Livy describing the Alpine march of Hannibal.  (Hist. General,
dec. 5, lib. 6, cap. 1, 2, 7, 8, 9.) See also Pedro Pizarro,
Descub. y Conq., Ms., - Oviedo, Hist. de las Indias, Ms., Parte
3, lib. 8, cap. 20, - and Carta de Pedro de Alvarado al
Emperador, San Miguel, 15 de Enero, 1535, Ms.

Alvarado, in the letter above cited, which is preserved in the
Munoz collection, explains to the Emperor the grounds of his
expedition, with no little effrontery.  In this document he
touches very briefly on the march, being chiefly occupied by the
negotiations with Almagro, and accompanying his remarks with many
dark suggestions as to the policy pursued by the Conquerors]

As Alvarado, after halting some time to restore his exhausted
troops, began his march across the broad plateau, he was
astonished by seeing the prints of horses' hoofs on the soil.
Spaniards, then, had been there before him, and, after all his
toil and suffering, others had forestalled him in the enterprise
against Quito!  It is necessary to say a few words in explanation
of this.

When Pizarro quitted Caxamalca, being sensible of the growing
importance of San Miguel, the only port of entry then in the
country, he despatched a person in whom he had great confidence
to take charge of it. This person was Sebastian Benalcazar, a
cavalier who afterwards placed his name in the first rank of the
South American conquerors, for courage, capacity, - and cruelty.
But this cavalier had hardly reached his government, when, like
Alvarado, he received such accounts of the riches of Quito, that
he determined, with the force at his command, though without
orders, to undertake its reduction.

At the head of about a hundred and forty soldiers, horse and
foot, and a stout body of Indian auxiliaries, he marched up the
broad range of the Andes, to where it spreads out into the
table-land of Quito, by a road safer and more expeditious than
that taken by Alvarado.  On the plains of Riobamba, he
encountered the Indian general Ruminavi.  Several engagements
followed, with doubtful success, when, in the end, science
prevailed where courage was well matched, and the victorious
Benalcazar planted the standard of Castile on the ancient towers
of Atahuallpa.  The city, in honor of his general, Francis
Pizarro, he named San Francisco del Quito. But great was his
mortification on finding that either the stories of its riches
had been fabricated, or that these riches were secreted by the
natives.  The city was all that he gained by his victories, - the
shell without the pearl of price which gave it its value.  While
devouring his chagrin, as he best could, the Spanish captain
received tidings of the approach of his superior, Almagro. *16

[Footnote 16: Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Herrera,
Hist. General, dec. 5, lib. 4, cap. 11, 18; lib. 6, cap. 5, 6. -
Oviedo, Hist. de las Indias, Ms., Parte 3, lib. 8, cap. 19. -
Carta de Benalcazar, Ms.]

No sooner had the news of Alvarado's expedition reached Cuzco,
than Almagro left the place with a small force for San Miguel,
proposing to strengthen himself by a reinforcement from that
quarter, and to march at once against the invaders.  Greatly was
he astonished, on his arrival in that city, to learn the
departure of its commander.  Doubting the loyalty of his motives,
Almagro, with the buoyancy of spirit which belongs to youth,
though in truth somewhat enfeebled by the infirmities of age, did
not hesitate to follow Benalcazar at once across the mountains.
With his wonted energy, the intrepid veteran, overcoming all the
difficulties of his march, in a few weeks placed himself and his
little company on the lofty plains which spread around the Indian
city of Riobamba; though in his progress he had more than one hot
encounter with the natives, whose courage and perseverance formed
a contrast sufficiently striking to the apathy of the Peruvians.
But the fire only slumbered in the bosom of the Peruvian.  His
hour had not yet come.

At Riobamba, Almagro was soon joined by the commander of San
Miguel, who disclaimed, perhaps sincerely, any disloyal intent in
his unauthorized expedition.  Thus reinforced, the Spanish
captain coolly awaited the coming of Alvarado.  The forces of the
latter, though in a less serviceable condition, were much
superior in number and appointments to those of his rival.  As
they confronted each other on the broad plains of Riobamba, it
seemed probable that a fierce struggle must immediately follow,
and the natives of the country have the satisfaction to see their
wrongs avenged by the very hands that inflicted them.  But it was
Almagro's policy to avoid such an issue.

Negotiations were set on foot, in which each party stated his
claims to the country.  Meanwhile Alvarado's men mingled freely
with their countrymen in the opposite army, and heard there such
magnificent reports of the wealth and wonders of Cuzco, that many
of them were inclined to change their present service for that of
Pizarro.  Their own leader, too, satisfied that Quito held out no
recompense worth the sacrifices he had made, and was like to
make, by insisting on his claim, became now more sensible of the
rashness of a course which must doubtless incur the censure of
his sovereign.  In this temper, it was not difficult for them to
effect an adjustment of difficulties; and it was agreed, as the
basis of it, that the governor should pay one hundred thousand
pesos de oro to Alvarado, in consideration of which the latter
was to resign to him his fleet, his forces, and all his stores
and munitions.  His vessels, great and small, amounted to twelve
in number, and the sum he received, though large, did not cover
his expenses.  This treaty being settled, Alvarado proposed,
before leaving the country, to have an interview with Pizarro.

[Footnote 17: Conq. i Pob. del Piru, Ms. - Naharro, Relacion
Sumaria, Ms. - Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Herrera,
Hist. General, dec. 5, lib. 6, cap. 8 - 10. - Oviedo, Hist. de
las Indias, Ms., Parte 3, lib. 8, cap 20. - Carta de Benalcazar,

The amount of the bonus paid to Alvarado is stated very
differently by writers.  But both that cavalier and Almagro, in
their letters to the Emperor, which have hitherto been unknown to
historians, agree in the sum given in the text.  Alvarado
complains that he had no choice but to take it, although it was
greatly to his own loss, and, by defeating his expedition, as he
modestly intimates, to the loss of the Crown.  (Carta de Alvarado
al Emperador, Ms.) - Almagro, however, states that the sum paid
was three times as much as the armament was worth; "a sacrifice,"
he adds, "which he made to preserve peace, never dear at any
price." - Strange sentiment for a Castilian conqueror!  Carta de
Diego de Almagro al Emperador, Ms., Oct. 15, 1534.]

The governor, meanwhile, had quitted the Peruvian capital for the
sea-coast, from his desire to repel any invasion that might be
attempted in that direction by Alvarado, with whose real
movements he was still unacquainted.  He left Cuzco in charge of
his brother Juan, a cavalier whose manners were such as, he
thought, would be likely to gain the good-will of the native
population.  Pizarro also left ninety of his troops, as the
garrison of the capital, and the nucleus of his future colony.
Then, taking the Inca Manco with him, he proceeded as far as
Xauxa.  At this place he was entertained by the Indian prince
with the exhibition of a great national hunt, - such as has been
already described in these pages, - in which immense numbers of
wild animals were slaughtered, and the vicunas, and other races
of Peruvian sheep, which roam over the mountains, driven into
inclosures and relieved of their delicate fleeces. *18

[Footnote 18: Carta de la Just. y Reg. de Xauja, Ms. - Relacion
del Primer. Descub., Ms. - Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 5, lib.
6, cap. 16. - Montesinos, Annales, Ms., ano 1534.

At this place, the author of the Relacion del Primer
Descubrimiento del Peru, the Ms. so often quoted in these pages,
abruptly terminates his labors. He is a writer of sense and
observation; and, though he has his share of the national
tendency to exaggerate and overcolor, he writes like one who
means to be honest, and who has seen what he describes.

At Xauxa, also, the notary Pedro Sancho ends his Relacion, which
embraces a much shorter period than the preceding narrative, but
which is equally authentic.  Coming from the secretary of
Pizarro, and countersigned by that general himself, this
Relation, indeed, may be regarded as of the very highest
authority.  And yet large deductions must obviously be made for
the source whence it springs; for it may be taken as Pizarro's
own account of his doings, some of which stood much in need of
apology.  It must be added, in justice both to the general and to
his secretary, that the Relation does not differ substantially
from other contemporary accounts, and that the attempt to varnish
over the exceptionable passages in the conduct of the Conquerors
is not obtrusive.

For the publication of this journal, we are indebted to Ramusio,
whose enlightened labors have preserved to us more than one
contemporary production of value, though in the form of

The Spanish governor then proceeded to Pachacamac, where he
received the grateful intelligence of the accommodation with
Alvarado; and not long afterward he was visited by that cavalier
himself, previously to his embarkation.

The meeting was conducted with courtesy and a show, at least, of
good-will, on both sides, as there was no longer real cause for
jealousy between the parties; and each, as may be imagined,
looked on the other with no little interest, as having achieved
such distinction in the bold path of adventure.  In the
comparison, Alvarado had somewhat the advantage; for Pizarro,
though of commanding presence, had not the brilliant exterior,
the free and joyous manner, which, no less than his fresh
complexion and sunny locks, had won for the conqueror of
Guatemala, in his campaigns against the Aztecs, the sobriquet of
Tonatiuh, or "Child of the Sun."

Blithe were the revels that now rang through the ancient city of
Pachacamac; where, instead of songs, and of the sacrifices so
often seen there in honor of the Indian deity, the walls echoed
to the noise of tourneys and Moorish tilts of reeds, with which
the martial adventurers loved to recall the sports of their
native land.  When these were concluded, Alvarado reembarked for
his government of Guatemala, where his restless spirit soon
involved him in other enterprises that cut short his adventurous
career.  His expedition to Peru was eminently characteristic of
the man.  It was founded in injustice, conducted with rashness,
and ended in disaster. *19

[Footnote 19: Naharro, Relacion Sumaria, Ms. - Pedro Pizarro,
Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Carta Francisco Pizarro al Senor de
Molina, Ms.

Alvarado died in 1541, of an injury received from a horse which
rolled down on him as he was attempting to scale a precipitous
hill in New Galicia. In the same year, by a singular coincidence,
perished his beautiful wife, at her own residence in Guatemala,
which was overwhelmed by a torrent from the adjacent mountains.]

The reduction of Peru might now be considered as, in a manner,
accomplished.  Some barbarous tribes in the interior, it is true,
still held out, and Alonso de Alvarado, a prudent and able
officer, was employed to bring them into subjection.  Benalcazar
was still at Quito, of which he was subsequently appointed
governor by the Crown.  There he was laying deeper the foundation
of the Spanish power, while he advanced the line of conquest
still higher towards the north.  But Cuzco, the ancient capital
of the Indian monarchy, had submitted.  The armies of Atahuallpa
had been beaten and scattered.  The empire of the Incas was
dissolved; and the prince who now wore the Peruvian diadem was
but the shadow of a king, who held his commission from his

The first act of the governor was to determine on the site of the
future capital of this vast colonial empire.  Cuzco, withdrawn
among the mountains, was altogether too far removed from the
sea-coast for a commercial people. The little settlement of San
Miguel lay too far to the north.  It was desirable to select some
more central position, which could be easily found in one of the
fruitful valleys that bordered the Pacific. Such was that of
Pachacamac, which Pizarro now occupied.  But, on further
examination, he preferred the neighbouring valley of Rimac, which
lay to the north, and which took its name, signifying in the
Quichua tongue "one who speaks," from a celebrated idol, whose
shrine was much frequented by the Indians for the oracles it
delivered.  Through the valley flowed a broad stream, which, like
a great artery, was made, as usual by the natives, to supply a
thousand finer veins that meandered through the beautiful

On this river Pizarro fixed the site of his new capital, at
somewhat less than two leagues' distance from its mouth, which
expanded into a commodious haven for the commerce that the
prophetic eye of the founder saw would one day - and no very
distant one - float on its waters.  The central situation of the
spot recommended it as a suitable residence for the Peruvian
viceroy, whence he might hold easy communication with the
different parts of the country, and keep vigilant watch over his
Indian vassals.  The climate was delightful, and, though only
twelve degrees south of the line, was so far tempered by the cool
breezes that generally blow from the Pacific, or from the
opposite quarter down the frozen sides of the Cordilleras, that
the heat was less than in corresponding latitudes on the
continent.  It never rained on the coast; but this dryness was
corrected by a vaporous cloud, which, through the summer months,
hung like a curtain over the valley, sheltering it from the rays
of a tropical sun, and imperceptibly distilling a refreshing
moisture, that clothed the fields in the brightest verdure.

The name bestowed on the infant capital was Ciudad de los Reyes,
or City of the Kings, in honor of the day, being the sixth of
January, 1535, - the festival of Epiphany, - when it was said to
have been founded, or more probably when its site was determined,
as its actual foundation seems to have been twelve days later.
*20 But the Castilian name ceased to be used even within the
first generation, and was supplanted by that of Lima, into which
the original Indian name of Rimac was corrupted by the Spaniards.

[Footnote 20: So says Quintana, who follows in this what he
pronounces a sure authority, Father Bernabe Cobo, in his book
entitled Fundacion de Lima. Espanoles Celebres, tom. II. p. 250,

[Footnote 21: The Mss. of the old Conquerors show how, from the
very first, the name of Lima superseded the original Indian
title. "Y el marquez se passo a Lima y fundo la ciudad de los
rreyes que agora es." (Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms.)
"Asimismo ordenaron que se pasasen el pueblo que tenian en Xauxa
poblado a este Valle de Lima donde agora es esta ciudad de los i
aqui se poblo." Conq. i Pob. del Piru, Ms.]

The city was laid out on a very regular plan.  The streets were
to be much wider than usual in Spanish towns, and perfectly
straight, crossing one another at right angles, and so far
asunder as to afford ample space for gardens to the dwellings,
and for public squares.  It was arranged in a triangular form,
having the river for its base, the waters of which were to be
carried, by means of stone conduits, through all the principal
streets, affording facilities for irrigating the grounds around
the houses.
No sooner had the governor decided on the site and on the plan of
the city, than he commenced operations with his characteristic
energy.  The Indians were collected from the distance of more
than a hundred miles to aid in the work.  The Spaniards applied
themselves with vigor to the task, under the eye of their chief.
The sword was exchanged for the tool of the artisan. The camp was
converted into a hive of diligent laborers; and the sounds of war
were succeeded by the peaceful hum of a busy population. The
plaza, which was extensive, was to be surrounded by the
cathedral, the palace of the viceroy, that of the municipality,
and other public buildings; and their foundations were laid on a
scale, and with a solidity, which defied the assaults of time,
and, in some instances, even the more formidable shock of
earthquakes, that, at different periods, have laid portions of
the fair capital in ruins. *22

[Footnote 22: Montesinos, Annales, Ms. ano 1535. - Conq. i Pob.
del Piru, Ms.

The remains of Pizarro's palace may still be discerned in the
Callejon de Petateros, says Stevenson, who gives the best account
of Lima to be found in any modern book of travels which I have
consulted. Residence in South America, vol II. chap. 8.]

While these events were going on, Almagro, the Marshal, as he is
usually termed by chroniclers of the time, had gone to Cuzco,
whither he was sent by Pizarro to take command of that capital.
He received also instructions to undertake, either by himself or
by his captains, the conquest of the countries towards the south,
forming part of Chili. Almagro, since his arrival at Caxamalca,
had seemed willing to smother his ancient feelings of resentment
towards his associate, or, at least, to conceal the expression of
them, and had consented to take command under him in obedience to
the royal mandate.  He had even, in his despatches, the
magnanimity to make honorable mention of Pizarro, as one anxious
to promote the interests of government.  Yet he did not so far
trust his companion, as to neglect the precaution of sending a
confidential agent to represent his own services, when Hernando
Pizarro undertook his mission to the mother-country.

That cavalier, after touching at St. Domingo, had arrived without
accident at Seville, in January, 1534.  Besides the royal fifth,
he took with him gold, to the value of half a million of pesos,
together with a large quantity of silver, the property of private
adventurers, some of whom, satisfied with their gains, had
returned to Spain in the same vessel with himself.  The
custom-house was filled with solid ingots, and with vases of
different forms, imitations of animals, flowers, fountains, and
other objects, executed with more or less skill, and all of pure
gold, to the astonishment of the spectators, who flocked from the
neighbouring country to gaze on these marvellous productions of
Indian art. *23 Most of the manufactured articles were the
property of the Crown; and Hernando Pizarro, after a short stay
at Seville, selected some of the most gorgeous specimens, and
crossed the country to Calatayud, where the emperor was holding
the cortes of Aragon.

[Footnote 23: Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 5, ib. 6, cap. 13. -
Lista de todo lo que Hernando Pizarro trajo del Peru, ap. Mss. de

Hernando was instantly admitted to the royal presence, and
obtained a gracious audience.  He was more conversant with courts
than either of his brothers, and his manners, when in situations
that imposed a restraint on the natural arrogance of his temper,
were graceful and even attractive. In a respectful tone, he now
recited the stirring adventures of his brother and his little
troop of followers, the fatigues they had endured, the
difficulties they had overcome, their capture of the Peruvian
Inca, and his magnificent ransom.  He had not to tell of the
massacre of the unfortunate prince, for the tragic event, which
had occurred since his departure from the country, was still
unknown to him.  The cavalier expatiated on the productiveness of
the soil, and on the civilization of the people, evinced by their
proficiency in various mechanic arts; in proof of which he
displayed the manufactures of wool and cotton, and the rich
ornaments of gold and silver.  The monarch's eyes sparkled with
delight as he gazed on these last.  He was too sagacious not to
appreciate the advantages of a conquest which secured to him a
country so rich in agricultural resources.  But the returns from
these must necessarily be gradual and long deferred; and he may
be excused for listening with still greater satisfaction to
Pizarro's tales of its mineral stores; for his ambitious projects
had drained the imperial treasury, and he saw in the golden tide
thus unexpectedly poured in upon him the immediate means of
replenishing it.

Charles made no difficulty, therefore, in granting the petitions
of the fortunate adventurer.  All the previous grants to Francis
Pizarro and his associates were confirmed in the fullest manner;
and the boundaries of the governor's jurisdiction were extended
seventy leagues further towards the south.  Nor did Almagro's
services, this time, go unrequited.  He was empowered to discover
and occupy the country for the distance of two hundred leagues,
beginning at the southern limit of Pizarro's territory. *24
Charles, in proof, still further, of his satisfaction, was
graciously pleased to address a letter to the two commanders, in
which he complimented them on their prowess, and thanked them for
their services. This act of justice to Almagro would have been
highly honorable to Hernando Pizarro, considering the unfriendly
relations in which they stood to each other, had it not been made
necessary by the presence of the marshal's own agents at court,
who, as already noticed, stood ready to supply any deficiency in
the statements of the emissary.

[Footnote 24: The country to be occupied received the name of New
Toledo, in the royal grant, as the conquests of Pizarro had been
designated by that of New Castile.  But the present attempt to
change the Indian name was as ineffectual as the former, and the
ancient title of Chili still designates that narrow strip of
fruitful land between the Andes and the ocean, which stretches to
the south of the great continent.]

In this display of the royal bounty, the envoy, as will readily
be believed, did not go without his reward.  He was lodged as an
attendant of the Court; was made a knight of Santiago, the most
prized of the chivalric orders in Spain; was empowered to equip
an armament, and to take command of it; and the royal officers at
Seville were required to aid him in his views and facilitate his
embarkation for the Indies. *25

[Footnote 25: Ibid., loc. cit.]

The arrival of Hernando Pizarro in the country, and the reports
spread by him and his followers, created a sensation among the
Spaniards such as had not been felt since the first voyage of
Columbus.  The discovery of the New World had filled the minds of
men with indefinite expectations of wealth, of which almost every
succeeding expedition had proved the fallacy.  The conquest of
Mexico, though calling forth general admiration as a brilliant
and wonderful exploit, had as yet failed to produce those golden
results which had been so fondly anticipated.  The splendid
promises held out by Francis Pizarro on his recent visit to the
country had not revived the confidence of his countrymen, made
incredulous by repeated disappointment.  All that they were
assured of was the difficulties of the enterprise; and their
distrust of its results was sufficiently shown by the small
number of followers, and those only of the most desperate stamp,
who were willing to take their chance in the adventure.

But now these promises were realized.  It was no longer the
golden reports that they were to trust; but the gold itself,
which was displayed in such profusion before them.  All eyes were
now turned towards the West. The broken spendthrift saw in it the
quarter where he was to repair his fortunes as speedily as he had
ruined them.  The merchant, instead of seeking the precious
commodities of the East, looked in the opposite direction, and
counted on far higher gains, where the most common articles of
life commanded so exorbitant prices.  The cavalier, eager to win
both gold and glory at the point of his lance, thought to find a
fair field for his prowess on the mountain plains of the Andes.
Ferdinand Pizarro found that his brother had judged rightly in
allowing as many of his company as chose to return home,
confident that the display of their wealth would draw ten to his
banner for every one that quitted it.

In a short time that cavalier saw himself at the head of one of
the most numerous and well-appointed armaments, probably, that
had left the shores of Spain since the great fleet of Ovando, in
the time of Ferdinand and Isabella.  It was scarcely more
fortunate than this.  Hardly had Ferdinand put to sea, when a
violent tempest fell on the squadron, and compelled him to return
to port and refit.  At length he crossed the ocean, and reached
the little harbour of Nombre de Dios in safety.  But no
preparations had been made for his coming, and, as he was
detained here some time before he could pass the mountains, his
company suffered greatly from scarcity of food.  In their
extremity, the most unwholesome articles were greedily devoured,
and many a cavalier spent his little savings to procure himself a
miserable subsistence.  Disease, as usual, trod closely in the
track of famine, and numbers of the unfortunate adventurers,
sinking under the unaccustomed heats of the climate, perished on
the very threshold of discovery.

It was the tale often repeated in the history of Spanish
enterprise. A few, more lucky than the rest, stumble on some
unexpected prize, and hundreds, attracted by their success, press
forward in the same path.  But the rich spoil which lay on the
surface has been already swept away by the first comers, and
those who follow are to win their treasure by long-protracted and
painful exertion. - Broken in spirit and in fortune, many
returned in disgust to their native shores, while others remained
where they were, to die in despair.  They thought to dig for
gold; but they dug only their graves.

Yet it fared not thus with all Pizarro's company.  Many of them,
crossing the Isthmus with him to Panama, came in time to Peru,
where, in the desperate chances of its revolutionary struggles,
some few arrived at posts of profit and distinction.  Among those
who first reached the Peruvian shore was an emissary sent by
Almagro's agents to inform him of the important grant made to him
by the Crown.  The tidings reached him just as he was making his
entry into Cuzco, where he was received with all respect by Juan
and Gonzalo Pizarro, who, in obedience to their brother's
commands, instantly resigned the government of the capital into
the marshal's hands.  But Almagro was greatly elated on finding
himself now placed by his sovereign in a command that made him
independent of the man who had so deeply wronged him; and he
intimated that in the exercise of his present authority he
acknowledged no superior.  In this lordly humor he was confirmed
by several of his followers, who insisted that Cuzco fell to the
south of the territory ceded to Pizarro, and consequently came
within that now granted to the marshal.  Among these followers
were several of Alvarado's men, who, though of better condition
than the soldiers of Pizarro, were under much worse discipline,
and had acquired, indeed, a spirit of unbridled license under
that unscrupulous chief. *26 They now evinced little concern for
the native population of Cuzco; and, not content with the public
edifices, seized on the dwellings of individuals, where it suited
their convenience, appropriating their contents without ceremony,
- showing as little respect, in short, for person or property, as
if the place had been taken by storm. *27

[Footnote 26: In point of discipline, they presented a remarkable
contrast to the Conquerors of Peru, if we may take the word of
Pedro Pizarro, who assures us that his comrades would not have
plucked so much as an ear of corn without leave from their
commander.  "Que los que pasamos con el Marquez a la conquista no
ovo hombre que osase tomar vna mazorca de mahiz sin licencia."
Descub. y Conq., Ms.]

[Footnote 27: "Se entraron de paz en la ciudad del Cuzco i los
salieron todos los naturales a rescibir i les tomaron la Ciudad
con todo quanto havia de dentro llenas las casas de mucha ropa i
algunas oro i plata i otras muchas cosas, i las que no estaban
bien llenas las enchian de lo que tomaban de las demas casas de
la dicha ciudad, sin pensar que en ello hacian ofensa alguna
Divina ni humana, i porquesta es una cosa larga i casi
incomprehensible, la dexase al juicio de quien mas entiende
aunque en el dano rescebido por parte de los naturales cerca
deste articulo yo se harto por mis pecados que no quisiera saber
ni haver visto." Conq. i Pob. del Piru, Ms.]
While these events were passing in the ancient Peruvian capital,
the governor was still at Lima, where he was greatly disturbed by
the accounts he received of the new honors conferred on his
associate.  He did not know that his own jurisdiction had been
extended seventy leagues further to the south, and he entertained
the same suspicion with Almagro, that the capital of the Incas
did not rightly come within his present limits.  He saw all the
mischief likely to result from this opulent city falling into the
hands of his rival, who would thus have an almost indefinite
means of gratifying his own cupidity, and that of his followers.
He felt, that, under the present circumstances, it was not safe
to allow Almagro to anticipate the possession of power, to which,
as yet, he had no legitimate right; for the despatches containing
the warrant for it still remained with Hernando Pizarro, at
Panama, and all that had reached Peru was a copy of a garbled

Without loss of time, therefore, he sent instructions to Cuzco
for his brothers to resume the government, while he defended the
measure to Almagro on the ground, that, when he should hereafter
receive his credentials, it would be unbecoming to be found
already in possession of the post.  He concluded by urging him to
go forward without delay in his expedition to the south.

But neither the marshal nor his friends were pleased with the
idea of so soon relinquishing the authority which they now
considered as his right.  The Pizarros, on the other hand, were
pertinacious in reclaiming it.  The dispute grew warmer and
warmer.  Each party had its supporters; the city was split into
factions; and the municipality, the soldiers, and even the Indian
population, took sides in the struggle for power.  Matters were
proceeding to extremity, menacing the capital with violence and
bloodshed, when Pizarro himself appeared among them. *28

[Footnote 28: Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Herrera Hist.
General, dec. 5, lib. 7, cap. 6 - Conq. i Pob. del Piru, Ms.]

On receiving tidings of the fatal consequences of his mandates,
he had posted in all haste to Cuzco, where he was greeted with
undisguised joy by the natives, as well as by the more temperate
Spaniards, anxious to avert the impending storm.  The governor's
first interview was with Almagro, whom he embraced with a seeming
cordiality in his manner; and, without any show of resentment,
inquired into the cause of the present disturbances.  To this the
marshal replied, by throwing the blame on Pizarro's brothers;
but, although the governor reprimanded them with some asperity
for their violence, it was soon evident that his sympathies were
on their side, and the dangers of a feud between the two
associates seemed greater than ever.  Happily, it was postponed
by the intervention of some common friends, who showed more
discretion than their leaders.  With their aid a reconciliation
was at length affected, on the grounds substantially of their
ancient compact.

It was agreed that their friendship should be maintained
inviolate; and, by a stipulation that reflects no great credit on
the parties, it was provided that neither should malign nor
disparage the other, especially in their despatches to the
emperor; and that neither should hold communication with the
government without the knowledge of his confederate; lastly, that
both the expenditures and the profits of future discovery should
be shared equally by the associates.  The wrath of Heaven was
invoked by the most solemn imprecations on the head of whichever
should violate this compact, and the Almighty was implored to
visit the offender with loss of property and of life in this
world, and with eternal perdition in that to come! *29 The
parties further bound themselves to the observance of this
contract by a solemn oath taken on the sacrament, as it was held
in the hands of Father Bartolome de Segovia, who concluded the
ceremony by performing mass.  The whole proceeding, and the
articles of agreement, were carefully recorded by the notary in
an instrument bearing date June 12, 1535, and attested by a long
list of witnesses. *30

[Footnote 29: "E suplicamos a su infinita bondad que a qualquier
de nos que fuere en contrario de lo asi convenido, con todo rigor
de justicia permita la perdicion de su anima, tin y mal
acavamiento de su vida, destruicion y perdimientos de su familia,
honrras y hacienda." Capitulacion entre Pizarro y Almagro 12 de
Junio, 1535, Ms.]

[Footnote 30: This remarkable document, the original of which is
preserves in the archives of Simancas, may be found entire in the
Castilian, 10 Appendix, No. 11.]

Thus did these two ancient comrades, after trampling on the ties
of friendship and honor, hope to knit themselves to each other by
the holy bands of religion.  That it should have been necessary
to resort to so extraordinary a measure might have furnished them
with the best proof of its inefficacy.

Not long after this accommodation of their differences, the
marshal raised his standard for Chili; and numbers, won by his
popular manners, and by his liberal largesses, - liberal to
prodigality, - eagerly joined in the enterprise, which they
fondly trusted would lead even to greater riches than they had
found in Peru.  Two Indians, Paullo Topa, a brother of the Inca
Manco, and Villac Umu, the high-priest of the nation, were sent
in advance, with three Spaniards, to prepare the way for the
little army.  A detachment of a hundred and fifty men, under an
officer named Saavedra, next followed. Almagro remained behind to
collect further recruits; but before his levies were completed,
he began his march, feeling himself insecure, with his diminished
strength, in the neighbourhood of Pizarro! *31 The remainder of
his forces, when mustered, were to follow him.

[Footnote 31: "El Adelantado Almagro despues que se vido en el
Cuzco descarnado de su jente temio al Marquez no le prendiese por
las alteraciones pasadas que havia tenido con sus hermanos como
ya hemos dicho, i dicen que por ser avisado dello tomo la posta i
se fue al pueblo de Paria donde estava su Capitan Saavedra."
Conq. i Pob. del Piru, Ms.]

Thus relieved of the presence of his rival, the governor returned
without further delay to the coast, to resume his labors in the
settlement of the country.  Besides the principal city of "The
Kings,' he established others along the Pacific, destined to
become hereafter the flourishing marts of commerce.  The most
important of these, in honor of his birthplace, he named
Truxillo, planting it on a site already indicated by Almagro. *32
He made also numerous repartimientos both of lands and Indians
among his followers, in the usual manner of the Spanish
Conquerors; *33 - though here the ignorance of the real resources
of the country led to very different results from what he had
intended, as the territory smallest in extent, not unfrequently,
from the hidden treasures in its bosom, turned out greatest in
value. *34

[Footnote 32: Carta de F. Pizarro a Molina, Ms.]

[Footnote 33: I have before me two copies of grants of
encomiendas by Pizarro, the one dated at Xauxa, 1534, the other
at Cuzco, 1539. - They emphatically enjoin on the colonist the
religious instruction of the natives under his care, as well as
kind and considerate usage.  How ineffectual were the
recommendations may be inferred from the lament of the anonymous
contemporary often cited, that "from this time forth, the pest of
personal servitude was established among the Indians, equally
disastrous to body and soul of both the master and the slave."
(Conq. i Pob. del Piru, Ms.) This honest burst of indignation,
not to have been expected in the rude Conqueror, came probably
from an ecclesiastic.]

[Footnote 34: "El Marques hizo encomiendas en los Espanoles, las
quales fueron por noticias que ni el sabia lo que dava ni nadie
lo que rescebia sino a tiento ya poco mas o menos, y asi muchos
que pensaron que se les dava pocos se hallaron con mucho y al
contrario" Ondegardo, Rel. Prim., Ms.]

But nothing claimed so much of Pizarro's care as the rising
metropolis of Lima; and, so eagerly did he press forward the
work, and so well was he seconded by the multitude of laborers at
his command, that he had the satisfaction to see his young
capital, with its stately edifices and its pomp of gardens,
rapidly advancing towards completion.  It is pleasing to
contemplate the softer features in the character of the rude
soldier, as he was thus occupied with healing up the ravages of
war, and laying broad the foundations of an empire more civilized
than that which he had overthrown. This peaceful occupation
formed a contrast to the life of incessant turmoil in which he
had been hitherto engaged.  It seemed, too, better suited to his
own advancing age, which naturally invited to repose.  And, if we
may trust his chroniclers, there was no part of his career in
which he took greater satisfaction.  It is certain there is no
part which has been viewed with greater satisfaction by
posterity; and, amidst the woe and desolation which Pizarro and
his followers brought on the devoted land of the Incas, Lima, the
beautiful City of the Kings, still survives as the most glorious
work of his creation, the fairest gem on the shores of the

Chapter X

Escape Of The Inca. - Return Of Hernando Pizarro. - Rising Of The
Peruvians. - Siege And Burning Of Cuzco. - Distresses Of The
Spaniards. - Storming Of The Fortress. - Pizarro's Dismay. - The
Inca Raises The Siege.


While the absence of his rival Almagro relieved Pizarro from all
immediate disquietude from that quarter, his authority was
menaced in another, where he had least expected it.  This was
from the native population of the country.  Hitherto the
Peruvians had shown only a tame and submissive temper, that
inspired their conquerors with too much contempt to leave room
for apprehension.  They had passively acquiesced in the
usurpation of the invaders; had seen one monarch butchered,
another placed on the vacant throne, their temples despoiled of
their treasures, their capital and country appropriated and
parcelled out among the Spaniards, but, with the exception of an
occasional skirmish in the mountain passes, not a blow had been
struck in defence of their rights. Yet this was the warlike
nation which had spread its conquests over so large a part of the

In his career, Pizarro, though he scrupled at nothing to effect
his object, had not usually countenanced such superfluous acts of
cruelty as had too often stained the arms of his countrymen in
other parts of the continent, and which, in the course of a few
years, had exterminated nearly a whole population in Hispaniola.
He had struck one astounding blow, by the seizure of Atahuallpa;
and he seemed willing to rely on this to strike terror into the
natives.  He even affected some respect for the institutions of
the country, and had replaced the monarch he had murdered by
another of the legitimate line.  Yet this was but a pretext.  The
kingdom had experienced a revolution of the most decisive kind.
Its ancient institutions were subverted.  Its heaven-descended
aristocracy was levelled almost to the condition of the peasant.
The people became the serfs of the Conquerors.  Their dwellings
in the capital - at least, after the arrival of Alvarado's
officers - were seized and appropriated.  The temples were turned
into stables; the royal residences into barracks for the troops.
The sanctity of the religious houses was violated.  Thousands of
matrons and maidens, who, however erroneous their faith, lived in
chaste seclusion in the conventual establishments, were now
turned abroad, and became the prey of a licentious soldiery. *1 A
favorite wife of the young Inca was debauched by the Castilian
officers.  The Inca, himself treated with contemptuous
indifference, found that he was a poor dependant, if not a tool,
in the hands of his conquerors. *2

[Footnote 1: So says the author of the Conquista i Poblacion del
Piru, a contemporary writer, who describes what he saw himself as
well as what he gathered from others.  Several circumstances,
especially the honest indignation he expresses at the excesses of
the Conquerors, lead one to suppose he may have been an
ecclesiastic, one of the good men who attended the cruel
expedition on an errand of love and mercy.  It is to be hoped
that his credulity leads him to exaggerate the misdeeds of his

According to him, there were full six thousand women of rank,
living in the convents of Cuzco, served each by fifteen or twenty
female attendants, most of whom, that did not perish in the war,
suffered a more melancholy fate, as the victims of prostitution.
- The passage is so remarkable, and the Ms. so rare, that I will
cite it in the original.

"De estas senoras del Cuzco es cierto de tener grande sentimiento
el que tuviese alguna humanidad en el pecho, que en tiempo de la
prosperidad del Cuzco quando los Espanoles entraron en el havia
grand cantidad de senoras que tenian sus casas i sus asientos mui
quietas i sosegadas i vivian mui politicamente i como mui buenas
mugeres, cada senora acompanada con quince o veinte mugeres que
tenia de servicio en su casa bien traidas i aderezadas, i no
salian menos desto i con grand onestidad i gravedad i atavio a su
usanza, i es a la cantidad destas senoras principales creo yo que
en el . . . . . que avia mas de seis mil sin las de servicio que
creo yo que eran mas de veinte mil mugeres sin las de servicio i
mamaconas que eran las que andavan como beatas i dende a dos anos
casi no se allava en el Cuzco i su tierra sino cada qual i qual
porque muchas murieron en la guerra que huvo i las otras vinieron
las mas a ser malas mugeres.  Senor perdone a quien fue la causa
desto i aquien no lo remedia pudiendo." Conq. i Pob del Piru,

[Footnote 2: Ibid., ubi supra.]

Yet the Inca Manco was a man of a lofty spirit and a courageous
heart; such a one as might have challenged comparison with the
bravest of his ancestors in the prouder days of the empire.
Stung to the quick by the humiliations to which he was exposed,
he repeatedly urged Pizarro to restore him to the real exercise
of power, as well as to the show of it. But Pizarro evaded a
request so incompatible with his own ambitious schemes, or,
indeed, with the policy of Spain, and the young Inca and his
nobles were left to brood over their injuries in secret, and
await patiently the hour of vengeance.

The dissensions among the Spaniards themselves seemed to afford a
favorable opportunity for this.  The Peruvian chiefs held many
conferences together on the subject, and the high-priest Villac
Umu urged the necessity of a rising so soon as Almagro had
withdrawn his forces from the city.  It would then be
comparatively easy, by assaulting the invaders on their several
posts, scattered as they were over the country, to overpower them
by superior numbers, and shake off their detested yoke before the
arrival of fresh reinforcements should rivet it for ever on the
necks of his countrymen.  A plan for a general rising was formed,
and it was in conformity to it that the priest was selected by
the Inca to bear Almagro company on the march, that he might
secure the cooperation of the natives in the country, and then
secretly return - as in fact he did - to take a part in the

To carry their plans into effect, it became necessary that the
Inca Manco should leave the city and present himself among his
people.  He found no difficulty in withdrawing from Cuzco, where
his presence was scarcely heeded by the Spaniards, as his nominal
power was held in little deference by the haughty and confident
Conquerors.  But in the capital there was a body of Indian allies
more jealous of his movements.  These were from the tribe of the
Canares, a warlike race of the north, too recently reduced by the
Incas to have much sympathy with them or their institutions.
There were about a thousand of this people in the place, and, as
they had conceived some suspicion of the Inca's purposes, they
kept an eye on his movements, and speedily reported his absence
to Juan Pizarro.

That cavalier, at the head of a small body of horse, instantly
marched in pursuit of the fugitive, whom he was so fortunate as
to discover in a thicket of reeds, in which he sought to conceal
himself, at no great distance from the city.  Manco was arrested,
brought back a prisoner to Cuzco, and placed under a strong guard
in the fortress.  The conspiracy seemed now at an end; and
nothing was left to the unfortunate Peruvians but to bewail their
ruined hopes, and to give utterance to their disappointment in
doleful ballads, which rehearsed the captivity of their Inca, and
the downfall of his royal house. *3
[Footnote 3: Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Herrera, Hist.
General, dec. 5, lib. 8, cap. 1, 2. - Conq. i Pob. del Piru, Ms.
Zarate, Conq. del Peru, lib. 2, cap. 3.]

While these things were in progress, Hernando Pizarro returned to
Ciudad de los Reyes, bearing with him the royal commission for
the extension of his brother's powers, as well as of those
conceded to Almagro.  The envoy also brought the royal patent
conferring on Francisco Pizarro the title of Marques de los
Atavillos, - a province in Peru.  Thus was the fortunate
adventurer placed in the ranks of the proud aristocracy of
Castile, few of whose members could boast - if they had the
courage to boast - their elevation from so humble an origin, as
still fewer could justify it by a show of greater services to the

The new marquess resolved not to forward the commission, at
present, to the marshal, whom he designed to engage still deeper
in the conquest of Chili, that his attention might be diverted
from Cuzco, which, however, his brother assured him, now fell,
without doubt, within the newly extended limits of his own
territory.  To make more sure of this important prize, he
despatched Hernando to take the government of the capital into
his own hands, as the one of his brothers on whose talents and
practical experience he placed greatest reliance.

Hernando, notwithstanding his arrogant bearing towards his
countrymen, had ever manifested a more than ordinary sympathy
with the Indians.  He had been the friend of Atahuallpa; to such
a degree, indeed, that it was said, if he had been in the camp at
the time, the fate of that unhappy monarch would probably have
been averted.  He now showed a similar friendly disposition
towards his successor, Manco.  He caused the Peruvian prince to
be liberated from confinement, and gradually admitted him into
some intimacy with himself. The crafty Indian availed himself of
his freedom to mature his plans for the rising, but with so much
caution, that no suspicion of them crossed the mind of Hernando.
Secrecy and silence are characteristic of the American, almost as
invariably as the peculiar color of his skin.  Manco disclosed to
his conqueror the existence of several heaps of treasure, and the
places where they had been secreted; and, when he had thus won
his confidence, he stimulated his cupidity still further by an
account of a statue of pure gold of his father Huayna Capac,
which the wily Peruvian requested leave to bring from a secret
cave in which it was deposited, among the neighbouring Andes.
Hernando, blinded by his avarice, consented to the Inca's
He sent with him two Spanish soldiers, less as a guard than to
aid him in the object of his expedition.  A week elapsed, and yet
he did not return, nor were there any tidings to be gathered of
him.  Hernando now saw his error, especially as his own
suspicions were confirmed by the unfavorable reports of his
Indian allies.  Without further delay, he despatched his brother
Juan, at the head of sixty horse, in quest of the Peruvian
prince, with orders to bring him back once more a prisoner to his

That cavalier, with his well-armed troops, soon traversed the
environs of Cuzco without discovering any vestige of the
fugitive.  The country was remarkably silent and deserted, until,
as he approached the mountain range that hems in the valley of
Yucay, about six leagues from the city, he was met by the two
Spaniards who had accompanied Manco.  They informed Pizarro that
it was only at the point of the sword he could recover the Inca,
for the country was all in arms, and the Peruvian chief at its
head was preparing to march on the capital.  Yet he had offered
no violence to their persons, but had allowed them to return in

The Spanish captain found this story fully confirmed when he
arrived at the river Yucay, on the opposite bank of which were
drawn up the Indian battalions to the number of many thousand
men, who, with their young monarch at their head, prepared to
dispute his passage.  It seemed that they could not feel their
position sufficiently strong, without placing a river, as usual,
between them and their enemy.  The Spaniards were not checked by
this obstacle.  The stream, though deep, was narrow; and plunging
in, they swam their horses boldly across, amidst a tempest of
stones and arrows that rattled thick as hail on their harness,
finding occasionally some crevice or vulnerable point, - although
the wounds thus received only goaded them to more desperate
efforts.  The barbarians fell back as the cavaliers made good
their landing; but, without allowing the latter time to form,
they returned with a spirit which they had hitherto seldom
displayed, and enveloped them on all sides with their greatly
superior numbers.  The fight now raged fiercely. Many of the
Indians were armed with lances headed with copper tempered almost
to the hardness of steel, and with huge maces and battle-axes of
the same metal.  Their defensive armour, also, was in many
respects excellent, consisting of stout doublets of quilted
cotton, shields covered with skins, and casques richly ornamented
with gold and jewels, or sometimes made like those of the
Mexicans, in the fantastic shape of the heads of wild animals,
garnished with rows of teeth that grinned horribly above the
visage of the warrior. *4 The whole army wore an aspect of
martial ferocity, under the control of much higher military
discipline than the Spaniards had before seen in the country.

[Footnote 4: "Es gente," says Oviedo, "muy belicosa e muy
diestra; sus armas son picas, e ondas, porras e Alabardas de
Plata e oro e cobre." (Hist. de las Indias, Ms., Parte 3, lib. 8,
cap. 17.) Xerez has made a good enumeration of the native
Peruvian arms.  (Conq. del Peru, ap. Barcia, tom. III. p. 200.)
Father Velasco has added considerably to this catalogue.
According to him they used copper swords, poniards, and other
European weapons.  (Hist. de Quito, tom. I. pp 178-180.) He does
not insist on their knowledge of fire-arms before the Conquest!]

The little band of cavaliers, shaken by the fury of the Indian
assault, were thrown at first into some disorder, but at length,
cheering on one another with the old war-cry of "St. Jago," they
formed in solid column, and charged boldly into the thick of the
enemy.  The latter, incapable of withstanding the shock, gave
way, or were trampled down under the feet of the horses, or
pierced by the lances of the riders.  Yet their flight was
conducted with some order; and they turned at intervals, to let
off a volley of arrows, or to deal furious blows with their
pole-axes and war-clubs.  They fought as if conscious that they
were under the eye of their Inca.
It was evening before they had entirely quitted the level ground,
and withdrawn into the fastnesses of the lof y range of hills
which belt round the beautiful valley of Yucay.  Juan Pizarro and
his little troop encamped on the level at the base of the
mountains.  He had gained a victory, as usual, over immense odds;
but he had never seen a field so well disputed, and his victory
had cost him the lives of several men and horses, while many more
had been wounded, and were nearly disabled by the fatigues of the
day.  But he trusted the severe lesson he had inflicted on the
enemy, whose slaughter was great, would crush the spirit of
resistance.  He was deceived.

The following morning, great was his dismay to see the passes of
the mountains filled up with dark lines of warriors, stretching
as far as the eye could penetrate into the depths of the sierra,
while dense masses of the enemy were gathered like thunderclouds
along the slopes and summits, as if ready to pour down in fury on
the assailants.  The ground, altogether unfavorable to the
manoeuvres of cavalry, gave every advantage to the Peruvians, who
rolled down huge rocks from their elevated position, and sent off
incessant showers of missiles on the heads of the Spaniards. Juan
Pizarro did not care to entangle himself further in the perilous
defile; and, though he repeatedly charged the enemy, and drove
them back with considerable loss, the second night found him with
men and horses wearied and wounded, and as little advanced in the
object of his expedition as on the preceding evening.  From this
embarrassing position, after a day or two more spent in
unprofitable hostilities, he was surprised by a summons from his
brother to return with all expedition to Cuzco, which was now
besieged by the enemy!

Without delay, he began his retreat, recrossed the valley, the
recent scene of slaughter, swam the river Yucay, and, by a rapid
countermarch, closely followed by the victorious enemy, who
celebrated their success with songs or rather yells of triumph,
he arrived before nightfall in sight of the capital.

But very different was the sight which there met his eye from
what he had beheld on leaving it a few days before.  The
extensive environs, as far as the eye could reach, were occupied
by a mighty host, which an indefinite computation swelled to the
number of two hundred thousand warriors. *5 The dusky lines of
the Indian battalions stretched out to the very verge of the
mountains; while, all around, the eye saw only the crests and
waving banners of chieftains, mingled with rich panoplies of
featherwork, which reminded some few who had served under Cortes
of the military costume of the Aztecs.  Above all rose a forest
of long lances and battle-axes edged with copper, which, tossed
to and fro in wild confusion, glittered in the rays of the
setting sun, like light playing on the surface of a dark and
troubled ocean.  It was the first time that the Spaniards had
beheld an Indian army in all its terrors; such an army as the
Incas led to battle, when the banner of the Sun was borne
triumphant over the land.

[Footnote 5: "Pues junta toda la gente quel ynga avia embiado a
juntar que a lo que se entendio y los indios dixeron fueron
dozientos mil indios de guerra los que vinieron a poner este
cerco." Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms.]

Yet the bold hearts of the cavaliers, if for a moment dismayed by
the sight, soon gathered courage as they closed up their files,
and prepared to open a way for themselves through the
beleaguering host.  But the enemy seemed to shun the encounter;
and, falling back at their approach, left a free entrance into
the capital.  The Peruvians were, probably, not unwilling to draw
as many victims as they could into the toils, conscious that, the
greater the number, the sooner they would become sensible to the
approaches of famine. *6

[Footnote 6: Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Conq. i Pob.
del Piru, Ms. - Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 5, lib. 8, cap. 4. -
Gomara, Hist. de las Ind., cap. 133.]

Hernando Pizarro greeted his brother with no little satisfaction;
for he brought an important addition to his force, which now,
when all were united, did not exceed two hundred, horse and foot,
*7 besides a thousand Indian auxiliaries; an insignificant
number, in comparison with the countless multitudes that were
swarming at the gates.  That night was passed by the Spaniards
with feelings of the deepest anxiety, as they looked forward with
natural apprehension to the morrow.  It was early in February
1536.  when the siege of Cuzco commenced; a siege memorable as
calling out the most heroic displays of Indian and European
valor, and bringing the two races in deadlier conflict with each
other than had yet occurred in the conquest of Peru.
[Footnote 7: "Y los pocos Espanoles que heramos aun no dozientos
todos.' Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms.]

The numbers of the enemy seemed no less formidable during the
night than by the light of day: far and wide their watch-fires
were to be seen gleaming over valley and hill-top, as thickly
scattered, says an eyewitness, as "the stars of heaven in a
cloudless summer night." *8 Before these fires had become pale in
the light of the morning, the Spaniards were roused by the
hideous clamor of conch, trumpet, and atabal, mingled with the
fierce war-cries of the barbarians, as they let off volleys of
missiles of every description, most of which fell harmless within
the city.  But others did more serious execution. These were
burning arrows, and red-hot stones wrapped in cotton that had
been steeped in some bituminous substance, which, scattering long
trains of light through the air, fell on the roofs of the
buildings, and speedily set them on fire. *9 These roofs even of
the better sort of edifices, were uniformly of thatch, and were
ignited as easily as tinder.  In a moment the flames burst forth
from the most opposite quarters of the city.  They quickly
communicated to the wood-work in the interior of the buildings,
and broad sheets of flame mingled with smoke rose up towards the
heavens, throwing a fearful glare over every object.  The
rarefied atmosphere heightened the previous impetuosity of the
wind, which, fanning the rising flames, they rapidly spread from
dwelling to dwelling, till the whole fiery mass, swayed to and
for by the tempest, surged and roared with the fury of a volcano.
The heat became intense, and clouds of smoke, gathering like a
dark pall over the city, produced a sense of suffocation and
almost blindness in those quarters where it was driven by the
winds. *10

[Footnote 8: "Pues de noche heran tantos ros fuegos que no
parecia sino vn cielo muy sereno lleno de estrellas." Pedro
Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms.]
[Footnote 9: Ibid. Ms.]

[Footnote 10: "I era tanto el humo que casi los oviera de aogar i
pasaron grand travajo por esta causa i sino fuera porque de la
una parte de la plaza no havia casas i estava desconorado no
pudieran escapar porque is por todas partes les diera el humo i
el calor siendo tan grande pasaron travajo, pero la divina
providencia lo estorvo." Conq. i. Pob. ded Piru, Ms.]
The Spaniards were encamped in the great square, partly under
awnings, and partly in the hall of the Inca Viracocha, on the
ground since covered by the cathedral.  Three times in the course
of that dreadful day, the roof of the building was on fire; but,
although no efforts were made to extinguish it, the flames went
out without doing much injury.  This miracle was ascribed to the
Blessed Virgin, who was distinctly seen by several of the
Christian combatants, hovering over the spot on which was to be
raised the temple dedicated to her worship. *11

[Footnote 11: The temple was dedicated to Our Blessed Lady of the
Assumption. The apparition of the Virgin was manifest not only to
Christian but to Indian warriors, many of whom reported it to
Garcilasso de la Vega, in whose hands the marvellous rarely loses
any of its gloss. (Com. Real., Parte 2, lib. 2, cap. 25.) It is
further attested by Father Acosta, who came into the country
forty years after the event.  (lib. 7, cap. 27.) Both writers
testify to the seasonable aid rendered by St. James, who with his
buckler, displaying the device of his Military Order, and armed
with his flaming sword, rode his white charger into the thick of
the enemy.  The patron Saint of Spain might always be relied on
when his presence was needed dignus vindice nodus.]
Fortunately, the open space around Hernando's little company
separated them from the immediate scene of conflagration.  It
afforded a means of preservation similar to that employed by the
American hunter, who endeavours to surround himself with a belt
of wasted land, when overtaken by a conflagration in the
prairies.  All day the fire continued to rage, and at night the
effect was even more appalling; for by the lurid flames the
unfortunate Spaniards could read the consternation depicted in
each others' ghastly countenances, while in the suburbs, along
the slopes of the surrounding hills, might be seen the throng of
besiegers, gazing with fiendish exultation on the work of
destruction.  High above the town to the north, rose the gray
fortress, which now showed ruddy in the glare, looking grimly
down on the ruins of the fair city which it was no longer able to
protect; and in the distance were to be discerned the shadowy
forms of the An des, soaring up in solitary grandeur into the
regions of eternal silence, far beyond the wild tumult that raged
so fearfully at their base.

Such was the extent of the city, that it was several days before
the fury of the fire was spent.  Tower and temple, hut, palace,
and hall, went down before it.  Fortunately, among the buildings
that escaped were the magnificent House of the Sun and the
neighbouring Convent of the Virgins. Their insulated position
afforded the means, of which the Indians from motives of piety
were willing to avail themselves, for their preservation. *12
Full one half of the capital, so long the chosen seat of Western
civilization, the pride of the Incas, and the bright abode of
their tutelar deity, was laid in ashes by the hands of his own
children. It was some consolation for them to reflect, that it
burned over the heads of its conquerors, - their trophy and their
[Footnote 12: Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 2, lib. 2, cap. 24.
Father Valverde, Bishop of Cuzco, who took so signal a part in
the seizure of Atahuallpa, was absent from the country at this
period, but returned the following year.  In a letter to the
emperor, he contrasts the flourishing condition of the capital
when he left it, and that in which he now found it, despoiled, as
well as its beautiful suburbs, of its ancient glories. "If I had
not known the site of the city," he says, "I should not have
recognized it as the same." The passage is too remarkable to be
omitted.  The original letter exists in the archives of Simancas.
- "Certifico a V. M. que si no me acordara del sitio desta Ciudad
yo no la conosciera, a lo menos por los edificios y Pueblos
della; porque quando el Gobernador D. Franzisco Pizarro entro
aqui y entre yo con el estava este valle tan hermoso en edificios
y poblazion que en torno tenia que era cosa de admiracion vello,
porque aunque la Ciudad en si no ternia mas de 3 o 4000 casas,
ternia en torno quasi a vista 19 o 20,000; la fortaleza que
estava sobre la Ciudad parescia desde a parte una mui gran
fortaleza de las de Espana: agora la mayor parte de la Ciudad
esta toda derivada y quemada; la fortaleza no tiene quasi nada
enhiesso; todos los pueblos de alderredor no tiene sino las
paredes que por maravilla ai casa cubierta! La cosa que mas
contentamiento me dio en esta Ciudad fue la Iglesia, que para en
Indias es harto buena cosa, aunque segun la riqueza a havido en
esta tierra pudiera ser mas semejante al Templo de Salomon."
Carta del Obispo F. Vicente de Valverde al Emperador, Ms., 20 de
Marzo, 1539.]

During the long period of the conflagration, the Spaniards made
no attempt to extinguish the flames.  Such an attempt would have
availed nothing. Yet they did not tamely submit to the assaults
of the enemy, and they sallied forth from time to time to repel
them.  But the fallen timbers and scattered rubbish of the houses
presented serious impediments to the movements of horse; and,
when these were partially cleared away by the efforts of the
infantry and the Indian allies, the Peruvians planted stakes and
threw barricades across the path, which proved equally
embarrassing. *13 To remove them was a work of time and no little
danger, as the pioneers were exposed to the whole brunt of the
enemy's archery, and the aim of the Peruvian was sure.  When at
length the obstacles were cleared away, and a free course was
opened to the cavalry, they rushed with irresistible impetuosity
on their foes, who, falling back in confusion, were cut to pieces
by the riders, or pierced through with their lances.  The
slaughter on these occasions was great, but the Indians, nothing
disheartened, usually returned with renewed courage to the attack
and, while fresh reinforcements met the Spaniards in front,
others, lying in ambush among the ruins, threw the troops into
disorder by assailing them on the flanks. The Peruvians were
expert both with bow and sling; and these encounters,
notwithstanding the superiority of their arms, cost the Spaniards
more lives than in their crippled condition they could afford to
spare, - a loss poorly compensated by that of tenfold the number
of the enemy.  One weapon, peculiar to South American warfare,
was used with some effect by the Peruvians.  This was the lasso,
- a long rope with a noose at the end, which they adroitly threw
over the rider, or entangled with it the legs of his horse, so as
to bring them both to the ground. More than one Spaniard fell
into the hands of the enemy by this expedient. *14

[Footnote 13: Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms.

"Los Indios ganaron el Cuzco casi todo desta manera que enganando
la calle hivan haciendo una pared para que los cavallos ni los
Espanoles no los pudiesen rom per." Conq. i. Pob. del Piru, Ms]

[Footnote 14: Ibid., Ms. - Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 5, lib.
8, cap. 4.]
Thus harassed, sleeping on their arms, with their horses picketed
by their side, ready for action at any and every hour, the
Spaniards had no rest by night or by day.  To add to their
troubles, the fortress which overlooked the city, and completely
commanded the great square in which they were quartered, had been
so feebly garrisoned in their false sense of security, that, on
the approach of the Peruvians, it had been abandoned without a
blow in its defence.  It was now occupied by a strong body of the
enemy, who, from his elevated position, sent down showers of
missiles, from time to time which added greatly to the annoyance
of the besieged. Bitterly did their captain now repent the
improvident security which had led him to neglect a post so

Their distresses were still further aggravated by the rumors,
which continually reached their ears, of the state of the
country.  The rising, it was said, was general throughout the
land; the Spaniards living on their insulated plantations had all
been massacred; Lima and Truxillo and the principal cities were
besieged, and must soon fall into the enemy's hands; the
Peruvians were in possession of the passes, and all
communications were cut off, so that no relief was to be expected
from their countrymen on the coast. Such were the dismal stories,
(which, however exaggerated, had too much foundation in fact,)
that now found their way into the city from the camp of the
besiegers.  And to give greater credit to the rumors, eight or
ten human heads were rolled into the plaza, in whose
blood-stained visages the Spaniards recognized with horror the
lineaments of their companions, who they knew had been dwelling
in solitude on their estates! *15

[Footnote 15: Ibid., ubi supra. - Conq i Pob. del Piru, Ms.]
Overcome by these horrors, many were for abandoning the place at
once, as no longer tenable, and for opening a passage for
themselves to the coast with their own good swords.  There was a
daring in the enterprise which had a charm for the adventurous
spirit of the Castilian. Better, they said, to perish in a manly
struggle for life, than to die thus ignominiously, pent up like
foxes in their holes, to be suffocated by the hunter!

But the Pizarros, De Rojas, and some other of the principal
cavaliers, refused to acquiesce in a measure which, they said,
must cover them with dishonor. *16 Cuzco had been the great prize
for which they had contended; it was the ancient seat of empire,
and, though now in ashes, would again rise from its ruins as
glorious as before.  All eyes would be turned on them, as its
defenders, and their failure, by giving confidence to the enemy,
might decide the fate of their countrymen throughout the land.
They were placed in that post as the post of honor, and better
would it be to die there than to desert it.

[Footnote 16: "Pues Hernando Picarro nunca estuvo en ello y les
respondia que todos aviamos de morir y no desamparar el cuzco.
Juntavanse a estas consultas Hernando Picarro y sus hermanos,
Graviel de Rojas, Hernan Ponce de Leon, el Thesorero Riquelme."
Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq, Ms.]

There seemed, indeed, no alternative; for every avenue to escape
was cut off by an enemy who had perfect knowledge of the country,
and possession of all its passes.  But this state of things could
not last long.  The Indian could not, in the long run, contend
with the white man. The spirit of insurrection would die out of
itself.  Their great army would melt away, unaccustomed as the
natives were to the privations incident to a protracted campaign.
Reinforcements would be daily coming in from the colonies; and,
if the Castilians would be but true to themselves for a season,
they would be relieved by their own countrymen, who would never
suffer them to die like outcasts among the mountains.

The cheering words and courageous bearing of the cavaliers went
to the hearts of their followers for the soul of the Spaniard
readily responded to the call of honor, if not of humanity.  All
now agreed to stand by their leader to the last.  But, if they
would remain longer in their present position, it was absolutely
necessary to dislodge the enemy from the fortress; and, before
venturing on this dangerous service, Hernando Pizarro resolved to
strike such a blow as should intimidate the besiegers from
further attempt to molest his present quarters.

He communicated his plan of attack to his officers; and, forming
his little troop into three divisions, he placed them under
command of his brother Gonzalo, of Gabriel de Rojas, an officer
in whom he reposed great confidence, and Hernan Ponce de Leon.
The Indian pioneers were sent forward to clear away the rubbish,
and the several divisions moved simultaneously up the principal
avenues towards the camp of the besiegers. Such stragglers as
they met in their way were easily cut to pieces, and the three
bodies, bursting impetuously on the disordered lines of the
Peruvians, took them completely by surprise.  For some moments
there was little resistance, and the slaughter was terrible.  But
the Indians gradually rallied, and, coming into something like
order, returned to the fight with the courage of men who had long
been familiar with danger. They fought hand to hand with their
copper-headed war-clubs and pole-axes, while a storm of darts,
stones, and arrows rained on the well-defended bodies of the

The barbarians showed more discipline than was to have been
expected; for which, it is said, they were indebted to some
Spanish prisoners, from several of whom, the Inca, having
generously spared their lives, took occasional lessons in the art
of war.  The Peruvians had, also, learned to manage with some
degree of skill the weapons of their conquerors; and they were
seen armed with bucklers, helmets, and swords of European
workmanship, and even, in a few instances, mounted on the horses
which they had taken from the white men. *17 The young Inca, in
particular, accoutred in the European fashion, rode a war-horse
which he managed with considerable address, and, with a long
lance in his hand, led on his followers to the attack. - This
readiness to adopt the superior arms and tactics of the
Conquerors intimates a higher civilization than that which
belonged to the Aztec, who, in his long collision with the
Spaniards, was never so far divested of his terrors for the horse
as to venture to mount him.

[Footnote 17: Herrera assures us, that the Peruvians even turned
the fire-arms of their Conquerors against them, compelling their
prisoners to put the muskets in order, and manufacture powder for
them.  Hist. General, dec. 5, lib. 8, cap. 5, 6]

But a few days or weeks of training were not enough to give
familiarity with weapons, still less with tactics, so unlike
those to which the Peruvians had been hitherto accustomed.  The
fight, on the present occasion, though hotly contested, was not
of long duration.  After a gallant struggle, in which the natives
threw themselves fearlessly on the horsemen, endeavouring to tear
them from their saddles, they were obliged to give way before the
repeated shock of their charges.  Many were trampled under foot,
others cut down by the Spanish broadswords, while the
arquebusiers, supporting the cavalry, kept up a running fire that
did terrible execution on the flanks and rear of the fugitives.
At length, sated with slaughter, and trusting that the
chastisement he had inflicted on the enemy would secure him from
further annoyance for the present, the Castilian general drew
back his forces to their quarters in the capital. *18

[Footnote 18: Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Conq. i Pob.
del Piru, Ms. - Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 5, lib. 8 cap. 4,

His next step was the recovery of the citadel.  It was an
enterprise of danger.  The fortress, which overlooked the
northern section of the city, stood high on a rocky eminence, so
steep as to be inaccessible on this quarter, where it was
defended only by a single wall.  Towards the open country, it was
more easy of approach; but there it was protected by two
semicircular walls, each about twelve hundred feet in length, and
of great thickness.  They were built of massive stones, or rather
rocks, put together without cement, so as to form a kind of
rustic-work.  The level of the ground between these lines of
defence was raised up so as to enable the garrison to discharge
its arrows at the assailants, while their own persons were
protected by the parapet.  Within the interior wall was the
fortress, consisting of three strong towers, one of great height,
which, with a smaller one, was now held by the enemy, under the
command of an Inca noble, a warrior of well-tried valor, prepared
to defend it to the last extremity.

The perilous enterprise was intrusted by Hernando Pizarro to his
brother Juan, a cavalier in whose bosom burned the adventurous
spirit of a knighterrant of romance.  As the fortress was to be
approached through the mountain passes, it became necessary to
divert the enemy's attention to another quarter.  A little while
before sunset Juan Pizarro left the city with a picked corps of
horsemen, and took a direction opposite to that of the fortress,
that the besieging army might suppose the object was a foraging
expedition.  But secretly countermarching in the night, he
fortunately found the passes unprotected, and arrived before the
outer wall of the fortress, without giving the alarm to the
garrison. *19

[Footnote 19: Conq. i Pob. del Piru, Ms.]

The entrance was through a narrow opening in the centre of the
rampart; but this was now closed up with heavy stones, that
seemed to form one solid work with the rest of the masonry.  It
was an affair of time to dislodge these huge masses, in such a
manner as not to rouse the garrison. The Indian nations, who
rarely attacked in the night, were not sufficiently acquainted
with the art of war even to provide against surprise by posting
sentinels. When the task was accomplished, Juan Pizarro and his
gallant troop rode through the gateway, and advanced towards the
second parapet.
But their movements had not been conducted so secretly as to
escape notice, and they now found the interior court swarming
with warriors, who, as the Spaniards drew near, let off clouds of
missiles that compelled them to come to a halt.  Juan Pizarro,
aware that no time was to be lost, ordered one half of his corps
to dismount, and, putting himself at their head, prepared to make
a breach as before in the fortifications.  He had been wounded
some days previously in the jaw, so that, finding his helmet
caused him pain, he rashly dispensed with it, and trusted for
protection to his buckler. *20 Leading on his men, he encouraged
them in the work of demolition, in the face of such a storm of
stones, javelins, and arrows, as might have made the stoutest
heart shrink from encountering it.  The good mail of the
Spaniards did not always protect them; but others took the place
of such as fell, until a breach was made, and the cavalry,
pouring in, rode down all who opposed them.

[Footnote 20: Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms]

The parapet was now abandoned, and the enemy, hurrying with
disorderly flight across the inclosure took refuge on a kind of
platform or terrace, commanded by the principal tower.  Here
rallying, they shot off fresh volleys of missiles against the
Spaniards, while the garrison in the fortress hurled down
fragments of rock and timber on their heads. Juan Pizarro, still
among the foremost, sprang forward on the terrace, cheering on
his men by his voice and example, but at this moment he was
struck by a large stone on the head, not then protected by his
buckler, and was stretched on the ground.  The dauntless chief
still continued to animate his followers by his voice, till the
terrace was carried, and its miserable defenders were put to the
sword.  His sufferings were then too much for him, and he was
removed to the town below, where, notwithstanding every exertion
to save him, he survived the injury but a fortnight, and died in
great agony. *21 - To say that he was a Pizarro is enough to
attest his claim to valor.  But it is his praise, that his valor
was tempered by courtesy.  His own nature appeared mild by
contrast with the haughty temper of his brothers, and his manners
made him a favorite of the army. He had served in the conquest of
Peru from the first, and no name on the roll of its conquerors is
less tarnished by the reproach of cruelty, or stands higher in
all the attributes of a true and valiant knight. *22
[Footnote 21: "Y estando batallando con ellos para echallos de
alli Joan Picarro se descuido descubrirse la cabeca con la adarga
y con las muchas pedradas que tiravan le acertaron vna en la
caveca que le quebraron los cascos y dende a quince dias murio
desta herida y ansi herido estuvo forcejando con los yndios y
espanoles hasta que se gano este terrado y ganado le abaxaron al
Cuzco." Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms.]
[Footnote 22: "Hera valiente," says Pedro Pizarro, "y muy
animoso, gentil hombre, magnanimo y afable." (Descub. y Conq.,
Ms.) Zarate dismisses him with this brief panegyric: - "Fue gran
perdida en la Tierra, porque era Juan Picarro mui valiente, i
experimentado en las Guerras de los Indios, i bien quisto, i
amado de todos." Conq del Peru, lib. 3, cap. 3.]
Though deeply sensible to his brother's disaster, Hernando
Pizarro saw that no time was to be lost in profiting by the
advantages already gained.  Committing the charge of the town to
Gonzalo, he put himself at the head of the assailants, and laid
vigorous siege to the fortresses. One surrendered after a short
resistance.  The other and more formidable of the two still held
out under the brave Inca noble who commanded it.  He was a man of
an athletic frame, and might be seen striding along the
battlements, armed with a Spanish buckler and cuirass, and in his
hand wielding a formidable mace, garnished with points or knobs
of copper. With this terrible weapon he struck down all who
attempted to force a passage into the fortress.  Some of his own
followers who proposed a surrender he is said to have slain with
his own hand.  Hernando prepared to carry the place by escalade.
Ladders were planted against the walls, but no sooner did a
Spaniard gain the topmost round, than he was hurled to the ground
by the strong arm of the Indian warrior.  His activity was equal
to his strength; and he seemed to be at every point the moment
that his presence was needed.

The Spanish commander was filled with admiration at this display
of valor; for he could admire valor even in an enemy.  He gave
orders that the chief should not be injured, but be taken alive,
if possible. *23 This was not easy.  At length, numerous ladders
having been planted against the tower, the Spaniards scaled it on
several quarters at the same time, and, leaping into the place,
overpowered the few combatants who still made a show of
resistance.  But the Inca chieftain was not to be taken; and,
finding further resistance ineffectual, he sprang to the edge of
the battlements, and, casting away his war-club, wrapped his
mantle around him and threw himself headlong from the summit. *24
He died like an ancient Roman.  He had struck his last stroke for
the freedom of his country, and he scorned to survive her
dishonor. - The Castilian commander left a small force in
garrison to secure his conquest, and returned in triumph to his

[Footnote 23: 'Y mando hernando picarro a los Espanoles que
subian que no matasen a este yndio sino que se lo tomasen a vida,
jurando de no matalle si lo avia bivo." Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y
Conq. Ms.]

[Footnote 24: "Visto este orejon que se lo vian ganado y le avian
ganado y le avian tomado por dos o tres partes el fuerte,
arrojando las armas se tapo la caveca y el rrostro con la manta y
se arrojo del cubo abajo mas de cien estados, y ansi se hizo
pedazos.  A hernando Picarro le peso mucho por no tomalle a
vida." Ibid., Ms.]

Week after week rolled away, and no relief came to the
beleaguered Spaniards.  They had long since begun to feel the
approaches of famine. Fortunately, they were provided with water
from the streams which flowed through the city.  But, though they
had well husbanded their resources, their provision were
exhausted, and they had for some time depended on such scanty
supplies of grain as they could gather from the ruined magazines
and dwellings, mostly consumed by the fire, or from the produce
of some successful foray. *25 This latter resource was attended
with no little difficulty; for every expedition led to a fierce
encounter with the enemy, which usually cost the lives of several
Spaniards, and inflicted a much heavier injury on the Indian
allies.  Yet it was at least one good result of such loss, that
it left fewer to provide for.  But the whole number of the
besieged was so small, that any loss greatly increased the
difficulties of defence by the remainder.
[Footnote 25: Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 2, lib. 2, cap. 24]
As months passed away without bringing any tidings of their
countrymen, their minds were haunted with still gloomier
apprehensions as to their fate. They well knew that the governor
would make every effort to rescue them from their desperate
condition.  That he had not succeeded in this made it probable,
that his own situation was no better than theirs, or, perhaps, he
and his followers had already fallen victims to the fury of the
insurgents. It was a dismal thought, that they alone were left in
the land, far from all human succour, to perish miserably by the
hands of the barbarians among the mountains.

Yet the actual state of things, though gloomy in the extreme, was
not quite so desperate as their imaginations had painted it.  The
insurrection, it is rue, had been general throughout the country,
a east that portion of it occupied by the Spaniards It had been
so well concerted, that it broke out almost simultaneously, and
the Conquerors, who were living in careless security on their
estates, had been massacred to the number of several hundreds An
Indian force had sat down before Xauxa, and a considerable army
had occupied the valley of Rimac and laid siege to Lima.  But the
country around that capital was of an open, level character, very
favorable to the action of cavalry.  Pizarro no sooner saw
himself menaced by the hostile array, than he sent such a force
against the Peruvians as speedily put them to flight; and,
following up his advantage, he inflicted on them such a severe
chastisement, that, although they still continued to hover in the
distance and cut off his communications with the interior, they
did not care to trust themselves on the other side of the Rimac.

The accounts that the Spanish commander now eceived of the state
of the country filled him with the most serious alarm.  He was
particularly solicitous for the fate of the garrison at Cuzco,
and he made repeated efforts to relieve that capital.  Four
several detachments, amounting to more than four hundred men in
all, half of them cavalry, were sent by him at different times,
under some of his bravest officers.  But none of them reached
their place of destination.  The wily natives permitted them to
march into the interior of the country, until they were fairly
entangled in the passes of the Cordilleras.  They then enveloped
them with greatly superior numbers, and, occupying the heights,
showered down their fatal missiles on the heads of the Spaniards,
or crushed them under the weight of fragments of rock which they
rolled on them from the mountains.  In some instances, the whole
detachment was cut off to a man.  In others, a few stragglers
only survived to return and tell the bloody tale to their
countrymen at Lima. *26

[Footnote 26: Zarate, Conq. del Peru, lib. 1, cap. 5. - Herrera,
Hist. General, dec. 5, lib. 8, cap 5. - Garcilasso, Com. Real.,
Parte 2, lib. 2, cap. 28.

According to the historian of the Incas, there fell in these
expeditions four hundred and seventy Spaniards.  Cieza de Leon
computes the whole number of Christians who perished in this
insurrection at seven hundred, many of them, he adds, under
circumstances of great cruelty. (Cronica, cap. 82.) The estimate,
considering the spread and spirit of the insurrection, does not
seem extravagant]

Pizzaro was now filled with consternation.  He had the most
dismal forebodings of the fate of the Spaniards dispersed
throughout the country, and even doubted the possibility of
maintaining his own foothold in it without assistance from
abroad.  He despatched a vessel to the neighbouring colony at
Truxillo, urging them to abandon the place, with all their
effects, and to repair to him at Lima.  The measure was,
fortunately, not adopted.  Many of his men were for availing
themselves of the vessels which rode at anchor in the port to
make their escape from the country at once, and take refuge in
Panama.  Pizarro would not hearken to so dastardly a counsel,
which involved the desertion of the brave men in the interior who
still looked to him for protection.  He cut off the hopes of
these timid spirits by despatching all the vessels then in port
on a very different mission.  He sent letters by them to the
governors of Panama, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Mexico,
representing the gloomy state of his affairs, and invoking their
aid.  His epistle to Alvarado, then established at Guatemala, is
preserved.  He conjures him by every sentiment of honor and
patriotism to come to his assistance, and this before it was too
late.  Without assistance, the Spaniards could no longer maintain
their footing in Peru, and that great empire would be lost to the
Castilian Crown.  He finally engages to share with him such
conquests as they may make with their united arms. *27 - Such
concessions, to the very man whose absence from the country, but
a few months before, Pizarro would have been willing to secure at
almost any price, are sufficient evidence of the extremity of his
distress.  The succours thus earnestly solicited arrived in time,
not to quell the Indian insurrection, but to aid him in a
struggle quite as formidable with his own countrymen.

[Footnote 27: "E crea V. S *a sino somos socorridos se perdera el
Cusco, ques la cosa mas senalada e de mas importancia que se
puede descubrir, e luego nos perderemos todos: porque somos pocos
e tenemos pocas armas, e los Indios estan atrevidos." Carta de
Francisco Pizarro a D. Pedro de Alvarado, desde la Ciudad le los
Reyes.  29 de julio, 1536, Ms.]
It was now August.  More than five months had elapsed since the
commencement of the siege of Cuzco, yet the Peruvian legions
still lay encamped around the city.  Peruvian legions still lay
encamped around the city.  The siege had been protracted much
beyond what was usual in Indian warfare, and showed the
resolution of the natives to exterminate the white men.  But the
Peruvians themselves had for some time been straitened by the
want of provisions.  It was no easy matter to feed so numerous a
host; and the obvious resource of the magazines of grain, so
providently prepared by the Incas, did them but little service,
since their contents had been most prodigally used, and even
dissipated, by the Spaniards, on their first occupation of the
country. *28 The season for planting had now arrived, and the
Inca well knew, that, if his followers were to neglect it, they
would be visited by a scourge even more formidable than their
invaders.  Disbanding the greater part of his forces, therefore,
he ordered them to withdraw to their homes, and, after the labors
of the field were over, to return and resume the blockade of the
capital.  The Inca reserved a considerable force to attend on his
own person, with which he retired to Tambo, a strongly fortified
place south of the valley of Yucay, the favorite residence of his
ancestors.  He also posted a large body as a corps of observation
in the environs of Cuzco, to watch the movements of the enemy,
and to intercept supplies.
[Footnote 28: Ondegardo, Rel. Prim. y Seg., Ms.]

The Spaniards beheld with joy the mighty host which had so long
encompassed the city, now melting away.  They were not slow in
profiting by the circumstance, and Hernando Pizarro took
advantage of the temporary absence to send out foraging parties
to scour the country, and bring back supplies to his famishing
soldiers.  In this he was so successful that on one occasion no
less than two thousand head of cattle - the Peruvian sheep - were
swept away from the Indian plantations and brought safely to
Cuzco. *29 This placed the army above all apprehensions on the
score of want for the present.
[Footnote 29: "Recoximos hasta dos mil cavezas de ganado." Pedro
Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms.]

Yet these forays were made at the point of the lance, and many a
desperate contest ensued, in which the best blood of the Spanish
chivalry was shed.  The contests, indeed, were not confined to
large bodies of troops, but skirmishes took place between smaller
parties, which sometimes took the form of personal combats.  Nor
were the parties so unequally matched as might have been supposed
in these single rencontres; and the Peruvian warrior, with his
sling, his bow, and his lasso, proved no contemptible antagonist
for the mailed horseman, whom he sometimes even ventured to
encounter, hand to hand, with his formidable battle-axe.  The
ground around Cuzco became a battle-field, like the vega of
Granada, in which Christian and Pagan displayed the
characteristics of their peculiar warfare; and many a deed of
heroism was performed, which wanted only the song of the minstrel
to shed around it a glory like that which rested on the last days
of the Moslem of Spain. *30

[Footnote 30: Pedro Pizarro recounts several of these deeds of
arms, in some of which his own prowess is made quite apparent.
One piece of cruelty recorded by him is little to the credit of
his commander, Hernando Pizarro, who , he says, after a desperate
rencontre, caused the right hands of his prisoners to be struck
off, and sent them in this mutilated condition back to their
countrymen!  (Descub. Conq., Ms.) Such atrocities are not often
noticed by the chroniclers; and we may hope they were exceptions
to the general policy of the Conquerors in this invasion.]
But Hernando Pizarro was not content to act wholly on the
defensive; and he meditated a bold stroke, by which at once to
put an end to the war. This was the capture of the Inca Manco,
whom he hoped to surprise in his quarters at Tambo.

For this service he selected about eighty of his best-mounted
cavalry, with a small body of foot, and, making a large detour
through the less frequented mountain defiles, he arrived before
Tambo without alarm to the enemy.  He found the place more
strongly fortified than he had imagined.  The palace, or rather
fortress, of the Incas stood on a lofty eminence, the steep sides
of which, on the quarter where the Spaniards approached, were cut
into terraces, defended by strong walls of stone and sunburnt
brick. *31 The place was impregnable on this side.  On the
opposite, it looked towards the Yucay, and the ground descended
by a gradual declivity towards the plain through which rolled its
deep but narrow current. *32 This was the quarter on which to
make the assault.

[Footnote 31: "Tambo tan fortalescido que hera cosa de grima,
porquel assiento donde Tambo esta es muy fuerte, de andenes muy
altos y de muy gran canterias fortalescidos" Pedro Pizarro,
Descub. y Conq., Ms.]

[Footnote 32: "El rio de yucay ques grande por aquella parte va
muy angosto y hondo." Ibid., Ms.]

Crossing the stream without much difficulty, the Spanish
commander advanced up the smooth glacis with as little noise as
possible.  The morning light had hardly broken on the mountains;
and Pizarro, as he drew near the outer defences, which, as in the
fortress of Cuzco, consisted of a stone parapet of great strength
drawn round the inclosure, moved quickly forward, confident that
the garrison were still buried in sleep.  But thousands of eyes
were upon him; and as the Spaniards came within bow-shot, a
multitude of dark forms suddenly rose above the rampart, while
the Inca, with his lance in hand, was seen on horseback in the
inclosure, directing the operations of his troops. *33 At the
same moment the air was darkened with innumerable missiles,
stones, javelins, and arrows, which fell like a hurricane on the
troops, and the mountains rang to the wild war-whoop of the
enemy.  The Spaniards, taken by surprise, and many of them sorely
wounded, were staggered; and, though they quickly rallied, and
made two attempts to renew the assault, they were at length
obliged to fall back, unable to endure the violence of the storm.
To add to their confusion, the lower level in their rear was
flooded by the waters, which the natives, by opening the sluices,
had diverted from the bed of the river, so that their position
was no longer tenable. *34 A council of war was then held, and it
was decided to abandon the attack as desperate, and to retreat in
as good order as possible.

[Footnote 33: "Parecia el Inga a caballo entre su gente, con su
lanca en la mano." Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 5, lib. 8, cap.
[Footnote 34: "Pues hechos dos o tres acometimientos a tomar este
pueblo tantas vezes nos hizieron bolver dando de manos.  Ansi
estuvimos todo este dia hasta puesta de sol; os indios sin
entendello nos hechavan el rrio en el llano donde estavamos, y
aguardar mas perescieramos aqui todos." Pedro Pizarro Descub. y
Conq. Ms.]

The day had been consumed in these ineffectual operations; and
Hernando, under cover of the friendly darkness, sent forward his
infantry and baggage, taking command of the centre himself, and
trusting the rear to his brother Gonzalo.  The river was happily
recrossed without accident, although the enemy, now confident in
their strength, rushed out of their defences, and followed up the
retreating Spaniards, whom they annoyed with repeated discharges
of arrows.  More than once they pressed so closely on the
fugitives, that Gonzalo and his chivalry were compelled to turn
and make one of those desperate charges that effectually punished
their audacity, and stayed the tide of pursuit.  Yet the
victorious foe still hung on the rear of the discomfited
cavaliers, till they had emerged from the mountain passes, and
come within sight of the blackened walls of the capital.  It was
the last triumph of the Inca. *35

[Footnote 35: Ibid., Ms. - Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 5, lib.
8, cap. 7.]

Among the manuscripts for which I am indebted to the liberality
of that illustrious Spanish scholar, the lamented Navarrete, the
most remarkable, in connection with this history, is the work of
Pedro Pizarro; Relaciones del Descubrimiento y Conquista de los
Reynos del Peru.  But a single copy of this important document
appears to have been preserved, the existence of which was but
little known till it came into the hands of Senor de Navarrete;
though it did not escape the indefatigable researches of Herrera,
as is evident from the mention of several incidents, some of them
having personal relation to Pedro Pizarro himself, which the
historian of the Indies could have derived through no other
channel.  The manuscript has lately been given to the public as
part of the inestimable collection of historical documents now in
process of publication at Madrid, under auspices which, we may
trust, will insure its success.  As the printed work did not
reach me till my present labors were far advanced, I have
preferred to rely on the manuscript copy for the brief remainder
of my narrative, as I had been compelled to do for the previous
portion of it.

Nothing, that I am aware of, is known respecting the author, but
what is to be gleaned from incidental notices of himself in his
own history. He was born at Toledo in Estremadura, the fruitful
province of adventurers to the New World, whence the family of
Francis Pizarro, to which Pedro was allied, also emigrated.  When
that chief came over to undertake the conquest of Peru, after
receiving his commission from the emperor in 1529, Pedro Pizarro,
then only fifteen years of age, accompanied him in quality of
page.  For three years he remained attached to the household of
his commander, and afterwards continued to follow his banner as a
soldier of fortune.  He was present at most of the memorable
events of the Conquest, and seems to have possessed in a great
degree the confidence of his leader, who employed him on some
difficult missions, in which he displayed coolness and gallantry.
It is true, we must take the author's own word for all this.  But
he tells his exploits with an air of honesty, and without any
extraordinary effort to set them off in undue relief.  He speaks
of himself in the third person, and, as his manuscript was not
intended solely for posterity, he would hardly have ventured on
great misrepresentation, where fraud could so easily have been
After the Conquest, our author still remained attached to the
fortunes of his commander, and stood by him through all the
troubles which ensued; and on the assassination of that chief, he
withdrew to Arequipa, to enjoy in quiet the repartimiento of
lands and Indians, which had been bestowed on him as the
recompense of his services.  He was there on the breaking out of
the great rebellion under Gonzalo Pizarro.  But he was true to
his allegiance, and chose rather, as he tells us, to be false to
his name and his lineage than to his loyalty.  Gonzalo, in
retaliation, seized his estates, and would have proceeded to
still further extremities against him, when Pedro Pizarro had
fallen into his hands at Lima, but for the interposition of his
lieutenant, the famous Francisco de Carbajal, to whom the
chronicler had once the good fortune to render an important
service.  This, Carbajal requited by sparing his life on two
occasions, - but on the second coolly remarked, "No man has a
right to a brace of lives; and if you fall into my hands a third
time, God only can grant you another." Happily, Pizarro did not
find occasion to put this menace to the test.  After the
pacification of the country, he again retired to Arequipa; but,
from the querulous tone of his remarks, it would seem he was not
fully reinstated in the possessions he had sacrificed by his
loyal devotion to government.  The last we hear of him is in
1571, the date which he assigns as that of the completion of his
Pedro Pizarro's narrative covers the whole ground of the
Conquest, from the date of the first expedition that sallied out
from Panama, to the troubles that ensued on the departure of
President Gasca.  The first part of the work was gathered from
the testimony of others, and, of course, cannot claim the
distinction of rising to the highest class of evidence. But all
that follows the return of Francis Pizarro from Castile, all, in
short, which constitutes the conquest of the country, may be said
to be reported on his own observation, as an eyewitness and an
actor.  This gives to his narrative a value to which it could
have no pretensions on the score of its literary execution.
Pizarro was a soldier, with as little education, probably, as
usually falls to those who have been trained from youth in this
rough school, - the most unpropitious in the world to both mental
and moral progress.  He had the good sense, more over, not to
aspire to an excellence which he could not reach.  There is no
ambition of fine writing in his chronicle; there are none of
those affectations of ornament which only make more glaring the
beggarly condition of him who assumes them.  His object was
simply to tell the story of the Conquest, as he had seen it.  He
was to deal with facts, not with words, which he wisely left to
those who came into the field after the laborers had quitted it,
to garner up what they could at second hand.
Pizarro's situation may be thought to have necessarily exposed
him to party influences, and thus given an undue bias to his
narrative.  It is not difficult, indeed, to determine under whose
banner he had enlisted. He writes like a partisan, and yet like
an honest one, who is no further warped from a correct judgment
of passing affairs than must necessarily come from preconceived
opinions.  There is no management to work a conviction in his
reader on this side or the other, still less any obvious
perversion of fact.  He evidently believes what he says, and this
is the great point to be desired.  We can make allowance for the
natural influences of his position.  Were he more impartial than
this, the critic of the present day, by making allowance for a
greater amount of prejudice and partiality, might only be led
into error.

Pizarro is not only independent, but occasionally caustic in his
condemnation of those under whom he acted.  This is particularly
the case where their measures bear too unfavorably on his own
interests, or those of the army.  As to the unfortunate natives,
he no more regards their sufferings than the Jews of old did
those of the Philistines, whom they considered as delivered up to
their swords, and whose lands they regarded as their lawful
heritage.  There is no mercy shown by the hard Conqueror in his
treatment of the infidel.

Pizarro was the representative of the age in which he lived.  Yet
it is too much to cast such obloquy on the age.  He represented
more truly the spirit of the fierce warriors who overturned the
dynasty of the Incas. He was not merely a crusader, fighting to
extend the empire of the Cross over the darkened heathen.  Gold
was his great object; the estimate by which he judged of the
value of the Conquest; the recompense that he asked for a life of
toil and danger.  It was with these golden visions, far more than
with visions of glory, above all, of celestial glory, that the
Peruvian adventurer fed his gross and worldly imagination.
Pizarro did not rise above his caste.  Neither did he rise above
it in a mental view, any more than in a moral.  His history
displays no great penetration, or vigor and comprehension of
though.  It is the work of a soldier, telling simply his tale of
blood.  Its value is, that it is told by him who acted it.  And
this, to the modern compiler, renders it of higher worth than far
abler productions at second hand.  It is the rude ore, which,
submitted to the regular process of purification and refinement,
may receive the current stamp that fits it for general

Another authority, to whom I have occasionally referred, and
whose writings still slumber in manuscript, is the Licentiate
Fernando Montesinos.  He is, in every respect, the opposite of
the military chronicler who has just come under our notice.  He
flourished about a century after the Conquest.  Of course, the
value of his writings as an authority for historical facts must
depend on his superior opportunities for consulting original
documents.  For this his advantages were great. He was twice sent
in an official capacity to Peru, which required him to visit the
different parts of the country.  These two missions occupied
fifteen years; so that, while his position gave him access to the
colonial archives and literary repositories, he was enabled to
verify his researches, to some extent, by actual observation of
the country.
The result was his two historical works, Memorias Antiguas
Historiales del Peru, and his Annales, sometimes cited in these
pages. The former is taken up with the early history of the
country, - very early, it must be admitted, since it goes back to
the deluge.  The first part of this treatise is chiefly occupied
with an argument to show the identity of Peru with the golden
Ophir of Solomon's time!  This hypothesis, by no means original
with the author, may give no unfair notion of the character of
his mind.  In the progress of his work he follows down the line
of Inca princes, whose exploits, and names even, by no means
coincide with Garcilasso's catalogue; a circumstance, however,
far from establishing their inaccuracy.  But one will have little
doubt of the writer's title to this reproach, that reads the
absurd legends told in the grave tone of reliance by Montesinos,
who shared largely in the credulity and the love of the
marvellous which belong to an earlier and less enlightened age.

These same traits are visible in his Annals, which are devoted
exclusively to the Conquest.  Here, indeed, the author, after his
cloudy flight, has descended on firm ground, where gross
violations of truth, or, at least, of probability, are not to be
expected.  But any one who has occasion to compare his narrative
with that of contemporary writers will find frequent cause to
distrust it.  Yet Montesinos has one merit.  In his extensive
researches, he became acquainted with original instruments, which
he has occasionally transferred to his own pages, and which it
would be now difficult to meet elsewhere.

His writings have been commended by some of his learned
countrymen, as showing diligent research and information.  My own
experience would not assign them a high rank as historical
vouchers.  They seem to me entitled to little praise, either for
the accuracy of their statements, or the sagacity of their
reflections.  The spirit of cold indifference which they manifest
to the sufferings of the natives is an odious feature, for which
there is less apology in a writer of the seventeenth century than
in one of the primitive Conquerors, whose passions had been
inflamed by long-protracted hostility.  M. Ternaux-Compans has
translated the Memorias Antiguas with his usual elegance and
precision, for his collection of original documents relating to
the New World.  He speaks in the Preface of doing the same kind
office to the Annales, at a future time.  I am not aware that he
has done this; and I cannot but think that the excellent
translator may find a better subject for his labors in some of
the rich collection of the Munoz manuscripts in his possession.

Book IV: Civil Wars Of The Conquerors

Chapter I

Almagro's March To Chili. - Suffering Of The Troops. - He Returns
And Seizes Cuzco. - Action Of Abancay. - Gaspar De Espinosa. -
Almagro Leaves Cuzco. - Negotiations With Pizarro.


While the events recorded in the preceding chapter were passing,
the Marshal Almagro was engaged in his memorable expedition to
Chili.  He had set out, as we have seen, with only part of his
forces, leaving his lieutenant to follow him with the remainder.
During the first part of the way, he profited by the great
military road of the Incas, which stretched across the table-land
far towards the south.  But as he drew near to Chili, the Spanish
commander became entangled in the defiles of the mountains, where
no vestige of a road was to be discerned.  Here his progress was
impeded by all the obstacles which belong to the wild scenery of
the Cordilleras; deep and ragged ravines, round whose sides a
slender sheep-path wound up to a dizzy height over the precipices
below; rivers rushing in fury down the slopes of the mountains,
and throwing themselves in stupendous cataracts into the yawning
abyss; dark forests of pine that seemed to have no end, and then
again long reaches of desolate table-land, without so much as a
bush or shrub to shelter the shivering traveller from the blast
that swept down from the frozen summits of the sierra.

The cold was so intense, that many lost the nails of their
fingers, their fingers themselves. and sometimes their limbs.
Others were blinded by the dazzling waste of snow, reflecting the
rays of a sun made intolerably brilliant in the thin atmosphere
of these elevated regions. Hunger came, as usual, in the train of
woes; for in these dismal solitudes no vegetation that would
suffice for the food of man was visible, and no living thing,
except only the great bird of the Andes, hovering over their
heads in expectation of his banquet.  This was too frequently
afforded by the number of wretched Indians, who, unable, from the
scantiness of their clothing, to encounter the severity of the
climate, perished by the way. Such was the pressure of hunger,
that the miserable survivors fed on the dead bodies of their
countrymen, and the Spaniards forced a similar sustenance from
the carcasses of their horses, literally frozen to death in the
mountain passes. *1 - Such were the terrible penalties which
Nature imposed on those who rashly intruded on these her solitary
and most savage haunts.

[Footnote 1: Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 5, lib. 10, cap. 1 - 3.
- Oviedo Hist. de las Indias, Ms., Parte 3, lib. 9, cap. 4. -
Conq. i Pob. del Piru, Ms.]

Yet their own sufferings do not seem to have touched the hearts
of the Spaniards with any feeling of compassion for the weaker
natives. Their path was everywhere marked by burnt and desolated
hamlets, the inhabitants of which were compelled to do them
service as beasts of burden.  They were chained together in gangs
of ten or twelve, and no infirmity or feebleness of body excused
the unfortunate captive from his full share of the common toil,
till he sometimes dropped dead, in his very chains, from mere
exhaustion! *2 Alvarado's company are accused of having been more
cruel than Pizarro's; and many of Almagro's men, it may be
remembered, were recruited from that source. The commander looked
with displeasure, it is said, on these enormities, and did what
he could to repress them.  Yet he did not set a good example in
his own conduct, if it be true that he caused no less than thirty
Indian chiefs to be burnt alive, for the massacre of three of his
followers! *3 The heart sickens at the recital of such atrocities
perpetrated on an unoffending people, or, at least, guilty of no
other crime than that of defending their own soil too well.

[Footnote 2: Conq. i Pob. del Piru, Ms.

The writer must have made one on this expedition, as he speaks
from personal observation.  The poor natives had at least one
friend in the Christian camp.  "I si en el Real havia algun
Espanol que era buen rancheador i cruel i matava muchos Indios
tenianle por buen hombre i en grand reputacion i el que era
inclinado a hacer bien i a hacer buenos tratamientos a los
naturales i los favorecia no era tenido en tan buena estima, he
apuntado esto que vi con mis ejos i en que por mis pecados anduve
porque entiendan los que esto leyeren que de la manera que aqui
digo i con mayores crueldades harto se hizo esta jornada i
descubrimiento de Chile"]

[Footnote 3: "I para castigarlos por la muerte destos tres
Espanoles juntolos en un aposento donde estava aposentado i mando
cavalgar la jente de cavallo i la de apie que guardasen las
puertas i todos estuviesen apercividos i los prendio i en
conclusion hizo quemar mas de 30 senores vivos atados cada uno a
su palo" (Conq. i Pob. del Piru, Ms.) Oviedo, who always shows
the hard feeling of the colonist, excuses this on the old plea of
necessity, - fue necesario este castigo, - and adds, that after
this a Spaniard might send a messenger from one end of the
country to the other, without fear of injury Hist. de las Indias,
Ms, Parte 3 lib. 9, cap. 4.]

There is somethi