Page images
PDF
EPUB

the honours and emoluments which according to agree. ment, was to have been shared equally amongst them, was always present in both their thoughts.

Pizarro conscious of his own perfidy, expected no forgiveness; and Almagro was impatient to be revenged. But, notwithstanding these incentives to hostilities, each was so well acquainted with the courage and abilities of his rival, that they dreaded the consequences of an open rupture. That evil was averted for the present, by the address and firmness of Pizarro ; a new reconciliation took place; the most prominent article in this treaty was, that Almagro should attempt the conquest of Chili; and if that was not adequate to his merit, Pizarro engaged to indemnify him out of his Peruvian possessions. This agreement was confirmed with the same sacred solemnities as at their first contract, and observed with no better fidelity.

Pizarro after he had concluded this important transac. tion, marched back to the countries on the sea coast, and I applied himself with that persevering ardour, for which he was so eminently distinguished, to introduce a regular form of government. His natural sagacity supplied the want of science and experience. He divided the country into various districts, and appointed magistrates to preside in each. He considered himself as laying the foundation of a great empire ; he deliberated with much solicitude, in what place he should fix the seat of government. Cuzco was situated in a corner of the empire, about four hundred miles from the sea, and at a greater distance from Quito..

In marching through the country, he had been struck with the beauty and fertility of the valley of Rimac one of the most fertile and best cultivated in Peru. There, on the banks of a small river of the same name, about six miles from Callao, the most commodious harbour in the Pacific Ocean, he founded the city known at this time by the name of Lima. Under his inspection, it advanced with such rapidity that, in the year 1535, it soon assumed the form of a city, which by a magnificent palace he built for himself and the stately houses, erected by several of his officers, gave even in its infancy, some indication of its subsequent grandeur

Almagro in consequence of his agreement with Pizarro, began his march towards Chili; and as he was admired by his soldiers for a boundless liberality and fearless courage, his standard was followed by five hundred and seventy men; the greatest body of Europeans that had hitherto been assembled in Peru. Impatient to finish the expedition, instead of advancing along the level country, Almagro chose to march across the mountains, by a shorter route, but almost impracticable...

By calamities they suffered from fatigue, famine, and the inclemency of the climate : many of them perished, and when they descended into the fertile plains of Chili, they found there a race of men nearly resembling the warlike tribes in North America. .

Though filled with wonder, at the first appearance of the Spaniards and astonished at the operations of their cavalry, and fire arms, the Chilese soon recovered from their surprize, and defended themselves with obstinacy, and attacked their new enemies with more determined fierceness and courage, than any American nation had hitherto discovered.

The Spaniards, notwithstanding this formidable opposition, continued to penetrate into the country, and collected some considerable quantities of gold; but so far were they from thinking to form any settlement among such powerful neighbours, that in spite, of the experience and valour of their leader, the final issue of the expedition remained extremely dubious : while they were in this painfal suspense, a messenger arrived, who informed Almagro of a revolution that had unexpectedly taken place in Peru; the causes of which, as they make a necessary part of the History of America, it is expedient to trace to their

source. i. .,' 1 So many adventurers, had flocked to Peru in the year

1535 from every Spanish colony in America, and all with such high expectations of accumulating independent fortunes at once, Pizario thought it unsafe for them to be inactive ; he therefore encouraged some of the principal officers, who had lately joined him, to invade different provinces of the empire, which the Spaniards had not hitherto visited. Several large bodies were formed for this purpose, and about the time that Almagro set out for Chili, they marched into remote districts of the country. Manco

VOL. I.

Capac the Inca, observing the imprudence of the Spaniards in thus dividing their forces, and leaving only a small number for the defence of Cuzco, under Juan and Gonzales Pizarro, resolved to avail himself of the advantage their weakness gave him.

i

25 i Though strictly watched by the Spaniards, he found means to communicate his scheme to the persons whom he had appointed to carry it into execution. After some, unsuccessful attempts of the Inca to make his escape, Ferdinand Pizarro happened at that time to arrive in Cuz. co. He obtained permission of him to attend a great festival, which was to be celebrated a few leagues from the capital. Under pretext of that solemnity, . the chiefs of the empire were assembled. No sooner back the Inca. joined them, than the standard of war was erected, and in a short time all the fighting men from Quito to Chili were in arms. Many Spaniards, living securely on the settlements allotted them were massacred. Several small detachments, as they marched carelessly through the.coun try, were entirely cut off.

i An army amounting (according to the Spanish historians) to two hundred thousand men, attacked Cuzco, which the three brothers attempted to defend, with only a hundred and seventy Spaniards. Another numerous body invested Lima, and kept the governor close shut up. The communication between the two cities, was cut off ; the ve. ry great forces of the Peruvians spreading over the country, interrupted every messenger ; 'which kept the two parties in Cuzco and Lima ignorant of the fate of each other.

At Cuzco, where the Inca commanded in person, they made their greatest effort. During nine months they.carried on the siege with incessant ardour, and in various forms ; and though they displayed not the undaunted ferocity of the Mexican warriors, they conducted their operations with sagacity. They endeavoured to imitate the Spaniards in their discipline, and use of their arms, which they had taken from those they had slain. Their bravest warriors were armed with spears, swords, and bucklers : some appeared in the field with Spanish muskets, and had acquired skill and resolution enough to use them. The Inca, and a few of the boldest were mounted on horses, like Spanish cavaliers, with their lances. In spite of the

valour, heightened by despair, with which the three brothers defended Cuzco, Manco Capac recovered possession of one half of his capital ; and before the Spaniards could drive him out of it, they lost Juan Pizarro, the best beloved of all the brothers, together with some persons of note. Exhausted by fatigue, distressed with want of provisions, and despairing any longer of being able to resist an enemy, whose numbers daily increased, the soldiers became impatient to abandon: Cuzco, in hopes of joining their countrymen, if any survived, or of forcing their way to the sea, and find. ing some means of escaping from a country which had been so fatal to the Spanish name,

At this critical moment Almagro appeared suddenly in' the neighbourhood of Cuzco. By the same messenger who brought him the intelligence of the Inca's revolt, he received the royal patent creating hiin governor of Chili, and defining the limits of his jurisdiction. Upon considering the teñor of it, he concluded it was manifest beyond contradiction, that Cuzco lay within the boundaries of his jurisdiction. He was therefore equally desirous to prevent the Peruvians from recovering possession of their capital, and wrest it out of the hands of the Pizarros:

Almagro unacquainted with events which had happened in his absence, and solicitous of gaining every intelligence nécessary; advanced slowly towards the capital, and with great circumspection. Various negociations with both parties were set on foot. The Inca at first endeavoured to gain the friendship of Almagro, but despairing of any cor

dial union with a Spaniard, after many fruitless attempts 7 to accomplish it, he attacked him by surprize with a nu

merous body of chosen troops. These were repulsed with great slaughter, and a great part of their army dispersed, and Almagro marched to the gates of Cuzco without interruption. The Pizarros had rendered themselves odious by their harsh domineering manners, while the generous, open, affable temper of Almagro gained him many adherents of the Pizarros.

Encouraged by this defection, he advanced towards the city by night, surprized the centinels, or was admitted by them, and immediately invested the house where the two brothers resided, and compelled them, after an obstinate resistance, to surrender at discretion. Almagro's claim of jurisdiction over Cuzco was universally acknowledged, an"

a form of administration established in his name. In this conflict only two or three persons were killed, but it was soon followed by scenes more bloody..

Francis Pizarro having dispersed the Peruvians who had invested Lima, and received some considerable reinforcements from Hispaniola and Nicaragua, ordered five hundred men, under the command of Alonzo de Al varado, to march to Cuzco, and relieve his brothers. This body advanced near to the capital, before they knew that they had any enemy more formidable than Indians to encounter. They were astonished when they beheld their countrymen posted on the banks of the river Abancay to oppose their progress. Almagro wished rather to gain, than conquer them, and endeavoured by bribes and pro- FI mises to seduce their leader. The fidelity of Alvarado ft was not to be shaken, but his talents for, war were not equal to his integrity. Almagro amused him with various movements, the meaning of which he could not comprehend, while a large detachment of chosen soldiers passed * the river in the night, surprized his camp, and took him prisoner, with his principal officers, after having routed ! his troops before they had time to form.

Had Almagro known as well how to improve, as to gain, i a victory, this event must have been decisive. Roderigo Orgognez, an officer of great abilities, who had served under the Constable Bourbon, when he led the imperial army to Rome, had been accustoined to bold and decisive counsels, advised him instantly to issue orders for putting to death Ferdinand and Gonzalo Pizarro, Alvarado, and a few other persons whom he could not liope to gain, and to march directly to Lima, before the governor bad time to prepare for his defence. But Almagro, although he saw at once the utility of this counsel, had not suffered himself to be influenced by sentiments like those of a soldier of fortune, grown old in the service, or the chief of a party who had drawn his sword in a civil war. Feelings of hu. manity restrained hiin from shedding the blood of his oppo. nents; and dreaded being deemed a rebel for entering a province which the king had allotted to another.

As he was solicitous that his rival should be considered the aggressor, he marched back to Cuzco to wait his approach. Pizarro, whose spirit had remained unshaken under the rudest shock of adversity, was almost over:

« PreviousContinue »