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nearest as well as most formidable. As he was master of the public revenues in Peru, and most of the military men were attached to his family, his troops were so numerous, that the viceroy, unable to face him, retreated towards Quito, and from thence to the province of Popayan, whic ther Pizarro followed him ; but finding it impossible to overtake him, he returned to Quito. From thence he dispatched Carvajal to oppose Centeno, a bold and active officer, who had cut off his lieutenant governor, in the province of Charcas, and had declared for the viceroy, and remained himself at Quito. i . ' . fim
Nugnez Vela by his own activity, and the assistance of Benalcazar, assembled four hundred men in Popayan : with these he marched back to Quito, disdaining the advice of some of his followers, who endeavoured to persuade him to send overtures of accommodation to Pizarro; declaring that it was only by the sword, that a contest with rebels could be decided.
Pizarro advanced resolutely to meet him. The battle was fierce and bloody : but Pizarro's veterans, pushed forwards with such regular and well directed force, that they soon began to make an impression on their enemies. The viceroy, by great exertions, in wnich the abilities of a commander, and courage of a soldier were equaily displayed, heid victory for some time in suspense. At length he fell, pierced with many wounds, and the route of his soldiers became general. His head was cut ott, and placed on the public gibbet, in Quito. The troops assembled by Centeno, were dispersed soon after, by Carvajal, and he himself compelled to fly to the mountains, where he remained for several months, concealed in a cave. Every person in Peru snbmitted to Pizarro ; and by his fleet, under Pedro de Hinojosa, he had the unrivalled command of the South Sea ; hád also possession of Panama, and placed a garrison in Nombre de Dios, on the opposite side of the isthmus, which rendered him master of the usual avenue of communication between Spain and Peru.
After this decisive victory, Pizarro and his followers remained for some time at Quito ; and although they were transported with their victory, yet he and his confidants, were obliged to turn their thoughts sometimes to what was serious, and deliberated with much solicitude, conçerning the part he ought now to take. Carvajal had, from
the beginning, warned Pizarro that in the career on which he was entering, it was in van to think of holding a middle course ; that he must either boldly aim at all, or at
tempt nothing. . Upon receiving an account of the victory at Quito, he
remonstrated to him in a letter, and in a tone still more peremptory, or you have usurped (said he) the supreme power in this country, in contempt of the emperor's commission to another. You have marched in hostile array, against the royal standard ; you have attacked the representative of your sovereign in the field, have defeated bim, and cut off his head. Think not, that a monarch will forgive such insults on his dignity; or that any reconciliation with him can be cordial or sincere. Depend no longer on the precarious favour of another. Assume yourself the sovereignty over a country, to the dominion of which your family has a title, founded on the rights both of discovery and conquest. It is in your power to attach every Spaniard in Peru, of any consequence, inviolably to your interests, by liberal grants of lands and Indians ; or by instituting ranks of nobility; of creating titles of honour, similar to those which are courted with so much eager: ness in Europe. By establishing orders of knighthood, with privileges and distinctions like those in Spain, you may bestow a gratification upon the officers in your service, suited to the ideas of military men. Nor is it to your countrymen only that you ought to attend ; endeavour to gain the natives. By marrying the Coya or daughter of the sun, next in succession to the crown, you will induce the Indians, out of veneration for the blood of their ancient princes, to unite with the Spaniards in supporting your authority. Thus at the head of the principal inhabitants of Peru, as well as the new settlers there, you may set at defiance the power of Spain, and repel with ease any feeble force which it can send at such a distance.”
Cepeda the lawyer, who was now Pizarro's confidential counsellor, warmly seconded Carvajal’s exhortations, - Pizarro listened attentively to both, and contemplatech
with pleasure the object they presented to his view. But happily for the tranquillity of the world, few men possess that superior strength of mind,' and extent of abilities, which are capable of forming and executing such daring schemes. The mediocrity of Pizarro's talents, circum
scribed his ambition within more narrow limits. He core fined his views to obtaining from the court of Spain, a cos firmation of the authority which he now possessed; and far that purpose he sent an officer of distinction thither, to repre sent his conduct in such a favourable light, as that the emperor might be induced to continue him in his present station,
While Pizarro was deliberating with respect to the part he should take, consultations were held in Spain concerning the measures which ought to be pursued : the court had received intelligence of the insurrection against the viceroy ; of his imprisonment, and Pizarro's usurpation." At first view, the actions of Pizarro and his party appeared so repugnant to the duty of subjects towards their sove reign, that the greater part of the ministers insisted on de claring them instantly guilty of rebellion, and on proceed ing to punish them with rigour. But innumerable obstacles, presented themselves. The strength and glory of the Spanish armies were then employed in Germany. Ta transport any respectable body of troops so remote as Peru, appeared almost impossible, as the treasury had been drained of money to support the emperor's war in Europe.
Nothing, therefore, remained, but to attempt by lenient measures, what could not be effected by force : with this view, they appointed Pedro de las Gasca, a priest and counsellor of the inquisition, who had been employed by i government in affairs of trust and confidence, and which he had conducted with ability and success; displaying a gentle insinuating temper, accompanied with firmness and probity, superior to any feeling of private interest, and a cautious circumspection in concerting measures, fol. 1 lowed by such vigour in executing them, as is rarely found united with each other. These qualities marked him out for the function for which he was destined. The em. peror warmly approved of the choice. He was invested with unlimited authority; and, without money or troops, set out to quell a formidable rebellion. On his arrival at Nombre de Dios, he found Hernan Mexia, an officer of note, posted there by order of Pizarro, with a considerable body of men, to oppose the landing of any hostile forces. But Gasca came in such pacific guise, with a train so little formidable, and with a title of no such dignity as to excite terror, that he was received with much respect ; for he
assumed no higher title than that of president of the court of audience in Lima. 1 From Nombre de Dios he advanced to Panama ; and was treated with the same respect by Hinojosa, whom Pizarro had entrusted with the government of that town, and the command of the fleet stationed there. In both places, he held the same language, declaring that he was sent by his sovereign as a messenger of peace, not as a minister of vengeance ; that he came to redress all grievances, to revoke the laws which had excited alarm; and to re-establish order and justice in Peru. His mild deportment, the simplicity of his manners, the sanctity of his i profession, and a winning appearance of candour, gained credit to his declarations. Hinojosa, Mexia, and several other officers of distinction, were gained over to his interest, and waited only a decent pretext for declaring openly in his favour.
This, the violence of Pizarro soon gave them. He sent a new deputation to Spain to justify his conduct; and to insist in the name of all the communities in Peru, for a confirmation of the government to himself during his life. The persons entrusted with this commission, intimated the intention of Pizarro to the president, and required him, in his name, to depart from Panama, and return to Spain. To Hinojosa they had secret instructions, directing him to offer Gasca fifty thousand pesos, if he would comply willingly with what was demanded of him ; and, if he should continue obstinate, to cut him off, either by assassination, or poison. . Hinojosa, amazed at his precipitate resolution of setting himself in opposition to the emperor's commission, and disdaining to execute the crimes pointed out in his secret instructions, publicly acknowledged the president as his only lawful superior. The officers under his command did the same. Such was the contagious influence of the example, that it reached even the deputies who had been sent from Lima ; and, at the time when Pizarro expected to hear of Gasca's death, or his return to Spain, he was informed that he was master of the fleet, of Panama, and of the troops stationed there.
Provoked almost to madness by an event so unexpect. ed, he openly declared war; and to give some colour of justice to his proceeding, he appointed the court of audience at Lima to try Gasca, for the crimes of having seized his
ships, seduced his officers, and prevented his deputies fron proceeding on their voyage to Spain. Cepeda did not scriple to prostitute his dignity as judge, by finding Gasca guilty of treason, and condemned him to death on that alcount. Wild and ridiculous as this may appear, it was inposed on the low adventurers with which Peru was peoplel, by the semblance of a legal sanction, warranting Pizarro to carry hostilities on against a convicted traitor. Soldiers accordingly resorted to his standard from every quarter, and he was soon at the head of a thousand men, the best equipped that had ever taken the field in Peru.
Gasca, on his part, seeing that force must be employed, was assiduous in collecting troops from different places, and with such success, that he was soon in a condition to detach a squadron of his fleet, with a considerable body of soldiers to the coast of Peru. Their appearance excited a dreadful alarm ; and though they did not for some time attempt to make any descent, yet they set ashore at disferent places, persons with copies of the act of general indemnity, and the revocation of the late edicts ; and who made known every where the pacific intentions, and mild temper of the president. The effect of spreading this information was wonderful.
All wlio were dissatisfied with Pizarro, all who retained any sentiments of fidelity to their sovereign, meditated revolt. Some openly deserted a cause they considered now as unjust. Centeno left his cave, and having assembled about fifty of his former adherents, almost without arms, entered Cuzco by night, and though it was defend. ed by five hundred men, he rendered himself master of that capital. Most of the garrison ranged themselves under his banners, and he had soon the command of a l'espectable body of troops.
As the danger from Centeno's operations was the most urgent, Pizarro instantly set out to oppose him. Having provided horses for his soldiers, his march was rapid. But every morning he found his force diminished by numbers who had left him during the night; and though he became suspicious to excess, and punished without mercy, all whom he suspected, the rage of desertion was too violent to be checked. Before he got within sight of the enemy at Huarina, near the lake Titicaca, he could only muster four hundred men. But those he considered as