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The History Of The Conquest Of Peru by William H. Prescott

Part 13 out of 17

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that gold, or rather silver, was the commodity of least value in
Peru. *12 By these efforts, the active commander soon assembled a
force considerably larger than that of his adversary. But how
could he confide in it?

[Footnote 11: "Hico hacer gran Copia de Arcabuces, asi de Hierro,
como de Fundicion, de ciertas Campanas de la Iglesia Maior, que
para ello quito." Zarate, Conq. del Peru, lib. 5, cap. 6.]

[Footnote 12: Blasco Nunez paid, according to Zarate, who had the
means of knowing, twelve thousand ducats for thirty-five mules. -
"El Visorrei les mando comprar, de la Hacienda Real, treinta i
cinco Machos, en que hiciesen la Jornada, que costaron mas de
doce mil ducados." (Zarate, Conq. del Peru, lib. 5, cap. 10.) The
South-American of our day might well be surprised at such prices
for animals since so abundant in his country.]
While these preparations were going forward, the judges of the
Audience arrived at Lima. They had shown, throughout their
progress, no great respect either for the ordinances, or the will
of the viceroy; for they had taxed the poor natives as freely and
unscrupulously as any of the Conquerors. We have seen the entire
want of cordiality subsisting between them and their principal in
Panama. It became more apparent, on their landing at Lima. They
disapproved of his proceedings in every particular; of his
refusal to suspend the ordinances, - although, in fact, he had
found no opportunity, of late, to enforce them; of his
preparations for defence, declaring that he ought rather trust to
the effect of negotiation; and, finally, of his imprisonment of
so many loyal cavaliers, which they pronounced an arbitrary act,
altogether beyond the bounds of his authority; and they did not
scruple to visit the prison in person, and discharge the captives
from their confinement. *13

[Footnote 13: Fernandez, Hist. del Peru, Parte 1, lib. 1, cap.
10. - Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 7, lib. 8, cap. 2, 10. - Carta
de Gonzalo Pizarro a Valdivia, Ms.]

This bold proceeding, while it conciliated the good-will of the
people, severed, at once, all relations with the viceroy. There
was in the Audience a lawyer, named Cepeda, a cunning, ambitious
man, with considerable knowledge in the way of his profession,
and with still greater talent for intrigue. He did not disdain
the low arts of a demagogue to gain the favor of the populace,
and trusted to find his own account in fomenting a
misunderstanding with Blasco Nunez. The latter, it must be
confessed, did all in his power to aid his counsellor in this
laudable design.

A certain cavalier in the place, named Suarez de Carbajal, who
had long held an office under government, fell under the
viceroy's displeasure, on suspicion of conniving at the secession
of some of his kinsmen, who had lately taken part with the
malecontents. The viceroy summoned Carbajal to attend him at his
palace, late at night; and when conducted to his presence, he
bluntly charged him with treason. The latter stoutly denied the
accusation, in tones as haughty as those of his accuser. The
altercation grew warm, until, in the heat of passion, Blasco
Nunez struck him with his poniard. In an instant, the
attendants, taking this as a signal, plunged their swords into
the body of the unfortunate man, who fell lifeless on the floor.

[Footnote 14: "He struck him in the bosom with his dagger, as
some say, but the viceroy denies it." - So says Zarate, in the
printed copy of his history. (Lib. 5, cap. 11.) In the original
manuscript of this work, still extant at Simancas, he states the
fact without any qualification at all. "Luego el dicho Virrei
echo mano a una daga, i arremetio con el, i le dio una punalada,
i a grandes voces mando que le matasen." (Zarate, Ms.) This was
doubtless his honest conviction, when on the pot soon after the
event occurred. The politic historian thought it prudent to
qualify his remark before publication. - "They say," says another
contemporary, familiar with these events and friendly to the
viceroy, "that he gave him several wounds with his dagger." And
he makes no attempt to refute the charge. (Relacion de los
Sucesos del Peru, Ms.) Indeed, this version of the story seems to
have been generally received at the time by those who had the
best means of knowing the truth.]

Greatly alarmed for the consequences of his rash act, - for
Carbajal was much beloved in Lima, - Blasco Nunez ordered the
corpse of the murdered man to be removed by a private stairway
from the house, and carried to the cathedral, where, rolled in
his bloody cloak, it was laid in a grave hastily dug to receive
it. So tragic a proceeding, known to so many witnesses, could
not long be kept secret. Vague rumors of the fact explained the
mysterious disappearance of Carbajal. The grave was opened, and
the mangled remains of the slaughtered cavalier established the
guilt of the viceroy. *15

[Footnote 15: Zarate, Conq. del Peru, ubi supra.]

From this hour Blasco Nunez was held in universal abhorrence; and
his crime, in this instance, assumed the deeper dye of
ingratitude, since the deceased was known to have had the
greatest influence in reconciling the citizens early to his
government. No one knew where the blow would fall next, or how
soon he might himself become the victim of the ungovernable
passions of the viceroy. In this state of things, some looked to
the Audience, and yet more to Gonzalo Pizarro, to protect them.
That chief was slowly advancing towards Lima, from which, indeed,
he was removed but a few days' march. Greatly perplexed, Blasco
Nunez now felt the loneliness of his condition. Standing aloof,
as it were, from his own followers, thwarted by the Audience,
betrayed by his soldiers, he might well feel the consequences of
his misconduct. Yet there seemed no other course for him, but
either to march out and meet the enemy, or to remain in Lima and
defend it. He had placed the town in a posture of defence, which
argued this last to have been his original purpose. But he felt
he could no longer rely on his troops, and he decided on a third
course, most unexpected.

This was to abandon the capital, and withdraw to Truxillo, about
eighty leagues distant. The women would embark on board the
squadron, and, with the effects of the citizens, be transported
by water. The troops, with the rest of the inhabitants, would
march by land, laying waste the country as they proceeded.
Gonzalo Pizarro, when he arrived at Lima, would find it without
supplies for his army, and thus straitened, he would not care to
take a long march across a desert in search of his enemy. *16

[Footnote 16: Ibid., lib. 5, cap. 12. - Fernandez, Parte 1, lib.
1, cap. 18.]

What the viceroy proposed to effect by this movement is not
clear, unless it were to gain time; and yet the more time he had
gained, thus far, the worse it had proved for him. But he was
destined to encounter a decided opposition from the judges. They
contended that he had no warrant for such an act, and that the
Audience could not lawfully hold its sessions out of the capital.
Blasco Nunez persisted in his determination, menacing that body
with force, if necessary. The judges appealed to the citizens to
support them in resisting such an arbitrary measure. They
mustered a force for their own protection, and that same day
passed a decree that the viceroy should be arrested.

Late at night, Blasco Nunez was informed of the hostile
preparations of the judges. He instantly summoned his followers,
to the number of more than two hundred, put on his armour, and
prepared to march out at the head of his troops against the
Audience. This was the true course; for in a crisis like that in
which he was placed, requiring promptness and decision, the
presence of the leader is essential to insure success. But,
unluckily, he yielded to the remonstrances of his brother and
other friends, who dissuaded him from rashly exposing his life in
such a venture.

What Blasco Nunez neglected to do was done by the judges. They
sallied forth at the head of their followers, whose number,
though small at first, they felt confident would be swelled by
volunteers as they advanced. Rushing forward, they cried out, -
"Liberty! Liberty! Long live the king and the Audience!" It was
early dawn, and the inhabitants, startled from their slumbers,
ran to the windows and balconies, and, learning the object of the
movement, some snatched up their arms and joined in it, while the
women, waving their scarfs and kerchiefs, cheered on the assault.

When the mob arrived before the viceroy's palace, they halted for
a moment, uncertain what to do Orders were given to fire on them
from the windows, and a volley passed over their heads. No one
was injured; and the greater part of the viceroy's men, with most
of the officers, - including some of those who had been so
anxious for his personal safety, - now openly joined the
populace. The palace was then entered, and abandoned to pillage.
Blasco Nunez, deserted by all but a few faithful adherents, made
no resistance. He surrendered to the assailants, was led before
the judges, and by them was placed in strict confinement. The
citizens, delighted with the result, provided a collation for the
soldiers; and the affair ended without the loss of a single life.
Never was there so bloodless a revolution. *17

[Footnote 17: Relacion de los Sucesos del Ms. - Pedro Pizarro,
Descub. y Peru, Ms. - Relacion Anonima, Conq., Ms. - Fernandez,
Hist del Peru, Parte 1, lib. 1, cap. 19. - Zarate, Conq. del
Peru, lib. 5, cap. 11. - Carta de Gonzalo Pizarro a Valvidia, Ms.

Gonzalo Pizarro devoutly draws a conclusion from this, that the
revolution was clearly brought about by the hand of God for the
good of the land. "E hizose sin que muriese un hombre, ni fuese
herido, somo obra que Dios la guiava para el bien desta tierra."
Carta, Ms., ubi supra.]
The first business of the judges was to dispose of the prisoner.
He was sent, under a strong guard, to a neighbouring island, till
some measures could be taken respecting him. He was declared to
be deposed from his office; a provisional government was
established, consisting of their own body, with Cepeda at its
head, as president; and its first act was to pronounce the
detested ordinances suspended, till instructions could be
received from Court. It was also decided to send Blasco Nunez
back to Spain with one of their own body, who should explain to
the emperor the nature of the late disturbances, and vindicate
the measures of the Audience. This was soon put in execution.
The Licentiate Alvarez was the person selected to bear the
viceroy company; and the unfortunate commander, after passing
several days on the desolate island, with scarcely any food, and
exposed to all the inclemencies of the weather, took his
departure for Panama. *18

[Footnote 18: Carta de Gonzalo Pizarro a Valdivia, Ms. - Relacion
de los Sucesos del Peru, Ms.

The story of the seizure of the viceroy is well told by the
writer of the last Ms., who seems here, at least, not unduly
biased in favor of Blasco Nunez, though a partisan.]

A more formidable adversary yet remained in Gonzalo Pizarro, who
had now advanced to Xauxa, about ninety miles from Lima. Here he
halted, while numbers of the citizens prepared to join his
banner, choosing rather to take service under him than to remain
under the self-constituted authority of the Audience. The
judges, meanwhile, who had tasted the sweets of office too short
a time to be content to resign them, after considerable delay,
sent an embassy to the Procurator. They announced to him the
revolution that had taken place, and the suspension of the
ordinances. The great object of his mission had been thus
accomplished; and, as a new government was now organized, they
called on him to show his obedience to it, by disbanding his
forces, and withdrawing to the unmolested enjoyment of his
estates. It was a bold demand, - though couched in the most
courteous and complimentary phrase, - to make of one in Pizarro's
position. It was attempting to scare away the eagle just ready
to stoop on his prey. If the chief had faltered, however, he
would have been reassured by his lion-hearted lieutenant. "Never
show faint heart," exclaimed the latter, "when you are so near
the goal. Success has followed every step of your path. You
have now only to stretch forth your hand, and seize the
government. Every thing else will follow." - The envoy who
brought the message from the judges was sent back with the
answer, that "the people had called Gonzalo Pizarro to the
government of the country, and, if the Audience did not at once
invest him with it, the city should be delivered up to pillage."

[Footnote 19: Zarate, Conq. del Peru, lib. 5, cap. 13.

It required some courage to carry the message of the Audience to
Gonzalo and his desperate followers. The historian Zarate, the
royal comptroller, was the envoy; not much, as it appears, to his
own satisfaction. He escaped, however, unharmed, and has made a
full report of the affair in his chronicle.]

The bewildered magistrates were thrown into dismay by this
decisive answer. Yet loth to resign, they took counsel in their
perplexity of Vaca de Castro, still detained on board of one of
the vessels. But that commander had received too little favor at
the hands of his successors to think it necessary to peril his
life on their account by thwarting the plans of Pizarro. He
maintained a discreet silence, therefore, and left the matter to
the wisdom of the Audience.

Meanwhile, Carbajal was sent into the city to quicken their
deliberations. He came at night, attended only by a small party
of soldiers, intimating his contempt of the power of the judges.
His first act was to seize a number of cavaliers, whom he dragged
from their beds, and placed under arrest. They were men of
Cuzco, the same already noticed as having left Pizarro's ranks
soon after his departure from that capital. While the Audience
still hesitated as to the course they should pursue, Carbajal
caused three of his prisoners, persons of consideration and
property, to be placed on the backs of mules, and escorted out of
town to the suburbs, where, with brief space allowed for
confession, he hung them all on the branches of a tree. He
superintended the execution himself, and tauntingly complimented
one of his victims, by telling him, that, "in consideration of
his higher rank, he should have the privilege of selecting the
bough on which to be hanged!" *20 The ferocious officer would
have proceeded still further in his executions, it is said, had
it not been for orders received from his leader. But enough was
done to quicken the perceptions of the Audience as to their
course, for they felt their own lives suspended by a thread in
such unscrupulous hands. Without further delay, therefore, they
sent to invite Gonzalo Pizarro to enter the city, declaring that
the security of the country and the general good required the
government to be placed in his hands. *21

[Footnote 20: "Le queria dar su muerte con una preeminencia
senalada, que escogiese en qual de las Ramas de aquel Arbol
queria que le colgasen." Zarate, Conq. del Peru, lib. 5, cap. 13.
- See also Relacion Anonima, Ms. - Fernandez, Parte 1, lib. 1,
cap. 25.]

[Footnote 21: According to Gonzalo Pizarro, the Audience gave
this invitation in obedience to the demands of the
representatives of the cities. - "Y a esta sazon llegue yo a
Lima, i todos los procuradores de las cibdades destos reynos
suplicaron al Audiencia me hiciesen Governador para resistir los
robos e fuerzas que Blasco Nunez andava faciendo, i para tener la
tierra en justicia hasta que S. M. proveyese lo que mas a su real
servicio convenia. Los Oydores visto que asi convenia al
servicio de Dios i al de S. M. i al bien destos reynos," &c.
(Carta de Gonzalo Pizarro a Valdivia, Ms.) But Gonzalo's account
of himself must be received with more than the usual grain of
allowance. His letter, which is addressed to Valdivia, the
celebrated conqueror of Chili, contains a full account of the
rise and progress of his rebellion. It is the best vindication,
therefore, to be found of himself, and, as a counterpoise to the
narratives of his enemies, is of inestimable value to the
That chief had now advanced within half a league of the capital,
which soon after, on the twenty-eighth of October, 1544, he
entered in battle-array. His whole force was little short of
twelve hundred Spaniards, besides several thousand Indians, who
dragged his heavy guns in the advance. *22 Then came the files of
spearmen and arquebusiers, making a formidable corps of infantry
for a colonial army; and lastly, the cavalry, at the head of
which rode Pizarro himself, on a powerful charger, gayly
caparisoned. The rider was in complete mail, over which floated
a richly embroidered surcoat, and his head was protected by a
crimson cap, highly ornamented, - his showy livery setting off
his handsome, soldierlike person to advantage. *23 Before him was
borne the royal standard of Castile; for every one, royalist or
rebel, was careful to fight under that sign. This emblem of
loyalty was supported on the right by a banner, emblazoned with
the arms of Cuzco, and by another on the left, displaying the
armorial bearings granted by the Crown to the Pizarros. As the
martial pageant swept through the streets of Lima, the air was
rent with acclamations from the populace, and from the spectators
in the balconies. The cannon sounded at intervals, and the bells
of the city - those that the viceroy had spared - rang out a
joyous peal, as if in honor of a victory!

[Footnote 22: He employed twelve thousand Indians on this
service, says the writer of the Relacion Anonima, Ms. But this
author, although living in the colonies at the time, talks too
much at random to gain our implicit confidence.]

[Footnote 23: "Y el armado y con una capa de grana cubierta con
muchas guarniciones de oro e con sayo de brocado sobre las
armas." Relacion de los Sucesos del Peru, Ms. - Also Zarate,
Conq. del Peru, lib. 5, cap. 13.]
The oaths of office were duly administered by the judges of the
Royal Audience, and Gonzalo Pizarro was proclaimed Governor and
Captain-General of Peru, till his Majesty's pleasure could be
known in respect to the government. The new ruler then took up
his quarters in the palace of his brother, - where the stains of
that brother's blood were not yet effaced. Fetes, bull-fights,
and tournaments graced the ceremony of inauguration, and were
prolonged for several days, while the giddy populace of the
capital abandoned themselves to jubilee, as if a new and more
auspicious order of things had commenced for Peru! *24

[Footnote 24: For the preceding pages relating to Gonzalo
Pizarro, see Relacion Anonima, Ms. - Fernandez, Hist. del Peru,
Parte 1, lib. 1, cap. 25. - Pedro Pizarro, Descub y Conq., Ms. -
Carta de Gonzalo Pizarro a Valdivia, Ms. - Zarate, loc. cit. -
Herrera, Hist General, dec. 7, lib. 8, cap. 16-19. - Relacion de
los Sucesos del Peru, Ms. - Montesinos, Annales, Ms., ano 1544.]

Chapter IX

Measures Of Gonzalo Pizarro. - Escape Of Vaca De Castro.
Reappearance Of The Viceroy. - His Disastrous Retreat. - Defeat
And Death Of The Viceroy. - Gonzalo Pizarro Lord Of Peru.


The first act of Gonzalo Pizarro was to cause those persons to be
apprehended who had taken the most active part against him in the
late troubles. Several he condemned to death; but afterwards
commuted the sentence, and contented himself with driving them
into banishment and confiscating their estates. *1 His next
concern was to establish his authority on a firm basis. He
filled the municipal government of Lima with his own partisans.
He sent his lieutenants to take charge of the principal cities.
He caused galleys to be built at Arequipa to secure the command
of the seas; and brought his forces into the best possible
condition, to prepare for future emergencies.

[Footnote 1: Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms.

The honest soldier, who tells us this, was more true to his king
than to his kindred. At least, he did not attach himself to
Gonzalo's party, and was among those who barely escaped hanging
on this occasion. He seems to have had little respect for his

The Royal Audience existed only in name; for its powers were
speedily absorbed by the new ruler, who desired to place the
government on the same footing as under the marquess, his brother
Indeed, the Audience necessarily fell to pieces, from the
position of its several members. Alvarez had been sent with the
viceroy to Castile. Cepeda, the most aspiring of the court, now
that he had failed in his own schemes of ambition, was content to
become a tool in the hands of the military chief who had
displaced him. Zarate, a third judge, who had, from the first,
protested against the violent measures of his colleagues, was
confined to his house by a mortal illness; *2 and Tepeda, the
remaining magistrate, Gonzalo now proposed to send back to
Castile with such an account of the late transactions as should
vindicate his own conduct in the eyes of the emperor. This step
was opposed by Carbajal, who bluntly told his commander that "he
had gone too far to expect favor from the Crown; and that he had
better rely for his vindication on his pikes and muskets.'" *3
[Footnote 2: Zarate, the judge, must not be confounded with
Zarate, the historian, who went out to Peru with the Court of
Audience, as contador real, royal comptroller, - having before
filled the office of secretary of the royal council in Spain.]

[Footnote 3: Gomara, Hist. de las Ind., cap. 172. - Garcilasso,
Com Real., Parte 2, lib. 4, cap. 21.]

But the ship which was to transport Tepeda was found to have
suddenly disappeared from the port. It was the same in which
Vaca de Castro was confined; and that officer, not caring to
trust to the forbearance of one whose advances, on a former
occasion, he had so unceremoniously repulsed, and convinced,
moreover, that his own presence could profit nothing in a land
where he held no legitimate authority, had prevailed on the
captain to sail with him to Panama. He then crossed the Isthmus,
and embarked for Spain. The rumors of his coming had already
preceded him, and charges were not wanting against him from some
of those whom he had offended by his administration. He was
accused of having carried measures with a high hand, regardless
of the rights, both of the colonist and of the native; and, above
all, of having embezzled the public moneys, and of returning with
his coffers richly freighted to Castile. This last was an
unpardonable crime.

No sooner had the governor set foot in his own country than he
was arrested, and hurried to the fortress of Arevalo; and, though
he was afterwards removed to better quarters, where he was
treated with the indulgence due to his rank, he was still kept a
prisoner of state for twelve years, when the tardy tribunals of
Castile pronounced a judgment in his favor. He was acquitted of
every charge that had been brought against him, and, so far from
peculation, was proved to have returned home no richer than he
went. He was released from confinement, reinstated in his honors
and dignities, took his seat anew in the royal council, and Vaca
de Castro enjoyed, during the remainder of his days, the
consideration to which he was entitled by his deserts. *4 The
best eulogium on the wisdom of his administration was afforded by
the troubles brought on the colonies by that of his successor.
The nation became gradually sensible of the value of his
services; though the manner in which they were requited by the
government must be allowed to form a cold commentary on the
gratitude of princes.

[Footnote 4: Zarate, Conq. del Peru, lib. 5, cap. 15. - Relacion
Anonima, Ms. - Relacion de los Sucesos del Peru, Ms. -
Montesinos, Annales Ms., ano 1545. - Fernandez, Hist del Peru,
Parte 1, lib. 1, cap. 28]
Gonzalo Pizarro was doomed to experience a still greater
disappointment than that caused by the escape of Vaca de Castro,
in the return of Blasco Nunez. The vessel which bore him from
the country had hardly left the shore, when Alvarez, the judge,
whether from remorse at the part which he had taken, or
apprehensive of the consequences of carrying back the viceroy to
Spain, presented himself before that dignitary, and announced
that he was no longer a prisoner. At the same time he excused
himself for the part he had taken, by his desire to save the life
of Blasco Nunez, and extricate him from his perilous situation.
He now placed the vessel at his disposal, and assured him it
should take him wherever he chose.

The viceroy, whatever faith he may have placed in the judge's
explanation, eagerly availed himself of his offer. His proud
spirit revolted at the idea of returning home in disgrace,
foiled, as he had been, in every object of his mission. He
determined to try his fortune again in the land, and his only
doubt was, on what point to attempt to rally his partisans around
him. At Panama he might remain in safety, while he invoked
assistance from Nicaragua, and other colonies at the north. But
this would be to abandon his government at once; and such a
confession of weakness would have a bad effect on his followers
in Peru. He determined, therefore, to direct his steps towards
Quito, which, while it was within his jurisdiction, was still
removed far enough from the theatre of the late troubles to give
him time to rally, and make head against his enemies.

In pursuance of this purpose, the viceroy and his suite
disembarked at Tumbez, about the middle of October, 1544. On
landing, he issued a manifesto setting forth the violent
proceedings of Gonzalo Pizarro and his followers, whom he
denounced as traitors to their prince, and he called on all true
subjects in the colony to support him in maintaining the royal
authority. The call was not unheeded; and volunteers came in,
though tardily, from San Miguel, Puerto Viejo, and other places
on the coast, cheering the heart of the viceroy with the
conviction that the sentiment of loyalty was not yet extinct in
the bosoms of the Spaniards.
But, while thus occupied, he received tidings of the arrival of
one of Pizarro's captains on the coast, with a force superior to
his own. Their number was exaggerated; but Blasco Nunez, without
waiting to ascertain the truth, abandoned his position at Tumbez,
and, with as much expedition as he could make across a wild and
mountainous country half-buried in snow, he marched to Quito.
But this capital, situated at the northern extremity of his
province, was not a favorable point for the rendezvous of his
followers; and, after prolonging his stay till he had received
assurance from Benalcazar, the loyal commander at Popayan, that
he would support him with all his strength in the coming
conflict, he made a rapid countermarch to the coast, and took up
his position at the town of San Miguel. This was a spot well
suited to his purposes, as lying on the great high road along the
shores of the Pacific, besides being the chief mart for
commercial intercourse with Panama and the north.
Here the viceroy erected his standard, and in a few weeks found
himself at the head of a force amounting to nearly five hundred
in all, horse and foot, ill provided with arms and ammunition,
but apparently zealous in the cause. Finding himself in
sufficient strength to commence active operations, he now sallied
forth against several of Pizarro's captains in the neighbourhood,
over whom he obtained some decided advantages, which renewed his
confidence, and flattered him with the hopes of reestablishing
his ascendency in the country. *5

[Footnote 5: Carta de Gonzalo Pizarro a Valdivia, Ms. - Zarate,
Conq. del Peru, lib. 5, cap. 14, 15. - Herrera, Hist. General,
dec. 7, lib. 8, cap. 19, 20. - Relacion Anonima, Ms. - Fernandez,
Hist. del Peru, Parte 1, lib. 1, cap. 23. - Relacion de los
Sucesos del Peru, Ms.

The author of the document last cited notices the strong feeling
for the Crown existing in several of the cities; and mentions
also the rumor of a meditated assault on Cuzco by the Indians. -
The writer belonged to the discomfited party of Blasco Nunez; and
the facility with which exiles credit reports in their own favor
is proverbial.]

During this time, Gonzalo Pizarro was not idle. He had watched
with anxiety the viceroy's movements; and was now convinced that
it was time to act, and that, if he would not be unseated
himself, he must dislodge his formidable rival. He accordingly
placed a strong garrison under a faithful officer in Lima, and,
after sending forward a force of some six hundred men by land to
Truxillo, he embarked for the same port himself, on the 4th of
March, 1545, the very day on which the viceroy had marched from

At Truxillo, Pizarro put himself at the head of his little army,
and moved without loss of time against San Miguel. His rival,
eager to bring their quarrel to an issue, would fain have marched
out to give him battle; but his soldiers, mostly young and
inexperienced levies, hastily brought together, were intimidated
by the name of Pizarro. They loudly insisted on being led into
the upper country, where they would be reinforced by Benalcazar;
and their unfortunate commander, like the rider of some
unmanageable steed, to whose humors he is obliged to submit, was
hurried away in a direction contrary to his wishes. It was the
fate of Blasco Nunez to have his purposes baffled alike by his
friends and his enemies.
On arriving before San Miguel, Gonzalo Pizarro found, to his
great mortification, that his antagonist had left it. Without
entering the town, he quickened his pace, and, after traversing a
valley of some extent, reached the skirts of a mountain chain,
into which Blasco Nunez had entered but a few hours before. It
was late in the evening; but Pizarro, knowing the importance of
despatch, sent forward Carbajal with a party of light troops to
overtake the fugitives. That captain succeeded in coming up with
their lonely bivouac among the mountains at midnight, when the
weary troops were buried in slumber. Startled from their repose
by the blast of the trumpet, which, strange to say, their enemy
had incautiously sounded, *6 the viceroy and his men sprang to
their feet, mounted their horses, grasped their arquebuses, and
poured such a volley into the ranks of their assailants, that
Carbajal, disconcerted by his reception, found it prudent, with
his inferior force, to retreat. The viceroy followed, till,
fearing an ambuscade in the darkness of the night, he withdrew,
and allowed his adversary to rejoin the main body of the army
under Pizarro.

[Footnote 6: "Mas Francisco Caruajal q los vua siguiendo, llego
quatro horas de la noche a dode estauan: y con vna Trompeta que
lleuaua les toco arma: y sentido por el Virey se leuanto luego el
primero." Fernandez, Hist. del Peru, Parte 1 lib. 1, cap. 40.]

This conduct of Carbajal, by which he allowed the game to slip
through his hands, from mere carelessness, is inexplicable. It
forms a singular exception to the habitual caution and vigilance
displayed in his military career. Had it been the act of any
other captain, it would have cost him his head. But Pizarro,
although greatly incensed, set too high a value on the services
and well-tried attachment of his lieutenant, to quarrel with him.
Still it was considered of the last importance to overtake the
enemy, before he had advanced much farther to the north, where
the difficulties of the ground would greatly embarrass the
pursuit. Carbajal, anxious to retrieve his error, was accordingly
again placed at the head of a corps of light troops, with
instructions to harass the enemy's march, cut off his stores, and
keep him in check, if possible, till the arrival of Pizarro. *7

[Footnote 7: Ibid., ubi supra. - Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 7,
lib. 9, cap. 22. - Garcilasso, Com. Real., lib. 9, cap. 26.]

But the viceroy had profited by the recent delay to gain
considerably on his pursuers. His road led across the valley of
Caxas, a broad, uncultivated district, affording little
sustenance for man or beast. Day after day, his troops held on
their march through this dreary region, intersected with
barrancas and rocky ravines that added incredibly to their toil.
Their principal food was the parched corn, which usually formed
the nourishment of the travelling Indians, though held of much
less account by the Spaniards; and this meagre fare was
reinforced by such herbs as they found on the way-side, which,
for want of better utensils, the soldiers were fain to boil in
their helmets. *8 Carbajal, mean while, pressed on them so close,
that their baggage, ammunition, and sometimes their mules, fell
into his hands. The indefatigable warrior was always on their
track, by day and by night, allowing them scarcely any repose.
They spread no tent, and lay down in their arms, with their
steeds standing saddled beside them; and hardly had the weary
soldier closed his eyes, when he was startled by the cry that the
enemy was upon him. *9
[Footnote 8: "Caminando, pues, comiendo algunas Jervas, que
cocian en las Celadas, quando paraban a dar aliento a los
Caballos." Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 7, lib. 9, cap 24.]

[Footnote 9: "I sin que en todo el camino los vnos, ni los otros,
quitasen las Sillas a los Caballos, aunque en este caso estaba
mas alerta la Gente del Visorei, porque si algun pequeno rato de
la Noche reposaban, era vestidos, i teniendo siempre los Caballos
del Cabestro, sin esperar a poner Toldos, ni a aderecar las otras
formas, que se suelen tener para atar los Caballos de Noche."
Zarate, Conq. del Peru, lib. 5, cap. 29.]
At length, the harassed followers of Blasco Nunez reached the
depoblado, or desert of Paltos, which stretches towards the north
for many a dreary league. The ground, intersected by numerous
streams, has the character of a great quagmire, and men and
horses floundered about in the stagnant waters, or with
difficulty worked their way over the marsh, or opened a passage
through the tangled underwood that shot up in rank luxuriance
from the surface. The wayworn horses, without food, except such
as they could pick up in the wilderness, were often spent with
travel, and, becoming unserviceable, were left to die on the
road, with their hamstrings cut, that they might be of no use to
the enemy; though more frequently they were despatched to afford
a miserable banquet to their masters. *10 Many of the men now
fainted by the way from mere exhaustion, or loitered in the
woods, unable to keep up with the march. And woe to the straggler
who fell into the hands of Carbajal, at least if he had once
belonged to the party of Pizarro. The mere suspicion of treason
sealed his doom with the unrelenting soldier. *11

[Footnote 10: "I en cansandose el Caballo, le desjarretaba, i le
dexaba, porque sus contrarios no se aprovechasen de el." Ibid.,
loc. cit.]
[Footnote 11: "Had it not been for Gonzalo Pizarro's
interference," says Fernandez, "many more would have been hung up
by his lieutenant, who pleasantly quoted the old Spanish proverb,
- 'The fewer of our enemies the better.'" De los enemigos, los
menos. Hist. del Peru, Parte 1, lib. 1, cap. 40.]

The sufferings of Pizarro and his troop were scarcely less than
those of the viceroy; though they were somewhat mitigated by the
natives of the country, who, with ready instinct, discerned which
party was the strongest, and, of course, the most to be feared.
But, with every alleviation, the chieftain's sufferings were
terrible. It was repeating the dismal scenes of the expedition
to the Amazon. The soldiers of the Conquest must be admitted to
have purchased their triumphs dearly.
Yet the viceroy had one source of disquietude, greater, perhaps,
than any arising from physical suffering. This was the distrust
of his own followers. There were several of the principal
cavaliers in his suite whom he suspected of being in
correspondence with the enemy, and even of designing to betray
him into their hands. He was so well convinced of this, that he
caused two of these officers to be put to death on the march; and
their dead bodies, as they lay by the roadside, meeting the eye
of the soldier, told him that there were others to be feared in
these frightful solitudes besides the enemy in his rear. *12

[Footnote 12: "Los afligidos Soldados, que por el cansancio de
los Caballos iban a pie con terrible angustia, por la persecucion
de los Enemigos, que iban cerca, i por la fatiga de la hambre,
quando vieron los Cuerpos de los dos Capitanes muertos en aquel
camino quedaron atonitos." Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 7, lib.
9, cap. 25.]

Another cavalier, who held the chief command under the viceroy,
was executed, after a more formal investigation of his case, at
the first place where the army halted. At this distance of time,
it is impossible to determine how far the suspicions of Blasco
Nunez were founded on truth. The judgments of contemporaries are
at variance. *13 In times of political ferment, the opinion of
the writer is generally determined by the complexion of his
party. To judge from the character of Blasco Nunez, jealous and
irritable, we might suppose him to have acted without sufficient
cause. But this consideration is counterbalanced by that of the
facility with which his followers swerved from their allegiance
to their commander, who seems to have had so light a hold on
their affections, that they were shaken off by the least reverse
of fortune. Whether his suspicions were well or ill founded, the
effect was the same on the mind of the viceroy. With an enemy in
his rear whom he dared not fight, and followers whom he dared not
trust, the cup of his calamities was nearly full.

[Footnote 13: Fernandez, who held a loyal pen, and one
sufficiently friendly to the viceroy, after stating that the
officers, whom the latter put to death, had served him to that
time with their lives and fortunes, dismisses the affair with the
temperate reflection, that men formed different judgments on it.
"Sobre estas muertes uuo en el Peru varios y contrarios juyzios y
opiniones, de culpa y de su descargo." (Hist. del Peru, Parte 1,
lib. 1, cap. 41.) Gomara says, more unequivocally, "All condemned
it." (Hist. de las Ind., cap. 167.) The weight of opinion seems
to have been against the viceroy.]

At length, he issued forth on firm ground, and, passing through
Tomebamba, Blasco Nunez reentered his northern capital of Quito.
But his reception was not so cordial as that which he had before
experienced. He now came as a fugitive, with a formidable enemy
in pursuit; and he was soon made to feel that the surest way to
receive support is not to need it.

Shaking from his feet the dust of the disloyal city, whose
superstitious people were alive to many an omen that boded his
approaching ruin, *14 the unfortunate commander held on his way
towards Pastos, in the jurisdiction of Benalcazar. Pizarro and
his forces entered Quito not long after, disappointed, that, with
all his diligence, the enemy still eluded his pursuit. He halted
only to breathe his men, and, declaring that "he would follow up
the viceroy to the North Sea but he would overtake him," *15 he
resumed his march. At Pastos, he nearly accomplished his object.
His advance-guard came up with Blasco Nunez as the latter was
halting on the opposite bank of a rivulet. Pizarro's men,
fainting from toil and heat, staggered feebly to the water-side,
to slake their burning thirst, and it would have been easy for
the viceroy's troops, refreshed by repose, and superior in number
to their foes, to have routed them. But Blasco Nunez could not
bring his soldiers to the charge. They had fled so long before
their enemy, that the mere sight of him filled their hearts with
panic, and they would have no more thought of turning against him
than the hare would turn against the hound that pursues her.
Their safety, they felt, was to fly, not to fight, and they
profited by the exhaustion of their pursuers only to quicken
their retreat.
[Footnote 14: Some of these omens recorded by the historian - as
the howling of dogs - were certainly no miracles. "En esta
lamentable, i angustiosa partida, muchos afirmaron, haver visto
por el Aire muchos Cometas, i que quadrillas de Perros andaban
por las Calles, dando grandes i temerosos ahullidos, i los
Hombres andaban asombrados, i fuera de si." Herrera Hist.
General, dec. 7, lib. 10, cap. 4.]

[Footnote 15: Ibid., ubi supra.]

Gonzalo Pizarro continued the chase some leagues beyond Pastos;
when, finding himself carried farther than he desired into the
territories of Benalcazar, and not caring to encounter this
formidable captain at disadvantage, he came to a halt, and,
notwithstanding his magnificent vaunt about the North Sea,
ordered a retreat, and made a rapid countermarch on Quito. Here
he found occupation in repairing the wasted spirits of his
troops, and in strengthening himself with fresh reinforcements,
which much increased his numbers; though these were again
diminished by a body that he detached under Carbajal to suppress
an insurrection, which he now learned had broken out in the
south. It was headed by Diego Centeno, one of his own officers,
whom he had established in La Plata, the inhabitants of which
place had joined in the revolt and raised the standard for the
Crown. With the rest of his forces, Pizarro resolved to remain
at Quito, waiting the hour when the viceroy would reenter his
dominions; as the tiger crouches by some spring in the
wilderness, patiently waiting the return of his victims.

Meanwhile Blasco Nunez had pushed forward his retreat to Popayan,
the capital of Benalcazar's province. Here he was kindly
received by the people; and his soldiers, reduced by desertion
and disease to one fifth of their original number, rested from
the unparalleled fatigues of a march which had continued for more
than two hundred leagues. *16 It was not long before he was
joined by Cabrera, Benalcazar's lieutenant, with a stout
reinforcement, and, soon after, by that chieftain himself. His
whole force now amounted to near four hundred men, most of them
in good condition, and well trained in the school of American
warfare. His own men were sorely deficient both in arms and
ammunition; and he set about repairing the want by building
furnaces for manufacturing arquebuses and pikes. *17 - One
familiar with the history of these times is surprised to see the
readiness with which the Spanish adventurers turned their hands
to various trades and handicrafts usually requiring a long
apprenticeship. They displayed the dexterity so necessary to
settlers in a new country, where every man must become in some
degree his own artisan. But this state of things, however
favorable to the ingenuity of the artist, is not very propitious
to the advancement of the art; and there can be little doubt that
the weapons thus made by the soldiers of Blasco Nunez were of the
most rude and imperfect construction.

[Footnote 16: This retreat of Blasco Nunez may undoubtedly
compare, if not in duration, at least in sharpness of suffering,
with any expedition in the New World, - save, indeed, that of
Gonzalo Pizarro himself to the Amazon. The particulars of it may
be found, with more or less amplification, in Zarate, Conq. del
Peru, lib. 5, cap. 19, 29. - Carta de Gonzalo Pizarro a Valdivia,
Ms. - Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 7, lib. 9, cap. 20-26. -
Fernandez, Hist. del Peru, Parte 1, lib. 1, cap. 40, et seq. -
Relacion de los Sucesos del Peru, Ms - Relacion Anonima, Ms. -
Montesions, Annales, Ms., ano 1545.]

[Footnote 17: "Proveio, que se tragese alli todo el hierro que se
pudo haver en la Provincia, i busco Maestros, hico aderecar
Fraguas, i en breve tiempo se forjaron en ellas docien tos
Arcabuces, con todos sus aparejos." Zarate, Conq. del Peru, lib.
5, cap 34.]

As week after week rolled away, Gonzalo Pizarro, though fortified
with the patience of a Spanish soldier, felt uneasy at the
protracted stay of Blasco Nunez in the north, and he resorted to
stratagem to decoy him from his retreat. He marched out of Quito
with the greater part of his forces, pretending that he was going
to support his lieutenant in the south, while he left a garrison
in the city under the command of Puelles, the same officer who
had formerly deserted from the viceroy. These tidings he took
care should be conveyed to the enemy's camp. The artifice
succeeded as he wished. Blasco Nunez and his followers,
confident in their superiority over Puelles, did not hesitate for
a moment to profit by the supposed absence of Pizarro.
Abandoning Popayan, the viceroy, early in January, 1546, moved by
rapid marches towards the south. But before he reached the place
of his destination, he became apprised of the snare into which he
had been drawn. He communicated the fact to his officers; but he
had already suffered so much from suspense, that his only desire
now was, to bring his quarrel with Pizarro to the final
arbitrament of arms.
That chief, meanwhile, had been well informed, through his
spies,of the viceroy's movements. On learning the departure of
the latter from Popayan, he had reentered Quito, joined his
forces with those of Puelles, and, issuing from the capital, had
taken up a strong position about three leagues to the north, on a
high ground that commanded a stream, across which the enemy must
pass. It was not long before the latter came in sight, and
Blasco Nunez, as night began to fall, established himself on the
opposite bank of the rivulet. It was so near to the enemy's
quarters, that the voices of the sentinels could be distinctly
heard in the opposite camps, and they did not fail to salute one
another with the epithet of "traitors." In these civil wars, as
we have seen, each party claimed for itself the exclusive merit
of loyalty. *18

[Footnote 18: "Que se llegaron a hablar los Corredores de ambas
partes, Ilamandose Traidores los vnos a los otros, fundando, que
cada vno sustentaba la voz del Rei, i asi estuvieron toda aquella
noche aguardando." Ibid., ubi supra.]

But Benalcazar soon saw that Pizarro's position was too strong to
be assailed with any chance of success. He proposed, therefore,
to the viceroy, to draw off his forces secretly in the night;
and, making a detour round the hills, to fall on the enemy's
rear, where he would be at least prepared to receive them. The
counsel was approved; and, no sooner were the two hosts shrouded
from each other's eyes by the darkness, than, leaving his
camp-fires burning to deceive the enemy, Blasco Nunez broke up
his quarters, and began his circuitous march in the direction of
Quito. But either he had been misinformed, or his guides misled
him; for the roads proved so impracticable, that he was compelled
to make a circuit of such extent, that dawn broke before he drew
near the point of attack. Finding that he must now abandon the
advantage of a surprise, he pressed forward to Quito, where he
arrived with men and horses sorely fatigued by a night-march of
eight leagues, from a point which, by the direct route, would not
have exceeded three. It was a fatal error on the eve of an
engagement. *19

[Footnote 19: For the preceding pages, see Zarate, Conq. del
Peru, lib. 5, cap. 34, 35. - Gomara, Hist. de las Ind., cap. 167.
- Carta de Gonzalo Pizarro a Valdivia, Ms. - Montesinos, Annales,
Ms., ano 1546. - Fernandez, Hist. del Peru, Parte 1, lib. 1, cap.

Herrera, in his account of these transactions, has fallen into a
strange confusion of dates, fixing the time of the viceroy's
entry into Quito on the 10th of January, and that of his battle
with Pizarro nine days later (Hist. General, dec. 8, lib. 1, cap
1.) This last event, which, by the testimony of Fernandez, was on
the eighteenth of the month, was by the agreement of such
contemporary authorities as I have consulted, - as stated in the
text, - on the evening of the same day in which the viceroy
entered Quito. Herrera, though his work is arranged on the
chronological system of annals, is by no means immaculate as to
his dates. Quintana has exposed several glaring anachronisms of
the historian in the earlier period of the Peruvian conquest.
See his Espanoles Celebres, tom. II. Appendix, No. 7.]

He found the capital nearly deserted by the men. They had all
joined the standard of Pizarro; for they had now caught the
general spirit of disaffection, and looked upon that chief as
their protector from the oppressive ordinances. Pizarro was the
representative of the people. Greatly moved at this desertion,
the unhappy viceroy, lifting his hands to heaven, exclaimed, -
"Is it thus, Lord, that thou abandonest thy servants?" The women
and children came out, and in vain offered him food, of which he
stood obviously in need, asking him, at the same time, "Why he
had come there to die?" His followers, with more indifference
than their commander, entered the houses of the inhabitants, and
unceremoniously appropriated whatever they could find to appease
the cravings of appetite.
Benalcazar, who saw the temerity of giving battle, in their
present condition, recommended the viceroy to try the effect of
negotiation, and offered himself to go to the enemy's camp, and
arrange, if possible, terms of accommodation with Pizarro. But
Blasco Nunez, if he had desponded for a moment, had now recovered
his wonted constancy, and he proudly replied, - "There is no
faith to be kept with traitors. We have come to fight, not to
parley; and we must do our duty like good and loyal cavaliers. I
will do mine," he continued, "and be assured I will be the first
man to break a lance with the enemy." *20

[Footnote 20: "Yo os prometo, que la primera laca que se rompa en
los enemigos, sea la mia (y assi lo cumplio). Fernandez, Hist.
del Peru, Parte 1, lib. 1, cap. 53.]

He then called his troops together, and addressed to them a few
words preparatory to marching "You are all brave men," he said,
"and loyal to your sovereign. For my own part, I hold life as
little in comparison with my duty to my prince. Yet let us not
distrust our success; the Spaniard, in a good cause, has often
overcome greater odds than these. And we are fighting for the
right; it is the cause of God, - the cause of God," *21 he
concluded, and the soldiers, kindled by his generous ardor,
answered him with huzzas that went to the heart of the
unfortunate commander, little accustomed of late to this display
of enthusiasm.

[Footnote 21: "Que de Dios es la causa, de Dios es la causa, de
Dios es la causa." Zarate, Conq. del Peru, lib. 5, cap. 35.]

It was the eighteenth of January, 1546, when Blasco Nunez marched
out at the head of his array, from the ancient city of Quito. He
had proceeded but a mile, *22 when he came in view of the enemy
formed along the crest of some high lands, which by a gentle
swell, rose gradually from the plains of Anaquito. Gonzalo
Pizarro, greatly chagrined on ascertaining the departure of the
viceroy, early in the morning, had broken up his camp, and
directed his march on the capital, fully resolved that his enemy
should not escape him.

[Footnote 22: "Un quarto de legua de la ciudad." Carta de Gonzalo
Pizarro a Valdivia, Ms.]

The viceroy's troops, now coming to a halt, were formed in order
of battle. A small body of arquebusiers was stationed in the
advance to begin the fight. The remainder of that corps was
distributed among the spearmen, who occupied the centre,
protected on the flanks by the horse drawn up in two nearly equal
squadrons. The cavalry amounted to about one hundred and forty,
being little inferior to that on the other side, though the whole
number of the viceroy's forces, being less than four hundred, did
not much exceed the half of his rival's. On the right, and in
front of the royal banner, Blasco Nunez, supported by thirteen
chosen cavaliers, took his station, prepared to head the attack.

Pizarro had formed his troops in a corresponding manner with that
of his adversary. They mustered about seven hundred in all, well
appointed, in good condition, and officered by the best knights
in Peru. *23 As, notwithstanding his superiority of numbers,
Pizarro did not seem inclined to abandon his advantageous
position, Blasco Nunez gave orders to advance. The action
commenced with the arquebusiers, and in a few moments the dense
clouds of smoke, rolling over the field, obscured every object;
for it was late in the day when the action began, and the light
was rapidly fading.
[Footnote 23: The amount of the numbers on both sides is
variously given, as usual, making, however, more than the usual
difference in the relative proportions, since the sum total is so
small. I have conformed to the statements of the best-instructed
writers. Pizarro estimates his adversary's force at four hundred
and fifty men, and his own at only six hundred; an estimate, it
may be remarked, that does not make the given in the text any
less credible.]

The infantry, now levelling their pikes, advanced under cover of
the smoke, and were soon hotly engaged with the opposite files of
spearmen. Then came the charge of the cavalry, which -
notwithstanding they were thrown into some disorder by the fire
of Pizarro's arquebusiers, far superior in number to their own -
was conducted with such spirit that the enemy's horse were
compelled to reel and fall back before it. But it was only to
recoil with greater violence, as, like an overwhelming wave,
Pizarro's troopers rushed on their foes, driving them along the
slope, and bearing down man and horse in indiscriminate ruin.
Yet these, in turn, at length rallied, cheered on by the cries
and desperate efforts of their officers. The lances were
shivered, and they fought hand to hand with swords and
battle-axes mingled together in wild confusion. But the struggle
was of no long duration; for, though the numbers were nearly
equal, the viceroy's cavalry, jaded by the severe march of the
previous night, *24 were no match for their antagonists. The
ground was strewn with the wreck of their bodies; and horses and
riders, the dead and the dying, lay heaped on one another.
Cabrera, the brave lieutenant of Benalcazar, was slain, and that
commander was thrown under his horse's feet, covered with wounds,
and left for dead on the field. Alvarez, the judge, was mortally
wounded. Both he and his colleague Cepeda were in the action,
though ranged on opposite sides, fighting as if they had been
bred to arms, not to the peaceful profession of the law.

[Footnote 24: Zarate, Conq. del Peru, lib. 5, cap. 35.]

Yet Blasco Nunez and his companions maintained a brave struggle
on the right of the field. The viceroy had kept his word by
being the first to break his lance against the enemy, and by a
well-directed blow had borne a cavalier, named Alonso de
Montalvo, clean out of his saddle. But he was at length
overwhelmed by numbers, and, as his companions, one after
another, fell by his side, he was left nearly unprotected. He
was already wounded, when a blow on the head from the battle-axe
of a soldier struck him from his horse, and he fell stunned on
the ground. Had his person been known, he might have been taken
alive, but he wore a sobre-vest of Indian cotton over his armour,
which concealed the military order of St. James, and the other
badges of his rank. *25

[Footnote 25: He wore this dress, says Garcilasso de la Vega,
that he might fare no better than a common soldier, but take his
chance with the rest. (Com. Real., Parte 2, lib. 4, cap. 34.)
Pizarro gives him credit for no such magnanimous intent.
According to him, the viceroy assumed this disguise, that, his
rank being unknown, he might have the better chance for escape. -
It must be confessed that this is the general motive for a
disguise. "I Blasco Nunez puso mucha diligencia por poder huirse
si pudiera, porque venia vestido con una camiseta de Yndios por
no ser conocido, i no quiso Dios porque pagase quantos males por
su causa se havian hecho." Carta de Gonzalo Pizarro a Valdivia.

His person, however, was soon recognized by one of Pizarro's
followers, who, not improbably, had once followed the viceroy's
banner. The soldier immediately pointed him out to the Licentiate
Carbajal. This person was the brother of the cavalier whom, as
the reader may remember, Blasco Nunez had so rashly put to death
in his palace at Lima. The licentiate had afterwards taken
service under Pizarro, and, with several of his kindred, was
pledged to take vengeance on the viceroy. Instantly riding up,
he taunted the fallen commander with the murder of his brother,
and was in the act of dismounting to despatch him with his own
hand, when Puelles remonstrating on this, as an act of
degradation, commanded one of his attendants, a black slave, to
cut off the viceroy's head. This the fellow executed with a
single stroke of his sabre, while the wretched man, perhaps then
dying of his wounds, uttered no word, but with eyes imploringly
turned up towards heaven, received the fatal blow. *26 The head
was then borne aloft on a pike, and some were brutal enough to
pluck out the grey hairs from the beard and set them in their
caps, as grisly trophies of their victory. *27 The fate of the
day was now decided. Yet still the infantry made a brave stand,
keeping Pizarro's horse at bay with their bristling array of
pikes. But their numbers were thinned by the arquebusiers; and,
thrown into disorder, they could no longer resist the onset of
the horse, who broke into their column, and soon scattered and
drove them off the ground. The pursuit was neither long nor
bloody; for darkness came on, and Pizarro bade his trumpets
sound, to call his men together under their banners.

[Footnote 26: Fernandez, Hist. del Peru, Parte 1, lib. 1, cap.
54. - Zarate, Conq. del Peru, lib. 5, cap. 35.

"Mando a un Negro que traia, que le cortase la Cabeca, i en todo
esto no se conocio flaqueca en el Visorrei, ni hablo palabra, ni
hico mas movimiento, que alcar los ojos al Cielo, dando muestras
de mucha Christiandad, i constancia." Herrera, Hist. General,
dec. 8, lib. 1, cap. 3.]

[Footnote 27: "Aviendo algunos capitanes y personas arrancado y
pelado algunas de sus blancas y leales baruas, para traer por
empresa, y Jua de la Torre las traxo despues publicamente en la
gorra por la ciudad de los Reyes." Fernandez, Hist. del Peru,
Parte 1, lib. 1, cap. 54.]
Though the action lasted but a short time, nearly one third of
the viceroy's troops had perished. The loss of their opponents
was inconsiderable. *28 Several of the vanquished cavaliers took
refuge in the churches of Quito. But they were dragged from the
sanctuary, and some - probably those who had once espoused the
cause of Pizarro - were led to execution, and others banished to
Chili. The greater part were pardoned by the conqueror.
Benalcazar, who recovered from his wounds, was permitted to
return to his government, on condition of no more bearing arms
against Pizarro. His troops were invited to take service under
the banner of the victor, who, however, never treated them with
the confidence shown to his ancient partisans. He was greatly
displeased at the indignities offered to the viceroy; whose
mangled remains he caused to be buried with the honors due to his
rank in the cathedral of Quito. Gonzalo Pizarro, attired in
black, walked as chief mourner in the procession. - It was usual
with the Pizarros, as we have seen, to pay these obituary honors
to their victims. *29

[Footnote 28: The estimates of killed and wounded in this action
are as discordant as usual. Some carry the viceroy's loss to two
hundred, while Gonzalo Pizarro rates his own at only seven killed
and but a few wounded. But how rarely is that a faithful bulletin
is issued by the parties engaged in the action!]

[Footnote 29: For the accounts of the battle of Anaquito, rather
summarily despatched by most writers, see Carta de Gonzalo
Pizarro a Valdivia, Ms. - Gomara, Hist. de las Ind., cap. 170. -
Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 8, lib. 1, cap. 1 - 3. - Pedro
Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Zarate, Conq. del Peru, lib. 5,
cap. 35. - Montesinos, Annales, Ms., ano 1546. - Garcilasso, Com.
Real., Parte 2, lib. 4, cap. 33-35. - Fernandez, Hist. del Peru,
Parte 1, lib. 1, cap. 53, 54.

Gonzalo Pizarro seems to regard the battle as a sort of judicial
trial by combat, in which Heaven, by the result, plainly
indicated the right. His remarks are edifying. "Por donde
parecera claramente que Nuestro Senor fue servido este se viniese
a meter en las manos para quitarnos de tantos cuidados, i que
pagase quantos males havia fecho en la tierra, la qual quedo tan
asosegada i tan en paz i servicio de S. M. como lo estuvo en
tiempo del Marques mi hermano." Carta de Gonzalo Pizarro a
Valdivia, Ms.]

Such was the sad end of Blasco Nunez Vela, first viceroy of Peru.
It was less than two years since he had set foot in the country,
a period of unmitigated disaster and disgrace. His misfortunes
may be imputed partly to circumstances, and partly to his own
character. The minister of an odious and oppressive law, he was
intrusted with no discretionary power in the execution of it. *30
Yet every man may, to a certain extent, claim the right to such a
power; since, to execute a commission, which circumstances show
must certainly defeat the object for which it was designed, would
be absurd. But it requires sagacity to determine the existence
of such a contingency, and moral courage to assume the
responsibility of acting on it. Such a crisis is the severest
test of character. To dare to disobey from a paramount sense of
duty, is a paradox that a little soul can hardly comprehend.
Unfortunately, Blasco Nunez was a pedantic martinet, a man of
narrow views, who could not feel himself authorized under any
circumstances to swerve from the letter of the law. Puffed up by
his brief authority, moreover, he considered opposition to the
ordinances as treason to himself; and thus, identifying himself
with his commission, he was prompted by personal feelings, quite
as much as by those of a public and patriotic nature.

[Footnote 30: Garcilasso's reflections on this point are
commendably tolerant. "Assi acabo este buen cauallero, por
querer porfiar tanto en la execucion de lo que ni a su Rey ni a
aquel Reyno conuenia: donde se causaron tantas muertes y danos de
Espanoles, y de Yndios: aunque no tuuo tanta culpa como se la
atribuye, porque lleuo preciso mandato de lo que hizo." Com. Rean
Parte 2, lib. 4, cap. 34.]

Neither was the viceroy's character of a kind that tended to
mitigate the odium of his measures, and reconcile the people to
their execution. It afforded a strong contrast to that of his
rival, Pizarro, whose frank, chivalrous bearing, and generous
confidence in his followers, made him universally popular,
blinding their judgments, and giving to the worse the semblance
of the better cause. Blasco Nunez, on the contrary, irritable
and suspicious, placed himself in a false position with all whom
he approached; for a suspicious temper creates an atmosphere of
distrust around it that kills every kindly affection. His first
step was to alienate the members of the Audience who were sent to
act in concert with him. But this was their fault as well as
his, since they were as much too lax, as he was too severe, in
the interpretation of the law. *31 He next alienated and outraged
the people whom he was appointed to govern. And, lastly, he
disgusted his own friends, and too often turned them into
enemies; so that, in his final struggle for power and for
existence, he was obliged to rely on the arm of the stranger.
Yet in the catalogue of his qualities we must not pass in silence
over his virtues. There are two to the credit of which he is
undeniably entitled, - a loyalty, which shone the brighter amidst
the general defection around him, and a constancy under
misfortune, which might challenge the respect even of his
enemies. But with the most liberal allowance for his merits, it
can scarcely be doubted that a person more incompetent to the
task assigned him could not have been found in Castile. *32

[Footnote 31: Blasco Nunez characterized the four judges of the
Audience in a manner more concise than complimentary, - a boy, a
madman, a booby, and a dunce! "Decia muchas veces Blasco Nunez,
que le havian dado el Emperador, i su Consejo de Indias vn Moco,
un Loco, un Necio, vn Tonto por Oidores, que asi lo havian hecho
como ellos eran. Moco era Cepeda, i llamaba Loco a Juan Alvarez,
i Necio a Tejada, que no sabia Latin." Gomara, Hist. de las Ind.,
cap. 171.]

[Footnote 32: The account of Blasco Nunez Vela rests chiefly on
the authority of loyal writers, some of whom wrote after their
return to Castile. They would, therefore, more naturally lean to
the side of the true representative of the Crown, than to that of
the rebel. Indeed, the only voice raised decidedly in favor of
Pizarro is his own, - a very suspicious authority. Yet, with all
the prestiges in his favor, the administration of Blasco Nunez,
from universal testimony, was a total failure. And there is
little to interest us in the story of the man, except his
unparalleled misfortunes and the firmness with which he bore

The victory of Anaquito was received with general joy in the
neighbouring capital; all the cities of Peru looked on it as
sealing the downfall of the detested ordinances, and the name of
Gonzalo Pizarro was sounded from one end of the country to the
other as that of its deliverer. That chief continued to prolong
his stay in Quito during the wet season, dividing his time
between the licentious pleasures of the reckless adventurer and
the cares of business that now pressed on him as ruler of the
state. His administration was stained with fewer acts of
violence than might have been expected from the circumstances of
his situation. So long as Carbajal, the counsellor in whom he
unfortunately placed greatest reliance, was absent, Gonzalo
sanctioned no execution, it was observed, but according to the
forms of law. *33 He rewarded his followers by new grants of
land, and detached several on expeditions, to no greater
distance, however, than would leave it in his power readily to
recall them. He made various provisions for the welfare of the
natives, and some, in particular, for instructing them in the
Christian faith. He paid attention to the faithful collection of
the royal dues, urging on the colonists that they should deport
themselves so as to conciliate the good-will of the Crown, and
induce a revocation of the ordinances. His administration in
short, was so conducted, that even the austere Gasca, his
successor, allowed "it was a good government, - for a tyrant."
[Footnote 33: "Nunca Picarro, en ausencia de Francisco de
Carvajal, su Maestre de Campo, mato, ni consintio matar Espanol,
sin que todos, los mas de su Consejo, lo aprobasen: i entonces
con Proceso en forma de Derecho, i confesados primero." Gomara,
Hist. de las Ind., cap. 172.]
[Footnote 34: Ibid., ubi supra. - Fernandez gives a less
favorable picture of Gonzalo's administration. (Hist. del Peru,
Parte 1, lib. 1, cap. 54; lib. 2, cap. 13.) Fernandez wrote at
the instance of the Court; Gomara, though present at court, wrote
to please himself. The praise of Gomara is less suspicious than
the censure of Fernandez.]

At length, in July, 1546, the new governor bade adieu to Quito,
and, leaving there a sufficient garrison under his officer
Puelles, began his journey to the south. It was a triumphal
progress, and everywhere he was received on the road with
enthusiasm by the people. At Truxillo, the citizens came out in
a body to welcome him, and the clergy chanted anthems in his
honor, extolling him as the "victorious prince," and imploring
the Almighty "to lengthen his days, and give him honor." *35 At
Lima, it was proposed to clear away some of the buildings, and
open a new street for his entrance, which might ever after bear
the name of the victor. But the politic chieftain declined this
flattering tribute, and modestly preferred to enter the city by
the usual way. A procession was formed of the citizens, the
soldiers, and the clergy, and Pizarro made his entry into the
capital with two of his principal captains on foot, holding the
reins of his charger, while the archbishop of Lima, and the
bishops of Cuzco, Quito, and Bogota, the last of whom had lately
come to the city to be consecrated, rode by his side. The
streets were strewn with boughs, the walls of the houses hung
with showy tapestries, and triumphal arches were thrown over the
way in honor of the victor. Every balcony, veranda, and
house-top was crowded with spectators, who sent up huzzas, loud
and long, saluting the victorious soldier with the titles of
"Liberator, and Protector of the people." The bells rang out
their joyous peal, as on his former entrance into the capital;
and amidst strains of enlivening music, and the blithe sounds of
jubilee, Gonzalo held on his way to the palace of his brother.
Peru was once more placed under the dynasty of the Pizarros. *36

[Footnote 35: "Victorioso Principe, hagate Dios dichoso, l
bienaventurado, el te mantenga, i te conserve." Herrera, Hist.
General, dec. 8, lib. 2, cap. 9.]

[Footnote 36: For an account of this pageant, see Pedro Pizarro,
Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 8, lib. 2,
cap. 9. - Zarate, Conq. del Peru, lib. 6, cap. 5. - Carta de
Gonzalo Pizarro a Valdivia, Ms.]

Deputies came from different parts of the country, tendering the
congratulations of their respective cities; and every one eagerly
urged his own claims to consideration for the services he had
rendered in the revolution. Pizarro, at the same time, received
the welcome intelligence of the success of his arms in the south.
Diego Centeno, as before stated, had there raised the standard of
rebellion, or rather, of loyalty to his sovereign. He had made
himself master of La Plata, and the spirit of insurrection had
spread over the broad province of Charcas. Carbajal, who had
been sent against him from Quito, after repairing to Lima, had
passed at once to Cuzco, and there, strengthening his forces, had
descended by rapid marches on the refractory district. Centeno
did not trust himself in the field against this formidable
champion. He retreated with his troops into the fastnesses of
the sierra. Carbajal pursued, following on his track with the
pertinacity of a bloodhound; over mountain and moor, through
forests and dangerous ravines, allowing him no respite, by day or
by night. Eating, drinking, sleeping in his saddle, the veteran,
eighty years of age, saw his own followers tire one after
another, while he urged on the chase, like the wild huntsman of
Burger, as if endowed with an unearthly frame, incapable of
fatigue! During this terrible pursuit, which continued for more
than two hundred leagues over a savage country, Centeno found
himself abandoned by most of his followers. Such of them as fell
into Carbajal's hands were sent to speedy execution; for that
inexorable chief had no mercy on those who had been false to
their party. *37 At length, Centeno, with a handful of men,
arrived on the borders of the Pacific, and there, separating from
one another, they provided, each in the best way he could, for
their own safety. Their leader found an asylum in a cave in the
mountains, where he was secretly fed by an Indian curaca, till
the time again came for him to unfurl the standard of revolt. *38

[Footnote 37: Poblando los arboles con sus cuerpos, "peopling the
trees with heir bodies," says Fernandez, strongly; alluding to
the manner in which the ferocious officer hung up his captives on
the branches.]
[Footnote 38: For the expedition of Carbajal, see Herrera, Hist.
General, dec. 8, lib. 1, cap. 9, et seq. - Zarate, Conq. del
Peru, lib. 6, cap. 1. - Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 2, lib. 4,
cap. 28, 29, 36, 39. - Fernandez, Hist. del Peru, Parte 1, lib.
2, cap. 1, et seq. - Carta de Gonzalo Pizarro a Valdivia, Ms.

It is impossible to give, in a page or two, any adequate idea of
the hairbreadth escapes and perilous risks of Carbajal, not only
from the enemy, but from his own men, whose strength he
overtasked in the chase. They rival those of the renowned
Scanderbeg, or our own Kentucky hero, Colonel Boone. They were,
indeed, far more wonderful than theirs, since the Spanish captain
had reached an age when the failing energies usually crave
repose. But the veteran's body seems to have been as insensible
as his soul.]

Carbajal, after some further decisive movements, which fully
established the ascendency of Pizarro over the south, returned in
triumph to La Plata. There he occupied himself with working the
silver mines of Potosi, in which a vein, recently opened,
promised to make richer returns than any yet discovered in Mexico
or Peru; *39 and he was soon enabled to send large remittances to
Lima, deducting no stinted commission for himself, - for the
cupidity of the lieutenant was equal to his cruelty.
[Footnote 39: The vein now discovered at Potosi was so rich, that
the other mines were comparatively deserted in order to work
this. (Zarate, Conq. del Peru, lib. 6, cap 4) The effect of the
sudden influx of wealth was such, according to Garcilasso, that
in ten years from this period an iron horseshoe, in that quarter,
came to be worth nearly its weight in silver. Com. Real., Parte
1, lib. 8, cap. 24.]

Gonzalo Pizarro was now undisputed master of Peru. From Quito to
the northern confines of Chili, the whole country acknowledged
his authority. His fleet rode triumphant on the Pacific, and gave
him the command of every city and hamlet on its borders. His
admiral, Hinojosa, a discreet and gallant officer, had secured
him Panama, and, marching across the Isthmus, had since obtained
for him the possession of Nombre de Dios, - the principal key of
communication with Europe. His forces were on an excellent
footing, including the flower of the warriors who had fought
under his brother, and who now eagerly rallied under the name of
Pizarro; while the tide of wealth that flowed in from the mines
of Potosi supplied him with the resources of an European monarch.

The new governor now began to assume a state correspondent with
his full-blown fortunes. He was attended by a body-guard of
eighty soldiers. He dined always in public, and usually with not
less than a hundred guests at table. He even affected, it was
said, the more decided etiquette of royalty, giving his hand to
be kissed, and allowing no one, of whatever rank, to be seated in
his presence. *40 But this is denied by others. It would not be
strange that a vain man like Pizarro, with a superficial,
undisciplined mind, when he saw himself thus raised from an
humble condition to the highest post in the land, should be
somewhat intoxicated by the possession of power, and treat with
superciliousness those whom he had once approached with
deference. But one who had often seen him in his prosperity
assures us, that it was not so, and that the governor continued
to show the same frank and soldierlike bearing as before his
elevation, mingling on familiar terms with his comrades, and
displaying the same qualities which had hitherto endeared him to
the people. *41
[Footnote 40: "Traia Guarda de ochenta Alabarderos, i otros
muchos de Caballo, que le acompanaban, i ia en su presencia
ninguno se sentaba, i a mui pocos quitaba la Gorra." Zarate,
Conq. del Peru lib 6 cap. 5.]
[Footnote 41: Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 2, lib. 4, cap. 42.
Garcilasso had opportunities of personal acquaintance with
Gonzalo's manner of living; for, when a boy, he was sometimes
admitted, as he tells us, to a place at his table. This
courtesy, so rare from the Conquerors to any of the Indian race,
was not lost on the historian of the Incas, who has depicted
Gonzalo Pizarro in more favorable colors than most of his own

However this may be, it is certain there were not wanting those
who urged him to throw off his allegiance to the Crown, and set
up an independent government for himself. Among these was his
lieutenant, Carbajal, whose daring spirit never shrunk from
following things to their consequences. He plainly counselled
Pizarro to renounce his allegiance at once. "In fact, you have
already done so," he said. "You have been in arms against a
viceroy, have driven him from the country, beaten and slain him
in battle. What favor, or even mercy, can you expect from the
Crown? You have gone too far either to halt, or to recede. You
must go boldly on, proclaim yourself king; the troops, the
people, will support you." And he concluded, it is said, by
advising him to marry the Coya, the female representative of the
Incas, that the two races might henceforth repose in quiet under
a common sceptre! *42

[Footnote 42: Ibid., Parte 2, lib. 4, cap. 40. - Gomara, Hist. de
las Ind., cap. 172 - Fernandez, Hist. del Peru, Parte 1. lib. 2,
cap. 13.
The poet Molina has worked up this scene between Carbajal and his
commander with good effect, in his Amazonas en las Indias, where
he uses something of a poet's license in the homage he pays to
the modest merits of Gonzalo. Julius Caesar himself was not more
"Sepa mi Rey, sepa Espana,
Que muero por no ofenderla,
Tan facil de conservarla,
Que pierdo por no agraviarla,
Quanto infame en poseerla,
Una Corona ofrecida."

Among the biographical notices of the writers on Spanish colonial
affairs, the name of Herrera, who has done more for this vast
subject than any other author, should certainly not be omitted.
His account of Peru takes its proper place in his great work, the
Historia General de las Indias, according to the chronological
plan on which that history is arranged. But as it suggests
reflections not different in character from those suggested by
other portions of the work, I shall take the liberty to refer the
reader to the Postscript to Book Third of the Conquest of Mexico,
for a full account of these volumes and their learned author.
Another chronicler, to whom I have been frequently indebted in
the progress of the narrative, is Francisco Lopez de Gomara. The
reader will also find a notice of this author in the Conquest of
Mexico, Vol. III., Book 5, Postscript. But as the remarks on his
writings are there confined to his Cronica de Nueva Espana, it
may be well to add here some reflections on his greater work,
Historia de las Indias, in which the Peruvian story bears a
conspicuous part.

The "History of the Indies" is intended to give a brief view of
the whole range of Spanish conquest in the islands and on the
American continent, as far as had been achieved by the middle of
the sixteenth century. For this account, Gomara, though it does
not appear that he ever visited the New World, was in a situation
that opened to him the best means of information. He was well
acquainted with the principal men of the time, and gathered the
details of their history from their own lips; while, from his
residence at court, he was in possession of the state of opinion
there, and of the impression made by passing events on those most
competent to judge of them. He was thus enabled to introduce
into his work many interesting particulars, not to be found in
other records of the period. His range of inquiry extended
beyond the mere doings of the Conquerors, and led him to a survey
of the general resources of the countries he describes, and
especially of their physical aspect and productions. The conduct
of his work, no less than its diction, shows the cultivated
scholar, practised in the art of composition. Instead of the
naivete, engaging, but childlike, of the old military
chroniclers, Gomara handles his various topics with the shrewd
and piquant criticism of a man of the world; while his
descriptions are managed with a comprehensive brevity that forms
the opposite to the longwinded and rambling paragraphs of the
monkish annalist. These literary merits, combined with the
knowledge of the writer's opportunities for information, secured
his productions from the oblivion which too often awaits the
unpublished manuscript; and he had the satisfaction to see them
pass into more than one edition in his own day. Yet they do not
bear the highest stamp of authenticity. The author too readily
admits accounts into his pages which are not supported by
contemporary testimony. This he does, not from credulity, for
his mind rather leans in an opposite direction, but from a want,
apparently, of the true spirit of historic conscientiousness.
The imputation of carelessness in his statements - to use a
temperate phrase - was brought against Gomara in his own day; and
Garcilasso tells us, that, when called to account by some of the
Peruvian cavaliers for misstatements which bore hard on
themselves, the historian made but an awkward explanation. This
is a great blemish on his productions, and renders them of far
less value to the modern compiler, who seeks for the well of
truth undefiled, than many an humbler but less unscrupulous
There is still another authority used in this work, Gonzalo
Fernandez de Oviedo, of whom I have given an account elsewhere;
and the reader curious in the matter will permit me to refer him
for a critical notice of his life and writings to the Conquest of
Mexico, Book 4, Postscript. - His account of Peru is incorporated
into his great work, Natural e General Historia de las Indias,
Ms., where it forms the forty-sixth and forty-seventh books. It
extends from Pizarro's landing at Tumbez to Almagro's return from
Chili, and thus covers the entire portion of what may be called
the conquest of the country. The style of its execution,
corresponding with that of the residue of the work to which it
belongs, affords no ground for criticism different from that
already passed on the general character of Oviedo's writings.

This eminent person was at once a scholar and a man of the world.
Living much at court, and familiar with persons of the highest
distinction in Castile, he yet passed much of his time in the
colonies, and thus added the fruits of personal experience to
what he had gained from the reports of others. His curiosity was
indefatigable, extending to every department of natural science,
as well as to the civil and personal history of the colonists.
He was, at once, their Pliny and their Tacitus. His works abound
in portraitures of character, sketched with freedom and
animation. His reflections are piquant, and often rise to a
philosophic tone, which discards the usual trammels of the age;
and the progress of the story is varied by a multiplicity of
personal anecdotes, that give a rapid insight into the characters
of the parties.

With his eminent qualifications, and with a social position that
commanded respect, it is strange that so much of his writings -
the whole of his great Historia de las Indias, and his curious
Quincuagenas - should be so long suffered to remain in
manuscript. This is partly chargeable to the caprice of fortune;
for the History was more than once on the eve of publication, and
is even now understood to be prepared for the press. Yet it has
serious defects, which may have contributed to keep it in its
present form. In its desultory and episodical style of
composition, it resembles rather notes for a great history, than
history itself. It may be regarded in the light of commentaries,
or as illustrations of the times. In that view his pages are of
high worth, and have been frequently resorted to by writers who
have not too scrupulously appropriated the statements of the old
chronicler, with slight acknowledgments to their author.

It is a pity that Oviedo should have shown more solicitude to
tell what was new, than to ascertain how much of it was strictly
true. Among his merits will scarcely be found that of historical
accuracy. And yet we may find an apology for this, to some
extent, in the fact, that his writings, as already intimated, are
not so much in the nature of finished compositions, as of loose
memoranda, where every thing, rumor as well as fact, - even the
most contradictory rumors, - are all set down at random, forming
a miscellaneous heap of materials, of which the discreet
historian may avail himself to rear a symmetrical fabric on
foundations of greater strength and solidity.

Another author worthy of particular note is Pedro Cieza de Leon.
His Cronica del Peru should more properly be styled an Itinerary,
or rather Geography, of Peru. It gives a minute topographical
view of the country at the time of the Conquest; of its provinces
and towns, both Indian and Spanish; its flourishing sea-coast;
its forests, valleys, and interminable ranges of mountains in the
interior; with many interesting particulars of the existing
population, - their dress, manners, architectural remains, and
public works, while, scattered here and there, may be found
notices of their early history and social polity. It is, in
short, a lively picture of the country in its physical and moral
relations, as it met the eye at the time of the Conquest, and in
that transition period when it was first subjected to European
influences. The conception of a work, at so early a period, on
this philosophical plan, reminding us of that of Malte-Brun in
our own time, - parva componere magnis, - was, of itself,
indicative of great comprehensiveness of mind in its author. It
was a task of no little difficulty, where there was yet no
pathway opened by the labors of the antiquarian; no hints from
the sketch-book of the traveller, or the measurements of the
scientific explorer. Yet the distances from place to place are
all carefully jotted down by the industrious compiler, and the
bearings of the different places and their peculiar features are
exhibited with sufficient precision, considering the nature of
the obstacles he had to encounter. The literary execution of the
work, moreover, is highly respectable, sometimes even rich and
picturesque; and the author describes the grand and beautiful
scenery of the Cordilleras with a sensibility to its charms, not
often found in the tasteless topographer, still less often in the
rude Conqueror.

Cieza de Leon came to the New World, as he informs us, at the
early age of thirteen. But it is not till Gasca's time that we
find his name enrolled among the actors in the busy scenes of
civil strife, when he accompanied the president in his campaign
against Gonzalo Pizarro. His Chronicle, or, at least, the notes
for it, was compiled in such leisure as he could snatch from his
more stirring avocations; and after ten years from the time he
undertook it, the First Part - all we have - was completed in
1550, when the author had reached only the age of thirty-two. It
appeared at Seville in 1553, and the following year at Antwerp;
while an Italian translation, printed at Rome, in 1555, attested
the rapid celebrity of the work. The edition of Antwerp - the
one used by me in this compilation - is in the duodecimo form,
exceedingly well printed, and garnished with wood-cuts, in which
Satan, - for the author had a full measure of the ancient
credulity, - with his usual bugbear accompaniments, frequently
appears in bodily presence. In the Preface, Cieza announces his
purpose to continue the work in three other parts, illustrating
respectively the ancient history of the country under the Incas,
its conquest by the Spaniards, and the civil wars which ensued.
He even gives, with curious minuteness, the contents of the
several books of the projected history. But the First Part, as
already noticed, was alone completed; and the author, having
returned to Spain, died there in 1560, at the premature age of
forty-two, without having covered any portion of the magnificent
ground-plan which he had thus confidently laid out. The
deficiency is much to be regretted, considering the talent of the
writer, and his opportunities for personal observation. But he
has done enough to render us grateful for his labors. By the
vivid delineation of scenes and scenery, as they were presented
fresh to his own eyes, he has furnished us with a background to
the historic picture, - the landscape, as it were, in which the
personages of the time might be more fitly portrayed. It would
have been impossible to exhibit the ancient topography of the
land so faithfully at a subsequent period, when old things had
passed away, and the Conqueror, breaking down the landmarks of
ancient civilization, had effaced many of the features even of
the physical aspect of the country, as it existed under the
elaborate culture of the Incas.]

The advice of the bold counsellor was, perhaps, the most politic
that could have been given to Pizarro under existing
circumstances. For he was like one who had heedlessly climbed
far up a dizzy precipice, - too far to descend safely, while he
had no sure hold where he was. His only chance was to climb
still higher, till he had gained the summit. But Gonzalo Pizarro
shrunk from the attitude, in which this placed him, of avowed
rebellion. Notwithstanding the criminal course into which he had
been, of late, seduced, the sentiment of loyalty was too deeply
implanted in his bosom to be wholly eradicated. Though in arms
against the measures and ministers of his sovereign, he was not
prepared to raise the sword against that sovereign himself. He,
doubtless, had conflicting emotions in his bosom; like Macbeth,
and many a less noble nature,

"Would not play false,
And yet would wrongly win."

And however grateful to his vanity might be the picture of the
air-drawn sceptre thus painted to his imagination, he had not the
audacity - we may, perhaps, say, the criminal ambition - to
attempt to grasp it.
Even at this very moment, when urged to this desperate extremity,
he was preparing a mission to Spain, in order to vindicate the
course he had taken, and to solicit an amnesty for the past, with
a full confirmation of his authority, as successor to his brother
in the government of Peru. - Pizarro did not read the future with
the calm, prophetic eye of Carbajal.

Book V: Settlement Of The Country

Chapter I

Great Sensation In Spain. - Pedro De La Gasca. - His Early Life.
- His Mission To Peru. - His Politic Conduct. - His Offers To
Pizarro. - Gains The Fleet.

While the important revolution detailed in the preceding pages
was going forward in Peru, rumors of it, from time to time, found
their way to the mother-country; but the distance was so great,
and opportunities for communication so rare, that the tidings
were usually very long behind the occurrence of the events to
which they related. The government heard with dismay of the
troubles caused by the ordinances and the intemperate conduct of
the viceroy; and it was not long before it learned that this
functionary was deposed and driven from his capital, while the
whole country, under Gonzalo Pizarro, was arrayed in arms against
him. All classes were filled with consternation at this alarming
intelligence; and many that had before approved the ordinances
now loudly condemned the ministers, who, without considering the
inflammable temper of the people, had thus rashly fired a train
which menaced a general explosion throughout the colonies. *1 No
such rebellion, within the memory of man, had occurred in the
Spanish empire. It was compared with the famous war of the
comunidades, in the beginning of Charles the Fifth's reign. But
the Peruvian insurrection seemed the more formidable of the two.
The troubles of Castile, being under the eye of the Court, might
be the more easily managed; while it was difficult to make the
same power felt on the remote shores of the Indies. Lying along
the distant Pacific, the principle of attraction which held Peru
to the parent country was so feeble, that this colony might, at
any time, with a less impulse than that now given to it, fly from
its political orbit. It seemed as if the fairest of its jewels
was about to fall from the imperial diadem!

[Footnote 1: "Que aquello era contra una cedula que tenian del
Emperador que les daba el repartimiento de los indios de su vida,
y del hijo mayor, y no teniendo hijos a sus mugeres, con
mandarles espresamente que se casasen como lo habian ya hecho los
mas de ellos; y que tambien era contra otra cedula real que
ninguno podia ser despojado de sus indios sin ser primero oido a
justicia y condenado." Historia de Don Pedro Gasca, Obispo de
Siguenza. Ms.]

Such was the state of things in the summer of 1545, when Charles
the Fifth was absent in Germany, occupied with the religious
troubles of the empire. The government was in the hands of his
son, who, under the name of Philip the Second, was soon to sway
the sceptre over the largest portion of his father's dominions,
and who was then holding his court at Valladolid. He called
together a council of prelates, jurists, and military men of
greatest experience, to deliberate on the measures to be pursued
for restoring order in the colonies. All agreed in regarding
Pizarro's movement in the light of an audacious rebellion; and
there were few, at first, who were not willing to employ the
whole strength of government to vindicate the honor of the Crown,
- to quell the insurrection, and bring the authors of it to
punishment. *2
[Footnote 2: Ms. de Caravantes. - Hist. de Don Pedro Gasca, Ms.
One of this council was the great Duke of Alva, of such gloomy
celebrity afterwards in the Netherlands. We may well believe his
voice was for coercion.]

But, however desirable this might appear, a very little
reflection showed that it was not easy to be done, if, indeed, it
were practicable. The great distance of Peru required troops to
be transported not merely across the ocean, but over the broad
extent of the great continent. And how was this to be effected,
when the principal posts, the keys of communication with the
country, were in the hands of the rebels, while their fleet rode
in the Pacific, the mistress of its waters, cutting off all
approach to the coast? Even if a Spanish force could be landed
in Peru, what chance would it have, unaccustomed, as it would be,
to the country and the climate, of coping with the veterans of
Pizarro, trained to war in the Indies and warmly attached to the
person of their commander? The new levies thus sent out might
become themselves infected with the spirit of insurrection, and
cast off their own allegiance. *3
[Footnote 3: "Ventilose la forma del remedio de tan grave caso en
que huvo dos opiniones; la una de imbiar un gran soldado con
fuerza de gente a la demostracion de este castigo; la otra que se
llevase el negocio por prudentes y suaves medios, por la
imposibilidad y falto de dinero para llevar gente, cavallos,
armas, municiones y vastimentos, y para sustentarlos en tierra
firme y pasarlos al Piru." Ms. de Caravantes.]
Nothing remained, therefore, but to try conciliatory measures.
The government, however mortifying to its pride, must retrace its
steps. A free grace must be extended to those who submitted, and
such persuasive arguments should be used, and such politic
concessions made, as would convince the refractory colonists that
it was their interest, as well as their duty, to return to their

But to approach the people in their present state of excitement,
and to make those concessions without too far compromising the
dignity and permanent authority of the Crown, was a delicate
matter, for the success of which they must rely wholly on the
character of the agent. After much deliberation, a competent
person, as it was thought, was found in an ecclesiastic, by the
name of Pedro de la Gasca, - a name which, brighter by contrast
with the gloomy times in which it first appeared, still shines
with undiminished splendor after the lapse of ages.

Pedro de la Gasca was born, probably, towards the close of the
fifteenth century, in a small village in Castile, named Barco de
Avila. He came, both by father and mother's side, from an ancient
and noble lineage; ancient indeed, if, as his biographers
contend, he derived his descent from Casca, one of the
conspirators against Julius Caesar! *4 Having the misfortune to
lose his father early in life, he was placed by his uncle in the
famous seminary of Alcala de Henares, founded by the great
Ximenes. Here he made rapid proficiency in liberal studies,
especially in those connected with his profession, and at length
received the degree of Master of Theology.

[Footnote 4: "Pasando a Espana vinieron a tierra de Avila y quedo
del nombre dellos el lugar y familia de Gasca; mudandose por la
afinidad de la pronunciacion, que hay entre las dos letras
consonantes c. y. g. el nombre de Casca en Gasca." Hist. de Don
Pedro Gasca, Ms.

Similarity of name is a peg quite strong enough to hang a
pedigree upon in Castile.]

The young man, however, discovered other talents than those
demanded by his sacred calling. The war of the comunidades was
then raging in the country; and the authorities of his college
showed a disposition to take the popular side. But Gasca,
putting himself at the head of an armed force, seized one of the
gates of the city, and, with assistance from the royal troops,
secured the place to the interests of the Crown. This early
display of loyalty was probably not lost on his vigilant
sovereign *5
[Footnote 5: This account of the early history of Gasca I have
derived chiefly from a manuscript biographical notice written in
1465, during the prelate's life. The name of the author, who
speaks apparently from personal knowledge, is not given: but it
seems to be the work of a scholar, and is written with a certain
pretension to elegance. The original Ms. forms part of the
valuable collection of Don Pascual de Gayangos of Madrid. It is
of much value for the light it throws on the early career of
Gasca, which has been passed over in profound silence by
Castilian historians. It is to be regretted that the author did
not continue his labors beyond the period when the subject of
them received his appointment to the Peruvian mission.]

From Alcala, Gasca was afterwards removed to Salamanca; where he
distinguished himself by his skill in scholastic disputation, and
obtained the highest academic honors in that ancient university,
the fruitful nursery of scholarship and genius. He was
subsequently intrusted with the management of some important
affairs of an ecclesiastical nature, and made a member of the
Council of the Inquisition.

In this latter capacity he was sent to Valencia, about 1540, to
examine into certain alleged cases of heresy in that quarter of
the country. These were involved in great obscurity; and,
although Gasca had the assistance of several eminent jurists in
the investigation, it occupied him nearly two years. In the
conduct of this difficult matter, he showed so much penetration,
and such perfect impartiality, that he was appointed by the
Cortes of Valencia to the office of visitador of that kingdom; a
highly responsible post, requiring great discretion in the person
who filled it, since it was his province to inspect the condition
of the courts of justice and of finance, throughout the land,
with authority to reform abuses. It was proof of extraordinary
consideration, that it should have been bestowed on Gasca; since
it was a departure from the established usage - and that in a
nation most wedded to usage - to confer the office on any but a
subject of the Aragonese crown. *6
[Footnote 6: "Era tanta la opinion que en Valencia tenian de la
integridad y prudencia de Gasca, que en las Cortes de Monzon los
Estados de aquel Reyno le pidieron por Visitador contra la
costumbre y fuero de aquel Reyno, que no puede serlo sino fuere
natural de la Corona de Araugon, y consintiendo que aquel fuero
se derogase el Emperador lo concedio a instancia y peticion
dellos." Hist. de Don Pedro Gasca Ms.]
Gasca executed the task assigned to him with independence and
ability. While he was thus occupied, the people of Valencia were
thrown into consternation by a meditated invasion of the French
and the Turks, who, under the redoubtable Barbarossa, menaced the
coast and the neighbouring Balearic isles. Fears were generally
entertained of a rising of the Morisco population; and the
Spanish officers who had command in that quarter, being left
without the protection of a navy, despaired of making head
against the enemy. In this season of general panic, Gasca alone
appeared calm and self-possessed. He remonstrated with the
Spanish commanders on their unsoldierlike despondency; encouraged
them to confide in the loyalty of the Moriscos; and advised the
immediate erection of fortifications along the shores for their
protection. He was, in consequence, named one of a commission to
superintend these works, and to raise levies for defending the
sea-coast; and so faithfully was the task performed, that
Barbarossa, after some ineffectual attempts to make good his
landing, was baffled at all points, and compelled to abandon the
enterprise as hopeless. The chief credit of this resistance must
be assigned to Gasca, who superintended the construction of the
defences, and who was enabled to contribute a large part of the
requisite funds by the economical reforms he had introduced into
the administration of Valencia. *7

[Footnote 7: "Que parece cierto," says his enthusiastic
biographer, "que por disposicion Divina vino a hallarse Gasca
entonces en la Ciudad de Valencia, para remedio de aquel Reyno y
Islas de Mallorca y Menorca e lviza, segun la orden, prevencion y
diligencia que en la defensa contra las armadas del Turco y
Francia tuvo, y las provisiones que para ello hizo." Hist. de Don
Pedro Gasca, Ms.]

It was at this time, the latter part of the year 1545, that the
council of Philip selected Gasca as the person most competent to
undertake the perilous mission to Peru. *8 His character, indeed,
seemed especially suited to it. His loyalty had been shown
through his whole life. With great suavity of manners he
combined the most intrepid resolution. Though his demeanour was
humble, as beseemed his calling, it was far from abject; for he
was sustained by a conscious rectitude of purpose, that impressed
respect on all with whom he had intercourse. He was acute in his
perceptions, had a shrewd knowledge of character, and, though
bred to the cloister, possessed an acquaintance with affairs, and
even with military science, such as was to have been expected
only from one reared in courts and camps.

[Footnote 8: "Finding a lion would not answer, they sent a lamb,"
says Gomara; - "Finalmente, quiso embiar una Oveja, pues un Leon
no aprovecho; y asi escogio al Licenciado Pedro Gasca." Hist. de
las Ind., cap. 174.]
Without hesitation, therefore, the council unanimously
recommended him to the emperor, and requested his approbation of
their proceedings. Charles had not been an inattentive observer
of Gasca's course. His attention had been particularly called to
the able manner in which he had conducted the judicial process
against the heretics of Valencia. *9 The monarch saw, at once,
that he was the man for the present emergency; and he immediately
wrote to him, with his own hand, expressing his entire
satisfaction at the appointment, and intimating his purpose to
testify his sense of his worth by preferring him to one of the
principal sees then vacant.

[Footnote 9: Gasca made what the author calls una breve y copyosa
relacion of the proceedings to the emperor in Valencia; and the
monarch was so intent on the inquiry, that he devoted the whole
afternoon to it, notwithstanding his son Philip was waiting for
him to attend a fiesta! irrefragable proof, as the writer
conceives, of his zeal for the faith. -"Queriendo entender muy de
raizo todo lo que pasaba, como Principe tan zeloso que era de las
cosas de la religion." Hist. de Don Pedro Gasca, Ms.]

Gasca accepted the important mission now tendered to him without
hesitation; and, repairing to Madrid, received the instructions
of the government as to the course to be pursued. They were
expressed in the most benign and conciliatory tone, perfectly in
accordance with the suggestions of his own benevolent temper. *10
But, while he commended the tone of the instructions, he
considered the powers with which he was to be intrusted as wholly
incompetent to their object. They were conceived in the jealous
spirit with which the Spanish government usually limited the
authority of its great colonial officers, whose distance from
home gave peculiar cause for distrust. On every strange and
unexpected emergency, Gasca saw that he should be obliged to send
back for instructions. This must cause delay, where promptitude
was essential to success. The Court, moreover, as he represented
to the council, was, from its remoteness from the scene of
action, utterly incompetent to pronounce as to the expediency of
the measures to be pursued. Some one should be sent out in whom
the king could implicitly confide, and who should be invested
with powers competent to every emergency; powers not merely to
decide on what was best, but to carry that decision into
execution; and he boldly demanded that he should go not only as
the representative of the sovereign, but clothed with all the
authority of the sovereign himself. Less than this would defeat
the very object for which he was to be sent. "For myself," he
concluded, "I ask neither salary nor compensation of any kind. I
covet no display of state or military array. With my stole and
breviary I trust to do the work that is committed to me. *11
Infirm as I am in body, the repose of my own home would have been
more grateful to me than this dangerous mission; but I will not
shrink from it at the bidding of my sovereign, and if, as is very
probable, I may not be permitted again to see my native land, I
shall, at least, be cheered by the consciousness of having done
my best to serve its interests." *12

[Footnote 10: These instructions, the patriarchal tone of which
is highly creditable to the government, are given in extenso in
the Ms. of Caravantes, and in no other work which I have

[Footnote 11: "De suerte que juzgassen que la mas fuerca que
lleuaua, era su abito de clerigo y breuiario." Fernandez, Hist.
del Peru, Parte 1, lib. 2, cap. 16.]

[Footnote 12: Ms. de Caravantes. - Hist. del Don Pedro Gasca, Ms.
- Fernandez, Hist. del Peru, Parte 1, lib. 2, cap. 16, 17.

Though not for himself, Gasca did solicit one favor of the
emperor, - the appointment of his brother, an eminent jurist, to
a vacant place on the bench of one of the Castilian tribunals]

The members of the council, while they listened with admiration
to the disinterested avowal of Gasca, were astounded by the
boldness of his demands. Not that they distrusted the purity of
his motives, for these were above suspicion. But the powers for
which he stipulated were so far beyond those hitherto delegated
to a colonial viceroy, that they felt they had no warrant to
grant them. They even shrank from soliciting them from the
emperor, and required that Gasca himself should address the
monarch, and state precisely the grounds on which demands so
extraordinary were founded.

Gasca readily adopted the suggestion, and wrote in the most full
and explicit manner to his sovereign, who had then transferred
his residence to Flanders. But Charles was not so tenacious, or,
at least, so jealous, of authority, as his ministers. He had
been too long in possession of it to feel that jealousy; and,
indeed, many years were not to elapse, before, oppressed by its
weight, he was to resign it altogether into the hands of his son.
His sagacious mind, moreover, readily comprehended the
difficulties of Gasca's position. He felt that the present
extraordinary crisis was to be met only by extraordinary
measures. He assented to the force of his vassal's arguments,
and, on the sixteenth of February, 1546, wrote him another letter
expressive of his approbation, and intimated his willingness to
grant him powers as absolute as those he had requested.
Gasca was to be styled President of the Royal Audience. But,
under this simple title, he was placed at the head of every
department in the colony, civil, military, and judicial. He was
empowered to make new repartimientos, and to confirm those
already made. He might declare war, levy troops, appoint to all
offices, or remove from them, at pleasure. He might exercise the
royal prerogative of pardoning offences, and was especially
authorized to grant an amnesty to all, without exception,
implicated in the present rebellion. He was, moreover, to
proclaim at once the revocation of the odious ordinances. These
two last provisions might be said to form the basis of all his

Since ecclesiastics were not to be reached by the secular arm,
and yet were often found fomenting troubles in the colonies,
Gasca was permitted to banish from Peru such as he thought fit.
He might even send home the viceroy, if the good of the country
required it. Agreeably to his own suggestion, he was to receive
no specified stipend; but he had unlimited orders on the
treasuries both of Panama and Peru. He was furnished with
letters from the emperor to the principal authorities, not only
in Peru, but in Mexico and the neighbouring colonies, requiring
their countenance and support; and, lastly, blank letters,
bearing the royal signature, were delivered to him, which he was
to fill up at his pleasure. *13

[Footnote 13: Zarate, Conq. del Peru, lib. 6, cap. 6. - Herrera,
Hist. General, dec. 8, lib. 1, cap. 6. - Ms. de Caravantes. -
Fernandez, Hist. del Peru, Parte 1, lib. 2, cap. 17, 18. -
Gomara, Hist. de las Ind., cap. 174. - Hist. de Don Pedro Gasca,

While the grant of such unbounded powers excited the warmest
sentiments of gratitude in Gasca towards the sovereign who could
repose in him so much confidence, it seems - which is more
extra-ordinary - not to have raised corresponding feelings of
envy in the courtiers. They knew well that it was not for
himself that the good ecclesiastic had solicited them. On the
contrary, some of the council were desirous that he should be
preferred to the bishopric, as already promised him, before his
departure; conceiving that he would thus go with greater
authority than as an humble ecclesiastic, and fearing, moreover,
that Gasca himself, were it omitted, might feel some natural
disappointment. But the president hastened to remove these
impressions. "The honor would avail me little," he said, "where
I am going; and it would be manifestly wrong to appoint me to an
office in the Church, while I remain at such a distance that I
cannot discharge the duties of it. The consciousness of my
insufficiency," he continued, "should I never return, would lie
heavy on my soul in my last moments." *14 The politic reluctance
to accept the mitre has passed into a proverb. But there was no
affectation here; and Gasca's friends, yielding to his arguments,
forbore to urge the matter further.

[Footnote 14: "Especialmente, si alla muriesse o le matassen: que
entoces de nada le podria ser buena, sino para partir desta vida,
con mas congoxa y pena de la poca cuenta que daua de la prouision
que auia aceptado." Fernandez, Hist. de Peru, Parte 1, lib. 2,

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