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

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injury which the cause had sustained by the defeat at Huarina.
He sent a detachment under Alvarado to Lima, to collect such of
the royalists as had fled thither from the field of battle, and
to dismantle the ships of their cannon, and bring them to the
camp. Another body was sent to Guamanga, about sixty leagues
from Cuzco, for the similar purpose of protecting the fugitives,
and also of preventing the Indian caciques from forwarding
supplies to the insurgent army in Cuzco. As his own forces now
amounted to considerably more than any his opponent could bring
against him, Gasca determined to break up his camp without
further delay, and march on the Inca capital *2

[Footnote 2: Gasca, according to Ondegardo, supported his army,
during his stay at Xauxa, from the Peruvian granaries in the
valley, as he found a quantity of maize still remaining in them
sufficient for several years' consumption. It is passing strange
that these depositaries should have been so long respected by the
hungry Conquerors. - "Cuando el Senor Presidente Gasca passo con
la gente de castigo de Gonzalo Pizarro por el Valle de Jauja,
estuvo alli siete semanas a lo que me acuerdo, se hallaron en
deposito maiz de cuatro y de tres y de dos anos mas de 15,000
hanegas junto al camino, e alli comio la gente." Ondegardo, Rel.
Seg., Ms.]
Quitting Xauxa, December 29, 1547, he passed through Guamanga,
and after a severe march, rendered particularly fatiguing by the
inclement state of the weather and the badness of the roads, he
entered the province of Andaguaylas. It was a fair and fruitful
country, and since the road beyond would take him into the depths
of a gloomy sierra, scarcely passable in the winter snows, Gasca
resolved to remain in his present quarters until the severity of
the season was mitigated. As many of the troops had already
contracted diseases from exposure to the incessant rains, he
established a camp hospital; and the good president personally
visited the quarters of the sick, ministering to their wants, and
winning their hearts by his sympathy. *3

[Footnote 3: Zarate, Conq. del Peru, lib. 7, cap. 4. - Fernandez,
Hist. del Peru, Parte 1, lib. 2, cap. 82-85. - Pedro Pizarro,
Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Cieza de Leon, cap. 90]

Meanwhile, the royal camp was strengthened by the continual
arrival of reinforcements; for notwithstanding the shock that was
caused throughout the country by the first tidings of Pizarro's
victory, a little reflection convinced the people that the right
was the strongest, and must eventually prevail. There came,
also, with these levies, several of the most distinguished
captains in the country. Centeno, burning to retrieve his late
disgrace, after recovering from his illness, joined the camp with
his followers from Lima. Benalcazar, the conqueror of Quito,
who, as the reader will remember, had shared in the defeat of
Blasco Nunez in the north, came with another detachment; and was
soon after followed by Valdivia, the famous conqueror of Chili,
who, having returned to Peru to gather recruits for his
expedition, had learned the state of the country, and had thrown
himself, without hesitation, into the same scale with the
president, though it brought him into collision with his old
friend and comrade, Gonzalo Pizarro. The arrival of this last
ally was greeted with general rejoicing by the camp; for
Valdivia, schooled in the Italian wars, was esteemed the most
accomplished soldier in Peru; and Gasca complimented him by
declaring "he would rather see him than a reinforcement of eight
hundred men!" *4

[Footnote 4: At least, so says Valdivia in his letter to the
emperor. "I dixo publico que estimara mas mi persona que a los
mejores ochocientos hombres de guerra que l pudieran venir
aquella hora." Carta de Valdivia, Ms.]

Besides these warlike auxiliaries, the president was attended by
a train of ecclesiastics and civilians, such as was rarely found
in the martial fields of Peru. Among them were the bishops of
Quito, Cuzco, and Lima, the four judges of the new Audience, and
a considerable number of churchmen and monkish missionaries. *5
However little they might serve to strengthen his arm in battle,
their presence gave authority and something of a sacred character
to the cause, which had their effect on the minds of the

[Footnote 5: Zarate, Ms.]

The wintry season now began to give way before the mild influence
of spring, which makes itself early felt in these tropical, but
from their elevation temperate, regions; and Gasca, after nearly
three months' detention in Andaguaylas, mustered his levies for
the final march upon Cuzco. *6 Their whole number fell little
short of two thousand, - the largest European force yet assembled
in Peru. Nearly half were provided with fire-arms; and infantry
was more available than horse in the mountain countries which
they were to traverse. But his cavalry was also numerous, and he
carried with him a train of eleven heavy guns. The equipment and
discipline of the troops were good; they were well provided with
ammunition and military stores; and were led by officers whose
names were associated with the most memorable achievements in the
New World. All who had any real interest in the weal of the
country were to be found, in short, under the president's banner,
making a striking contrast to the wild and reckless adventurers
who now swelled the ranks of Pizarro.
[Footnote 6: Cieza de Leon, Cronica, cap. 90.

The old chronicler, or rather geographer, Cieza de Leon, was
present in the campaign, he tells us; so that his testimony,
always good, becomes for the remaining events of more than usual

Gasca, who did not affect a greater knowledge of military affairs
than he really possessed, had given the charge of his forces to
Hinojosa, naming the Marshal Alvarado as second in command.
Valdivia, who came after these dispositions had been made,
accepted a colonel's commission, with the understanding that he
was to be consulted and employed in all matters of moment. *7 -
Having completed his arrangements, the president broke up his
camp in March, 1548, and moved upon Cuzco.

[Footnote 7: Valdivia, indeed, claims to have had the whole
command intrusted to him by Gasca "Luego me dio el autoridad toda
que traia de parte de V. M. para en los casos ocantes a la
guerra, i me encargo todo el exercito, i le puso baxo de mi mano
rogando i pidiendo por merced de su parte a todos aquellos
caballeros capitanes e gente de guerra, i de la de V. M.
mandandoles me obedesciesen en todo lo que les mandase acerca de
la guerra, i cumpliesen mis mandamientos como los suyos." (Carta
de Valdivia, Ms.) But other authorities state it, with more
probability, as given in the text. Valdivia, it must be
confessed, loses nothing from modesty. The whole of his letter to
the emperor is written in a strain of self-glorification, rarely
matched even by a Castilian hidalgo.]
The first obstacle to his progress was the river Abancay, the
bridge over which had been broken down by the enemy. But as
there was no force to annoy them on the opposite bank, the army
was not long in preparing a new bridge, and throwing it across
the stream, which in this place had nothing formidable in its
character. The road now struck into the heart of a mountain
region, where woods, precipices, and ravines were mingled
together in a sort of chaotic confusion, with here and there a
green and sheltered valley, glittering like an island of verdure
amidst the wild breakers of a troubled ocean! The bold peaks of
the Andes, rising far above the clouds, were enveloped in snow,
which descending far down their sides, gave a piercing coldness
to the winds that swept over their surface, until men and horses
were benumbed and stiffened under their influence. The roads, in
these regions, were in some places so narrow and broken, as to be
nearly impracticable for cavalry. The cavaliers were compelled
to dismount; and the president, with the rest, performed the
journey on foot, so hazardous, that, even in later times, it has
been no uncommon thing for the sure-footed mule to be
precipitated, with its cargo of silver, thousands of feet down
the sheer sides of a precipice. *8
[Footnote 8: Cieza de Leon, Cronica, cap. 91.]

By these impediments of the ground, the march was so retarded,
that the troops seldom accomplished more than two leagues a day.
*9 Fortunately, the distance was not great; and the president
looked with more apprehension to the passage of the Apurimac,
which he was now approaching. This river, one of the most
formidable tributaries of the Amazon, rolls its broad waters
through the gorges of the Cordilleras, that rise up like an
immense rampart of rock on either side, presenting a natural
barrier which it would be easy for an enemy to make good against
a force much superior to his own. The bridges over this river,
as Gasca learned before his departure from Andaguaylas, had been
all destroyed by Pizarro. The president, accordingly, had sent
to explore the banks of the stream, and determine the most
eligible spot for reestablishing communications with the opposite

[Footnote 9: Ms. de Caravantes 2 L 2]

The place selected was near the Indian village of Cotapampa,
about nine leagues from Cuzco; for the river, though rapid and
turbulent from being compressed within more narrow limits, was
here less than two hundred paces in width; a distance, however,
not inconsiderable. Directions had been given to collect
materials in large quantities in the neighbourhood of this spot
as soon as possible; and at the same time, in order to perplex
the enemy and compel him to divide his forces, should he be
disposed to resist, materials in smaller quantities were
assembled on three other points of the river. The officer
stationed in the neighbourhood of Cotapampa was instructed not to
begin to lay the bridge, till the arrival of a sufficient force
should accelerate the work, and insure its success.

The structure in question, it should be remembered, was one of
those suspension bridges formerly employed by the Incas, and
still used in crossing the deep and turbulent rivers of South
America. They are made of osier withes, twisted into enormous
cables, which, when stretched across the water, are attached to
heavy blocks of masonry, or, where it will serve, to the natural
rock. Planks are laid transversely across these cables, and a
passage is thus secured, which, notwithstanding the light and
fragile appearance of the bridge, as it swings at an elevation
sometimes of several hundred feet above the abyss, affords a
tolerably safe means of conveyance for men, and even for such
heavy burdens as artillery. *10

[Footnote 10: Fernandez, Hist. del Peru, Parte 1, lib. 2, cap.
86, 87. - Zarate, Conq. del Peru, lib. 7, cap. 5. - Pedro
Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Ms. de Caravantes. - Carta de
Valdivia, Ms. - Relacion del Lic. Gasca, Ms.]

Notwithstanding the peremptory commands of Gasca, the officer
intrusted with collecting the materials for the bridge was so
anxious to have the honor of completing the work himself, that he
commenced it at once. The president, greatly displeased at
learning this, quickened his march, in order to cover the work
with his whole force. But, while toiling through the mountain
labyrinth, tidings were brought him that a party of the enemy had
demolished the small portion of the bridge already made, by
cutting the cables on the opposite bank. Valdivia, accordingly,
hastened forward at the head of two hundred arquebusiers, while
the main body of the army followed with as much speed as
That officer, on reaching the spot, found that the interruption
had been caused by a small party of Pizarro's followers, not
exceeding twenty in number assisted by a stronger body of
Indians. He at once caused balsas, broad and clumsy barks, or
rather rafts, of the country, to be provided, and by this means
passed his men over, without opposition to the other side of the
river. The enemy, disconcerted by the arrival of such a force,
retreated and made the best of their way to report the affair to
their commander at Cuzco. Meanwhile, Valdivia, who saw the
importance of every moment in the present crisis, pushed forward
the work with the greatest vigor. Through all that night his
weary troops continued the labor, which was already well
advanced, when the president and his battalions, emerging from
the passes of the Cordilleras, presented themselves at sunrise on
the opposite bank.

Little time was given for repose, as all felt assured that the
success of their enterprise hung on the short respite now given
them by the improvident enemy. The president, with his principal
officers, took part in the labor with the common soldiers; *11
and before ten o'clock in the evening, Gasca had the satisfaction
to see the bridge so well secured, that the leading files of the
army, unencumbered by their baggage, might venture to cross it.
A short time sufficed to place several hundred men on the other
bank. But here a new difficulty, not less formidable than that
of the river, presented itself to the troops. The ground rose up
with an abrupt, almost precipitous, swell from the river-side,
till, in the highest peaks, it reached an elevation of several
thousand feet. This steep ascent, though not to its full height,
indeed, was now to be surmounted. The difficulties of the
ground, broken up into fearful chasms and water-courses, and
tangled with thickets, were greatly increased by the darkness of
the night; and the soldiers, as they toiled slowly upward, were
filled with apprehension, akin to fear, from the uncertainty
whether each successive step might not bring them into an
ambuscade, for which the ground was so favorable. More than
once, the Spaniards were thrown into a panic by false reports
that the enemy were upon them. But Hinojosa and Valdivia were at
hand to rally their men, and cheer them on, until, at length,
before dawn broke, the bold cavaliers and their followers placed
themselves on the highest point traversed by the road, where they
waited the arrival of the president. This was not long delayed;
and in the course of the following morning, the royalists were
already in sufficient strength to bid defiance to their enemy.

[Footnote 11: "La gente que estaua, de la vna parte y de la otra,
todos tirauan y trabajauan al poner, y apretar de las Criznejas:
sin que el Presidente ni Obispos, ni otra persona quisiesse tener
preuilegio para dexar de trabajar." Fernandez, Hist. del Peru,
Parte 1, lib. 2, cap. 87.]
The passage of the river had been effected with less loss than
might have been expected, considering the darkness of the night,
and the numbers that crowded over the aerial causeway. Some few,
indeed, fell into the water, and were drowned; and more than
sixty horses, in the attempt to swim them across the river, were
hurried down the current, and dashed against the rocks below. *12
It still required time to bring up the heavy train of ordnance
and the military wagons; and the president encamped on the strong
ground which he now occupied, to await their arrival, and to
breathe his troops after their extraordinary efforts. In these
quarters we must leave him, to acquaint the reader with the state
of things in the insurgent army, and with the cause of its
strange remissness in guarding the passes of the Apurimac. *13

[Footnote 12: "Aquel dia pasaron mas de quatrocientos Hombres,
Ilevando los Caballos a nado, encima de illos atadas sus armas, i
arcabuces, caso que se perdieron mas de sesenta Caballos, que con
la corriente grande se desataron, i luego daban en vnas penas,
donde se hacian pedacos, sin darles lugar el impetu del rio, a
que pudiesen nadar." Zarate, Conq. del Peru, lib. 7, cap. 5. -
Gomara, Hist. de las Indias, cap. 184.]
[Footnote 13: Ibid., ubi supra. - Fernandez Hist del Peru, Parte
1, lib. 2, cap. 87. - Zarate, Conq. del Peru, lib. 7, cap. 5. -
Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Ms. de Caravantes. - Carta
de Valdivia, Ms. - Cieza de Leon, Cronica, cap. 91. - Relacion
del Lic. Gasca, Ms.]
From the time of Pizarro's occupation of Cuzco, he had lived in
careless luxury in the midst of his followers, like a soldier of
fortune in the hour of prosperity; enjoying the present, with as
little concern for the future as if the crown of Peru were
already fixed irrevocably upon his head. It was otherwise with
Carbajal. He looked on the victory at Huarina as the
commencement, not the close, of the struggle for empire; and he
was indefatigable in placing his troops in the best condition for
maintaining their present advantage. At the first streak of
dawn, the veteran might be seen mounted on his mule, with the
garb and air of a common soldier, riding about in the different
quarters of the capital, sometimes superintending the manufacture
of arms, or providing military stores, and sometimes drilling his
men, for he was most careful always to maintain the strictest
discipline. *14 His restless spirit seemed to find no pleasure
but in incessant action; living, as he had always done, in the
turmoil of military adventure, he had no relish for any thing
unconnected with war, and in the city saw only the materials for
a well-organized camp.

[Footnote 14: "Andaua siempre en vna mula crescida de color entre
pardo y bermejo, yo no le vi en otra caualgadura en todo el
tiempo que estuuo en el Cozco antes de la batalla de Sacsahuana.
Era tan contino y diligete en solicitar lo que a su exercito
conuenia, que a todas horas del dia y de la roche le topauan sus
soldados haziendo su oficio, y los agenos." Garcilasso, Com.
Real., Parte 1, lib. 5 cap. 27.]

With these feelings, he was much dissatisfied at the course taken
by his younger leader, who now professed his intention to abide
where he was, and, when the enemy advanced, to give him battle.
Carbajal advised a very different policy. He had not that full
confidence, it would seem, in the loyalty of Pizarro's partisans,
at least, not of those who had once followed the banner of
Centeno. These men some three hundred in number, had been in a
manner compelled to take service under Pizarro. They showed no
heartiness in the cause, and the veteran strongly urged his
commander to disband them at once; since it was far better to go
to battle with a few faithful followers than with a host of the
false and faint-hearted.
But Carbajal thought, also, that his leader was not sufficiently
strong in numbers to encounter his opponent, supported as he was
by the best captains of Peru. He advised, accordingly, that he
should abandon Cuzco, carrying off all the treasure, provisions,
and stores of every kind from the city, which might, in any way,
serve the necessities of the royalists. The latter, on their
arrival, disappointed by the poverty of a place where they had
expected to find so much booty, would become disgusted with the
service. Pizzaro, meanwhile, might take refuge with his men in
the neighbouring fastnesses, where, familiar with the ground, it
would be easy to elude the enemy; and if the latter persevered in
the pursuit, with numbers diminished by desertion, it would not
be difficult in the mountain passes to find an opportunity for
assailing him at advantage. - Such was the wary counsel of the
old warrior. But it was not to the taste of his fiery commander,
who preferred to risk the chances of a battle, rather than turn
his back on a foe.

Neither did Pizarro show more favor to a proposition, said to
have been made by the Licentiate Cepeda, - that he should avail
himself of his late success to enter into negotiations with
Gasca. Such advice, from the man who had so recently resisted
all overtures of the president, could only have proceeded from a
conviction, that the late victory placed Pizarro on a
vantage-ground for demanding terms far better than would have
been before conceded to him. It may be that subsequent
experience had also led him to distrust the fidelity of Gonzalo's
followers, or, possibly, the capacity of their chief to conduct
them through the present crisis. Whatever may have been the
motives of the slippery counsellor, Pizarro gave little heed to
the suggestion, and even showed some resentment, as the matter
was pressed on him. In every contest, with Indian or European,
whatever had been the odds, he had come off victorious. He was
not now for the first time to despond; and he resolved to remain
in Cuzco, and hazard all on the chances of a battle. There was
something in the hazard itself captivating to his bold and
chivalrous temper. In this, too, he was confirmed by some of the
cavaliers who had followed him through all his fortunes; reckless
young adventurers, who, like himself, would rather risk all on a
single throw of the dice, than adopt the cautious, and, as it
seemed to them, timid, policy of graver counsellors. It was by
such advisers, then, that Pizarro's future course was to be
shaped. *15

[Footnote 15: Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 2, lib. 5, cap. 27. -
Gomara, Hist. de las Indias, cap. 182. - Fernandez, Hist. del
Peru, Parte 1, lib. 2, cap. 88.

"Finalmente, Goncalo Pizarro dixo que queria prouar su ventura:
pues siempre auia sido vencedor, y lamas vencido." Ibid., ubi
Such was the state of affairs in Cuzco, when Pizarro's soldiers
returned with the tidings, that a detachment of the enemy had
crossed the Apurimac, and were busy in reestablishing the bridge.
Carbajal saw at once the absolute necessity of maintaining this
pass. "It is my affair," he said; "I claim to be employed on
this service. Give me but a hundred picked men, and I will
engage to defend the pass against an army, and bring back the
chaplain - the name by which the president was known in the rebel
camp - a prisoner to Cuzco." *16 "I cannot spare you, father,"
said Gonzalo, addressing him by this affectionate epithet, which
he usually applied to his aged follower, *17 "I cannot spare you
so far from my own person"; and he gave the commission to Juan de
Acosta, a young cavalier warmly attached to his commander, and
who had given undoubted evidence of his valor on more than one
occasion, but who, as the event proved, was signally deficient in
the qualities demanded for so critical an undertaking as the
present. Acosta, accordingly, was placed at the head of two
hundred mounted musketeers, and, after much wholesome counsel
from Carbajal, set out on his expedition.

[Footnote 16: "Paresceme vuestra Senoria se vaya a la vuelta del
Collao y me deje cien hombres, los que yo escojiere, que yo me
ire a vista deste capellan, que ansi llamaba el al presidente."
Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms.]

[Footnote 17: Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 2, lib. 5, cap. 31]
But he soon forgot the veteran's advice, and moved at so dull a
pace over the difficult roads, that, although the distance was
not more than nine leagues, he found, on his arrival, the bridge
completed, and so large a body of the enemy already crossed, that
he was in no strength to attack them. Acosta did, indeed,
meditate an ambuscade by night; but the design was betrayed by a
deserter, and he contented himself with retreating to a safe
distance, and sending for a further reinforcement from Cuzco.
Three hundred men were promptly detached to his support; but when
they arrived, the enemy was already planted in full force on the
crest of the eminence. The golden opportunity was irrecoverably
lost; and the disconsolate cavalier rode back in all haste to
report the failure of his enterprise to his commander in Cuzco.

[Footnote 18: Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Fernandez,
Hist. del Peru, Parte 1, lib. 2, cap. 88.

Zarate, Conq. del Peru, lib. 7, cap. 5. - Carta de Valdivia, Ms.
Valdivia's letter to the emperor, dated at Concepcion, was
written about two years after the events above recorded. It is
chiefly taken up with his Chilian conquests, to which his
campaign under Gasca, on his visit to Peru, forms a kind of
brilliant episode. This letter, the original of which is
preserved in Simancas, covers about seventy folio pages in the
copy belonging to me. It is one of that class of historical
documents, consisting of the despatches and correspondence of the
colonial governors, which, from the minuteness of the details and
the means of information possessed by the writers, are of the
highest worth. The despatches addressed to the Court,
particularly, may compare with the celebrated Relazioni made by
the Venetian ambassadors to their republic, and now happily in
the course of publication, at Florence, under the editorial
auspices of the learned Alberi.]

The only question now to be decided was as to the spot where
Gonzalo Pizarro should give battle to his enemies. He determined
at once to abandon the capital, and wait for his opponents in the
neighbouring valley of Xaquixaguana. It was about five leagues
distant, and the reader may remember it as the place where
Francis Pizarro burned the Peruvian general Challcuchima, on his
first occupation of Cuzco. The valley, fenced round by the lofty
rampart of the Andes, was, for the most part, green and
luxuriant, affording many picturesque points of view; and, from
the genial temperature of the climate, had been a favorite summer
residence of the Indian nobles, many of whose pleasure-houses
still dotted the sides of the mountains. A river, or rather
stream, of no great volume, flowed through one end of this
inclosure, and the neighbouring soil was so wet and miry as to
have the character of a morass.

Here the rebel commander arrived, after a tedious march over
roads not easily traversed by his train of heavy wagons and
artillery. His forces amounted in all to about nine hundred men,
with some half-dozen pieces of ordnance. It was a well-appointed
body, and under excellent discipline, for it had been schooled by
the strictest martinet in the Peruvian service. But it was the
misfortune of Pizarro that his army was composed, in part, at
least, of men on whose attachment to his cause he could not
confidently rely. This was a deficiency which no courage nor
skill in the leader could supply.

On entering the valley, Pizarro selected the eastern quarter of
it, towards Cuzco, as the most favorable spot for his encampment.
It was crossed by the stream above mentioned, and he stationed
his army in such a manner, that, while one extremity of the camp
rested on a natural barrier formed by the mountain cliffs that
here rose up almost perpendicularly, the other was protected by
the river. While it was scarcely possible, therefore, to assail
his flanks, the approaches in front were so extremely narrowed by
these obstacles, that it would not be easy to overpower him by
numbers in that direction. In the rear, his communications
remained open with Cuzco, furnishing a ready means for obtaining
supplies. Having secured this strong position, he resolved
patiently to wait the assault of the enemy. *19

[Footnote 19: Carta de Valdivia, Ms. - Garcilasso, Com. Real.,
Parte 2, lib. 5, cap. 33, 34. - Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq.,
Ms. - Gomara, Hist. de las Indias, cap. 185. - Fernandez, Hist.
del Peru, Parte 1, lib. 2, cap. 88.]

Meanwhile, the royal army had been toiling up the steep sides of
the Cordilleras, until, at the close of the third day, the
president had the satisfaction to find himself surrounded by his
whole force, with their guns and military stores. Having now
sufficiently refreshed his men, he resumed his march, and all
went forward with the buoyant confidence of bringing their
quarrel with the tyrant, as Pizarro was called, to a speedy

Their advance was slow, as in the previous part of the march, for
the ground was equally embarrassing. It was not long, however,
before the president learned that his antagonist had pitched his
camp in the neighbouring valley of Xaquixaguana. Soon afterward,
two friars, sent by Gonzalo himself, appeared in the army, for
the ostensible purpose of demanding a sight of the powers with
which Gasca was intrusted. But as their conduct gave reason to
suspect they were spies, the president caused the holy men to be
seized, and refused to allow them to return to Pizarro. By an
emissary of his own, whom he despatched to the rebel chief, he
renewed the assurance of pardon already given him, in case he
would lay down his arms and submit. Such an act of generosity,
at this late hour, must be allowed to be highly creditable to
Gasca, believing, as he probably did, that the game was in his
own hands. - It is a pity that the anecdote does not rest on the
best authority. *20
[Footnote 20: The fact is not mentioned by any of the parties
present at these transactions. It is to be found, with some
little discrepancy of circumstances, in Gomara (Hist. de las
Indias, cap. 185) and Zarate (Conq. del Peru, lib. 7, cap. 6);
and their positive testimony maybe thought by most readers to
outweigh the negative afforded by the silence of other

After a march of a couple of days, the advanced guard of the
royalists came suddenly on the outposts of the insurgents, from
whom they had been concealed by a thick mist, and a slight
skirmish took place between them. At length, on the morning of
the eighth of April, the royal army, turning the crest of the
lofty range that belts round the lovely valley of Xaquixaguana,
beheld far below on the opposite side the glittering lines of the
enemy, with their white pavilions, looking like clusters of wild
fowl nestling among the cliffs of the mountains. And still
further off might be descried a host of Indian warriors, showing
gaudily in their variegated costumes; for the natives, in this
part of the country, with little perception of their true
interests, manifested great zeal in the cause of Pizarro.

Quickening their step, the royal army now hastily descended the
steep sides of the sierra; and notwithstanding every effort of
their officers, they moved in so little order, each man picking
his way as he could, that the straggling column presented many a
vulnerable point to the enemy; and the descent would not have
been accomplished without considerable loss, had Pizarro's cannon
been planted on any of the favorable positions which the ground
afforded. But that commander, far from attempting to check the
president's approach, remained doggedly in the strong position he
had occupied, with the full confidence that his adversaries would
not hesitate to assail it, strong as it was, in the same manner
as they had done at Huarina. *21

[Footnote 21: "Salio a Xaquixaguana con toda su gente y alli nos
aguardo en un llano junto a un cerro alto por donde bajabamos; y
cierto nuestro Senor le cego el entendimiento, porque si nos
aguardaran al pie de la bajada, hicieran mucho dano a nosotros.
Retiraronse a un llano junto a una cienaga, creyendo que nuestro
campo alli les acometiera y con la ventaja que nos tenian del
puesto nos vencieran." Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. -
Carta de Valdivia, Ms. - Relacion del Lic. Gasca, Ms.]
Yet he did not omit to detach a corps of arquebusiers to secure a
neighbouring eminence or spur of the Cordilleras, which in the
hands of the enemy might cause some annoyance to his own camp,
while it commanded still more effectually the ground soon to be
occupied by the assailants. But his manoeuvre was noticed by
Hinojosa; and he defeated it by sending a stronger detachment of
the royal musketeers, who repulsed the rebels, and, after a short
skirmish, got possession of the heights. Gasca's general
profited by this success to plant a small battery of cannon on
the eminence, from which, although the distance was too great for
him to do much execution, he threw some shot into the hostile
camp. One ball, indeed, struck down two men, one of them
Pizarro's page, killing a horse, at the same time, which he held
by the bridle; and the chief instantly ordered the tents to be
struck, considering that they afforded too obvious a mark for the
artillery. *22

[Footnote 22: "Porq. muchas pelotas dieron en medio de la gente,
y una dellas mato juto a Goncalo Pizarro vn criado suyo que se
estaua armando; y mato otro hombre y vn cauallo; que puso grande
alteracion en el campo, y abatieron todas las tiedas y toldos."
Fernandez, Hist. del Peru, Parte 1, lib. 2, cap. 89. - Carta de
Valdivia, Ms. - Relacion del Lic. Gasca. Ms]
Meanwhile, the president's forces had descended into the valley,
and as they came on the plain were formed into line by their
officers. The ground occupied by the army was somewhat lower
than that of their enemy, whose shot, as discharged, from time to
time, from his batteries, passed over their heads. Information
was now brought by a deserter, one of Centeno's old followers,
that Pizarro was getting ready for a night attack. The
president, in consequence, commanded his whole force to be drawn
up in battle array, prepared, at any instant, to repulse the
assault. But if such were meditated by the insurgent chief, he
abandoned it, - and, as it is said, from a distrust of the
fidelity of some of the troops, who, under cover of the darkness,
he feared, would go over to the opposite side. If this be true,
he must have felt the full force of Carbajal's admonition, when
too late to profit by it. The unfortunate commander was in the
situation of some bold, high-mettled cavalier, rushing to battle
on a war-horse whose tottering joints threaten to give way under
him at every step, and leave his rider to the mercy of his

The president's troops stood to their arms the greater part of
the night, although the air from the mountains was so keen, that
it was with difficulty they could hold their lances in their
hands. *23 But before the rising sun had kindled into a glow the
highest peaks of the sierra, both camps were in motion, and
busily engaged in preparations for the combat. The royal army was
formed into two battalions of infantry, one to attack the enemy
in front, and the other, if possible, to operate on his flank.
These battalions were protected by squadrons of horse on the
wings and in the rear, while reserves both of horse and
arquebusiers were stationed to act as occasion might require.
The dispositions were made in so masterly a manner, as to draw
forth a hearty eulogium from old Carbajal, who exclaimed, "Surely
the Devil or Valdivia must be among them!" and undeniable
compliment to the latter, since the speaker was ignorant of that
commander's presence in the camp. *24

[Footnote 23: "I asi estuvo el Campo toda la Noche en Arma,
desarmadas las Tiendas, padesciendo mui gran frio que no podian
tener las Lancas en las manos." Zarate, Conq. de Peru, lib. 7,
cap. 6.]

[Footnote 24: "Y assi quando vio Francisco de Caruajal el campo
Real; pareciendole que los esquadrones venian bie ordenados dixo,
Valdiuia esta en la tierra, y rige el campo, o el diablo."
Fernandez, Hist. del Peru, Parte 1, lib. 2, cap. 89. - Relacion
del Lic. Gasca, Ms - Carta de Valdivia, Ms. - Gomara, Hist. de
las Indias, cap. 185. - Zarate, Conq. del Peru, lib. 7, cap. 6. -
Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 2, lib. 5, cap. 34. - Pedro Pizarro
Descub. y Conq., Ms.]

Gasca, leaving the conduct of the battle to his officers,
withdrew to the rear with his train of clergy and licentiates,
the last of whom did not share in the ambition of their rebel
brother, Cepeda, to break a lance in the field.

Gonzalo Pizarro formed his squadron in the same manner as he had
done on the plains of Huarina; except that the increased number
of his horse now enabled him to cover both flanks of his
infantry. It was still on his fire-arms, however, that he
chiefly relied. As the ranks were formed, he rode among them,
encouraging his men to do their duty like brave cavaliers, and
true soldiers of the Conquest. Pizarro was superbly armed, as
usual, and wore a complete suit of mail, of the finest
manufacture, which, as well as his helmet, was richly inlaid with
gold. *25 He rode a chestnut horse of great strength and spirit,
and as he galloped along the line, brandishing his lance, and
displaying his easy horsemanship, he might be thought to form no
bad personification of the Genius of Chivalry. To complete his
dispositions, he ordered Cepeda to lead up the infantry; for the
licentiate seems to have had a larger share in the conduct of his
affairs of late, or at least in the present military
arrangements, than Carbajal. The latter, indeed, whether from
disgust at the course taken by his leader, or from a distrust,
which, it is said, he did not affect to conceal, of the success
of the present operations, disclaimed all responsibility for
them, and chose to serve rather as a private cavalier than as a
commander. *26 Yet Cepeda, as the event showed, was no less
shrewd in detecting the coming ruin.

[Footnote 25: "Iba mui galan, i gentil hombre sobre vn poderoso
caballo castano, armado de Cota, i Coracinas ricas, con vna sobre
ropa de Raso bien golpeada, i vn Capacete de Oro en la cabeca,
con su barbote de lo mismo." Gomara, Hist. de as Indias, cap.

[Footnote 26: "Porque el Maesse de campo Francisco de Caruajal,
como hombre desdenado de que Goncalo Picarro no huuiesse querido
seguir su parecer y consejo (dandose ya por vencido), no quiso
hazer oficio de Maesse de campo, como solia, y assi fue a ponerse
en el esquadron con su compania, como vno de los capitanes de
ynfanteria." Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 2, lib. 5 cap. 35.]

When he had received his orders from Pizarro, he rode forward as
if to select the ground for his troops to occupy; and in doing so
disappeared for a few moments behind a projecting cliff. He soon
reappeared, however, and was seen galloping at full speed across
the plain. His men looked with astonishment, yet not distrusting
his motives, till, as he continued his course direct towards the
enemy's lines, his treachery became apparent. Several pushed for
ward to overtake him, and among them a cavalier, better mounted
than Cepeda. The latter rode a horse of no great strength or
speed, quite unfit for this critical manoeuvre of his master. The
animal, was, moreover, encumbered by the weight of the caparisons
with which his ambitious rider had loaded him, so that, on
reaching a piece of miry ground that lay between the armies, his
pace was greatly retarded. *27 Cepeda's pursuers rapidly gained
on him, and the cavalier above noticed came, at length, so near
as to throw a lance at the fugitive, which, wounding him in the
thigh, pierced his horse's flank, and they both came headlong to
the ground. It would have fared ill with the licentiate, in this
emergency, but fortunately a small party of troopers on the other
side, who had watched the chase, now galloped briskly forward to
the rescue, and, beating off his pursuers, they recovered Cepeda
from the mire, and bore him to the president's quarters.

[Footnote 27: Ibid., ubi supra.]

He was received by Gasca with the greatest satisfaction, - so
great, that, according to one chronicler, he did not disdain to
show it by saluting the licentiate on the cheek. *28 The anecdote
is scarcely reconcilable with the characters and relations of the
parties, or with the president's subsequent conduct. Gasca,
however, recognized the full value of his prize, and the effect
which his desertion at such a time must have on the spirits of
the rebels. Cepeda's movement, so unexpected by his own party,
was the result of previous deliberation, as he had secretly given
assurance, it is said, to the prior of Arequipa, then in the
royal camp, that, if Gonzalo Pizarro could not be induced to
accept the pardon offered him, he would renounce his cause. *29
The time selected by the crafty counsellor for doing so was that
most fatal to the interests of his commander.

[Footnote 28: "Gasca abraco, i beso en el carrillo a Cepeda,
aunque lo llevaba encenagado, teniendo por vencido a Picarro, con
su falta." Gomara, Hist. de las Indias, cap. 185.]

[Footnote 29: "Ca, segun parecio, Cepeda le huvo avisado con Fr.
Antonio de Castro, Prior de Santo Domingo en Arequipa, que si
Picarro no quisiesse concierto ninguno, el se pasaria al servicio
del Emperador a tiempo que le deshiciese." Ibid ubi supra.]

The example of Cepeda was contagious. Garcilasso de la Vega,
father of the historian, a cavalier of old family, and probably
of higher consideration than any other in Pizarro's party, put
spurs to his horse, at the same time with the licentiate, and
rode over the enemy. Ten or a dozen of the arquebusiers followed
in the same direction, and succeeded in placing themselves under
the protection of the advanced guard of the royalists.

Pizarro stood aghast at this desertion, in so critical a
juncture, of those in whom he had most trusted. He was, for a
moment, bewildered. The very ground on which he stood seemed to
be crumbling beneath him. With this state of feeling among his
soldiers, he saw that every minute of delay was fatal. He dared
not wait for the assault, as he had intended, in his strong
position, but instantly gave the word to advance. Gasca's
general, Hinojosa, seeing the enemy in motion, gave similar
orders to his own troops. Instantly the skirmishers and
arquebusiers on the flanks moved rapidly forward, the artillery
prepared to open their fire, and "the whole army," says the
president in his own account of the affair, "advanced with steady
step and perfect determination." *30
[Footnote 30: "Visto por Gonzalo Pizarro Caravajal su Maestre de
Campo que se les iva gente procuraron de caminar en su orden
hacia el campo de S. M. i que viendo esto los lados i sobre
salientes del exercito real se empezaron a llegar a ellos i a
disparar en ellos i que lo mesmo hizo la artilleria, i todo el
campo con paso bien concertado i entera determinacion se llego a
ellos' Relacion del Lic. Gasca, Ms.]
But before a shot was fired, a column of arquebusiers, composed
chiefly of Centeno's followers, abandoned their post, and marched
directly over to the enemy. A squadron of horse, sent in pursuit
of them, followed their example. The president instantly
commanded his men to halt, unwilling to spill blood
unnecessarily, as the rebel host was like to fall to pieces of

Pizarro's faithful adherents were seized with a panic, as they
saw themselves and their leader thus betrayed into the enemy's
hands. Further resistance was useless. Some threw down their
arms, and fled in the direction of Cuzco. Others sought to
escape to the mountains; and some crossed to the opposite side,
and surrendered themselves prisoners, hoping it was not too late
to profit by the promises of grace. The Indian allies, on seeing
the Spaniards falter, had been the first to go off the ground.

[Footnote 31: "Los Indios que tenian los enemigos que diz que
eran mucha cantidad huyeron mui a furia." (Relacion del Lic.
Gasca, Ms.) For the particulars of the battle, more or less
minute, see Carta de Valdivia, Ms. - Garcilasso, Com. Real.,
Parte 2, lib. 5, cap. 35. - Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. -
Gomara, Hist. de las Indias, cap. 185. - Fernandez, Hist. del
Peru, Parte 1, lib. 2, cap. 90. - Zarate, Conq. del Peru, lib. 7,
cap. 7. - Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 8, lib. 4, cap. 16.]
Pizarro, amidst the general wreck, found himself left with only a
few cavaliers who disdained to fly. Stunned by the unexpected
reverse of fortune, the unhappy chief could hardly comprehend his
situation. "What remains for us?" said he to Acosta, one of
those who still adhered to him. "Fall on the enemy, since nothing
else is left," answered the lion-hearted soldier, "and die like
Romans!' "Better to die like Christians," replied his commander;
and, slowly turning his horse, he rode off in the direction of
the royal army. *32

[Footnote 32: "Goncalo Picarro boluiendo el rostro, a Juan de
Acosta, que estaua cerca del, le dixo, que hare mos hermano Juan?
Acosta presumiendo mas de valiente que de discreto respondio,
Senor arremetamos, y muramos como los antiguos Romanos. Goncalo
Picarro dixo mejor es morir como Cristianos." Garcilasso, Com.
Real., Parte 2, lib. 5, cap. 36. - Zarate, Conq. del Peru, lib.
7, cap. 7.]

He had not proceeded far, when he was met by an officer, to whom,
after ascertaining his name and rank, Pizarro delivered up his
sword, and yielded himself prisoner. The officer, overjoyed at
his prize, conducted him, at once, to the president's quarters.
Gasca was on horseback, surrounded by his captains, some of whom,
when they recognized the person of the captive, had the grace to
withdraw, that they might not witness his humiliation. *33 Even
the best of them, with a sense of right on their side, may have
felt some touch of compunction at the thought that their
desertion had brought their benefactor to this condition.

[Footnote 33: Garcilasso, Com. Real., ubi supra.]

Pizarro kept his seat in his saddle, but, as he approached, made
a respectful obeisance to the president, which the latter
acknowledged by a cold salute. Then, addressing his prisoner in
a tone of severity, Gasca abruptly inquired, - "Why he had thrown
the country into such confusion; - raising the banner of revolt;
killing the viceroy; usurping the government; and obstinately
refusing the offers of grace that had been repeatedly made him?"

Gonzalo attempted to justify himself by referring the fate of the
viceroy to his misconduct, and his own usurpation, as it was
styled, to the free election of the people, as well as that of
the Royal Audience. "It was my family," he said, "who conquered
the country; and, as their representative here, I felt I had a
right to the government." To this Gasca replied, in a still
severer tone, "Your brother did, indeed, conquer the land; and
for this the emperor was pleased to raise both him and you from
the dust. He lived and died a true and loyal subject; and it
only makes your ingratitude to your sovereign the more heinous."
Then, seeing his prisoner about to reply, the president cut short
the conference, ordering him into close confinement. He was
committed to the charge of Centeno, who had sought the office,
not from any unworthy desire to gratify his revenge, - for he
seems to have had a generous nature, - but for the honorable
purpose of ministering to the comfort of the captive. Though held
in strict custody by this officer, therefore, Pizarro was treated
with the deference due to his rank, and allowed every indulgence
by his keeper, except his freedom. *34

[Footnote 34: Fernandez, Hist. del Peru, Parte 1, lib. 2, cap.
Historians, of course, report the dialogue between Gasca and his
prisoner with some variety. See Gomara, Hist. de las Indias,
cap. 185. - Garcilasso, Com. Real Parte 2, lib. 5, cap. 36.
Relacion del Lic. Gasca, Ms.]

In this general wreck of their fortunes, Francisco de Carbajal
fared no better than his chief. As he saw the soldiers deserting
their posts and going over to the enemy, one after another, he
coolly hummed the words of his favorite old ballad, -

"The wind blows the hairs off my head, mother!"

But when he found the field nearly empty, and his stout-hearted
followers vanished like a wreath of smoke, he felt it was time to
provide for his own safety. He knew there could be no favor for
him and, putting spurs to his horse, he betook himself to flight
with all the speed he could make. He crossed the stream that
flowed, as already mentioned, by the camp, but, in scaling the
opposite bank, which was steep and stony, his horse, somewhat
old, and oppressed by the weight of his rider, who was large and
corpulent, lost his footing and fell with him into the water.
Before he could extricate himself, Carbajal was seized by some of
his own followers, who hoped, by such a prize, to make their
peace with the victor, and hurried off towards the president's

The convoy was soon swelled by a number of the common file from
the royal army, some of whom had long arrears to settle with the
prisoner; and, not content with heaping reproaches and
imprecations on his head, they now threatened to proceed to acts
of personal violence, which Carbajal, far from deprecating,
seemed rather to court, as the speediest way of ridding himself
of life. *35 When he approached the president's quarters,
Centeno, who was near, rebuked the disorderly rabble, and
compelled them to give way. Carbajal, on seeing this, with a
respectful air demanded to whom he was indebted for this
courteous protection. To which his ancient comrade replied, "Do
you not know me? - Diego Centeno!" "I crave your pardon," said
the veteran, sarcastically alluding to his long flight in the
Charcas, and his recent defeat at Huarina; "it is so long since I
have seen any thing but your back, that I had forgotten your
face!" *36

[Footnote 35: "Luego llevaron antel dicho Licenciado Caravajal
Maestre de campo del dicho Pizarro i tan cercado de gentes que
del havian sido ofendidas que le querian matar, el qual diz que
mostrava que olgara que le mataran alli." Relacion del Lic.
Gasca, Ms.]

[Footnote 36: "Diego Centeno reprehendia mucho a los que le
offendian. Por lo qual Caruajal le miro, y le dixo, Senor quien
es vuestra merced que tanta merced me haze? a lo qual Centeno
respondio, Que no conoce vuestra merced a Diego Centeno? Dixo
entonces Caruajal, Por Dios senor que como siempre vi a vuestra
merced de espaldas, que agora teniendo le de cara, no le conocia'
Fernandez, Hist. del Peru, Parte 1, lib. 2, cap. 90.]
Among the president's suite was the martia bishop of Cuzco, who,
it will be remembered, had shared with Centeno in the disgrace of
his defeat. His brother had been taken by Carbajal, in his flight
from the field, and instantly hung up by that fierce chief, who,
as we have had more than one occasion to see, was no respecter of
persons. The bishop now reproached him with his brother's
murder, and, incensed by his cool replies, was ungenerous enough
to strike the prisoner on the face. Carbajal made no attempt at
resistance. Nor would he return a word to the queries put to him
by Gasca; but, looking haughtily round on the circle, maintained
a contemptuous silence. The president, seeing that nothing
further was to be gained from his captive, ordered him, together
with Acosta, and the other cavaliers who had surrendered, into
strict custody, until their fate should be decided. *37

[Footnote 37: Ibid., ubi supra.

It is but fair to state that Garcilasso, who was personally
acquainted with the bishop of Cuzco, doubts the fact of the
indecorous conduct imputed to him by Fernandez, as inconsistent
with the prelate's character. Com. Real., Parte 2, lib. 5, cap.

Gasca's next concern was to send an officer to Cuzco, to restrain
his partisans from committing excesses in consequence of the late
victory, - if victory that could be called, where not a blow had
been struck. Every thing belonging to the vanquished, their
tents, arms, ammunition, and military stores, became the property
of the victors. Their camp was well victualled, furnishing a
seasonable supply to the royalists, who had nearly expended their
own stock of provisions. There was, moreover, considerable booty
in the way of plate and money; for Pizarro's men, as was not
uncommon in those turbulent times, went, many of them, to the war
with the whole of their worldly wealth, not knowing of any safe
place in which to bestow it. An anecdote is told of one of
Gasca's soldiers, who, seeing a mule running over the field, with
a large pack on his back, seized the animal, and mounted him,
having first thrown away the burden, supposing it to contain
armour, or something of little worth. Another soldier, more
shrewd, picked up the parcel, as his share of the spoil, and
found it contained several thousand gold ducats! It was the
fortune of war. *38

[Footnote 38: Zarate, Conq. del Peru, lib. 7, cap. 8.]

Thus terminated the battle, or rather rout, of Xaquixaguana. The
number of killed and wounded - for some few perished in the
pursuit - was not great; according to most accounts, not
exceeding fifteen killed on the rebel side, and one only on that
of the royalists! and that one, by the carelessness of a
comrade. *39 Never was there a cheaper victory; so bloodless a
termination of a fierce an bloody rebellion! It was gained not
so much by the strength of the victors as by the weakness of the
vanquished. They fell to pieces of their own accord, because
they had no sure ground to stand on. The arm, not nerved by the
sense of right, became powerless in the hour of battle. It was
better that they should thus be overcome by moral force than by a
brutal appeal to arms. Such a victory was more in harmony with
the beneficent character of the conqueror and of his cause. It
was the triumph of order; the best homage to law and justice.

[Footnote 39: "Temiose que en esta batalla muriria mucha gente de
ambas partes por haver en ellas mill i quatrocientos arcabuceros
i seiscientos de caballo i mucho numero de piqueros i diez i ocho
piezas de artilleria, pero plugo a Dios que solo murio un hombre
del campo de S. M. i quince de los contrarios como esta dicho."
Relacion del Lic. Gasca, Ms.
The Ms. above referred to is supposed by Munoz to have been
written by Gasca, or rather dictated by him to his secretary.
The original is preserved at Simancas, without date, and in the
character of the sixteenth century. It is principally taken up
with the battle, and the events immediately connected with it;
and although very brief, every sentence is of value as coming
from so high a source. Alcedo, in his Biblioteca Americana, Ms.,
gives the title of a work from Gasca's pen, which would seem to
be an account of his own administration, Historia de Peru, y de
su Pacificacion, 1576, fol. - I have never met with the work, or
with any other allusion to it.]

Chapter IV

Execution Of Carbajal. - Gonzalo Pizarro Beheaded. - Spoils Of
Victory. - Wise Reforms By Gasca. - He Returns To Spain. - His
Death And Character.

It was now necessary to decide on the fate of the prisoners; and
Alonso de Alvarado, with the Licentiate Cianca, one of the new
Royal Audience, was instructed to prepare the process. It did
not require a long time. The guilt of the prisoners was too
manifest, taken, as they had been, with arms in their hands.
They were all sentenced to be executed, and their estates were
confiscated to the use of the Crown. Gonzalo Pizarro was to be
beheaded, and Carbajal to be drawn and quartered. No mercy was
shown to him who had shown none to others. There was some talk
of deferring the execution till the arrival of the troops in
Cuzco; but the fear of disturbances from those friendly to
Pizarro determined the president to carry the sentence into
effect the following day, on the field of battle. *1

[Footnote 1: The sentence passed upon Pizarro is given at length
in the manuscript copy of Zarate's History, to which I have had
occasion more than once to refer. The historian omitted it in
his printed work, but the curious reader may find it entire,
cited in the original, in Appendix, No. 14.]

When his doom was communicated to Carbajal, he heard it with his
usual indifference. "They can but kill me," he said, as if he
had already settled the matter in his own mind. *2 During the
day, many came to see him in his confinement; some to upbraid him
with his cruelties; but most, from curiosity to see the fierce
warrior who had made his name so terrible through the land. He
showed no unwillingness to talk with them, thought it was in
those sallies of caustic humor in which he usually indulged at
the expense of his hearer. Among these visiters was a cavalier
of no note, whose life, it appears, Carbajal had formerly spared,
when in his power. This person expressed to the prisoner his
strong desire to serve him; and as he reiterated his professions,
Carbajal cut them short by exclaiming, - "And what service can
you do me? Can you set me free? If you cannot do that, you can
do nothing. If I spared your life, as you say, it was probably
because I did not think it worth while to take it."
[Footnote 2: 'Basta matar." Fernandez, Hist. del Peru, Parte 1,
lib. 2, cap. 91.]

Some piously disposed persons urged him to see a priest, if it
were only to unburden his conscience before leaving the world.
"But of what use would that be?" asked Carbajal. "I have nothing
that lies heavy on my conscience, unless it be, indeed, the debt
of half a real to a shopkeeper in Seville, which I forgot to pay
before leaving the country!" *3
[Footnote 3: "En esso no tengo que confessar: porque juro a tal,
que no tengo otro cargo, si no medio rea que deuo en Seuilla a
vna bodegonera de la puerta del Arenal, del tiempo que passe a
Indias." Ibid., ubi supra.]
He was carried to execution on a hurdle, or rather in a basket,
drawn by two mules. His arms were pinioned, and, as they forced
his bulky body into this miserable conveyance, he exclaimed, -
"Cradles for infants, and a cradle for the old man too, it
seems!" *4 Notwithstanding the disinclination he had manifested
to a confessor, he was attended by several ecclesiastics on his
way to the gallows; and one of them repeatedly urged him to give
some token of penitence at this solemn hour, if it were only by
repeating the Pater Noster and Ave Maria. Carbajal, to rid
himself of the ghostly father's importunity, replied by coolly
repeating the words, "Pater Noster," "Ave Maria"! He then
remained obstinately silent. He died, as he had lived, with a
jest, or rather a scoff, upon his lips. *5

[Footnote 4: "Nino en cuna, y viejo en cuna" Ibid., loc. cit.]
[Footnote 5: "Murio como gentil, porque dicen, que yo no le quise
ver, que unsi le di la palabra de no velle; mas a la postrer vez
que me hablo llevandole a matar le decia el sacerdote que con el
iba, que se encomendase a Dios y dijese el Pater Noster y el Ave
Maria, y dicen que dijo Pater Noster, Ave Maria y que no dijo
otra palabra." Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq Ms.]

Francisco de Carbajal was one of the most extraordinary
characters of these dark and turbulent times; the more
extraordinary from his great age; for, at the period of his
death, he was in his eighty-fourth year; - an age when the bodily
powers, and, fortunately, the passions, are usually blunted;
when, in the witty words of the French moralist, "We flatter
ourselves we are leaving our vices, whereas it is our vices that
are leaving us." *6 But the fires of youth glowed fierce and
unquenchable in the bosom of Carbajal.

[Footnote 6: I quote from memory, but believe the reflection may
be found in that admirable digest of worldly wisdom, The
Characters of La Bruyere.]
The date of his birth carries us back towards the middle of the
fifteenth century, before the times of Ferdinand and Isabella.
He was of obscure parent age, and born, as it is said, at
Arevalo. For forty years he served in the Italian wars, under
the most illustrious captains of the day, Gonsalvo de Cordova,
Navarro, and the Colonnas. He was an ensign at the battle of
Ravenna; witnessed the capture of Francis the First at Pavia; and
followed the banner of the ill-starred Bourbon at the sack of
Rome. He got no gold for his share of the booty, on this
occasion, but simply the papers of a notary's office, which,
Carbajal shrewdly thought, would be worth gold to him. And so it
proved; for the notary was fain to redeem them at a price which
enabled the adventurer to cross the seas to Mexico, and seek his
fortune in the New World. On the insurrection of the Peruvians,
he was sent to the support of Francis Pizarro, and was rewarded
by that chief with a grant of land in Cuzco. Here he remained
for several years, busily employed in increasing his substance;
for the love of lucre was a ruling passion in his bosom. On the
arrival of Vaca de Castro, we find him doing good service under
the royal banner; and at the breaking out of the great rebellion
under Gonzalo Pizarro, he converted his property into gold, and
prepared to return to Castile. He seemed to have a presentiment
that to remain where he was would be fatal. But, although he
made every effort to leave Peru, he was unsuccessful, for the
viceroy had laid an embargo on the shipping. *7 He remained in
the country, therefore, and took service, as we have seen, though
reluctantly, under Pizarro. It was his destiny.

[Footnote 7: Pedro Pizarro bears testimony to Carbajal's
endeavours to leave the country, in which he was aided, though
ineffectually, by the chronicler, who was, at that time, in the
most friendly relations with him. Civil war parted these ancient
comrades; but Carbajal did not forget his obligations to Pedro
Pizarro, which he afterwards repaid by exempting him on two
different occasions from the general doom of the prisoners who
fell into his hands.]

The tumultuous life on which he now entered roused all the
slumbering passions of his soul, which lay there, perhaps
unconsciously to himself; cruelty, avarice, revenge. He found
ample exercise for them in the war with his countrymen; for civil
war is proverbially the most sanguinary and ferocious of all.
The atrocities recorded of Carbajal, in his new career, and the
number of his victims, are scarcely credible. For the honor of
humanity, we may trust the accounts are greatly exaggerated; but
that he should have given rise to them at all is sufficient to
consign his name to infamy. *8

[Footnote 8: Out of three hundred and forty executions, according
to Fernandez, three hundred were by Carbajal. (Hist. del Peru,
Parte 1, lib. 2, cap. 91.) Zarate swells the number of these
executions to five hundred. (Conq. del Peru, lib. 7, cap. 1.) The
discrepancy shows how little we can confide in the accuracy of
such estimates.]

He even took a diabolical pleasure, it is said, in amusing
himself with the sufferings of his victims, and in the hour of
execution would give utterance to frightful jests, that made them
taste more keenly the bitterness of death! He had a sportive
vein, if such it could be called, which he freely indulged on
every occasion. Many of his sallies were preserved by the
soldiery; but they are, for the most part, of a coarse, repulsive
character, flowing from a mind familiar with the weak and wicked
side of humanity, and distrusting every other. He had his jest
for every thing, - for the misfortunes of others, and for his
own. He looked on life as a farce, - though he too often made it
a tragedy.

Carbajal must be allowed one virtue; that of fidelity to his
party. This made him less tolerant of perfidy in others. He was
never known to show mercy to a renegade. This undeviating
fidelity, though to a bad cause, may challenge something like a
feeling of respect, where fidelity was so rare. *9

[Footnote 9: Fidelity, indeed, is but one of many virtues claimed
for Carbajal by Garcilasso, who considers most of the tales of
cruelty and avarice circulated of the veteran, as well as the
hardened levity imputed to him in his latter moments, as
inventions of his enemies. The Inca chronicler was a boy when
Gonzalo and his chivalry occupied Cuzco; and the kind treatment
he experienced from them, owing, doubtless, to his father's
position in the rebel army, he has well repaid by depicting their
portraits in the favorable colors in which they appeared to his
young imagination. But the garrulous old man has recorded
several individual instances of atrocity in the career of
Carbajal, which form but an indifferent commentary on the
correctness of his general assertions in respect to his

As a military man, Carbajal takes a high rank among the soldiers
of the New World. He was strict, even severe, in enforcing
discipline, so that he was little loved by his followers.
Whether he had the genius for military combinations requisite for
conducting war on an extended scale may be doubted; but in the
shifts and turns of guerilla warfare he was unrivalled. Prompt,
active, and persevering, he was insensible to danger or fatigue,
and, after days spent in the saddle, seemed to attach little
value to the luxury of a bed. *10

[Footnote 10: "Fue maior sufridor de trabajos, que requeria su
edad, porque a maravilla se quitaba las Armas de Dia, ni de
Noche, i quando era necesario, tampoco se acostaba, ni dormia mas
de quanto recostado en vna Silla, se le cansaba la mano en que
arrimaba la Cabeca." Zarate, Conq. del Peru, lib. 5, cap. 14.]

He knew familiarly every mountain pass, and, such were the
sagacity and the resources displayed in his roving expeditions,
that he was vulgarly believed to be attended by a familiar. *11
With a character so extraordinary, with powers prolonged so far
beyond the usual term of humanity, and passions so fierce in one
tottering on the verge of the grave, it was not surprising that
many fabulous stories should be eagerly circulated respecting
him, and that Carbajal should be clothed with mysterious terrors
as a sort of supernatural being, - the demon of the Andes!

[Footnote 11: Pedro Pizarro, who seems to have entertained
feelings not unfriendly to Carbajal, thus sums up his character
in a few words. "Era mui lenguaz: hablaba muy discreptamente y a
gusto de los que le oian: era hombre sagaz, cruel, bien entendido
en la guerra. . . . . . Este Carbajal era tan sabio que decian
tenia familiar." Descub. y Conq., Ms.]
Very different were the circumstances attending the closing scene
of Gonzalo Pizarro. At his request, no one had been allowed to
visit him in his confinement. He was heard pacing his tent
during the greater part of the day, and when night came, having
ascertained from Centeno that his execution was to take place on
the following noon, he laid himself down to rest. He did not
sleep long, however, but soon rose, and continued to traverse his
apartment, as if buried in meditation, till dawn He then sent for
a confessor, and remained with him till after the hour of noon,
taking little or no refreshment. The officers of justice became
impatient; but their eagerness was sternly rebuked by the
soldiery, many of whom, having served under Gonzalo's banner,
were touched with pity for his misfortunes.
When the chieftain came forth to execution, he showed in his
dress the same love of magnificence and display as in happier
days. Over his doublet he wore a superb cloak of yellow velvet,
stiff with gold embroidery, while his head was protected by a cap
of the same materials, richly decorated, in like manner, with
ornaments of gold. *12 In this gaudy attire he mounted his mule,
and the sentence was so far relaxed that his arms were suffered
to remain unshackled. He was escorted by a goodly number of
priests and friars, who held up the crucifix before his eyes,
while he carried in his own hand an image of the Virgin. She had
ever been the peculiar object of Pizarro's devotion; so much so,
that those who knew him best in the hour of his prosperity were
careful, when they had a petition, to prefer it in the name of
the blessed Mary.

[Footnote 12: "Al tiempo que lo mataron, dio al Verdugo toda la
Ropa, que traia que era mui rica, i de mucho valor, porque tenia
vna Ropa de Armas de Terciopelo amarillo, casi toda cubierta de
Chaperia de Oro i vn Chapeo de la misma forma.' Zarate, Conq. del
Peru, lib 7 cap. 8.]
Pizarro's lips were frequently pressed to the emblem of his
divinity, while his eyes were bent on the crucifix in apparent
devotion, heedless of the objects around him. On reaching the
scaffold, he ascended it with a firm step, and asked leave to
address a few words to the soldiery gathered round it. "There
are many among you," said he, "who have grown rich on my
brother's bounty, and my own. Yet, of all my riches, nothing
remains to me but the garments I have on; and even these are not
mine, but the property of the executioner. I am without means,
therefore, to purchase a mass for the welfare of my soul; and I
implore you, by the remembrance of past benefits, to extend this
charity to me when I am gone, that it may be well with you in the
hour of death." A profound silence reigned throughout the martial
multitude, broken only by sighs and groans, as they listened to
Pizarro's request; and it was faithfully responded to, since,
after his death, masses were said in many of the towns for the
welfare of the departed chieftain.

Then, kneeling down before a crucifix placed on a table, Pizarro
remained for some minutes absorbed in prayer; after which,
addressing the soldier who was to act as the minister of justice,
he calmly bade him "do his duty with a steady hand." He refused
to have his eyes bandaged, and, bending forward his neck,
submitted it to the sword of the executioner, who struck off the
head with a single blow, so true that the body remained for some
moments in the same erect posture as in life. *13 The head was
taken to Lima, where it was set in a cage or frame, and then
fixed on a gibbet by the side of Carbajal's. On it was placed a
label, bearing, - "This is the head of the traitor Gonzalo
Pizarro, who rebelled in Peru against his sovereign, and battled
in the cause of tyranny and treason against the royal standard in
the valley of Xaquixaguana." *14 His large estates, including the
rich mines in Potosi, were confiscated; his mansion in Lima was
razed to the ground, the place strewed with salt, and a store
pillar set up, with an inscription interdicting any one from
building on a spot which had been profaned by the residence of a
[Footnote 13: "The executioner," says Garcilasso, with a simile
more expressive than elegant, "did his work as cleanly as if he
had been slicing off a head of lettuce!" "De vn reues le corto la
cabeca con tanta facilidad, como si fuera vna hoja de lechuga, y
se quedo con ella en la mano, y tardo el cuerpo algun espacio en
caer en el suelo." Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 2, lib. 5, cap.

[Footnote 14: "Esta es la cabeza del traidor de Gonzalo Pizarro
que se hizo justicia del en el valle de Aquixaguana, donde dio la
batalla campal contra el estandarte real queriendo defender su
traicion e tirania: ninguno sea osado de la quitar de aqui so
pena de muerte natural." Zarate, Ms.]

Gonzalo's remains were not exposed to the indignities inflicted
on Carbajal's, whose quarters were hung in chains on the four
great roads leading to Cuzco. Centeno saved Pizarro's body from
being stripped, by redeeming his costly raiment from the
executioner, and in this sumptuous shroud it was laid in the
chapel of the convent of Our Lady of Mercy in Cuzco. It was the
same spot where, side by side, lay the bloody remains of the
Almagros, father and son, who in like manner had perished by the
hand of justice, and were indebted to private charity for their
burial. All these were now con signed "to the same grave," says
the historian, with some bitterness, "as if Peru could not afford
land enough for a burial-place to its conquerors." *15

[Footnote 15: "Y las sepolturas vna sola auiendo de ser tres: que
aun la tierra parece que les falto para auer los de cubrir."
Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 2, lib. 5, cap. 43.

For the tragic particulars of the preceding pages, see Ibid, cap.
39-43. - Relacion del Lic. Gasca, Ms - Carta de Valdivia, Ms. -
Ms. de Caravantes. - Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. -
Gomara, Hist. de las Indias, cap 186. - Fernandez, Hist. del
Peru, Parte 1, lib. 2, cap. 91. - Zarate Conq. del Peru, lib. 7,
cap. 8. - Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 8, lib. 4, cap. 16.]

Gonzalo Pizarro had reached only his forty-second year at the
time of his death, - being just half the space allotted to his
follower Carbajal. He was the youngest of the remarkable family
to whom Spain was indebted for the acquisition of Peru. He came
over to the country with his brother Francisco, on the return of
the latter from his visit to Castile. Gonzalo was present in all
the remarkable passages of the Conquest. He witnessed the
seizure of Atahuallpa, took an active part in suppressing the
insurrection of the Incas, and especially in the reduction of
Charcas. He afterwards led the disastrous expedition to the
Amazon; and, finally, headed he memorable rebellion which ended
so fatally to himself. There are but few men whose lives abound
in such wild and romantic adventure, and, for the most part,
crowned with success. The space which he occupies in the page of
history is altogether disproportioned to his talents. It may be
in some measure ascribed to fortune, but still more to those
showy qualities which form a sort of substitute for mental
talent, and which secured his popularity with the vulgar.

He had a brilliant exterior; excelled in all martial exercises;
rode well, fenced well, managed his lance to perfection, was a
first-rate marksman with the arquebuse, and added the
accomplishment of being an excellent draughtsman. He was bold
and chivalrous, even to temerity; courted adventure, and was
always in the front of danger. He was a knighterrant, in short,
in the most extravagant sense of the term, and, "mounted on his
favorite charger," says one who had often seen him, "made no more
account of a squadron of Indians than of a swarm of flies." *16
[Footnote 16: "Quando Goncalo Pizarro, que aya gloria, se veya en
su zaynillo, no hazia mas caso de esquadrones de Yndios, que si
fueran de moscas." Garcilasso, Parte 2, lib. 5, cap. 43.]

While thus, by his brilliant exploits and showy manners, he
captivated the imaginations of his countrymen, he won their
hearts no less by his soldier-like frankness, his trust in their
fidelity, - too often abused, - and his liberal largesses; for
Pizarro, though avaricious of the property of others, was, like
the Roman conspirator, prodigal of his own. This was his portrait
in happier days, when his heart had not been corrupted by
success; for tha some change was wrought on him by his prosperity
is well attested. His head was made giddy by his elevation; and
it is proof of a want of talent equal to his success, that he
knew not how to profit by it. Obeying the dictates of his own
rash judgment, he rejected the warnings of his wisest
counsellors, and relied with blind confidence on his destiny.
Garcilasso imputes this to the malignant influence of the stars.
*17 But the superstitious chronicler might have better explained
it by a common principle of human nature; by the presumption
nourished by success; the insanity, as the Roman, or rather
Grecian, proverb calls it, with which the gods afflict men when
they design to ruin them. *18

[Footnote 17: "Dezian que no era falta de ontendimiento, pues lo
tenia bastante, sino que deuia de ser sobra de influencia de
signos y planetas, que le cegauan y forcauan a que pusiesse la
garganta al cuchillo." Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 2 lib. 5,
cap. 33.]

[Footnote 18: Eurip. Fragmenta]

Gonzalo was without education, except such as he had picked up in
the rough school of war. He had little even of that wisdom which
springs from natural shrewdness and insight into character. In
all this he was inferior to his elder brothers, although he fully
equalled them in ambition. Had he possessed a tithe of their
sagacity, he would not have madly persisted in rebellion, after
the coming of the president. Before this period, he represented
the people. Their interests and his were united. He had their
support, for he was contending for the redress of their wrongs.
When these were redressed by the government, there was nothing to
contend for. From that time, he was battling only for himself
The people had no part nor interest in the contest. Without a
common sympathy to bind them together, was it strange that they
should fall off from him, like leaves in winter, and leave him
exposed, a bare and sapless trunk, to the fury of the tempest?

Cepeda, more criminal than Pizarro, since he had both superior
education and intelligence, which he employed only to mislead his
commander, did not long survive him. He had come to the country
in an office of high responsibility. His first step was to
betray the viceroy whom he was sent to support; his next was to
betray the Audience with whom he should have acted; and lastly,
he betrayed the leader whom he most affected to serve. His whole
career was treachery to his own government. His life was one long

After his surrender, several of the cavaliers, disgusted at his
cold-blooded apostasy, would have persuaded Gasca to send him to
execution along with his commander; but the president refused, in
consideration of the signal service he had rendered the Crown by
his defection. He was put under arrest, however, and sent to
Castile. There he was arraigned for high-treason. He made a
plausible defence, and as he had friends at court, it is not
improbable he would have been acquitted; but, before the trial
was terminated, he died in prison. It was the retributive
justice not always to be found in the affairs of this world. *19

[Footnote 19: The cunning lawyer prepared so plausible an
argument in his own justification, that Yllescas, the celebrated
historian of the Popes, declares that no one who read the paper
attentively, but must rise from the perusal of it with an entire
conviction of the writer's innocence, and of his unshaken loyalty
to the Crown. See the passage quoted by Garcilasso Com. Real.,
Parte 2, lib. 6, cap. 10]

Indeed, it so happened, that several of those who had been most
forward to abandon the cause of Pizarro survived their commander
but a short time. The gallant Centeno, and the Licentiate
Carbajal, who deserted him near Lima, and bore the royal standard
on the field of Xaquixaguana, both died within a year after
Pizarro. Hinojosa was assassinated but two years later in La
Plata; and his old comrade Valdivia, after a series of brilliant
exploits in Chili, which furnished her most glorious theme to the
epic Muse of Castile, was cut off by the invincible warriors of
Arauco. The Manes of Pizarro were amply avenged.

Acosta, and three or four other cavaliers who surrendered with
Gonzalo, were sent to execution on the same day with their chief;
and Gasca, on the morning following the dismal tragedy, broke up
his quarters and marched with his whole army to Cuzco, where he
was received by the politic people with the same enthusiasm which
they had so recently shown to his rival. He found there a number
of the rebel army who had taken refuge in the city after their
late defeat, where they were immediately placed under arrest.
Proceedings, by Gasca's command, were instituted against them.
The principal cavaliers, to the number of ten or twelve, were
executed; others were banished or sent to the galleys. The same
rigorous decrees were passed against such as had fled and were
not yet taken, and the estates of all were confiscated. The
estates of the rebels supplied a fund for the recompense of the
loyal. *20 The execution of justice may seem to have been severe;
but Gasca was willing that the rod should fall heavily on those
who had so often rejected his proffers of grace. Lenity was
wasted on a rude, licentious soldiery, who hardly recognized the
existence of government, unless they felt its rigor
[Footnote 20: Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Fernandez,
Hist. del Peru, Parte 1, lib. 2, cap. 91. - Carta de Valdivia,
Ms. - Zarate, Conq. del Peru, lib 7, cap 8. - Relacion del Lic.
Gasca, Ms]

A new duty now devolved on the president, - that of rewarding his
faithful followers, - not less difficult, as it proved, than that
of punishing the guilty. The applicants were numerous; since
every one who had raised a finger in behalf of the government
claimed his reward. They urged their demands with a clamorous
importunity which perplexed the good president, and consumed
every moment of his time.

Disgusted with this unprofitable state of things, Gasca resolved
to rid himself of the annoyance at once, by retiring to the
valley of Guaynarima, about twelve leagues distant from the city,
and there digesting, in quiet, a scheme of compensation, adjusted
to the merits of the parties. He was accompanied only by his
secretary, and by Loaysa, now archbishop of Lima, a man of sense,
and well acquainted with the affairs of the country. In this
seclusion the president remained three months, making a careful
examination into the conflicting claims, and apportioning the
forfeitures among the parties according to their respective
services. The repa??timientos, it should be remarked, were
usually granted only for life, and, on the death of the
incumbent, reverted to the Crown, to be reassigned or retained at
its pleasure.

When his arduous task was completed, Gasca determined to withdraw
to Lima, leaving the instrument of partition with the archbishop,
to be communicated to the army. Notwithstanding all the care
that had been taken for an equitable adjustment, Gasca was aware
that it was impossible to satisfy the demands of a jealous and
irritable soldiery, where each man would be likely to exaggerate
his own deserts, while he underrated those of his comrades; and
he did not care to expose himself to importunities and complaints
that could serve no other purpose than to annoy him.
On his departure, the troops were called together by the
archbishop in the cathedral, to learn the contents of the
schedule intrusted to him. A discourse was first preached by a
worthy Dominican, the prior of Arequipa, in which the reverend
father expatiated on the virtue of contentment, the duty of
obedience, and the folly, as well as wickedness, of an attempt to
resist the constituted authorities, topics, in short, which he
conceived might best conciliate the good-will and conformity of
his audience.

A letter from the president was then read from the pulpit. It
was addressed to the officers and soldiers of the army. The
writer began with briefly exposing the difficulties of his task,
owing to the limited amount of the gratuities, and the great
number and services of the claimants. He had given the matter
the most careful consideration, he said, and endeavoured to
assign to each his share, according to his deserts, without
prejudice or partiality. He had, no doubt, fallen into errors,
but he trusted his followers would excuse them, when they
reflected that he had done according to the best of his poor
abilities; and all, he believed, would do him the justice to
acknowledge he had not been influenced by motives of personal
interest. He bore emphatic testimony to the services they had
rendered to the good cause, and concluded with the most
affectionate wishes for their future prosperity and happiness.
The letter was dated at Guaynarima, August 17, 1548, and bore the
simple signature of the Licentiate Gasca. *21

[Footnote 21: Ms. de Caravantes - Pedro Pizzarro, Descub. y
Conq., Ms. - Peru, Zarate, Conq. del Peru, lib. 7, cap. 9. -
Fernandez, Hist. del Peru, Parte 1, lib. 2, cap 92.]

The archbishop next read the paper containing the president's
award. The annual rent of the estates to be distributed amounted
to a hundred and thirty thousand pesos ensayados; *22 a large
amount, considering the worth of money in that day, - in any
other country than Peru, where money was a drug. *23

[Footnote 22: The peso ensayado, according to Garcilasso, was one
fifth more in value than the Castilian ducat. Com. Real., Parte
2, lib. 6, cap. 3.]

[Footnote 23: "Entre los cavalleros capitanes y soldados que le
ayudaron en esta ocasion repartio el Presidente Pedro de la Gasca
135,000 pesos ensayados de renta que estaban vacos, y no un
millon y tantos mil pesos, como dize Diego Fernandez, que
escrivio en Palencia estas alteraciones, y de quien lo tomo
Antonio de Herrera: y porque esta ocasion fue la segunda en que
los benemeritos del Piru fundan con razon los servicios de sus
pasados, porque mediante esta batalla aseguro la corona de
Castilla las provincias mas ricas que tiene en America, pondre
sus nombres para que se conserbe con certeza su memoria como
pareze en el auto original que proveyo en el asiento de
Guainarima cerca de la ciudad del Cuzco en diez y siete de Agosto
de 1548, que esta en los archivos del govierno." Ms. de

The sum mentioned in the text, as thus divided among the army,
falls very far short of the amount stated by Garcilasso,
Fernandez, Zarate, and, indeed, every other writer on the
subject, none of whom estimate it at less than a million of
pesos. But Caravantes, from whom I have taken it, copies the
original act of partition preserved in the royal archives. Yet
Garcilasso de la Vega ought to have been well informed of the
value of these estates, which, according to him, far exceeded the
estimate given in the schedule. Thus, for instance, Hinojosa, he
says, obtained from the share of lands and rich mines assigned to
him from the property of Gonzalo Pizarro no less than 200,000
pesos annually, while Aldana, the Licentiate Carbajal, and
others, had estates which yielded them from 10,000 to 50,000
pesos. (Ibid., ubi supra.) It is impossible to reconcile these
monstrous discrepancies. No sum seems to have been too large for
the credulity of the ancient chronicler; and the imagination of
the reader is so completely bewildered by the actual riches of
this El Dorado, that it is difficult to adjust his faith by any
standard of probability.]

The repartimientos thus distributed varied in value from one
hundred to thirty-five hundred pesos of yearly rent; all,
apparently, graduated with the nicest precision to the merits of
the parties. The number of pensioners was about two hundred and
fifty; for the fund would not have sufficed for general
distribution, nor were the services of the greater part deemed
worthy of such a mark of consideration. *24

[Footnote 24: Caravantes has transcribed from the original act a
full catalogue of the pensioners, with the amount of the sums set
against each of their names.]

The effect produced by the document, on men whose minds were
filled with the most indefinite expectations, was just such as
had been anticipated by the president. It was received with a
general murmur of disapprobation. Even those who had got more
than they expected were discontented, on comparing their
condition with that of their comrades, whom they thought still
better remunerated in proportion to their deserts. They
especially inveighed against the preference shown to the old
partisans of Gonzalo Pizarro - as Hinojosa, Centeno, and Aldana -
over those who had always remained loyal to the Crown. There was
some ground for such a preference; for none had rendered so
essential services in crushing the rebellion; and it was these
services that Gasca proposed to recompense. To reward every man
who had proved himself loyal, simply for his loyalty, would have
frittered away the donative into fractions that would be of
little value to any. *25

[Footnote 25: The president found an ingenious way of
remunerating several of his followers, by bestowing on them the
hands of the rich widows of the cavaliers who had perished in the
war. The inclinations of the ladies do not seem to have been
always consulted in this politic arrangement. See Garci lasen,
Com. Real., Parte 2 lib. 6 cap. 3.]

It was in vain, however, that the archbishop, seconded by some of
the principal cavaliers, endeavoured to infuse a more contented
spirit into the multitude. They insisted that the award should
be rescinded, and a new one made on more equitable principles;
threatening, moreover, that, if this were not done by the
president, they would take the redress of the matter into their
own hands. Their discontent, fomented by some mischievous
persons who thought to find their account in it, at length
proceeded so far as to menace a mutiny; and it was not suppressed
till the commander of Cuzco sentenced one of the ringleaders to
death, and several others to banishment. The iron soldiery of
the Conquest required an iron hand to rule them.

Meanwhile, the president had continued his journey towards Lima;
and on the way was everywhere received by the people with an
enthusiasm, the more grateful to his heart that he felt he had
deserved it. As he drew near the capital, the loyal inhabitants
prepared to give him a magnificent reception. The whole
population came forth from the gates, led by the authorities of
the city, with Aldana as corregidor at their head. Gasca rode on
a mule, dressed in his ecclesiastical robes. On his right, borne
on a horse richly caparisoned, was the royal seal, in a box
curiously chased and ornamented. A gorgeous canopy of brocade
was supported above his head by the officers of the municipality,
who, in their robes of crimson velvet, walked bareheaded by his
side. Gay troops of dancers, clothed in fantastic dresses of
gaudy-colored silk, followed the procession, strewing flowers and
chanting verses as they went, in honor of the president. They
were designed as emblematical of the different cities of the
colony; and they bore legends or mottoes in rhyme on their caps,
intimating their loyal devotion to the Crown, and evincing much
more loyalty in their composition, it may be added, than poetical
merit. *26 In this way, without beat of drum, or noise of
artillery, or any of the rude accompaniments of war, the good
president made his peaceful entry into the City of the Kings,
while the air was rent with the acclamations of the people, who
hailed him as their "Father and Deliverer, the Saviour of their
country.!" *27

[Footnote 26: Fernandez has collected these flowers of colonial
poesy, which prove that the old Conquerors were much more expert
with the sword than with the pen. Hist. del Peru, Parte 1, lib.
2, cap. 93.]
[Footnote 27: "Fue recibimiento mui solemne, con universal
alegria del Pueblo, por verse libre de Tiranos; i toda la Gente,
a voces, bendecia al Presidente, i le llamaban: Padre,
Restaurador, i Pacificador, dando gracias a Dios, por haver
vengado las injurias hechas a su Divina Magestad." Herrera, Hist
General, dec. 8, lib. 4, cap. 17.]
But, however grateful was this homage to Gasca's heart, he was
not a man to waste his time in idle vanities. He now thought
only by what means he could eradicate the seeds of disorder which
shot up so readily in this fruitful soil, and how he could place
the authority of the government on a permanent basis. By virtue
of his office, he presided over the Royal Audience, the great
judicial, and, indeed, executive tribunal of the colony; and he
gave great despatch to the business, which had much accumulated
during the late disturbances. In the unsettled state of
property, there was abundant subject for litigation; but,
fortunately, the new Audience was composed of able, upright
judges, who labored diligently with their chief to correct the
mischief caused by the misrule of their predecessors.

Neither was Gasca unmindful of the unfortunate natives; and he
occupied himself earnestly with that difficult problem, - the
best means practicable of ameliorating their condition. He sent
a number of commissioners, as visitors, into different parts of
the country, whose business it was to inspect the encomiendas,
and ascertain the manner in which the Indians were treated, by
conversing not only with the proprietors, but with the natives
themselves. They were also to learn the nature and extent of the
tributes paid in former times by the vassals of the Incas. *28

[Footnote 28: "El Presidente Gasca mando visitar todas las
provincias y repartimientos deste reyno, nombrando para ello
personas de autoridad y de quien se tenia entendido que tenian
conoscimiento de la tierra que se les encargavan, que ha de ser
la principal calidad, que se ha buscar en la persona, a quien se
comete semejante negocio despues que sea Cristiana: lo segundo se
les dio instruccion de lo que hauian de averiguar, que fueron
muchas cosas: el numero, las haciendas, los tratos y grangerias,
la calidad de la gente y de sus tierras y comarca y lo que davan
de tributo." Ondegardo, Rel. Prim., Ms.]

In this way, a large amount of valuable information was obtained,
which enabled Gasca, with the aid of a council of ecclesiastics
and jurists, to digest a uniform system of taxation for the
natives, lighter even than that imposed on them by the Peruvian
princes. The president would gladly have relieved the conquered
races from the obligations of personal service; but, on mature
consideration, this was judged impracticable in the present state
of the country, since the colonists, more especially in the
tropical regions, looked to the natives for the performance of
labor, and the latter, it was found from experience, would not
work at all, unless compelled to do so. The president, however,
limited the amount of service to be exacted with great precision,
so that it was in the nature of a moderate personal tax. No
Peruvian was to be required to change his place of residence,
from the climate to which he had been accustomed, to another; a
fruitful source of discomfort, as well as of disease, in past
times. By these various regulations, the condition of the
natives, though not such as had been contemplated by the sanguine
philanthropy of Las Casas, was improved far more than was
compatible with the craving demands of the colonists; and all the
firmness of the Audience was required to enforce provisions so
unpalatable to the latter. Still they were enforced. Slavery,
in its most odious sense, was no longer tolerated in Peru. The
term "slave" was not recognized as having relation to her
institutions; and the historian of the Indies makes the proud
boast, - it should have been qualified by the limitations I have
noticed, - that every Indian vassal might aspire to the rank of a
freeman. *29
[Footnote 29: "El Presidente, i el Audiencia dieron tales
oraenes, que este negocio se asento, de manera, que para adelante
no se platico mas este nombre de Esclavos, sino que la libertad
fue general por todo el Reino." Herrera, Hist. Gen., dec. 8, lib.
5, cap. 7.]

Besides these reforms, Gasca introduced several in the municipal
government of the cities, and others yet more important in the
management of the finances, and in the mode of keeping the
accounts. By these and other changes in the internal economy of
the colony, he placed the administration on a new basis, and
greatly facilitated the way for a more sure and orderly
government by his successors. As a final step, to secure the
repose of the country after he was gone, he detached some of the
more aspiring cavaliers on distant expeditions, trusting that
they would draw off the light and restless spirits, who might
otherwise gather together and disturb the public tranquillity; as
we sometimes see the mists which have been scattered by the
genial influence of the sun become condensed, and settle into a
storm, on his departure. *30

[Footnote 30: Ms. de Caravantes. - Gomara, Hist. de las Indians,
cap. 187. - Fernandez, Hist. del Peru, Parte 1, lib. 2, cap.
93-95. - Zarate. Conq. del Peru, lib. 7, cap. 10.]

Gasca had been now more than fifteen months in Lima and nearly
three years had elapsed since his first entrance into Peru. In
that time, he had accomplished the great objects of his mission.
When he landed, he found the colony in a state of anarchy, or
rather organized rebellion under a powerful and popular chief.
He came without funds or forces to support him. The former he
procured through the credit which he established in his good
faith; the latter he won over by argument and persuasion from the
very persons to whom they had been confided by his rival. Thus
he turned the arms of that rival against himself. By a calm
appeal to reason he wrought a change in the hearts of the people;
and, without costing a drop of blood to a single loyal subject,
he suppressed a rebellion which had menaced Spain with the loss
of the wealthiest of her provinces. He had punished the guilty,
and in their spoils found the means to recompense the faithful.
He had, moreover, so well husbanded the resources of the country,
that he was enabled to pay off the large loan he had negotiated
with the merchants of the colony, for the expenses of the war,
exceeding nine hundred thousand pesos de oro. *31 Nay, more, by
his economy he had saved a million and a half of ducats for the
government, which for some years had received nothing from Peru;
and he now proposed to carry back this acceptable treasure to
swell the royal coffers. *32 All this had been accomplished
without the cost of outfit or salary, or any charge to the Crown
except that of his own frugal expenditure. *33 The country was
now in a state of tranquillity Gasca felt that his work was done;
and that he was free to gratify his natural longing to return to
his native land.

[Footnote 31: "Recogio tanta sema de dinero, que pago novecientos
mil pesos de Oro, que se hallo haver gastado, desde el Dia que
entro en Panama, hasta que se acabo la Guerra, los quales tomo
prestados." Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 8, lib. 5, cap. 7. -
Zarate, Conq. del Peru, lib. 7, cap. 10.]

[Footnote 32: "Aviendo pagado el Presidente las costas de la
guerra que fueron muchas, remitio a S. M y lo llevo consigo
264,422 marcos de plata, que a seis ducados valieron 1 millon
588,332 ducados" Ms. de Caravantes.]
[Footnote 33: "No tubo ni quiso salario el Presidente Gasca sino
cedula para que a un mayordomo suyo diosen los Oficiales reales
lo necesario de la real Hacienda, que como pareze de los
quadernos de su gasto fue muy moderado." (Ms. de Caravantes.)
Gasca, it appears, was most exact in keeping the accounts of his
disbursements for the expenses of himself and household, from the
time he embarked for the colonies.]

Before his departure, he arranged a distribution of those
repartimientos which had lapsed to the Crown during the past year
by the death of the incumbents. Life was short in Peru; since
those who lived by the sword, if they did not die by the sword,
too often fell early victims to the hardships incident to their
adventurous career. Many were the applicants for the new bounty
of government; and, as among them were some of those who had been
discontented with the former partition, Gasca was assailed by
remonstrances, and sometimes by reproaches couched in no very
decorous or respectful language. But they had no power to
disturb his equanimity; he patiently listened, and replied to all
in the mild tone of expostulation best calculated to turn away
wrath; "by this victory over himself," says an old writer,
"acquiring more real glory, than by all his victories over his
enemies." *34

[Footnote 34: "En lo qual hizo mas que en vencer y ganar todo
aquel Ympe rio: porque fue vencerse assi proprio." Garcilasso,
Com. Real Parte 2, lib. 6, cap. 7.]

An incident occurred on the eve of his departure, touching in
itself, and honorable to the parties concerned. The Indian
caciques of the neighbouring country, mindful of the great
benefits he had rendered their people, presented him with a
considerable quantity of plate in token of their gratitude. But
Gasca refused to receive it, though in doing so he gave much
concern to the Peruvians who feared they had unwittingly fallen
under his displeasure.

Many of the principal colonists, also, from the same wish to show
their sense of his important services, sent to him, after he had
embarked, a magnificent donative of fifty thousand gold
castellanos. "As he had taken leave of Peru," they said, "there
could be no longer any ground for declining it." But Gasca was as
decided in his rejection of this present, as he had been of the
other. "He had come to the country," he remarked, "to serve the
king, and to secure the blessings of peace to the inhabitants;
and now that, by the favor of Heaven, he had been permitted to
accomplish this, he would not dishonor the cause by any act that
might throw suspicion on the purity of his motives."
Notwithstanding his refusal, the colonists contrived to secrete
the sum of twenty thousand castellanos on board of his vessel,
with the idea, that, once in his own country, with his mission
concluded, the president's scruples would be removed. Gasca did,
indeed, accept the donative; for he felt that it would be
ungracious to send it back; but it was only till he could
ascertain the relatives of the donors, when he distributed it
among the most needy. *35

[Footnote 35: Fernandez, Hist. del Peru, Parte 1, lib. 2, cap.
Having now settled all his affairs, the president committed
the government, until the arrival of a viceroy, to his faithful
partners of the Royal Audience, and in January, 1150, he embarked
with the royal treasure on board of a squadron for Panama. He
was accompanied to the shore by a numerous crowd of the
inhabitants, cavaliers and common people, persons of all ages and
conditions, who followed to take their last look of their
benefactor, and watch with straining eyes the vessel that bore
him away from their land.

His voyage was prosperous, and early in March the president
reached his destined port. He stayed there only till he could
muster horses and mules sufficient to carry the treasure across
the mountains; for he knew that this part of the country abounded
in wild, predatory spirits, who would be sorely tempted to some
act of violence by a knowledge of the wealth which he had with
him. Pushing forward, therefore, he crossed the rugged Isthmus,
and, after a painful march, arrived in safety at Nombre de Dios.

The event justified his apprehensions. He had been gone but
three days, when a ruffian horde, after murdering the bishop of
Guatemala, broke into Panama with the design of inflicting the
same fate on the president, and of seizing the booty. No sooner
were the tidings communicated to Gasca, than, with his usual
energy, he levied a force and prepared to march to the relief of
the invaded capital. But Fortune - or, to speak more correctly
Providence - favored him here, as usual; and, on the eve of his
departure, he learned that the marauders had been met by the
citizens, and discomfited with great slaughter. Disbanding his
forces, therefore, he equipped a fleet of nineteen vessels to
transport himself and the royal treasure to Spain, where he
arrived in safety, entering the harbour of Seville after a little
more than four years from the period when he had sailed from the
same port. *36

[Footnote 36: Ms. de Caravantes. - Gomara, Hist. de las Indias,
cap. 183. - Fernandez, Hist. del Peru Parte 2, lib 1, cap. 10. -
Zarate Conq. del Peru, lib. 7, cap. 13. - Herrera, Hist. General,
dec. 8, lib. 6. cap. 17. 2, lib 1, cap. 10. - Zarate Conq.]

Great was the sensation throughout the country caused by his
arrival. Men could hardly believe that results so momentous had
been accomplished in so short a time by a single individual, - a
poor ecclesiastic, who, unaided by government, had, by his own
strength, as it were, put down a rebellion which had so long set
the arms of Spain at defiance!
The emperor was absent in Flanders. He was overjoyed on learning
the complete success of Gasca's mission; and not less satisfied
with the tidings of the treasure he had brought with him; for the
exchequer, rarely filled to overflowing, had been exhausted by
the recent troubles in Germany. Charles instantly wrote to the
president, requiring his presence at court, that he might learn
from his own lips the particulars of his expedition. Gasca,
accordingly, attended by a numerous retinue of nobles and
cavaliers, - for who does not pay homage to him whom the king
delighteth to honor? - embarked at Barcelona, and, after a
favorable voyage, joined the Court in Flanders.

He was received by his royal master, who fully appreciated his
services, in a manner most grateful to his feelings; and not long
afterward he was raised to the bishopric of Palencia, - a mode of
acknowledgment best suited to his character and deserts. Here he
remained till 1561, when he was promoted to the vacant see of
Siguenza. The rest of his days he passed peacefully in the
discharge of his episcopal functions; honored by his sovereign,
and enjoying the admiration and respect of his countrymen. *37

[Footnote 37: Ibid., ubi supra. - Ms. de Caravantes. - Gomara,
Hist. de as Indias, cap. 182. - Fernandez, Hist. del Peru, Parte
2, lib. 1 cap. 10. - Zarate, Conq. del Peru lib. 7, cap. 13.]

In his retirement, he was still consulted by the government in
matters of importance relating to the Indies. The disturbances
of that unhappy land were renewed, though on a much smaller scale
than before, soon after the president's departure. They were
chiefly caused by discontent with the repartimientos, and with
the constancy of the Audience in enforcing the benevolent
restrictions as to the personal services of the natives. But
these troubles subsided, after a very few years, under the wise
rule of the Mendozas, - two successive viceroys of that
illustrious house which has given so many of its sons to the
service of Spain. Under their rule, the mild yet determined
policy was pursued, of which Gasca had set the example. The
ancient distractions of the country were permanently healed.
With peace, prosperity returned within the borders of Peru; and
the consciousness of the beneficent results of his labors may
have shed a ray of satisfaction, as it did of glory, over the
evening of the president's life.

That life was brought to a close in November 1567, at an age,
probably, not far from the one fixed by the sacred writer as the
term of human existence. *38 He died at Valladolid, and was
buried in the church of Santa Maria Magdalena, in that city,
which he had built and liberally endowed. His monument,
surmounted by the sculptured effigy of a priest in his sacerdotal
robes, is still to be seen there, attracting the admiration of
the traveller by the beauty of its execution. The banners taken
from Gonzalo Pizarro on the field of Xaquixaguana were suspended
over his tomb, as the trophies of his memorable mission to Peru.
*39 The banners have long since mouldered into dust, with the
remains of him who slept beneath them; but the memory of his good
deeds will endure for ever. *40
[Footnote 38: I have met with no account of the year in which
Gasca was born; but an inscription on his portrait in the
sacristy of St. Mary Magdalene at Valladolid, from which the
engraving prefixed to this volume is taken, states that he died
in 1567, at the age of seventy-one. This is perfectly consistent
with the time of life at which he had probably arrived when we
find him a collegiate at Salamanca, in the year 1522.]
[Footnote 39: "Murio en Valladolid, donde mando enterrar su
cuerpo en la Iglesia de la advocacion de la Magdalena, que hizo
edificar en aquella ciudad, donde se pusieron las vanderas que
gano a Gonzalo Pizarro." Ms. de Caravantes.]

[Footnote 40: The memory of his achievements has not been left
entirely to the care of the historian. It is but a few years
since the character and administration of Gasca formed the
subject of an elaborate panegyric from one of the most
distinguished statesmen in the British parliament. (See Lord
Brougham's speech on the maltreatment of the North American
colonies, February, 1838.) The enlightened Spaniard of our day,
who contemplates with sorrow the excesses committed by his
countrymen of the sixteenth century in the New World, may feel an
honest pride, that in this company of dark spirits should be
found one to whom the present generation may turn as to the
brightest model of integrity and wisdom.]

Gasca was plain in person, and his countenance was far from
comely. He was awkward and ill-proportioned; for his limbs were
too long for his body, - so that when he rode, he appeared to be
much shorter than he really was. *41 His dress was humble, his
manners simple, and there was nothing imposing in his presence.
But, on a nearer intercourse, there was a charm in his discourse
that effaced every unfavorable impression produced by his
exterior, and won the hearts of his hearers.
[Footnote 41: "Era muy pequeno de cuerpo con estrana hechura, que
de la cintura abaxo tenia tanto cuerpo, como qualquiera hombre
alto, y de la cintura al hombro no tenia vna tercia. Andando a
cauallo parescia a vn mas pequeno de lo que era, porque todo era
piernas: de rostro era muy feo: pero lo que la naturaleza le nego
de las dotes del cuerpo, se los doblo en los del animo."
Garcilasso, Com. Real, Parte 2, lib. 5, cap. 2.]
The president's character may be thought to have been
sufficiently portrayed in the history already given of his life.
It presented a combination of qualities which generally serve to
neutralize each other, but which were mixed in such proportions
in him as to give it additional strength. He was gentle, yet
resolute; by nature intrepid, yet preferring to rely on the
softer arts of policy. He was frugal in his personal
expenditure, and economical in the public; yet caring nothing for
riches on his own account, and never stinting his bounty when the
public good required it. He was benevolent and placable, yet
could deal sternly with the impenitent offender; lowly in his
deportment, yet with a full measure of that self-respect which
springs from conscious rectitude of purpose; modest and
unpretending, yet not shrinking from the most difficult
enterprises; deferring greatly to others, yet, in the last
resort, relying mainly on himself; moving with deliberation, -
patiently waiting his time; but, when that came, bold, prompt,
and decisive.

Gasca was not a man of genius, in the vulgar sense of that term.
At least, no one of his intellectual powers seems to have
received an extraordinary development, beyond what is found in
others. He was not a great writer, nor a great orator, nor a
great general. He did not affect to be either. He committed the
care of his military matters to military men; of ecclesiastical,
to the clergy; and his civi and judicial concerns he reposed on
the members of the Audience. He was not one of those little
great men who aspire to do every thing themselves, under the
conviction that nothing can be done so well by others. But the
president was a keen judge of character. Whatever might be the
office, he selected the best man for it. He did more. He
assured himself of the fidelity of his agents, presided at their
deliberations; dictated a general line of policy, and thus
infused a spirit of unity into their plans, which made all move
in concert to the accomplishment of one grand result.
A distinguishing feature of his mind was his common sense, - the
best substitute for genius in a ruler who has the destinies of
his fellow-men at his disposal, and more indispensable than
genius itself. In Gasca, the different qualities were blended in
such harmony, that there was no room for excess. They seemed to
regulate each other. While his sympathy with mankind taught him
the nature of their wants, his reason suggested to what extent
these were capable of relief, as well as the best mode of
effecting it. He did not waste his strength on illusory schemes
of benevolence, like Las Casas, on the one hand; nor did he
countenance the selfish policy of the colonists, on the other.
He aimed at the practicable, - the greatest good practicable.

In accomplishing his objects, he disclaimed force equally with
fraud. He trusted for success to his power over the convictions

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