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

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when the grain would have been of far more value.

[Footnote 40: "Et fra l'altre cose singolari, era veder quattro
castrati di fin oro molto grandi, et 10 o 12 statue di done,
della grandezza delle done di quel paese tutte d'oro fino, cosi
belle et ben fatte come se fossero viue. . . . . . Queste furono
date nel quinto che toccaua a S. M." (Ped. Sancho, Rel., ap.
Ramusio, tom. III fol.409.) "Muchas estatuas y figuras de oro y
plata enteras, hecha la forma toda de una muger, y del tamano
della, muy bien labradas." Relacion del Primer. Descub., Ms.]

[Footnote 41: "Avia ansi mismo miscmo otras muchas plumas de
diferentes colores para este efecto de hacer rropas que vestian
los senores y senoras y no otto otro en los tiempos de sus
fiestas; avia tambien mantas hechas de chaquira, de oro, y de
plata, que heran vnas quentecitas muy delicadas, que parecia cosa
de espanto ver su hechura." Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms.]

[Footnote 42: Ondegardo, Rel. Prim., Ms.]

Yet the amount of treasure in the capital did not equal the
sanguine expectations that had been formed by the Spaniards. But
the deficiency was supplied by the plunder which they had
collected at various places on their march. In one place, for
example, they met with ten planks or bars of solid silver, each
piece being twenty feet in length, one foot in breadth, and two
or three inches thick. They were intended to decorate the
dwelling of an Inca noble. *43

[Footnote 43: "Pues andando yo buscando mahiz o otras cosas para
comer, acaso entre en vn buhio donde halle estos tablones de
plata que tengo dicho que heran hasta diez y de largo tenian
veinte pies y de anchor de vno y de gordor de tres dedos, di
noticia dello al marquez y el y todos los demas que con e.
estavan entraron a vello." Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms.]
The whole mass of treasure was brought into a common heap, as in
Caxamalca; and after some of the finer specimens had been
deducted for the Crown, the remainder was delivered to the Indian
goldsmiths to be melted down into ingots of a uniform standard.
The division of the spoil was made on the same principle as
before. There were four hundred and eighty soldiers, including
the garrison of Xauxa, who were each to receive a share, that of
the cavalry being double that of the infantry. The amount of
booty is stated variously by those present at the division of it.
According to some, it considerably exceeded the ransom of
Atahuallpa. Others state it as less. Pedro Pizarro says that
each horseman got six thousand pesos de oro, and each one of the
infantry half that sum; *44 though the same discrimination was
made by Pizarro as before, in respect to the rank of the parties,
and their relative services. But Sancho, the royal notary, and
secretary of the commander, estimates the whole amount as far
less, - not exceeding five hundred and eighty thousand and two
hundred pesos de oro, and two hundred and fifteen thousand marks
of silver. *45 In the absence of the official returns, it is
impossible to determine which is correct. But Sancho's narrative
is countersigned, it may be remembered, by Pizarro and the royal
treasurer Riquelme, and doubtless, therefore, shows the actual
amount for which the Conquerors accounted to the Crown.

[Footnote 44: Descub. y Conq., Ms.]

[Footnote 45: Ped. Sancho, Rel., ap. Ramusio, tom. III. fol.

Whichever statement we receive, the sum, combined with that
obtained at Caxamalca, might well have satisfied the cravings of
the most avaricious. The sudden influx of so much wealth, and
that, too, in so transferable a form, among a party of reckless
adventures little accustomed to the possession of money, had its
natural effect. It supplied them with the means of gaming, so
strong and common a passion with the Spaniards, that it may be
considered a national vice. Fortunes were lost and won in a
single day, sufficient to render the proprietors independent for
life; and many a desperate gamester, by an unlucky throw of the
dice or turn of the cards, saw himself stripped in a few hours of
the fruits of years of toil, and obliged to begin over again the
business of rapine. Among these, one in the cavalry service is
mentioned, named Leguizano, who had received as his share of the
booty the image of the Sun, which, raised on a plate of burnished
gold, spread over the walls in a recess of the great temple, and
which, for some reason or other, - perhaps because of its
superior fineness, - was not recast like the other ornaments.
This rich prize the spendthrift lost in a single night; whence it
came to be a proverb in Spain, Juega el Sol antes que amanezca,
"Play away the Sun before sunrise." *46

[Footnote 46: Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 1 lib. 3, cap. 20]
The effect of such a surfeit of the precious metals was instantly
felt on prices. The most ordinary articles were only to be had
for exorbitant sums. A quire of paper sold for ten pesos de oro;
a bottle of wine, for sixty; a sword, for forty or fifty; a
cloak, for a hundred, - sometimes more; a pair of shoes cost
thirty or forty pesos de oro, and a good horse could not be had
for less than twenty-five hundred. *47 Some brought a still
higher price. Every article rose in value, as gold and silver,
the representatives of all, declined. Gold and silver, in short,
seemed to be the only things in Cuzco that were not wealth. Yet
there were some few wise enough to return contented with their
present gains to their native country. Here their riches brought
them consideration and competence, and, while they excited the
envy of their countrymen, stimulated them to seek their own
fortunes in the like path of adventure.

[Footnote 47: Xerez, Conq. del Peru, ap. Barcia, tom. III. p.

Chapter IX

New Inca Crowned. - Municipal Regulations. - Terrible March Of
Alvarado. - Interview With Pizarro. - Foundation Of Lima. -
Hernando Pizarro Reaches Spain. - Sensation At Court. - Feuds Of
Almagro And The Pizarros.

The first care of the Spanish general, after the division of the
booty, was to place Manco on the throne, and to obtain for him
the recognition of his countrymen. He, accordingly, presented
the young prince to them as their future sovereign, the
legitimate son of Huayna Capac, and the true heir of the Peruvian
sceptre. The annunciation was received with enthusiasm by the
people, attached to the memory of his illustrious father, and
pleased that they were still to have a monarch rule over them of
the ancient line of Cuzco.

Every thing was done to maintain the illusion with the Indian
population. The ceremonies of a coronation were studiously
observed. The young prince kept the prescribed fasts and vigils;
and on the appointed day, the nobles and the people, with the
whole Spanish soldiery, assembled in the great square of Cuzco to
witness the concluding ceremony. Mass was publicly performed by
Father Valverde, and the Inca Manco received the fringed diadem
of Peru, not from the hand of the high-priest of his nation, but
from his Conqueror, Pizarro. The Indian lords then tendered
their obeisance in the customary form; after which the royal
notary read aloud the instrument asserting the supremacy of the
Castilian Crown, and requiring the homage of all present to its
authority. This address was explained by an interpreter, and the
ceremony of homage was performed by each one of the parties
waving the royal banner of Castile twice or thrice with his
hands. Manco then pledged the Spanish commander in a golden
goblet of the sparkling chicha; and, the latter having cordially
embraced the new monarch, the trumpets announced the conclusion
of the ceremony. *1 But it was not the note of triumph, but of
humiliation; for it proclaimed that the armed foot of the
stranger was in the halls of the Peruvian Incas; that the
ceremony of coronation was a miserable pageant; that their prince
himself was but a puppet in the hands of his Conqueror; and that
the glory of the Children of the Sun had departed for ever!

[Footnote 1: Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Ped. Sancho,
Rel., ap Ramusio, tom. III. fol. 407.]

Yet the people readily gave in to the illusion, and seemed
willing to accept this image of their ancient independence. The
accession of the young monarch was greeted by all the usual fetes
and rejoicings. The mummies of his royal ancestors, with such
ornaments as were still left to them, were paraded in the great
square. They were attended each by his own numerous retinue, who
performed all the menial offices, as if the object of them were
alive and could feel their import. Each ghostly form took its
seat at the banquet-table - now, alas! stripped of the
magnificent service with which it was wont to blaze at these high
festivals - and the guests drank deep to the illustrious dead.
Dancing succeeded the carousal, and the festivities, prolonged to
a late hour, were continued night after night by the giddy
population, as if their conquerors had not been intrenched in the
capital! *2 - What a contrast to the Aztecs in the conquest of

[Footnote 2: Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms

"Luego por la manana iba al enterramiento donde estaban cada uno
por orden embalsamados como es dicho, y asentados en sus sillas,
y con mucha veneracion y respeto, todos por orden los sacaban de
alli y los trahian a la ciudad, teniendo cada uno su litera, y
hombres con su librea, que le trujesen, y ansi desta manera todo
el servicio y aderezos como si estubiera vivo." Relacion del
Primer. Descub, Ms.]

Pizarro's next concern was to organize a municipal government for
Cuzco, like those in the cities of the parent country. Two
alcaldes were appointed, and eight regidores, among which last
functionaries were his brothers Gonzalo and Juan. The oaths of
office were administered with great solemnity, on the
twenty-fourth of March, 1534, in presence both of Spaniards and
Peruvians, in the public square; as if the general were willing
by this ceremony to intimate to the latter, that, while they
retained the semblance of their ancient institutions, the real
power was henceforth vested in their conquerors. *3 He invited
Spaniards to settle in the place by liberal grants of land and
houses, for which means were afforded by the numerous palaces and
public buildings of the Incas; and many a cavalier, who had been
too poor in his own country to find a place to rest in, now saw
himself the proprietor of a spacious mansion that might have
entertained the retinue of a prince. *4 From this time, says an
old chronicler, Pizarro, who had hitherto been distinguished by
his military title of "Captain-General," was addressed by that of
"Governor." *5 Both had been bestowed on him by the royal grant.
[Footnote 3: Ped. Sancho, Rel., ap. Ramusio, tom. III. fol. 409.
- Montesinos, Annales, Ms., ano 1534. - Actto de la fundacion del
Cuzco, Ms.

This instrument, which belongs to the collection of Munoz,
records not only the names of the magistrates, but of the vecinos
who formed the first population of the Christian capital.]

[Footnote 4: Actto de la fundacion del Cuzco, Ms. - Pedro
Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 1,
lib. 7, cap. 9, et seq.

When a building was of immense size, as happened with some of the
temples and palaces, it was assigned to two or even three of the
Conquerors, who each took his share of it. Garcilasso, who
describes the city as it was soon after the Conquest,
commemorates with sufficient prolixity the names of the cavaliers
among whom the buildings were distributed.]

[Footnote 5: Montesinos, Annales, ano 1534.]

Nor did the chief neglect the interests of religion. Father
Valverde, whose nomination as Bishop of Cuzco not long afterwards
received the Papal sanction, prepared to enter on the duties of
his office. A place was selected for the cathedral of his
diocese, facing the plaza. A spacious monastery subsequently
rose on the ruins of the gorgeous House of the Sun; its walls
were constructed of the ancient stones; the altar was raised on
the spot where shone the bright image of the Peruvian deity, and
the cloisters of the Indian temple were trodden by the friars of
St. Dominic. *6 To make the metamorphosis more complete, the
House of the Virgins of the Sun was replaced by a Roman Catholic
nunnery. *7 Christian churches and monasteries gradually
supplanted the ancient edifices, and such of the latter as were
suffered to remain, despoiled of their heathen insignia, were
placed under the protection of the Cross.

[Footnote 6: Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 1, lib. 3, cap. 20;
lib. 6, cap. 21. - Naharro, Relacion Sumaria, Ms.]

[Footnote 7: Ulloa, Voyage to S. America, book 7, ch. 12.

"The Indian nuns," says the author of the Relacion del Primer.
Descub., "lived chastely and in a holy manner." - "Their chastity
was all a feint," says Pedro Pizarro, "for they had constant
amours with the attendants on the temple." (Descub. y Conq., Ms.)
- What is truth? - In statements so contradictory, we may accept
the most favorable to the Peruvian. The prejudices of the
Conqueror certainly did not lie on that side.]
The Fathers of St. Dominic, the Brethren of the Order of Mercy,
and other missionaries, now busied themselves in the good work of
conversion. We have seen that Pizarro was required by the Crown
to bring out a certain number of these holy men in his own
vessels; and every succeeding vessel brought an additional
reinforcement of ecclesiastics. They were not all like the
Bishop of Cuzco, with hearts so seared by fanaticism as to be
closed against sympathy with the unfortunate natives. *8 They
were, many of them, men of singular humility, who followed in the
track of the conqueror to scatter the seeds of spiritual truth,
and, with disinterested zeal, devoted themselves to the
propagation of the Gospel. Thus did their pious labors prove
them the true soldiers of the Cross, and showed that the object
so ostentatiously avowed of carrying its banner among the heathen
nations was not an empty vaunt.

[Footnote 8: Such, however, it is but fair to Valverde to state,
is not the language applied to him by the rude soldiers of the
Conquest. The municipality of Xauxa, in a communication to the
Court, extol the Dominican as an exemplary and learned divine,
who had afforded much serviceable consolation to his countrymen.
"Es persona de mucho exemplo i Doctrina i con quien todos los
Espanoles an tenido mucho consuelo." (Carta de la Just. y Reg. de
Xauxa, Ms.) And yet this is not incompatible with a high degree
of insensibility to the natural rights of the natives.]

The effort to Christianize the heathen is an honorable
characteristic of the Spanish conquests. The Puritan, with equal
religious zeal, did comparatively little for the conversion of
the Indian, content, as it would seem, with having secured to
himself the inestimable privilege of worshipping God in his own
way. Other adventurers who have occupied the New World have
often had too little regard for religion themselves, to be very
solicitous about spreading it among the savages. But the Spanish
missionary, from first to last, has shown a keen interest in the
spiritual welfare of the natives. Under his auspices, churches on
a magnificent scale have been erected, schools for elementary
instruction founded, and every rational means taken to spread the
knowledge of religious truth, while he has carried his solitary
mission into remote and almost inaccessible regions, or gathered
his Indian disciples into communities, like the good Las Casas in
Cumana, or the Jesuits in California and Paraguay. At all times,
the courageous ecclesiastic has been ready to lift his voice
against the cruelty of the conqueror, and the no less wasting
cupidity of the colonist; and when his remonstrances, as was too
often the case, have proved unavailing, he has still followed to
bind up the broken-hearted, to teach the poor Indian resignation
under his lot, and light up his dark intellect with the
revelation of a holier and happier existence. - In reviewing the
blood-stained records of Spanish colonial history, it is but
fair, and at the same time cheering, to reflect, that the same
nation which sent forth the hard-hearted conqueror from its bosom
sent forth the missionary to do the work of beneficence, and
spread the light of Christian civilization over the farthest
regions of the New World.

While the governor, as we are henceforth to style him, lay at
Cuzco, he received repeated accounts of a considerable force in
the neighbourhood, under the command of Atahuallpa's officer,
Quizquiz. He accordingly detached Almagro, with a small body of
horse and a large Indian force under the Inca Manco to disperse
the enemy, and, if possible, to capture their leader. Manco was
the more ready to take part in the expedition, as the enemy were
soldiers of Quito, who, with their commander, bore no good-will
to himself.
Almagro, moving with his characteristic rapidity, was not long in
coming up with the Indian chieftain. Several sharp encounters
followed, as the army of Quito fell back on Xauxa, near which a
general engagement decided the fate of the war by the total
discomfiture of the natives. Quizquiz fled to the elevated plains
of Quito, where he still held out with undaunted spirit against a
Spanish force in that quarter, till at length his own soldiers,
wearied by these long and ineffectual hostilities, massacred
their commander in cold blood. *9 Thus fell the last of the two
great officers of Atahuallpa, who, if their nation had been
animated by a spirit equal to their own, might long have
successfully maintained their soil against the invader.

[Footnote 9: Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Naharro,
Relacion Sumaria, Ms. - Oviedo, Hist. de las Indias, Ms., Parte
3, lib. 8, cap. 20. - Ped. Sancho, Rel., ap Ramusio, tom. III.
fol. 408. - Relacion del Primer. Descub., Ms.]

Some time before this occurrence, the Spanish governor, while in
Cuzco, received tidings of an event much more alarming to him
than any Indian hostilities. This was the arrival on the coast
of a strong Spanish force, under command of Don Pedro de
Alvarado, the gallant officer who had served under Cortes with
such renown in the war of Mexico. That cavalier, after forming a
brilliant alliance in Spain, to which he was entitled by his
birth and military rank, had returned to his government of
Guatemala, where his avarice had been roused by the magnificent
reports he daily received of Pizarro's conquests. These
conquests, he learned, had been confined to Peru; while the
northern kingdom of Quito, the ancient residence of Atahuallpa,
and, no doubt, the principal depository of his treasures, yet
remained untouched. Affecting to consider this country as falling
without the governor's jurisdiction, he immediately turned a
large fleet, which he had intended for the Spice Islands, in the
direction of South America; and in March, 1534, he landed in the
bay of Caraques, with five hundred followers, of whom half were
mounted, and all admirably provided with arms and ammunition. It
was the best equipped and most formidable array that had yet
appeared in the southern seas. *10

[Footnote 10: The number is variously reported by historians.
But from a egal investigation made in Guatemala, it appears that
the whole force amounted to 500, of which 230 were cavalry. -
Informacion echa en Santiago, Set. 15, 1536 Ms.]

Although manifestly an invasion of the territory conceded to
Pizarro by the Crown, the reckless cavalier determined to march
at once on Quito. With the assistance of an Indian guide, he
proposed to take the direct route across the mountains, a passage
of exceeding difficulty, even at the most favorable season.

After crossing the Rio Dable, Alvarado's guide deserted him, so
that he was soon entangled in the intricate mazes of the sierra;
and, as he rose higher and higher into the regions of winter, he
became surrounded with ice and snow, for which his men taken from
the warm countries of Guatemala, were but ill prepared. As the
cold grew more intense, many of them were so benumbed, that it
was with difficulty they could proceed. The infantry, compelled
to make exertions, fared best. Many of the troopers were frozen
stiff in their saddles. The Indians, still more sensible to the
cold, perished by hundreds. As the Spaniards huddled round their
wretched bivouacs, with such scanty fuel as they could glean, and
almost without food, they waited in gloomy silence the approach
of morning. Yet the morning light, which gleamed coldly on the
cheerless waste, brought no joy to them. It only revealed more
clearly the extent of their wretchedness. Still struggling on
through the winding Puertos Nevados, or Snowy Passes, their track
was dismally marked by fragments of dress, broken harness, golden
ornaments, and other valuables plundered on their march, - by the
dead bodies of men, or by those less fortunate, who were left to
die alone in the wilderness. As for the horses, their carcasses
were not suffered long to cumber the ground, as they were quickly
seized and devoured half raw by the starving soldiers, who, like
the famished condors, now hovering in troops above their heads,
greedily banqueted on the most offensive offal to satisfy the
gnawings of hunger.
Alvarado, anxious to secure the booty which had fallen into his
hands at an earlier part of his march, encouraged every man to
take what gold he wanted from the common heap, reserving only the
royal fifth. But they only answered, with a ghastly smile of
derision, "that food was the only gold for them." Yet in this
extremity, which might seem to have dissolved the very ties of
nature, there are some affecting instances recorded of
self-devotion; of comrades who lost their lives in assisting
others, and of parents and husbands (for some of the cavaliers
were accompanied by their wives) who, instead of seeking their
own safety, chose to remain and perish in the snows with the
objects of their love.

To add to their distress, the air was filled for several days
with thick clouds of earthy particles and cinders, which blinded
the men, and made respiration exceedingly difficult. *11 This
phenomenon, it seems probable, was caused by an eruption of the
distant Cotopaxi, which, about twelve leagues southeast of Quito,
rears up its colossal and perfectly symmetrical cone far above
the limits of eternal snow, - the most beautiful and the most
terrible of the American volcanoes. *12 At the time of Alvarado's
expedition, it was in a state of eruption, the earliest instance
of the kind on record, though doubtless not the earliest. *13
Since that period, it has been in frequent commotion, sending up
its sheets of flame to the height of half a mile, spouting forth
cataracts of lava that have overwhelmed towns and villages in
their career, and shaking the earth with subterraneous thunders,
that, at the distance of more than a hundred leagues, sounded
like the reports of artillery! *14 Alvarado's followers,
unacquainted with the cause of the phenomenon, as they wandered
over tracts buried in snow, - the sight of which was strange to
them, - in an atmosphere laden with ashes, became bewildered by
this confusion of the elements, which Nature seemed to have
contrived purposely for their destruction. Some of these men
were the soldiers of Cortes, steeled by many a painful march, and
many a sharp encounter with the Aztecs. But this war of the
elements, they now confessed, was mightier than all.

[Footnote 11: "It began to rain earthy particles from the
heavens," says Oviedo, "that blinded the men and horses, so that
the trees and bushes were full of dirt." Hist. de las Indias,
Ms., Parte 3, lib. 8, cap. 20.]

[Footnote 12: Garcilasso says the shower of ashes came from the
"volcano of Quito." (Com. Real., Parte 2, lib. 2, cap. 2.) Cieza
de Leon only says from one of the volcanoes in that region.
(Cronica, cap. 41.) Neither of them specify the name. Humboldt
accepts the common opinion, that Cotopaxi was intended.
Researches, I. 123.]

[Footnote 13: A popular tradition among the natives states, that
a large fragment of porphyry near the base of the cone was thrown
out in an eruption, which occurred at the moment of Atahuallpa's
death. - But such tradition will hardly pass for history.]

[Footnote 14: A minute account of this formidable mountain is
given by M. de Humboldt, (Researches, I. 118, et seq.,) and more
circumstantially by Condamine. (Voyage a l'Equateur, pp. 48 - 56
156 - 160.) The latter philosopher would have attempted to scale
the almost perpendicular walls of the volcano, but no one was
hardy enough to second him.]

At length, Alvarado, after sufferings, which even the most hardy,
probably, could have endured but a few days longer, emerged from
the Snowy Pass, and came on the elevated table-land, which
spreads out, at the height of more than nine thousand feet above
the ocean, in the neighbourhood of Riobamba. But one fourth of
his gallant army had been left to feed the condor in the
wilderness, besides the greater part, at least two thousand, of
his Indian auxiliaries. A great number of his horses, too, had
perished; and the men and horses that escaped were all of them
more or less injured by the cold and the extremity of suffering.
- Such was the terrible passage of the Puertos Nevados, which I
have only briefly noticed as an episode to the Peruvian conquest,
but the account of which, in all its details, though it occupied
but a few weeks in duration, would give one a better idea of the
difficulties encountered by the Spanish cavaliers, than volumes
of ordinary narrative. *15

[Footnote 15: By far the most spirited and thorough record of
Alvarado's march is given by Herrera, who has borrowed the pen of
Livy describing the Alpine march of Hannibal. (Hist. General,
dec. 5, lib. 6, cap. 1, 2, 7, 8, 9.) See also Pedro Pizarro,
Descub. y Conq., Ms., - Oviedo, Hist. de las Indias, Ms., Parte
3, lib. 8, cap. 20, - and Carta de Pedro de Alvarado al
Emperador, San Miguel, 15 de Enero, 1535, Ms.

Alvarado, in the letter above cited, which is preserved in the
Munoz collection, explains to the Emperor the grounds of his
expedition, with no little effrontery. In this document he
touches very briefly on the march, being chiefly occupied by the
negotiations with Almagro, and accompanying his remarks with many
dark suggestions as to the policy pursued by the Conquerors]

As Alvarado, after halting some time to restore his exhausted
troops, began his march across the broad plateau, he was
astonished by seeing the prints of horses' hoofs on the soil.
Spaniards, then, had been there before him, and, after all his
toil and suffering, others had forestalled him in the enterprise
against Quito! It is necessary to say a few words in explanation
of this.

When Pizarro quitted Caxamalca, being sensible of the growing
importance of San Miguel, the only port of entry then in the
country, he despatched a person in whom he had great confidence
to take charge of it. This person was Sebastian Benalcazar, a
cavalier who afterwards placed his name in the first rank of the
South American conquerors, for courage, capacity, - and cruelty.
But this cavalier had hardly reached his government, when, like
Alvarado, he received such accounts of the riches of Quito, that
he determined, with the force at his command, though without
orders, to undertake its reduction.

At the head of about a hundred and forty soldiers, horse and
foot, and a stout body of Indian auxiliaries, he marched up the
broad range of the Andes, to where it spreads out into the
table-land of Quito, by a road safer and more expeditious than
that taken by Alvarado. On the plains of Riobamba, he
encountered the Indian general Ruminavi. Several engagements
followed, with doubtful success, when, in the end, science
prevailed where courage was well matched, and the victorious
Benalcazar planted the standard of Castile on the ancient towers
of Atahuallpa. The city, in honor of his general, Francis
Pizarro, he named San Francisco del Quito. But great was his
mortification on finding that either the stories of its riches
had been fabricated, or that these riches were secreted by the
natives. The city was all that he gained by his victories, - the
shell without the pearl of price which gave it its value. While
devouring his chagrin, as he best could, the Spanish captain
received tidings of the approach of his superior, Almagro. *16

[Footnote 16: Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Herrera,
Hist. General, dec. 5, lib. 4, cap. 11, 18; lib. 6, cap. 5, 6. -
Oviedo, Hist. de las Indias, Ms., Parte 3, lib. 8, cap. 19. -
Carta de Benalcazar, Ms.]

No sooner had the news of Alvarado's expedition reached Cuzco,
than Almagro left the place with a small force for San Miguel,
proposing to strengthen himself by a reinforcement from that
quarter, and to march at once against the invaders. Greatly was
he astonished, on his arrival in that city, to learn the
departure of its commander. Doubting the loyalty of his motives,
Almagro, with the buoyancy of spirit which belongs to youth,
though in truth somewhat enfeebled by the infirmities of age, did
not hesitate to follow Benalcazar at once across the mountains.
With his wonted energy, the intrepid veteran, overcoming all the
difficulties of his march, in a few weeks placed himself and his
little company on the lofty plains which spread around the Indian
city of Riobamba; though in his progress he had more than one hot
encounter with the natives, whose courage and perseverance formed
a contrast sufficiently striking to the apathy of the Peruvians.
But the fire only slumbered in the bosom of the Peruvian. His
hour had not yet come.

At Riobamba, Almagro was soon joined by the commander of San
Miguel, who disclaimed, perhaps sincerely, any disloyal intent in
his unauthorized expedition. Thus reinforced, the Spanish
captain coolly awaited the coming of Alvarado. The forces of the
latter, though in a less serviceable condition, were much
superior in number and appointments to those of his rival. As
they confronted each other on the broad plains of Riobamba, it
seemed probable that a fierce struggle must immediately follow,
and the natives of the country have the satisfaction to see their
wrongs avenged by the very hands that inflicted them. But it was
Almagro's policy to avoid such an issue.

Negotiations were set on foot, in which each party stated his
claims to the country. Meanwhile Alvarado's men mingled freely
with their countrymen in the opposite army, and heard there such
magnificent reports of the wealth and wonders of Cuzco, that many
of them were inclined to change their present service for that of
Pizarro. Their own leader, too, satisfied that Quito held out no
recompense worth the sacrifices he had made, and was like to
make, by insisting on his claim, became now more sensible of the
rashness of a course which must doubtless incur the censure of
his sovereign. In this temper, it was not difficult for them to
effect an adjustment of difficulties; and it was agreed, as the
basis of it, that the governor should pay one hundred thousand
pesos de oro to Alvarado, in consideration of which the latter
was to resign to him his fleet, his forces, and all his stores
and munitions. His vessels, great and small, amounted to twelve
in number, and the sum he received, though large, did not cover
his expenses. This treaty being settled, Alvarado proposed,
before leaving the country, to have an interview with Pizarro.

[Footnote 17: Conq. i Pob. del Piru, Ms. - Naharro, Relacion
Sumaria, Ms. - Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Herrera,
Hist. General, dec. 5, lib. 6, cap. 8 - 10. - Oviedo, Hist. de
las Indias, Ms., Parte 3, lib. 8, cap 20. - Carta de Benalcazar,

The amount of the bonus paid to Alvarado is stated very
differently by writers. But both that cavalier and Almagro, in
their letters to the Emperor, which have hitherto been unknown to
historians, agree in the sum given in the text. Alvarado
complains that he had no choice but to take it, although it was
greatly to his own loss, and, by defeating his expedition, as he
modestly intimates, to the loss of the Crown. (Carta de Alvarado
al Emperador, Ms.) - Almagro, however, states that the sum paid
was three times as much as the armament was worth; "a sacrifice,"
he adds, "which he made to preserve peace, never dear at any
price." - Strange sentiment for a Castilian conqueror! Carta de
Diego de Almagro al Emperador, Ms., Oct. 15, 1534.]

The governor, meanwhile, had quitted the Peruvian capital for the
sea-coast, from his desire to repel any invasion that might be
attempted in that direction by Alvarado, with whose real
movements he was still unacquainted. He left Cuzco in charge of
his brother Juan, a cavalier whose manners were such as, he
thought, would be likely to gain the good-will of the native
population. Pizarro also left ninety of his troops, as the
garrison of the capital, and the nucleus of his future colony.
Then, taking the Inca Manco with him, he proceeded as far as
Xauxa. At this place he was entertained by the Indian prince
with the exhibition of a great national hunt, - such as has been
already described in these pages, - in which immense numbers of
wild animals were slaughtered, and the vicunas, and other races
of Peruvian sheep, which roam over the mountains, driven into
inclosures and relieved of their delicate fleeces. *18

[Footnote 18: Carta de la Just. y Reg. de Xauja, Ms. - Relacion
del Primer. Descub., Ms. - Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 5, lib.
6, cap. 16. - Montesinos, Annales, Ms., ano 1534.

At this place, the author of the Relacion del Primer
Descubrimiento del Peru, the Ms. so often quoted in these pages,
abruptly terminates his labors. He is a writer of sense and
observation; and, though he has his share of the national
tendency to exaggerate and overcolor, he writes like one who
means to be honest, and who has seen what he describes.

At Xauxa, also, the notary Pedro Sancho ends his Relacion, which
embraces a much shorter period than the preceding narrative, but
which is equally authentic. Coming from the secretary of
Pizarro, and countersigned by that general himself, this
Relation, indeed, may be regarded as of the very highest
authority. And yet large deductions must obviously be made for
the source whence it springs; for it may be taken as Pizarro's
own account of his doings, some of which stood much in need of
apology. It must be added, in justice both to the general and to
his secretary, that the Relation does not differ substantially
from other contemporary accounts, and that the attempt to varnish
over the exceptionable passages in the conduct of the Conquerors
is not obtrusive.

For the publication of this journal, we are indebted to Ramusio,
whose enlightened labors have preserved to us more than one
contemporary production of value, though in the form of

The Spanish governor then proceeded to Pachacamac, where he
received the grateful intelligence of the accommodation with
Alvarado; and not long afterward he was visited by that cavalier
himself, previously to his embarkation.

The meeting was conducted with courtesy and a show, at least, of
good-will, on both sides, as there was no longer real cause for
jealousy between the parties; and each, as may be imagined,
looked on the other with no little interest, as having achieved
such distinction in the bold path of adventure. In the
comparison, Alvarado had somewhat the advantage; for Pizarro,
though of commanding presence, had not the brilliant exterior,
the free and joyous manner, which, no less than his fresh
complexion and sunny locks, had won for the conqueror of
Guatemala, in his campaigns against the Aztecs, the sobriquet of
Tonatiuh, or "Child of the Sun."

Blithe were the revels that now rang through the ancient city of
Pachacamac; where, instead of songs, and of the sacrifices so
often seen there in honor of the Indian deity, the walls echoed
to the noise of tourneys and Moorish tilts of reeds, with which
the martial adventurers loved to recall the sports of their
native land. When these were concluded, Alvarado reembarked for
his government of Guatemala, where his restless spirit soon
involved him in other enterprises that cut short his adventurous
career. His expedition to Peru was eminently characteristic of
the man. It was founded in injustice, conducted with rashness,
and ended in disaster. *19

[Footnote 19: Naharro, Relacion Sumaria, Ms. - Pedro Pizarro,
Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Carta Francisco Pizarro al Senor de
Molina, Ms.

Alvarado died in 1541, of an injury received from a horse which
rolled down on him as he was attempting to scale a precipitous
hill in New Galicia. In the same year, by a singular coincidence,
perished his beautiful wife, at her own residence in Guatemala,
which was overwhelmed by a torrent from the adjacent mountains.]

The reduction of Peru might now be considered as, in a manner,
accomplished. Some barbarous tribes in the interior, it is true,
still held out, and Alonso de Alvarado, a prudent and able
officer, was employed to bring them into subjection. Benalcazar
was still at Quito, of which he was subsequently appointed
governor by the Crown. There he was laying deeper the foundation
of the Spanish power, while he advanced the line of conquest
still higher towards the north. But Cuzco, the ancient capital
of the Indian monarchy, had submitted. The armies of Atahuallpa
had been beaten and scattered. The empire of the Incas was
dissolved; and the prince who now wore the Peruvian diadem was
but the shadow of a king, who held his commission from his

The first act of the governor was to determine on the site of the
future capital of this vast colonial empire. Cuzco, withdrawn
among the mountains, was altogether too far removed from the
sea-coast for a commercial people. The little settlement of San
Miguel lay too far to the north. It was desirable to select some
more central position, which could be easily found in one of the
fruitful valleys that bordered the Pacific. Such was that of
Pachacamac, which Pizarro now occupied. But, on further
examination, he preferred the neighbouring valley of Rimac, which
lay to the north, and which took its name, signifying in the
Quichua tongue "one who speaks," from a celebrated idol, whose
shrine was much frequented by the Indians for the oracles it
delivered. Through the valley flowed a broad stream, which, like
a great artery, was made, as usual by the natives, to supply a
thousand finer veins that meandered through the beautiful

On this river Pizarro fixed the site of his new capital, at
somewhat less than two leagues' distance from its mouth, which
expanded into a commodious haven for the commerce that the
prophetic eye of the founder saw would one day - and no very
distant one - float on its waters. The central situation of the
spot recommended it as a suitable residence for the Peruvian
viceroy, whence he might hold easy communication with the
different parts of the country, and keep vigilant watch over his
Indian vassals. The climate was delightful, and, though only
twelve degrees south of the line, was so far tempered by the cool
breezes that generally blow from the Pacific, or from the
opposite quarter down the frozen sides of the Cordilleras, that
the heat was less than in corresponding latitudes on the
continent. It never rained on the coast; but this dryness was
corrected by a vaporous cloud, which, through the summer months,
hung like a curtain over the valley, sheltering it from the rays
of a tropical sun, and imperceptibly distilling a refreshing
moisture, that clothed the fields in the brightest verdure.

The name bestowed on the infant capital was Ciudad de los Reyes,
or City of the Kings, in honor of the day, being the sixth of
January, 1535, - the festival of Epiphany, - when it was said to
have been founded, or more probably when its site was determined,
as its actual foundation seems to have been twelve days later.
*20 But the Castilian name ceased to be used even within the
first generation, and was supplanted by that of Lima, into which
the original Indian name of Rimac was corrupted by the Spaniards.

[Footnote 20: So says Quintana, who follows in this what he
pronounces a sure authority, Father Bernabe Cobo, in his book
entitled Fundacion de Lima. Espanoles Celebres, tom. II. p. 250,

[Footnote 21: The Mss. of the old Conquerors show how, from the
very first, the name of Lima superseded the original Indian
title. "Y el marquez se passo a Lima y fundo la ciudad de los
rreyes que agora es." (Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms.)
"Asimismo ordenaron que se pasasen el pueblo que tenian en Xauxa
poblado a este Valle de Lima donde agora es esta ciudad de los i
aqui se poblo." Conq. i Pob. del Piru, Ms.]

The city was laid out on a very regular plan. The streets were
to be much wider than usual in Spanish towns, and perfectly
straight, crossing one another at right angles, and so far
asunder as to afford ample space for gardens to the dwellings,
and for public squares. It was arranged in a triangular form,
having the river for its base, the waters of which were to be
carried, by means of stone conduits, through all the principal
streets, affording facilities for irrigating the grounds around
the houses.
No sooner had the governor decided on the site and on the plan of
the city, than he commenced operations with his characteristic
energy. The Indians were collected from the distance of more
than a hundred miles to aid in the work. The Spaniards applied
themselves with vigor to the task, under the eye of their chief.
The sword was exchanged for the tool of the artisan. The camp was
converted into a hive of diligent laborers; and the sounds of war
were succeeded by the peaceful hum of a busy population. The
plaza, which was extensive, was to be surrounded by the
cathedral, the palace of the viceroy, that of the municipality,
and other public buildings; and their foundations were laid on a
scale, and with a solidity, which defied the assaults of time,
and, in some instances, even the more formidable shock of
earthquakes, that, at different periods, have laid portions of
the fair capital in ruins. *22

[Footnote 22: Montesinos, Annales, Ms. ano 1535. - Conq. i Pob.
del Piru, Ms.

The remains of Pizarro's palace may still be discerned in the
Callejon de Petateros, says Stevenson, who gives the best account
of Lima to be found in any modern book of travels which I have
consulted. Residence in South America, vol II. chap. 8.]

While these events were going on, Almagro, the Marshal, as he is
usually termed by chroniclers of the time, had gone to Cuzco,
whither he was sent by Pizarro to take command of that capital.
He received also instructions to undertake, either by himself or
by his captains, the conquest of the countries towards the south,
forming part of Chili. Almagro, since his arrival at Caxamalca,
had seemed willing to smother his ancient feelings of resentment
towards his associate, or, at least, to conceal the expression of
them, and had consented to take command under him in obedience to
the royal mandate. He had even, in his despatches, the
magnanimity to make honorable mention of Pizarro, as one anxious
to promote the interests of government. Yet he did not so far
trust his companion, as to neglect the precaution of sending a
confidential agent to represent his own services, when Hernando
Pizarro undertook his mission to the mother-country.

That cavalier, after touching at St. Domingo, had arrived without
accident at Seville, in January, 1534. Besides the royal fifth,
he took with him gold, to the value of half a million of pesos,
together with a large quantity of silver, the property of private
adventurers, some of whom, satisfied with their gains, had
returned to Spain in the same vessel with himself. The
custom-house was filled with solid ingots, and with vases of
different forms, imitations of animals, flowers, fountains, and
other objects, executed with more or less skill, and all of pure
gold, to the astonishment of the spectators, who flocked from the
neighbouring country to gaze on these marvellous productions of
Indian art. *23 Most of the manufactured articles were the
property of the Crown; and Hernando Pizarro, after a short stay
at Seville, selected some of the most gorgeous specimens, and
crossed the country to Calatayud, where the emperor was holding
the cortes of Aragon.

[Footnote 23: Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 5, ib. 6, cap. 13. -
Lista de todo lo que Hernando Pizarro trajo del Peru, ap. Mss. de

Hernando was instantly admitted to the royal presence, and
obtained a gracious audience. He was more conversant with courts
than either of his brothers, and his manners, when in situations
that imposed a restraint on the natural arrogance of his temper,
were graceful and even attractive. In a respectful tone, he now
recited the stirring adventures of his brother and his little
troop of followers, the fatigues they had endured, the
difficulties they had overcome, their capture of the Peruvian
Inca, and his magnificent ransom. He had not to tell of the
massacre of the unfortunate prince, for the tragic event, which
had occurred since his departure from the country, was still
unknown to him. The cavalier expatiated on the productiveness of
the soil, and on the civilization of the people, evinced by their
proficiency in various mechanic arts; in proof of which he
displayed the manufactures of wool and cotton, and the rich
ornaments of gold and silver. The monarch's eyes sparkled with
delight as he gazed on these last. He was too sagacious not to
appreciate the advantages of a conquest which secured to him a
country so rich in agricultural resources. But the returns from
these must necessarily be gradual and long deferred; and he may
be excused for listening with still greater satisfaction to
Pizarro's tales of its mineral stores; for his ambitious projects
had drained the imperial treasury, and he saw in the golden tide
thus unexpectedly poured in upon him the immediate means of
replenishing it.

Charles made no difficulty, therefore, in granting the petitions
of the fortunate adventurer. All the previous grants to Francis
Pizarro and his associates were confirmed in the fullest manner;
and the boundaries of the governor's jurisdiction were extended
seventy leagues further towards the south. Nor did Almagro's
services, this time, go unrequited. He was empowered to discover
and occupy the country for the distance of two hundred leagues,
beginning at the southern limit of Pizarro's territory. *24
Charles, in proof, still further, of his satisfaction, was
graciously pleased to address a letter to the two commanders, in
which he complimented them on their prowess, and thanked them for
their services. This act of justice to Almagro would have been
highly honorable to Hernando Pizarro, considering the unfriendly
relations in which they stood to each other, had it not been made
necessary by the presence of the marshal's own agents at court,
who, as already noticed, stood ready to supply any deficiency in
the statements of the emissary.

[Footnote 24: The country to be occupied received the name of New
Toledo, in the royal grant, as the conquests of Pizarro had been
designated by that of New Castile. But the present attempt to
change the Indian name was as ineffectual as the former, and the
ancient title of Chili still designates that narrow strip of
fruitful land between the Andes and the ocean, which stretches to
the south of the great continent.]

In this display of the royal bounty, the envoy, as will readily
be believed, did not go without his reward. He was lodged as an
attendant of the Court; was made a knight of Santiago, the most
prized of the chivalric orders in Spain; was empowered to equip
an armament, and to take command of it; and the royal officers at
Seville were required to aid him in his views and facilitate his
embarkation for the Indies. *25

[Footnote 25: Ibid., loc. cit.]

The arrival of Hernando Pizarro in the country, and the reports
spread by him and his followers, created a sensation among the
Spaniards such as had not been felt since the first voyage of
Columbus. The discovery of the New World had filled the minds of
men with indefinite expectations of wealth, of which almost every
succeeding expedition had proved the fallacy. The conquest of
Mexico, though calling forth general admiration as a brilliant
and wonderful exploit, had as yet failed to produce those golden
results which had been so fondly anticipated. The splendid
promises held out by Francis Pizarro on his recent visit to the
country had not revived the confidence of his countrymen, made
incredulous by repeated disappointment. All that they were
assured of was the difficulties of the enterprise; and their
distrust of its results was sufficiently shown by the small
number of followers, and those only of the most desperate stamp,
who were willing to take their chance in the adventure.

But now these promises were realized. It was no longer the
golden reports that they were to trust; but the gold itself,
which was displayed in such profusion before them. All eyes were
now turned towards the West. The broken spendthrift saw in it the
quarter where he was to repair his fortunes as speedily as he had
ruined them. The merchant, instead of seeking the precious
commodities of the East, looked in the opposite direction, and
counted on far higher gains, where the most common articles of
life commanded so exorbitant prices. The cavalier, eager to win
both gold and glory at the point of his lance, thought to find a
fair field for his prowess on the mountain plains of the Andes.
Ferdinand Pizarro found that his brother had judged rightly in
allowing as many of his company as chose to return home,
confident that the display of their wealth would draw ten to his
banner for every one that quitted it.

In a short time that cavalier saw himself at the head of one of
the most numerous and well-appointed armaments, probably, that
had left the shores of Spain since the great fleet of Ovando, in
the time of Ferdinand and Isabella. It was scarcely more
fortunate than this. Hardly had Ferdinand put to sea, when a
violent tempest fell on the squadron, and compelled him to return
to port and refit. At length he crossed the ocean, and reached
the little harbour of Nombre de Dios in safety. But no
preparations had been made for his coming, and, as he was
detained here some time before he could pass the mountains, his
company suffered greatly from scarcity of food. In their
extremity, the most unwholesome articles were greedily devoured,
and many a cavalier spent his little savings to procure himself a
miserable subsistence. Disease, as usual, trod closely in the
track of famine, and numbers of the unfortunate adventurers,
sinking under the unaccustomed heats of the climate, perished on
the very threshold of discovery.

It was the tale often repeated in the history of Spanish
enterprise. A few, more lucky than the rest, stumble on some
unexpected prize, and hundreds, attracted by their success, press
forward in the same path. But the rich spoil which lay on the
surface has been already swept away by the first comers, and
those who follow are to win their treasure by long-protracted and
painful exertion. - Broken in spirit and in fortune, many
returned in disgust to their native shores, while others remained
where they were, to die in despair. They thought to dig for
gold; but they dug only their graves.

Yet it fared not thus with all Pizarro's company. Many of them,
crossing the Isthmus with him to Panama, came in time to Peru,
where, in the desperate chances of its revolutionary struggles,
some few arrived at posts of profit and distinction. Among those
who first reached the Peruvian shore was an emissary sent by
Almagro's agents to inform him of the important grant made to him
by the Crown. The tidings reached him just as he was making his
entry into Cuzco, where he was received with all respect by Juan
and Gonzalo Pizarro, who, in obedience to their brother's
commands, instantly resigned the government of the capital into
the marshal's hands. But Almagro was greatly elated on finding
himself now placed by his sovereign in a command that made him
independent of the man who had so deeply wronged him; and he
intimated that in the exercise of his present authority he
acknowledged no superior. In this lordly humor he was confirmed
by several of his followers, who insisted that Cuzco fell to the
south of the territory ceded to Pizarro, and consequently came
within that now granted to the marshal. Among these followers
were several of Alvarado's men, who, though of better condition
than the soldiers of Pizarro, were under much worse discipline,
and had acquired, indeed, a spirit of unbridled license under
that unscrupulous chief. *26 They now evinced little concern for
the native population of Cuzco; and, not content with the public
edifices, seized on the dwellings of individuals, where it suited
their convenience, appropriating their contents without ceremony,
- showing as little respect, in short, for person or property, as
if the place had been taken by storm. *27

[Footnote 26: In point of discipline, they presented a remarkable
contrast to the Conquerors of Peru, if we may take the word of
Pedro Pizarro, who assures us that his comrades would not have
plucked so much as an ear of corn without leave from their
commander. "Que los que pasamos con el Marquez a la conquista no
ovo hombre que osase tomar vna mazorca de mahiz sin licencia."
Descub. y Conq., Ms.]

[Footnote 27: "Se entraron de paz en la ciudad del Cuzco i los
salieron todos los naturales a rescibir i les tomaron la Ciudad
con todo quanto havia de dentro llenas las casas de mucha ropa i
algunas oro i plata i otras muchas cosas, i las que no estaban
bien llenas las enchian de lo que tomaban de las demas casas de
la dicha ciudad, sin pensar que en ello hacian ofensa alguna
Divina ni humana, i porquesta es una cosa larga i casi
incomprehensible, la dexase al juicio de quien mas entiende
aunque en el dano rescebido por parte de los naturales cerca
deste articulo yo se harto por mis pecados que no quisiera saber
ni haver visto." Conq. i Pob. del Piru, Ms.]
While these events were passing in the ancient Peruvian capital,
the governor was still at Lima, where he was greatly disturbed by
the accounts he received of the new honors conferred on his
associate. He did not know that his own jurisdiction had been
extended seventy leagues further to the south, and he entertained
the same suspicion with Almagro, that the capital of the Incas
did not rightly come within his present limits. He saw all the
mischief likely to result from this opulent city falling into the
hands of his rival, who would thus have an almost indefinite
means of gratifying his own cupidity, and that of his followers.
He felt, that, under the present circumstances, it was not safe
to allow Almagro to anticipate the possession of power, to which,
as yet, he had no legitimate right; for the despatches containing
the warrant for it still remained with Hernando Pizarro, at
Panama, and all that had reached Peru was a copy of a garbled

Without loss of time, therefore, he sent instructions to Cuzco
for his brothers to resume the government, while he defended the
measure to Almagro on the ground, that, when he should hereafter
receive his credentials, it would be unbecoming to be found
already in possession of the post. He concluded by urging him to
go forward without delay in his expedition to the south.

But neither the marshal nor his friends were pleased with the
idea of so soon relinquishing the authority which they now
considered as his right. The Pizarros, on the other hand, were
pertinacious in reclaiming it. The dispute grew warmer and
warmer. Each party had its supporters; the city was split into
factions; and the municipality, the soldiers, and even the Indian
population, took sides in the struggle for power. Matters were
proceeding to extremity, menacing the capital with violence and
bloodshed, when Pizarro himself appeared among them. *28

[Footnote 28: Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Herrera Hist.
General, dec. 5, lib. 7, cap. 6 - Conq. i Pob. del Piru, Ms.]

On receiving tidings of the fatal consequences of his mandates,
he had posted in all haste to Cuzco, where he was greeted with
undisguised joy by the natives, as well as by the more temperate
Spaniards, anxious to avert the impending storm. The governor's
first interview was with Almagro, whom he embraced with a seeming
cordiality in his manner; and, without any show of resentment,
inquired into the cause of the present disturbances. To this the
marshal replied, by throwing the blame on Pizarro's brothers;
but, although the governor reprimanded them with some asperity
for their violence, it was soon evident that his sympathies were
on their side, and the dangers of a feud between the two
associates seemed greater than ever. Happily, it was postponed
by the intervention of some common friends, who showed more
discretion than their leaders. With their aid a reconciliation
was at length affected, on the grounds substantially of their
ancient compact.

It was agreed that their friendship should be maintained
inviolate; and, by a stipulation that reflects no great credit on
the parties, it was provided that neither should malign nor
disparage the other, especially in their despatches to the
emperor; and that neither should hold communication with the
government without the knowledge of his confederate; lastly, that
both the expenditures and the profits of future discovery should
be shared equally by the associates. The wrath of Heaven was
invoked by the most solemn imprecations on the head of whichever
should violate this compact, and the Almighty was implored to
visit the offender with loss of property and of life in this
world, and with eternal perdition in that to come! *29 The
parties further bound themselves to the observance of this
contract by a solemn oath taken on the sacrament, as it was held
in the hands of Father Bartolome de Segovia, who concluded the
ceremony by performing mass. The whole proceeding, and the
articles of agreement, were carefully recorded by the notary in
an instrument bearing date June 12, 1535, and attested by a long
list of witnesses. *30

[Footnote 29: "E suplicamos a su infinita bondad que a qualquier
de nos que fuere en contrario de lo asi convenido, con todo rigor
de justicia permita la perdicion de su anima, tin y mal
acavamiento de su vida, destruicion y perdimientos de su familia,
honrras y hacienda." Capitulacion entre Pizarro y Almagro 12 de
Junio, 1535, Ms.]

[Footnote 30: This remarkable document, the original of which is
preserves in the archives of Simancas, may be found entire in the
Castilian, 10 Appendix, No. 11.]

Thus did these two ancient comrades, after trampling on the ties
of friendship and honor, hope to knit themselves to each other by
the holy bands of religion. That it should have been necessary
to resort to so extraordinary a measure might have furnished them
with the best proof of its inefficacy.

Not long after this accommodation of their differences, the
marshal raised his standard for Chili; and numbers, won by his
popular manners, and by his liberal largesses, - liberal to
prodigality, - eagerly joined in the enterprise, which they
fondly trusted would lead even to greater riches than they had
found in Peru. Two Indians, Paullo Topa, a brother of the Inca
Manco, and Villac Umu, the high-priest of the nation, were sent
in advance, with three Spaniards, to prepare the way for the
little army. A detachment of a hundred and fifty men, under an
officer named Saavedra, next followed. Almagro remained behind to
collect further recruits; but before his levies were completed,
he began his march, feeling himself insecure, with his diminished
strength, in the neighbourhood of Pizarro! *31 The remainder of
his forces, when mustered, were to follow him.

[Footnote 31: "El Adelantado Almagro despues que se vido en el
Cuzco descarnado de su jente temio al Marquez no le prendiese por
las alteraciones pasadas que havia tenido con sus hermanos como
ya hemos dicho, i dicen que por ser avisado dello tomo la posta i
se fue al pueblo de Paria donde estava su Capitan Saavedra."
Conq. i Pob. del Piru, Ms.]

Thus relieved of the presence of his rival, the governor returned
without further delay to the coast, to resume his labors in the
settlement of the country. Besides the principal city of "The
Kings,' he established others along the Pacific, destined to
become hereafter the flourishing marts of commerce. The most
important of these, in honor of his birthplace, he named
Truxillo, planting it on a site already indicated by Almagro. *32
He made also numerous repartimientos both of lands and Indians
among his followers, in the usual manner of the Spanish
Conquerors; *33 - though here the ignorance of the real resources
of the country led to very different results from what he had
intended, as the territory smallest in extent, not unfrequently,
from the hidden treasures in its bosom, turned out greatest in
value. *34

[Footnote 32: Carta de F. Pizarro a Molina, Ms.]

[Footnote 33: I have before me two copies of grants of
encomiendas by Pizarro, the one dated at Xauxa, 1534, the other
at Cuzco, 1539. - They emphatically enjoin on the colonist the
religious instruction of the natives under his care, as well as
kind and considerate usage. How ineffectual were the
recommendations may be inferred from the lament of the anonymous
contemporary often cited, that "from this time forth, the pest of
personal servitude was established among the Indians, equally
disastrous to body and soul of both the master and the slave."
(Conq. i Pob. del Piru, Ms.) This honest burst of indignation,
not to have been expected in the rude Conqueror, came probably
from an ecclesiastic.]

[Footnote 34: "El Marques hizo encomiendas en los Espanoles, las
quales fueron por noticias que ni el sabia lo que dava ni nadie
lo que rescebia sino a tiento ya poco mas o menos, y asi muchos
que pensaron que se les dava pocos se hallaron con mucho y al
contrario" Ondegardo, Rel. Prim., Ms.]

But nothing claimed so much of Pizarro's care as the rising
metropolis of Lima; and, so eagerly did he press forward the
work, and so well was he seconded by the multitude of laborers at
his command, that he had the satisfaction to see his young
capital, with its stately edifices and its pomp of gardens,
rapidly advancing towards completion. It is pleasing to
contemplate the softer features in the character of the rude
soldier, as he was thus occupied with healing up the ravages of
war, and laying broad the foundations of an empire more civilized
than that which he had overthrown. This peaceful occupation
formed a contrast to the life of incessant turmoil in which he
had been hitherto engaged. It seemed, too, better suited to his
own advancing age, which naturally invited to repose. And, if we
may trust his chroniclers, there was no part of his career in
which he took greater satisfaction. It is certain there is no
part which has been viewed with greater satisfaction by
posterity; and, amidst the woe and desolation which Pizarro and
his followers brought on the devoted land of the Incas, Lima, the
beautiful City of the Kings, still survives as the most glorious
work of his creation, the fairest gem on the shores of the

Chapter X

Escape Of The Inca. - Return Of Hernando Pizarro. - Rising Of The
Peruvians. - Siege And Burning Of Cuzco. - Distresses Of The
Spaniards. - Storming Of The Fortress. - Pizarro's Dismay. - The
Inca Raises The Siege.

While the absence of his rival Almagro relieved Pizarro from all
immediate disquietude from that quarter, his authority was
menaced in another, where he had least expected it. This was
from the native population of the country. Hitherto the
Peruvians had shown only a tame and submissive temper, that
inspired their conquerors with too much contempt to leave room
for apprehension. They had passively acquiesced in the
usurpation of the invaders; had seen one monarch butchered,
another placed on the vacant throne, their temples despoiled of
their treasures, their capital and country appropriated and
parcelled out among the Spaniards, but, with the exception of an
occasional skirmish in the mountain passes, not a blow had been
struck in defence of their rights. Yet this was the warlike
nation which had spread its conquests over so large a part of the

In his career, Pizarro, though he scrupled at nothing to effect
his object, had not usually countenanced such superfluous acts of
cruelty as had too often stained the arms of his countrymen in
other parts of the continent, and which, in the course of a few
years, had exterminated nearly a whole population in Hispaniola.
He had struck one astounding blow, by the seizure of Atahuallpa;
and he seemed willing to rely on this to strike terror into the
natives. He even affected some respect for the institutions of
the country, and had replaced the monarch he had murdered by
another of the legitimate line. Yet this was but a pretext. The
kingdom had experienced a revolution of the most decisive kind.
Its ancient institutions were subverted. Its heaven-descended
aristocracy was levelled almost to the condition of the peasant.
The people became the serfs of the Conquerors. Their dwellings
in the capital - at least, after the arrival of Alvarado's
officers - were seized and appropriated. The temples were turned
into stables; the royal residences into barracks for the troops.
The sanctity of the religious houses was violated. Thousands of
matrons and maidens, who, however erroneous their faith, lived in
chaste seclusion in the conventual establishments, were now
turned abroad, and became the prey of a licentious soldiery. *1 A
favorite wife of the young Inca was debauched by the Castilian
officers. The Inca, himself treated with contemptuous
indifference, found that he was a poor dependant, if not a tool,
in the hands of his conquerors. *2

[Footnote 1: So says the author of the Conquista i Poblacion del
Piru, a contemporary writer, who describes what he saw himself as
well as what he gathered from others. Several circumstances,
especially the honest indignation he expresses at the excesses of
the Conquerors, lead one to suppose he may have been an
ecclesiastic, one of the good men who attended the cruel
expedition on an errand of love and mercy. It is to be hoped
that his credulity leads him to exaggerate the misdeeds of his

According to him, there were full six thousand women of rank,
living in the convents of Cuzco, served each by fifteen or twenty
female attendants, most of whom, that did not perish in the war,
suffered a more melancholy fate, as the victims of prostitution.
- The passage is so remarkable, and the Ms. so rare, that I will
cite it in the original.

"De estas senoras del Cuzco es cierto de tener grande sentimiento
el que tuviese alguna humanidad en el pecho, que en tiempo de la
prosperidad del Cuzco quando los Espanoles entraron en el havia
grand cantidad de senoras que tenian sus casas i sus asientos mui
quietas i sosegadas i vivian mui politicamente i como mui buenas
mugeres, cada senora acompanada con quince o veinte mugeres que
tenia de servicio en su casa bien traidas i aderezadas, i no
salian menos desto i con grand onestidad i gravedad i atavio a su
usanza, i es a la cantidad destas senoras principales creo yo que
en el . . . . . que avia mas de seis mil sin las de servicio que
creo yo que eran mas de veinte mil mugeres sin las de servicio i
mamaconas que eran las que andavan como beatas i dende a dos anos
casi no se allava en el Cuzco i su tierra sino cada qual i qual
porque muchas murieron en la guerra que huvo i las otras vinieron
las mas a ser malas mugeres. Senor perdone a quien fue la causa
desto i aquien no lo remedia pudiendo." Conq. i Pob del Piru,

[Footnote 2: Ibid., ubi supra.]

Yet the Inca Manco was a man of a lofty spirit and a courageous
heart; such a one as might have challenged comparison with the
bravest of his ancestors in the prouder days of the empire.
Stung to the quick by the humiliations to which he was exposed,
he repeatedly urged Pizarro to restore him to the real exercise
of power, as well as to the show of it. But Pizarro evaded a
request so incompatible with his own ambitious schemes, or,
indeed, with the policy of Spain, and the young Inca and his
nobles were left to brood over their injuries in secret, and
await patiently the hour of vengeance.

The dissensions among the Spaniards themselves seemed to afford a
favorable opportunity for this. The Peruvian chiefs held many
conferences together on the subject, and the high-priest Villac
Umu urged the necessity of a rising so soon as Almagro had
withdrawn his forces from the city. It would then be
comparatively easy, by assaulting the invaders on their several
posts, scattered as they were over the country, to overpower them
by superior numbers, and shake off their detested yoke before the
arrival of fresh reinforcements should rivet it for ever on the
necks of his countrymen. A plan for a general rising was formed,
and it was in conformity to it that the priest was selected by
the Inca to bear Almagro company on the march, that he might
secure the cooperation of the natives in the country, and then
secretly return - as in fact he did - to take a part in the

To carry their plans into effect, it became necessary that the
Inca Manco should leave the city and present himself among his
people. He found no difficulty in withdrawing from Cuzco, where
his presence was scarcely heeded by the Spaniards, as his nominal
power was held in little deference by the haughty and confident
Conquerors. But in the capital there was a body of Indian allies
more jealous of his movements. These were from the tribe of the
Canares, a warlike race of the north, too recently reduced by the
Incas to have much sympathy with them or their institutions.
There were about a thousand of this people in the place, and, as
they had conceived some suspicion of the Inca's purposes, they
kept an eye on his movements, and speedily reported his absence
to Juan Pizarro.

That cavalier, at the head of a small body of horse, instantly
marched in pursuit of the fugitive, whom he was so fortunate as
to discover in a thicket of reeds, in which he sought to conceal
himself, at no great distance from the city. Manco was arrested,
brought back a prisoner to Cuzco, and placed under a strong guard
in the fortress. The conspiracy seemed now at an end; and
nothing was left to the unfortunate Peruvians but to bewail their
ruined hopes, and to give utterance to their disappointment in
doleful ballads, which rehearsed the captivity of their Inca, and
the downfall of his royal house. *3
[Footnote 3: Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Herrera, Hist.
General, dec. 5, lib. 8, cap. 1, 2. - Conq. i Pob. del Piru, Ms.
Zarate, Conq. del Peru, lib. 2, cap. 3.]

While these things were in progress, Hernando Pizarro returned to
Ciudad de los Reyes, bearing with him the royal commission for
the extension of his brother's powers, as well as of those
conceded to Almagro. The envoy also brought the royal patent
conferring on Francisco Pizarro the title of Marques de los
Atavillos, - a province in Peru. Thus was the fortunate
adventurer placed in the ranks of the proud aristocracy of
Castile, few of whose members could boast - if they had the
courage to boast - their elevation from so humble an origin, as
still fewer could justify it by a show of greater services to the

The new marquess resolved not to forward the commission, at
present, to the marshal, whom he designed to engage still deeper
in the conquest of Chili, that his attention might be diverted
from Cuzco, which, however, his brother assured him, now fell,
without doubt, within the newly extended limits of his own
territory. To make more sure of this important prize, he
despatched Hernando to take the government of the capital into
his own hands, as the one of his brothers on whose talents and
practical experience he placed greatest reliance.

Hernando, notwithstanding his arrogant bearing towards his
countrymen, had ever manifested a more than ordinary sympathy
with the Indians. He had been the friend of Atahuallpa; to such
a degree, indeed, that it was said, if he had been in the camp at
the time, the fate of that unhappy monarch would probably have
been averted. He now showed a similar friendly disposition
towards his successor, Manco. He caused the Peruvian prince to
be liberated from confinement, and gradually admitted him into
some intimacy with himself. The crafty Indian availed himself of
his freedom to mature his plans for the rising, but with so much
caution, that no suspicion of them crossed the mind of Hernando.
Secrecy and silence are characteristic of the American, almost as
invariably as the peculiar color of his skin. Manco disclosed to
his conqueror the existence of several heaps of treasure, and the
places where they had been secreted; and, when he had thus won
his confidence, he stimulated his cupidity still further by an
account of a statue of pure gold of his father Huayna Capac,
which the wily Peruvian requested leave to bring from a secret
cave in which it was deposited, among the neighbouring Andes.
Hernando, blinded by his avarice, consented to the Inca's
He sent with him two Spanish soldiers, less as a guard than to
aid him in the object of his expedition. A week elapsed, and yet
he did not return, nor were there any tidings to be gathered of
him. Hernando now saw his error, especially as his own
suspicions were confirmed by the unfavorable reports of his
Indian allies. Without further delay, he despatched his brother
Juan, at the head of sixty horse, in quest of the Peruvian
prince, with orders to bring him back once more a prisoner to his

That cavalier, with his well-armed troops, soon traversed the
environs of Cuzco without discovering any vestige of the
fugitive. The country was remarkably silent and deserted, until,
as he approached the mountain range that hems in the valley of
Yucay, about six leagues from the city, he was met by the two
Spaniards who had accompanied Manco. They informed Pizarro that
it was only at the point of the sword he could recover the Inca,
for the country was all in arms, and the Peruvian chief at its
head was preparing to march on the capital. Yet he had offered
no violence to their persons, but had allowed them to return in

The Spanish captain found this story fully confirmed when he
arrived at the river Yucay, on the opposite bank of which were
drawn up the Indian battalions to the number of many thousand
men, who, with their young monarch at their head, prepared to
dispute his passage. It seemed that they could not feel their
position sufficiently strong, without placing a river, as usual,
between them and their enemy. The Spaniards were not checked by
this obstacle. The stream, though deep, was narrow; and plunging
in, they swam their horses boldly across, amidst a tempest of
stones and arrows that rattled thick as hail on their harness,
finding occasionally some crevice or vulnerable point, - although
the wounds thus received only goaded them to more desperate
efforts. The barbarians fell back as the cavaliers made good
their landing; but, without allowing the latter time to form,
they returned with a spirit which they had hitherto seldom
displayed, and enveloped them on all sides with their greatly
superior numbers. The fight now raged fiercely. Many of the
Indians were armed with lances headed with copper tempered almost
to the hardness of steel, and with huge maces and battle-axes of
the same metal. Their defensive armour, also, was in many
respects excellent, consisting of stout doublets of quilted
cotton, shields covered with skins, and casques richly ornamented
with gold and jewels, or sometimes made like those of the
Mexicans, in the fantastic shape of the heads of wild animals,
garnished with rows of teeth that grinned horribly above the
visage of the warrior. *4 The whole army wore an aspect of
martial ferocity, under the control of much higher military
discipline than the Spaniards had before seen in the country.

[Footnote 4: "Es gente," says Oviedo, "muy belicosa e muy
diestra; sus armas son picas, e ondas, porras e Alabardas de
Plata e oro e cobre." (Hist. de las Indias, Ms., Parte 3, lib. 8,
cap. 17.) Xerez has made a good enumeration of the native
Peruvian arms. (Conq. del Peru, ap. Barcia, tom. III. p. 200.)
Father Velasco has added considerably to this catalogue.
According to him they used copper swords, poniards, and other
European weapons. (Hist. de Quito, tom. I. pp 178-180.) He does
not insist on their knowledge of fire-arms before the Conquest!]

The little band of cavaliers, shaken by the fury of the Indian
assault, were thrown at first into some disorder, but at length,
cheering on one another with the old war-cry of "St. Jago," they
formed in solid column, and charged boldly into the thick of the
enemy. The latter, incapable of withstanding the shock, gave
way, or were trampled down under the feet of the horses, or
pierced by the lances of the riders. Yet their flight was
conducted with some order; and they turned at intervals, to let
off a volley of arrows, or to deal furious blows with their
pole-axes and war-clubs. They fought as if conscious that they
were under the eye of their Inca.
It was evening before they had entirely quitted the level ground,
and withdrawn into the fastnesses of the lof y range of hills
which belt round the beautiful valley of Yucay. Juan Pizarro and
his little troop encamped on the level at the base of the
mountains. He had gained a victory, as usual, over immense odds;
but he had never seen a field so well disputed, and his victory
had cost him the lives of several men and horses, while many more
had been wounded, and were nearly disabled by the fatigues of the
day. But he trusted the severe lesson he had inflicted on the
enemy, whose slaughter was great, would crush the spirit of
resistance. He was deceived.

The following morning, great was his dismay to see the passes of
the mountains filled up with dark lines of warriors, stretching
as far as the eye could penetrate into the depths of the sierra,
while dense masses of the enemy were gathered like thunderclouds
along the slopes and summits, as if ready to pour down in fury on
the assailants. The ground, altogether unfavorable to the
manoeuvres of cavalry, gave every advantage to the Peruvians, who
rolled down huge rocks from their elevated position, and sent off
incessant showers of missiles on the heads of the Spaniards. Juan
Pizarro did not care to entangle himself further in the perilous
defile; and, though he repeatedly charged the enemy, and drove
them back with considerable loss, the second night found him with
men and horses wearied and wounded, and as little advanced in the
object of his expedition as on the preceding evening. From this
embarrassing position, after a day or two more spent in
unprofitable hostilities, he was surprised by a summons from his
brother to return with all expedition to Cuzco, which was now
besieged by the enemy!

Without delay, he began his retreat, recrossed the valley, the
recent scene of slaughter, swam the river Yucay, and, by a rapid
countermarch, closely followed by the victorious enemy, who
celebrated their success with songs or rather yells of triumph,
he arrived before nightfall in sight of the capital.

But very different was the sight which there met his eye from
what he had beheld on leaving it a few days before. The
extensive environs, as far as the eye could reach, were occupied
by a mighty host, which an indefinite computation swelled to the
number of two hundred thousand warriors. *5 The dusky lines of
the Indian battalions stretched out to the very verge of the
mountains; while, all around, the eye saw only the crests and
waving banners of chieftains, mingled with rich panoplies of
featherwork, which reminded some few who had served under Cortes
of the military costume of the Aztecs. Above all rose a forest
of long lances and battle-axes edged with copper, which, tossed
to and fro in wild confusion, glittered in the rays of the
setting sun, like light playing on the surface of a dark and
troubled ocean. It was the first time that the Spaniards had
beheld an Indian army in all its terrors; such an army as the
Incas led to battle, when the banner of the Sun was borne
triumphant over the land.

[Footnote 5: "Pues junta toda la gente quel ynga avia embiado a
juntar que a lo que se entendio y los indios dixeron fueron
dozientos mil indios de guerra los que vinieron a poner este
cerco." Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms.]

Yet the bold hearts of the cavaliers, if for a moment dismayed by
the sight, soon gathered courage as they closed up their files,
and prepared to open a way for themselves through the
beleaguering host. But the enemy seemed to shun the encounter;
and, falling back at their approach, left a free entrance into
the capital. The Peruvians were, probably, not unwilling to draw
as many victims as they could into the toils, conscious that, the
greater the number, the sooner they would become sensible to the
approaches of famine. *6

[Footnote 6: Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Conq. i Pob.
del Piru, Ms. - Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 5, lib. 8, cap. 4. -
Gomara, Hist. de las Ind., cap. 133.]

Hernando Pizarro greeted his brother with no little satisfaction;
for he brought an important addition to his force, which now,
when all were united, did not exceed two hundred, horse and foot,
*7 besides a thousand Indian auxiliaries; an insignificant
number, in comparison with the countless multitudes that were
swarming at the gates. That night was passed by the Spaniards
with feelings of the deepest anxiety, as they looked forward with
natural apprehension to the morrow. It was early in February
1536. when the siege of Cuzco commenced; a siege memorable as
calling out the most heroic displays of Indian and European
valor, and bringing the two races in deadlier conflict with each
other than had yet occurred in the conquest of Peru.
[Footnote 7: "Y los pocos Espanoles que heramos aun no dozientos
todos.' Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms.]

The numbers of the enemy seemed no less formidable during the
night than by the light of day: far and wide their watch-fires
were to be seen gleaming over valley and hill-top, as thickly
scattered, says an eyewitness, as "the stars of heaven in a
cloudless summer night." *8 Before these fires had become pale in
the light of the morning, the Spaniards were roused by the
hideous clamor of conch, trumpet, and atabal, mingled with the
fierce war-cries of the barbarians, as they let off volleys of
missiles of every description, most of which fell harmless within
the city. But others did more serious execution. These were
burning arrows, and red-hot stones wrapped in cotton that had
been steeped in some bituminous substance, which, scattering long
trains of light through the air, fell on the roofs of the
buildings, and speedily set them on fire. *9 These roofs even of
the better sort of edifices, were uniformly of thatch, and were
ignited as easily as tinder. In a moment the flames burst forth
from the most opposite quarters of the city. They quickly
communicated to the wood-work in the interior of the buildings,
and broad sheets of flame mingled with smoke rose up towards the
heavens, throwing a fearful glare over every object. The
rarefied atmosphere heightened the previous impetuosity of the
wind, which, fanning the rising flames, they rapidly spread from
dwelling to dwelling, till the whole fiery mass, swayed to and
for by the tempest, surged and roared with the fury of a volcano.
The heat became intense, and clouds of smoke, gathering like a
dark pall over the city, produced a sense of suffocation and
almost blindness in those quarters where it was driven by the
winds. *10

[Footnote 8: "Pues de noche heran tantos ros fuegos que no
parecia sino vn cielo muy sereno lleno de estrellas." Pedro
Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms.]
[Footnote 9: Ibid. Ms.]

[Footnote 10: "I era tanto el humo que casi los oviera de aogar i
pasaron grand travajo por esta causa i sino fuera porque de la
una parte de la plaza no havia casas i estava desconorado no
pudieran escapar porque is por todas partes les diera el humo i
el calor siendo tan grande pasaron travajo, pero la divina
providencia lo estorvo." Conq. i. Pob. ded Piru, Ms.]
The Spaniards were encamped in the great square, partly under
awnings, and partly in the hall of the Inca Viracocha, on the
ground since covered by the cathedral. Three times in the course
of that dreadful day, the roof of the building was on fire; but,
although no efforts were made to extinguish it, the flames went
out without doing much injury. This miracle was ascribed to the
Blessed Virgin, who was distinctly seen by several of the
Christian combatants, hovering over the spot on which was to be
raised the temple dedicated to her worship. *11

[Footnote 11: The temple was dedicated to Our Blessed Lady of the
Assumption. The apparition of the Virgin was manifest not only to
Christian but to Indian warriors, many of whom reported it to
Garcilasso de la Vega, in whose hands the marvellous rarely loses
any of its gloss. (Com. Real., Parte 2, lib. 2, cap. 25.) It is
further attested by Father Acosta, who came into the country
forty years after the event. (lib. 7, cap. 27.) Both writers
testify to the seasonable aid rendered by St. James, who with his
buckler, displaying the device of his Military Order, and armed
with his flaming sword, rode his white charger into the thick of
the enemy. The patron Saint of Spain might always be relied on
when his presence was needed dignus vindice nodus.]
Fortunately, the open space around Hernando's little company
separated them from the immediate scene of conflagration. It
afforded a means of preservation similar to that employed by the
American hunter, who endeavours to surround himself with a belt
of wasted land, when overtaken by a conflagration in the
prairies. All day the fire continued to rage, and at night the
effect was even more appalling; for by the lurid flames the
unfortunate Spaniards could read the consternation depicted in
each others' ghastly countenances, while in the suburbs, along
the slopes of the surrounding hills, might be seen the throng of
besiegers, gazing with fiendish exultation on the work of
destruction. High above the town to the north, rose the gray
fortress, which now showed ruddy in the glare, looking grimly
down on the ruins of the fair city which it was no longer able to
protect; and in the distance were to be discerned the shadowy
forms of the An des, soaring up in solitary grandeur into the
regions of eternal silence, far beyond the wild tumult that raged
so fearfully at their base.

Such was the extent of the city, that it was several days before
the fury of the fire was spent. Tower and temple, hut, palace,
and hall, went down before it. Fortunately, among the buildings
that escaped were the magnificent House of the Sun and the
neighbouring Convent of the Virgins. Their insulated position
afforded the means, of which the Indians from motives of piety
were willing to avail themselves, for their preservation. *12
Full one half of the capital, so long the chosen seat of Western
civilization, the pride of the Incas, and the bright abode of
their tutelar deity, was laid in ashes by the hands of his own
children. It was some consolation for them to reflect, that it
burned over the heads of its conquerors, - their trophy and their
[Footnote 12: Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 2, lib. 2, cap. 24.
Father Valverde, Bishop of Cuzco, who took so signal a part in
the seizure of Atahuallpa, was absent from the country at this
period, but returned the following year. In a letter to the
emperor, he contrasts the flourishing condition of the capital
when he left it, and that in which he now found it, despoiled, as
well as its beautiful suburbs, of its ancient glories. "If I had
not known the site of the city," he says, "I should not have
recognized it as the same." The passage is too remarkable to be
omitted. The original letter exists in the archives of Simancas.
- "Certifico a V. M. que si no me acordara del sitio desta Ciudad
yo no la conosciera, a lo menos por los edificios y Pueblos
della; porque quando el Gobernador D. Franzisco Pizarro entro
aqui y entre yo con el estava este valle tan hermoso en edificios
y poblazion que en torno tenia que era cosa de admiracion vello,
porque aunque la Ciudad en si no ternia mas de 3 o 4000 casas,
ternia en torno quasi a vista 19 o 20,000; la fortaleza que
estava sobre la Ciudad parescia desde a parte una mui gran
fortaleza de las de Espana: agora la mayor parte de la Ciudad
esta toda derivada y quemada; la fortaleza no tiene quasi nada
enhiesso; todos los pueblos de alderredor no tiene sino las
paredes que por maravilla ai casa cubierta! La cosa que mas
contentamiento me dio en esta Ciudad fue la Iglesia, que para en
Indias es harto buena cosa, aunque segun la riqueza a havido en
esta tierra pudiera ser mas semejante al Templo de Salomon."
Carta del Obispo F. Vicente de Valverde al Emperador, Ms., 20 de
Marzo, 1539.]

During the long period of the conflagration, the Spaniards made
no attempt to extinguish the flames. Such an attempt would have
availed nothing. Yet they did not tamely submit to the assaults
of the enemy, and they sallied forth from time to time to repel
them. But the fallen timbers and scattered rubbish of the houses
presented serious impediments to the movements of horse; and,
when these were partially cleared away by the efforts of the
infantry and the Indian allies, the Peruvians planted stakes and
threw barricades across the path, which proved equally
embarrassing. *13 To remove them was a work of time and no little
danger, as the pioneers were exposed to the whole brunt of the
enemy's archery, and the aim of the Peruvian was sure. When at
length the obstacles were cleared away, and a free course was
opened to the cavalry, they rushed with irresistible impetuosity
on their foes, who, falling back in confusion, were cut to pieces
by the riders, or pierced through with their lances. The
slaughter on these occasions was great, but the Indians, nothing
disheartened, usually returned with renewed courage to the attack
and, while fresh reinforcements met the Spaniards in front,
others, lying in ambush among the ruins, threw the troops into
disorder by assailing them on the flanks. The Peruvians were
expert both with bow and sling; and these encounters,
notwithstanding the superiority of their arms, cost the Spaniards
more lives than in their crippled condition they could afford to
spare, - a loss poorly compensated by that of tenfold the number
of the enemy. One weapon, peculiar to South American warfare,
was used with some effect by the Peruvians. This was the lasso,
- a long rope with a noose at the end, which they adroitly threw
over the rider, or entangled with it the legs of his horse, so as
to bring them both to the ground. More than one Spaniard fell
into the hands of the enemy by this expedient. *14

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

"Los Indios ganaron el Cuzco casi todo desta manera que enganando
la calle hivan haciendo una pared para que los cavallos ni los
Espanoles no los pudiesen rom per." Conq. i. Pob. del Piru, Ms]

[Footnote 14: Ibid., Ms. - Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 5, lib.
8, cap. 4.]
Thus harassed, sleeping on their arms, with their horses picketed
by their side, ready for action at any and every hour, the
Spaniards had no rest by night or by day. To add to their
troubles, the fortress which overlooked the city, and completely
commanded the great square in which they were quartered, had been
so feebly garrisoned in their false sense of security, that, on
the approach of the Peruvians, it had been abandoned without a
blow in its defence. It was now occupied by a strong body of the
enemy, who, from his elevated position, sent down showers of
missiles, from time to time which added greatly to the annoyance
of the besieged. Bitterly did their captain now repent the
improvident security which had led him to neglect a post so

Their distresses were still further aggravated by the rumors,
which continually reached their ears, of the state of the
country. The rising, it was said, was general throughout the
land; the Spaniards living on their insulated plantations had all
been massacred; Lima and Truxillo and the principal cities were
besieged, and must soon fall into the enemy's hands; the
Peruvians were in possession of the passes, and all
communications were cut off, so that no relief was to be expected
from their countrymen on the coast. Such were the dismal stories,
(which, however exaggerated, had too much foundation in fact,)
that now found their way into the city from the camp of the
besiegers. And to give greater credit to the rumors, eight or
ten human heads were rolled into the plaza, in whose
blood-stained visages the Spaniards recognized with horror the
lineaments of their companions, who they knew had been dwelling
in solitude on their estates! *15

[Footnote 15: Ibid., ubi supra. - Conq i Pob. del Piru, Ms.]
Overcome by these horrors, many were for abandoning the place at
once, as no longer tenable, and for opening a passage for
themselves to the coast with their own good swords. There was a
daring in the enterprise which had a charm for the adventurous
spirit of the Castilian. Better, they said, to perish in a manly
struggle for life, than to die thus ignominiously, pent up like
foxes in their holes, to be suffocated by the hunter!

But the Pizarros, De Rojas, and some other of the principal
cavaliers, refused to acquiesce in a measure which, they said,
must cover them with dishonor. *16 Cuzco had been the great prize
for which they had contended; it was the ancient seat of empire,
and, though now in ashes, would again rise from its ruins as
glorious as before. All eyes would be turned on them, as its
defenders, and their failure, by giving confidence to the enemy,
might decide the fate of their countrymen throughout the land.
They were placed in that post as the post of honor, and better
would it be to die there than to desert it.

[Footnote 16: "Pues Hernando Picarro nunca estuvo en ello y les
respondia que todos aviamos de morir y no desamparar el cuzco.
Juntavanse a estas consultas Hernando Picarro y sus hermanos,
Graviel de Rojas, Hernan Ponce de Leon, el Thesorero Riquelme."
Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq, Ms.]

There seemed, indeed, no alternative; for every avenue to escape
was cut off by an enemy who had perfect knowledge of the country,
and possession of all its passes. But this state of things could
not last long. The Indian could not, in the long run, contend
with the white man. The spirit of insurrection would die out of
itself. Their great army would melt away, unaccustomed as the
natives were to the privations incident to a protracted campaign.
Reinforcements would be daily coming in from the colonies; and,
if the Castilians would be but true to themselves for a season,
they would be relieved by their own countrymen, who would never
suffer them to die like outcasts among the mountains.

The cheering words and courageous bearing of the cavaliers went
to the hearts of their followers for the soul of the Spaniard
readily responded to the call of honor, if not of humanity. All
now agreed to stand by their leader to the last. But, if they
would remain longer in their present position, it was absolutely
necessary to dislodge the enemy from the fortress; and, before
venturing on this dangerous service, Hernando Pizarro resolved to
strike such a blow as should intimidate the besiegers from
further attempt to molest his present quarters.

He communicated his plan of attack to his officers; and, forming
his little troop into three divisions, he placed them under
command of his brother Gonzalo, of Gabriel de Rojas, an officer
in whom he reposed great confidence, and Hernan Ponce de Leon.
The Indian pioneers were sent forward to clear away the rubbish,
and the several divisions moved simultaneously up the principal
avenues towards the camp of the besiegers. Such stragglers as
they met in their way were easily cut to pieces, and the three
bodies, bursting impetuously on the disordered lines of the
Peruvians, took them completely by surprise. For some moments
there was little resistance, and the slaughter was terrible. But
the Indians gradually rallied, and, coming into something like
order, returned to the fight with the courage of men who had long
been familiar with danger. They fought hand to hand with their
copper-headed war-clubs and pole-axes, while a storm of darts,
stones, and arrows rained on the well-defended bodies of the

The barbarians showed more discipline than was to have been
expected; for which, it is said, they were indebted to some
Spanish prisoners, from several of whom, the Inca, having
generously spared their lives, took occasional lessons in the art
of war. The Peruvians had, also, learned to manage with some
degree of skill the weapons of their conquerors; and they were
seen armed with bucklers, helmets, and swords of European
workmanship, and even, in a few instances, mounted on the horses
which they had taken from the white men. *17 The young Inca, in
particular, accoutred in the European fashion, rode a war-horse
which he managed with considerable address, and, with a long
lance in his hand, led on his followers to the attack. - This
readiness to adopt the superior arms and tactics of the
Conquerors intimates a higher civilization than that which
belonged to the Aztec, who, in his long collision with the
Spaniards, was never so far divested of his terrors for the horse
as to venture to mount him.

[Footnote 17: Herrera assures us, that the Peruvians even turned
the fire-arms of their Conquerors against them, compelling their
prisoners to put the muskets in order, and manufacture powder for
them. Hist. General, dec. 5, lib. 8, cap. 5, 6]

But a few days or weeks of training were not enough to give
familiarity with weapons, still less with tactics, so unlike
those to which the Peruvians had been hitherto accustomed. The
fight, on the present occasion, though hotly contested, was not
of long duration. After a gallant struggle, in which the natives
threw themselves fearlessly on the horsemen, endeavouring to tear
them from their saddles, they were obliged to give way before the
repeated shock of their charges. Many were trampled under foot,
others cut down by the Spanish broadswords, while the
arquebusiers, supporting the cavalry, kept up a running fire that
did terrible execution on the flanks and rear of the fugitives.
At length, sated with slaughter, and trusting that the
chastisement he had inflicted on the enemy would secure him from
further annoyance for the present, the Castilian general drew
back his forces to their quarters in the capital. *18

[Footnote 18: Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms. - Conq. i Pob.
del Piru, Ms. - Herrera, Hist. General, dec. 5, lib. 8 cap. 4,

His next step was the recovery of the citadel. It was an
enterprise of danger. The fortress, which overlooked the
northern section of the city, stood high on a rocky eminence, so
steep as to be inaccessible on this quarter, where it was
defended only by a single wall. Towards the open country, it was
more easy of approach; but there it was protected by two
semicircular walls, each about twelve hundred feet in length, and
of great thickness. They were built of massive stones, or rather
rocks, put together without cement, so as to form a kind of
rustic-work. The level of the ground between these lines of
defence was raised up so as to enable the garrison to discharge
its arrows at the assailants, while their own persons were
protected by the parapet. Within the interior wall was the
fortress, consisting of three strong towers, one of great height,
which, with a smaller one, was now held by the enemy, under the
command of an Inca noble, a warrior of well-tried valor, prepared
to defend it to the last extremity.

The perilous enterprise was intrusted by Hernando Pizarro to his
brother Juan, a cavalier in whose bosom burned the adventurous
spirit of a knighterrant of romance. As the fortress was to be
approached through the mountain passes, it became necessary to
divert the enemy's attention to another quarter. A little while
before sunset Juan Pizarro left the city with a picked corps of
horsemen, and took a direction opposite to that of the fortress,
that the besieging army might suppose the object was a foraging
expedition. But secretly countermarching in the night, he
fortunately found the passes unprotected, and arrived before the
outer wall of the fortress, without giving the alarm to the
garrison. *19

[Footnote 19: Conq. i Pob. del Piru, Ms.]

The entrance was through a narrow opening in the centre of the
rampart; but this was now closed up with heavy stones, that
seemed to form one solid work with the rest of the masonry. It
was an affair of time to dislodge these huge masses, in such a
manner as not to rouse the garrison. The Indian nations, who
rarely attacked in the night, were not sufficiently acquainted
with the art of war even to provide against surprise by posting
sentinels. When the task was accomplished, Juan Pizarro and his
gallant troop rode through the gateway, and advanced towards the
second parapet.
But their movements had not been conducted so secretly as to
escape notice, and they now found the interior court swarming
with warriors, who, as the Spaniards drew near, let off clouds of
missiles that compelled them to come to a halt. Juan Pizarro,
aware that no time was to be lost, ordered one half of his corps
to dismount, and, putting himself at their head, prepared to make
a breach as before in the fortifications. He had been wounded
some days previously in the jaw, so that, finding his helmet
caused him pain, he rashly dispensed with it, and trusted for
protection to his buckler. *20 Leading on his men, he encouraged
them in the work of demolition, in the face of such a storm of
stones, javelins, and arrows, as might have made the stoutest
heart shrink from encountering it. The good mail of the
Spaniards did not always protect them; but others took the place
of such as fell, until a breach was made, and the cavalry,
pouring in, rode down all who opposed them.

[Footnote 20: Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms]

The parapet was now abandoned, and the enemy, hurrying with
disorderly flight across the inclosure took refuge on a kind of
platform or terrace, commanded by the principal tower. Here
rallying, they shot off fresh volleys of missiles against the
Spaniards, while the garrison in the fortress hurled down
fragments of rock and timber on their heads. Juan Pizarro, still
among the foremost, sprang forward on the terrace, cheering on
his men by his voice and example, but at this moment he was
struck by a large stone on the head, not then protected by his
buckler, and was stretched on the ground. The dauntless chief
still continued to animate his followers by his voice, till the
terrace was carried, and its miserable defenders were put to the
sword. His sufferings were then too much for him, and he was
removed to the town below, where, notwithstanding every exertion
to save him, he survived the injury but a fortnight, and died in
great agony. *21 - To say that he was a Pizarro is enough to
attest his claim to valor. But it is his praise, that his valor
was tempered by courtesy. His own nature appeared mild by
contrast with the haughty temper of his brothers, and his manners
made him a favorite of the army. He had served in the conquest of
Peru from the first, and no name on the roll of its conquerors is
less tarnished by the reproach of cruelty, or stands higher in
all the attributes of a true and valiant knight. *22
[Footnote 21: "Y estando batallando con ellos para echallos de
alli Joan Picarro se descuido descubrirse la cabeca con la adarga
y con las muchas pedradas que tiravan le acertaron vna en la
caveca que le quebraron los cascos y dende a quince dias murio
desta herida y ansi herido estuvo forcejando con los yndios y
espanoles hasta que se gano este terrado y ganado le abaxaron al
Cuzco." Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., Ms.]
[Footnote 22: "Hera valiente," says Pedro Pizarro, "y muy
animoso, gentil hombre, magnanimo y afable." (Descub. y Conq.,
Ms.) Zarate dismisses him with this brief panegyric: - "Fue gran
perdida en la Tierra, porque era Juan Picarro mui valiente, i
experimentado en las Guerras de los Indios, i bien quisto, i
amado de todos." Conq del Peru, lib. 3, cap. 3.]
Though deeply sensible to his brother's disaster, Hernando
Pizarro saw that no time was to be lost in profiting by the
advantages already gained. Committing the charge of the town to
Gonzalo, he put himself at the head of the assailants, and laid
vigorous siege to the fortresses. One surrendered after a short
resistance. The other and more formidable of the two still held
out under the brave Inca noble who commanded it. He was a man of
an athletic frame, and might be seen striding along the
battlements, armed with a Spanish buckler and cuirass, and in his
hand wielding a formidable mace, garnished with points or knobs
of copper. With this terrible weapon he struck down all who
attempted to force a passage into the fortress. Some of his own
followers who proposed a surrender he is said to have slain with
his own hand. Hernando prepared to carry the place by escalade.
Ladders were planted against the walls, but no sooner did a
Spaniard gain the topmost round, than he was hurled to the ground
by the strong arm of the Indian warrior. His activity was equal
to his strength; and he seemed to be at every point the moment
that his presence was needed.

The Spanish commander was filled with admiration at this display
of valor; for he could admire valor even in an enemy. He gave
orders that the chief should not be injured, but be taken alive,
if possible. *23 This was not easy. At length, numerous ladders
having been planted against the tower, the Spaniards scaled it on
several quarters at the same time, and, leaping into the place,
overpowered the few combatants who still made a show of
resistance. But the Inca chieftain was not to be taken; and,
finding further resistance ineffectual, he sprang to the edge of
the battlements, and, casting away his war-club, wrapped his
mantle around him and threw himself headlong from the summit. *24
He died like an ancient Roman. He had struck his last stroke for
the freedom of his country, and he scorned to survive her
dishonor. - The Castilian commander left a small force in
garrison to secure his conquest, and returned in triumph to his

[Footnote 23: 'Y mando hernando picarro a los Espanoles que
subian que no matasen a este yndio sino que se lo tomasen a vida,
jurando de no matalle si lo avia bivo." Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y
Conq. Ms.]

[Footnote 24: "Visto este orejon que se lo vian ganado y le avian
ganado y le avian tomado por dos o tres partes el fuerte,
arrojando las armas se tapo la caveca y el rrostro con la manta y
se arrojo del cubo abajo mas de cien estados, y ansi se hizo
pedazos. A hernando Picarro le peso mucho por no tomalle a
vida." Ibid., Ms.]

Week after week rolled away, and no relief came to the
beleaguered Spaniards. They had long since begun to feel the
approaches of famine. Fortunately, they were provided with water
from the streams which flowed through the city. But, though they
had well husbanded their resources, their provision were
exhausted, and they had for some time depended on such scanty
supplies of grain as they could gather from the ruined magazines
and dwellings, mostly consumed by the fire, or from the produce
of some successful foray. *25 This latter resource was attended
with no little difficulty; for every expedition led to a fierce
encounter with the enemy, which usually cost the lives of several
Spaniards, and inflicted a much heavier injury on the Indian
allies. Yet it was at least one good result of such loss, that
it left fewer to provide for. But the whole number of the
besieged was so small, that any loss greatly increased the
difficulties of defence by the remainder.
[Footnote 25: Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 2, lib. 2, cap. 24]
As months passed away without bringing any tidings of their
countrymen, their minds were haunted with still gloomier
apprehensions as to their fate. They well knew that the governor
would make every effort to rescue them from their desperate
condition. That he had not succeeded in this made it probable,
that his own situation was no better than theirs, or, perhaps, he
and his followers had already fallen victims to the fury of the
insurgents. It was a dismal thought, that they alone were left in
the land, far from all human succour, to perish miserably by the
hands of the barbarians among the mountains.

Yet the actual state of things, though gloomy in the extreme, was
not quite so desperate as their imaginations had painted it. The
insurrection, it is rue, had been general throughout the country,
a east that portion of it occupied by the Spaniards It had been
so well concerted, that it broke out almost simultaneously, and
the Conquerors, who were living in careless security on their
estates, had been massacred to the number of several hundreds An
Indian force had sat down before Xauxa, and a considerable army
had occupied the valley of Rimac and laid siege to Lima. But the
country around that capital was of an open, level character, very
favorable to the action of cavalry. Pizarro no sooner saw
himself menaced by the hostile array, than he sent such a force
against the Peruvians as speedily put them to flight; and,

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