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History Of The Conquest Of Peru by William Hickling Prescott

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governments, which were dispensed sometimes to court favorites,
though, as the duties of the post, at this early period, were of an arduous
nature, they were more frequently reserved for men of some practical
talent and enterprise. Columbus, by virtue of his original contract with
the Crown, had jurisdiction over the territories discovered by himself,
embracing some of the principal islands, and a few places on the
continent. This jurisdiction differed from that of other functionaries,
inasmuch as it was hereditary; a privilege found in the end too
considerable for a subject, and commuted, therefore, for a title and a
pension. These colonial governments were multiplied with the increase
of empire, and by the year 1524, the period at which our narrative
properly commences, were scattered over the islands, along the Isthmus
of Darien, the broad tract of Terra Firma, and the recent conquests of
Mexico. Some of these governments were of no great extent. Others,
like that of Mexico, were of the dimensions of a kingdom; and most had
an indefinite range for discovery assigned to them in their immediate
neighborhood, by which each of the petty potentates might enlarge his
territorial sway, and enrich his followers and himself. This politic
arrangement best served the ends of the Crown, by affording a perpetual
incentive to the spirit of enterprise. Thus living on their own little
domains at a long distance from the mother country, these military rulers
held a sort of vice-regal sway, and too frequently exercised it in the most
oppressive and tyrannical manner; oppressive to the native, and
tyrannical towards their own followers. It was the natural consequence,
when men, originally low in station, and unprepared by education for
office, were suddenly called to the possession of a brief, but in its nature
irresponsible, authority. It was not till after some sad experience of these
results, that measures were taken to hold these petty tyrants in check by
means of regular tribunals, or Royal Audiences, as they were termed,
which, composed of men of character and learning, might interpose the
arm of the law, or, at least, the voice of remonstrance, for the protection
of both colonist and native.

Among the colonial governors, who were indebted for their situation to
their rank at home, was Don Pedro Arias de Avila, or Pedrarias, as
usually called. He was married to a daughter of Dona Beatriz de
Bobadilla, the celebrated Marchioness of Moya, best known as the friend
of Isabella the Catholic. He was a man of some military experience and
considerable energy of character. But, as it proved, he was of a
malignant temper; and the base qualities, which might have passed
unnoticed in the obscurity of private life, were made conspicuous, and
perhaps created in some measure, by sudden elevation to power; as the
sunshine, which operates kindly on a generous soil, and stimulates it to
production, calls forth from the unwholesome marsh only foul and
pestilent vapors. This man was placed over the territory of Castilla del
Oro, the ground selected by Nunez de Balboa for the theatre of his
discoveries. Success drew on this latter the jealousy of his superior, for
it was crime enough in the eyes of Pedrarias to deserve too well. The
tragical history of this cavalier belongs to a period somewhat earlier than
that with which we are to be occupied. It has been traced by abler hands
than mine, and, though brief, forms one of the most brilliant passages in
the annals of the American conquerors.4

But though Pedrarias was willing to cut short the glorious career of his
rival, he was not insensible to the important consequences of his
discoveries. He saw at once the unsuitableness of Darien for prosecuting
expeditions on the Pacific, and, conformably to the original suggestion of
Balboa, in 1519, he caused his rising capital to be transferred from the
shores of the Atlantic to the ancient site of Panama, some distance east of
the present city of that name.5 This most unhealthy spot, the cemetery of
many an unfortunate colonist, was favorably situated for the great object
of maritime enterprise; and the port, from its central position, afforded
the best point of departure for expeditions, whether to the north or south,
along the wide range of undiscovered coast that lined the Southern
Ocean. Yet in this new and more favorable position, several years were
suffered to elapse before the course of discovery took the direction of
Peru. This was turned exclusively towards the north, or rather west, in'
obedience to the orders of government, which had ever at heart the
detection of a strait that, as was supposed, must intersect some part or
other of the long-extended Isthmus. Armament after armament was
fitted out with this chimerical object; and Pedrarias saw his domain
extending every year farther and farther without deriving any
considerable advantage from his acquisitions. Veragua, Costa Rica,
Nicaragua, were successively occupied; and his brave cavaliers forced a
way across forest and mountain and warlike tribes of savages, till, at
Honduras, they came in collision with the companions of Cortes, the
Conquerors of Mexico, who had descended from the great northern
plateau on the regions of Central America, and thus completed the
survey of this wild and mysterious land.

It was not till 1522 that a regular expedition was despatched in the
direction south of Panama, under the conduct of Pascual de Andagoya, a
cavalier of much distinction in the colony. But that officer penetrated
only to the Puerto de Pinas, the limit of Balboa's discoveries, when the
bad state of his health compelled him to reembark and abandon his
enterprise at its commencement.6

Yet the floating rumors of the wealth and civilization of a mighty nation
at the South were continually reaching the ears and kindling the dreamy
imaginations of the colonists; and it may seem astonishing that an
expedition in that direction should have been so long deferred. But the
exact position and distance of this fairy realm were matter of conjecture.
The long tract of intervening country was occupied by rude and warlike
races; and the little experience which the Spanish navigators had already
had of the neighboring coast and its inhabitants, and still more, the
tempestuous character of the seas--for their expeditions had taken place
at the most unpropitious seasons of the year--enhanced the apparent
difficulties of the undertaking, and made even their stout hearts shrink
from it.

Such was the state of feeling in the little community of Panama for
several years after its foundation. Meanwhile, the dazzling conquest of
Mexico gave a new impulse to the ardor of discovery, and, in 1524, three
men were found in the colony, in whom the spirit of adventure triumphed
over every consideration of difficulty and danger that obstructed the
prosecution of the enterprise. One among them was selected as fitted by
his character to conduct it to a successful issue. That man was Francisco
Pizarro; and as he held the same conspicuous post in the Conquest of
Peru that was occupied by Cortes in that of Mexico it will be necessary
to take a brief review of his early history.

Book 2

Chapter 2

Francisco Pizarro--His Early History--First Expedition To The South--
Distresses Of The Voyagers--Sharp Encounters--Return To Panama--
Almagro's Expedition


Francisco Pizarro was born at Truxillo, a city of Estremadura, in Spain.
The period of his birth is uncertain; but probably it was not far from
1471.1 He was an illegitimate child, and that his parents should not have
taken pains to perpetuate the date of his birth is not surprising. Few care
to make a particular record of their transgressions. His father, Gonzalo
Pizarro, was a colonel of infantry, and served with some distinction in
the Italian campaigns under the Great Captain, and afterwards in the
wars of Navarre. His mother, named Francisca Gonzales, was a person
of humble condition in the town of Truxillo.2

But little is told of Francisco's early years, and that little not always
deserving of credit. According to some, he was deserted by both his
parents, and left as a foundling at the door of one of the principal
churches of the city. It is even said that he would have perished, had he
not been nursed by a sow.3 This is a more discreditable fountain of
supply than that assigned to the infant Romulus. The early history of
men who have made their names famous by deeds in after-life, like the
early history of nations, affords a fruitful field for invention.

It seems certain that the young Pizarro received little care from either of
his parents, and was suffered to grow up as nature dictated. He was
neither taught to read nor write, and his principal occupation was that of
a swineherd. But this torpid way of life did not suit the stirring spirit of
Pizarro, as he grew older, and listened to the tales, widely circulated and
se captivating to a youthful fancy, of the New World. He shared in the
popular enthusiasm, and availed himself of a favorable moment to
abandon his ignoble charge, and escape to Seville, the port where the
Spanish adventurers embarked to seek their fortunes in the West. Few of
them could have turned their backs on their native land with less cause
for regret than Pizarro.4

In what year this important change in his destiny took place we are not
informed. The first we hear of him in the New World is at the island of
Hispaniola, in 1510, where he took part in the expedition to Uraba in
Terra Firma, under Alonzo de Ojeda, a cavalier whose character and
achievements find no parallel but in the pages of Cervantes. Hernando
Cortes, whose mother was a Pizarro, and related, it is said, to the father
of Francis, was then in St. Domingo, and prepared to accompany
Ojeda's expedition, but was prevented by a temporary lameness. Had he
gone, the fall of the Aztec empire might have been postponed for some
time longer, and the sceptre of Montezuma have descended in peace to
his posterity. Pizarro shared in the disastrous fortunes of Ojeda's colony,
and, by his discretion, obtained so far the confidence of his commander,
as to be left in charge of the settlement, when the latter returned for
supplies to the islands. The lieutenant continued at his perilous post for
nearly two months, waiting deliberately until death should have thinned
off the colony sufficiently to allow the miserable remnant to be
embarked in the single small vessel that remained to it.5

After this, we find him associated with Balboa, the discoverer of the
Pacific, and cooperating with him in establishing the settlement at
Darien. He had the glory of accompanying this gallant cavalier in his
terrible march across the mountains, and of being among the first
Europeans, therefore, whose eyes were greeted with the long-promised
vision of the Southern Ocean.

After the untimely death of his commander, Pizarro attached himself to
the fortunes of Pedrarias, and was employed by that governor in several
military expeditions, which, if they afforded nothing else, gave him the
requisite training for the perils and privations that lay in the path of the
future Conqueror of Peru.

In 1515, he was selected, with another cavalier named Morales, to cross
the Isthmus and traffic with the natives on the shores of the Pacific. And
there, while engaged in collecting his booty of gold and pearls from the
neighbouring islands, as his eye ranged along the shadowy line of coast
till it faded in the distance, his imagination may have been first fired with
the idea of, one day, attempting the conquest of the mysterious regions
beyond the mountains. On the removal of the seat of government across
the Isthmus to Panama, Pizarro accompanied Pedrarias, and his name
became conspicuous among the cavaliers who extended the line of
conquest to the north over the martial tribes of Veragua. But all these
expeditions, whatever glory they may have brought him, were productive
of very little gold; and, at the age of fifty, the captain Pizarro found
himself in possession only of a tract of unhealthy land in the
neighborhood of the capital, and of such repartimientos of the natives as
were deemed suited to his military services.6 The New World was a
lottery, where the great prizes were so few that the odds were much
against the player; yet in the game he was content to stake health,
fortune, and, too often, his fair fame.

Such was Pizarro's situation when, in 1522, Andagoya returned from his
unfinished enterprise to the south of Panama, bringing back with him
more copious accounts than any hitherto received of the opulence and
grandeur of the countries that lay beyond.7 It was at this time, too, that
the splendid achievements of Cortes made their impression on the public
mind, and gave a new impulse to the spirit of adventure. The southern
expeditions became a common topic of speculation among the colonists
of Panama. But the region of gold, as it lay behind the mighty curtain of
the Cordilleras, was still veiled in obscurity. No idea could be formed of
its actual distance; and the hardships and difficulties encountered by the
few navigators who had sailed in that direction gave a gloomy character
to the undertaking, which had hitherto deterred the most daring from
embarking in it. There is no evidence that Pizarro showed any particular
alacrity in the cause. Nor were his own funds such as to warrant any
expectation of success without great assistance from others. He found
this in two individuals of the colony, who took too important a part in the
subsequent transactions not to be particularly noticed.

One of them, Diego de Almagro, was a soldier of fortune somewhat
older, it seems probable, than Pizarro; though little is known of his birth,
and even the place of it is disputed. It is supposed to have been the town
of Almagro in New Castile, whence his own name, for want of a better
source was derived; for, like Pizarro, he was a foundling.8 Few
particulars are known of him till the present period of our history; for he
was one of those whom the working of turbulent times first throws upon
the surface,--less fortunate, perhaps, than if left in their original
obscurity. In his military career, Almagro had earned the reputation of a
gallant soldier. He was frank and liberal in his disposition, somewhat
hasty and ungovernable in his passions, but, like men of a sanguine
temperament, after the first sallies had passed away, not difficult to be
appeased. He had, in short, the good qualities and the defects incident to
an honest nature, not improved by the discipline of early education or

The other member of the confederacy was Hernando de Luque, a
Spanish ecclesiastic, who exercised the functions of vicar at Panama, and
had formerly filled the office of schoolmaster in the Cathedral of Darien.
He seems to have been a man of singular prudence and knowledge of the
world; and by his respectable qualities had acquired considerable
influence in the little community to which he belonged, as well as the
control of funds, which made his cooperation essential to the success of
the present enterprise.

It was arranged among the three associates, that the two cavaliers should
contribute their little stock towards defraying the expenses of the
armament, but by far the greater part of the funds was to be furnished by
Luque. Pizarro was to take command of the expedition, and the business
of victualling and equipping the vessels was assigned to Almagro. The
associates found no difficulty in obtaining the consent of the governor to
their undertaking. After the return of Andagoya, he had projected
another expedition, but the officer to whom it was to be intrusted died.
Why he did not prosecute his original purpose, and commit the affair to
an experienced captain like Pizarro, does not appear. He was probably
not displeased that the burden of the enterprise should be borne by
others, so long as a good share of the profits went into his own coffers.
This he did not overlook in his stipulations.9

Thus fortified with the funds of Luque, and the consent of the governor,
Almagro was not slow to make preparations for the voyage. Two small
vessels were purchased, the larger of which had been originally built by
Balboa, for himself, with a view to this same expedition. Since his
death, it had lain dismantled in the harbor of Panama. It was now
refitted as well as circumstances would permit, and put in order for sea,
while the stores and provisions were got on board with an alacrity which
did more credit, as the event proved, to Almagro's zeal than to his

There was more difficulty in obtaining the necessary complement of
hands; for a general feeling of distrust had gathered round expeditions in
this direction, which could not readily be overcome. But there were
many idle hangers-on in the colony, who had come out to mend their
fortunes, and were willing to take their chance of doing so, however
desperate. From such materials as these, Almagro assembled a body of
somewhat more than a hundred men;10 and every thing being ready,
Pizarro assumed the command, and, weighing anchor, took his departure
from the little port of Panama, about the middle of November, 1524..
Almagro was to follow in a second vessel of inferior size, as soon as it
could be fitted out.11

The time of year was the most unsuitable that could have been selected
for the voyage; for it was the rainy season, when the navigation to the
south, impeded by contrary winds, is made doubly dangerous by the
tempests that sweep over the coast. But this was not understood by the
adventurers. After touching at the Isle of Pearls, the frequent resort of
navigators, at a few leagues' distance from Panama, Pizarro hold his way
across the Gulf of St. Michael, and steered almost due south for the
Puerto de Pinas, a headland in the province of Biruquete, which marked
the limit of Andagoya's voyage. Before his departure, Pizarro had
obtained all the information which he could derive from that officer in
respect to the country, and the route he was to follow. But the cavalier's
own experience had been too limited to enable him to be of much

Doubling the Puerto de Pinas, the little vessel entered the river Biru, the
misapplication of which name is supposed by some to have given rise to
that of the empire of the Incas.12 After sailing up this stream for a
couple of leagues, Pizarro came to anchor, and disembarking his whole
force except the sailors, proceeded at the head of it to explore the
country. The land spread out into a vast swamp, where the heavy rains
had settled in pools of stagnant water, and the muddy soil afforded no
footing to the traveller. This dismal morass was fringed with woods,
through whose thick and tangled undergrowth they found it difficult to
penetrate and emerging from them, they came out on a hilly country, so
rough and rocky in its character, that their feet were cut to the bone, and
the weary soldier, encumbered with his heavy mail or thick-padded
doublet of cotton, found it difficult to drag one foot after the other. The
heat at times was oppressive; and, fainting with toil and famished for
want of food, they sank down on the earth from mere exhaustion. Such
was the ominous commencement of the expedition to Peru.

Pizarro, however, did not lose heart. He endeavored to revive the spirits
of his men, and besought them not to be discouraged by difficulties
which a brave heart would be sure to overcome, reminding them of the
golden prize which awaited those who persevered. Yet it was obvious
that nothing was to be gained by remaining longer in this desolate region.
Returning to their vessel, therefore, it was suffered to drop down the
river and proceed along its southern course on the great ocean.

After coasting a few leagues, Pizarro anchored off a place not very
inviting in its appearance, where he took in a supply of wood and water.
Then, stretching more towards the open sea, he held on in the same
direction towards the south. But in this he was baffled by a succession of
heavy tempests, accompanied with such tremendous peals of thunder and
floods of rain as are found only in the terrible storms of the tropics. The
sea was lashed into fury, and, swelling into mountain billows, threatened
every moment to overwhelm the crazy little bark, which opened at every
seam. For ten days the unfortunate voyagers were tossed about by the
pitiless elements, and it was only by incessant exertions--the exertions of
despair--that they preserved the ship from foundering. To add to their
calamities, their provisions began to fail, and they were short of water, of
which they had been furnished only with a small number of casks; for
Almagro had counted on their recruiting their scanty supplies, from time
to time, from the shore. Their meat was wholly consumed, and they
were reduced to the wretched allowance of two ears of Indian corn a day
for each man.

Thus harassed by hunger and the elements, the battered voyagers were
too happy to retrace their course and regain the port where they had last
taken in supplies of wood and water. Yet nothing could be more
unpromising than the aspect of the country. It had the same character of
low, swampy soil, that distinguished the former landing-place; while
thick-matted forests, of a depth which the eye could not penetrate,
stretched along the coast to an interminable length. It was in vain that

the wearied Spaniards endeavored to thread the mazes of this tangled
thicket, where the creepers and flowering vines, that shoot up luxuriant
in a hot and humid atmosphere, had twined themselves round the huge
trunks of the forest-trees, and made a network that could be opened only
with the axe. The rain, in the mean time, rarely slackened, and the
ground, strewed with leaves and saturated with moisture, seemed to slip
away beneath their feet.

Nothing could be more dreary and disheartening than the aspect of these
funereal forests; where the exhalations from the overcharged surface of
the ground poisoned the air, and seemed to allow no life, except that,
indeed, of myriads of insects, whose enamelled wings glanced to and fro,
like sparks of fire, in every opening of the woods. Even the brute
creation appeared instinctively to have shunned the fatal spot, and
neither beast nor bird of any description was seen by the wanderers.
Silence reigned unbroken in the heart of these dismal solitudes; at least,
the only sounds that could be heard were the plashing of the rain-drops
on the leaves, and the tread of the forlorn adventurers.13

Entirely discouraged by the aspect of the country, the Spaniards began to
comprehend that they had gained nothing by changing their quarters
from sea to shore, and they felt the most serious apprehensions of
perishing from famine in a region which afforded nothing but such
unwholesome berries as they could pick up here and there in the woods.
They loudly complained of their hard lot, accusing their commander as
the author of all their troubles, and as deluding them with promises of a
fairy land, which seemed to recede in proportion as they advanced. It
was of no use, they said, to contend against fate, and it was better to take
their chance of regaining the port of Panama in time to save their lives,
than to wait where they were to die of hunger.

But Pizarro was prepared to encounter much greater evils than these,
before returning to Panama, bankrupt in credit, an object of derision as a
vainglorious dreamer, who had persuaded others to embark in an
adventure which he had not the courage to carry through himself. The
present was his only chance. To return would be ruin. He used every
argument, therefore, that mortified pride or avarice could suggest to turn
his followers from their purpose; represented to them that these were the
troubles that necessarily lay in the path of the discoverer; and called to
mind the brilliant successes of their countrymen in other quarters, and
the repeated reports, which they had themselves received, of the rich
regions along the coast, of which it required only courage and constancy
on their part to become the masters. Yet, as their present exigencies
were pressing, he resolved to send back the vessel to the Isle of Pearls, to
lay in a fresh stock of provisions for his company, which might enable
them to go forward with renewed confidence. The distance was not
great, and in a few days they would all be relieved from their perilous
position. The officer detached on this service was named Montenegro;
and taking with him nearly half the company, after receiving Pizarro's
directions, he instantly weighed anchor, and steered for the Isle of Pearls.

On the departure of his vessel, the Spanish commander made an attempt
to explore the country, and see if some Indian settlement might not be
found, where he could procure refreshments for his followers. But his
efforts were vain, and no trace was visible of a human dwelling; though,
in the dense and impenetrable foliage of the equatorial regions, the
distance of a few rods might suffice to screen a city from observation.
The only means of nourishment left to the unfortunate adventurers were
such shell-fish as they occasionally picked up on the shore, or the bitter
buds of the palm-tree, and such berries and unsavory herbs as grew wild
in the woods. Some of these were so poisonous, that the bodies of those
who ate them swelled up and were tormented with racking pains. Others,
preferring famine to this miserable diet, pined away from weakness and
actually died of starvation. Yet their resolute leader strove to maintain
his own cheerfulness and to keep up the drooping spirits of his men. He
freely shared with them his scanty stock of provisions, was unwearied in
his endeavors to procure them sustenance, tended the sick, and ordered
barracks to be constructed for their accommodation, which might, at
least, shelter them from the drenching storms of the season. By this
ready sympathy with his followers in their sufferings, he obtained an
ascendency over their rough natures, which the assertion of authority, at
least in the present extremity, could never have secured to him.

Day after day, week after week, had now passed away, and no tidings
were heard of the vessel that was to bring relief to the wanderers. In vain
did they strain their eyes over the distant waters to catch a glimpse of
their coming friends. Not a speck was to be seen in the blue distance,
where the canoe of the savage dared not venture, and the sail of the white
man was not yet spread. Those who had borne up bravely at first now
gave way to despondency, as they felt themselves abandoned by their
countrymen on this desolate shore. They pined under that sad feeling
which "maketh the heart sick." More than twenty of the little band had
already died, and the survivors seemed to be rapidly following.14

At this crisis reports were brought to Pizarro of a light having been seen
through a distant opening in the woods. He hailed the tidings with
eagerness, as intimating the existence of some settlement in the
neighborhood; and, putting himself at the head of a small party, went in
the direction pointed out, to reconnoitre. He was not disappointed, and,
after extricating himself from a dense wilderness of underbrush and
foliage, he emerged into an open space, where a small Indian village was
planted. The timid inhabitants, on the sudden apparition of the strangers,
quitted their huts in dismay; and the famished Spaniards, rushing in,
eagerly made themselves masters of their contents. These consisted of
different articles of food, chiefly maize and cocoanuts. The supply,
though small, was too seasonable not to fill them with rapture.

The astonished natives made no attempt at resistance. But, gathering
more confidence as no violence was offered to their persons, they drew
nearer the white men, and inquired, "Why they did not stay at home and
till their own lands, instead of roaming about to rob others who had
never harmed them?"15 Whatever may have been their opinion as to.
the question of right, the Spaniards, no doubt, felt then that it would have
been wiser to do so. But the savages wore about their persons gold
ornaments of some size, though of clumsy workmanship. This furnished
the best reply to their demand. It was the golden bait which lured the
Spanish adventurer to forsake his pleasant home for the trials of the
wilderness. From the Indians Pizarro gathered a confirmation of the
reports he had so often received of a rich country lying farther south; and
at the distance of ten days' journey across the mountains, they told him,
there dwelt a mighty monarch whose dominions had been invaded by
another still more powerful, the Child of the Sun.16 It may have been
the invasion of Quito that was meant, by the valiant Inca Huayna Capac,
which took place some years previous to Pizarro's expedition.

At length, after the expiration of more than six weeks, the Spaniards
beheld with delight the return of the wandering bark that had borne away
their comrades, and Montenegro sailed into port with an ample supply of
provisions for his famishing countrymen. Great was his horror at the
aspect presented by the latter, their wild and haggard countenances and
wasted frames,--so wasted by hunger and disease, that their old
companions found it difficult to recognize them. Montenegro accounted
for his delay by incessant head winds and bad weather; and he himself
had also a doleful tale to tell of the distress to which he and his crew had
been reduced by hunger, on their passage to the Isle of Pearls.--It is
minute incidents like these with which we have been occupied, that
enable one to comprehend the extremity of suffering to which the
Spanish adventurer was subjected in the prosecution of his great work of

Revived by the substantial nourishment to which they had so long been
strangers, the Spanish cavaliers, with the buoyancy that belongs to men
of a hazardous and roving life, forgot their past distresses in their
eagerness to prosecute their enterprise. Reembarking therefore on board
his vessel, Pizarro bade adieu to the scene of so much suffering, which
he branded with the appropriate name of Puerto de la Hambre, the Port
of Famine, and again opened his sails to a favorable breeze that bore him
onwards towards the south.

Had he struck boldly out into the deep, instead of hugging the
inhospitable shore, where he had hitherto found so little to recompense
him, he might have spared himself the repetition of wearisome and
unprofitable adventures, and reached by a shorter route the point of his
destination. But the Spanish mariner groped his way along these
unknown coasts, landing at every convenient headland, as if fearful lest
some fruitful region or precious mine might be overlooked, should a
single break occur in the line of survey. Yet it should be remembered,
that, though the true point of Pizarro's destination is obvious to us,
familiar with the topography of these countries, he was wandering in the
dark, feeling his way along, inch by inch, as it were, without chart to
guide him, without knowledge of the seas or of the bearings of the coast,
and even with no better defined idea of the object at which he aimed than
that of a land teeming with gold, that lay somewhere at the south! It was
a hunt after an El Dorado; on information scarcely more circumstantial
or authentic than that which furnished the basis of so many chimerical
enterprises in this land of wonders. Success only, the best argument with
the multitude, redeemed the expeditions of Pizarro from a similar
imputation of extravagance.

Holding on his southerly course under the lee of the shore, Pizarro, after
a short run, found himself abreast of an open reach of country, or at least
one less encumbered with wood, which rose by a gradual swell, as it
receded from the coast. He landed with a small body of men, and,
advancing a short distance into the interior, fell in with an Indian hamlet.
It was abandoned by the inhabitants, who, on the approach of the
invaders, had betaken themselves to the mountains; and the Spaniards,
entering their deserted dwellings, found there a good store of maize and
other articles of food, and rude ornaments of gold of considerable value.
Food was not more necessary for their bodies than was the sight of gold,
from time to time, to stimulate their appetite for adventure. One
spectacle, however, chilled their blood with horror. This was the sight of
human flesh, which they found roasting before the fire, as the barbarians
had left it, preparatory to their obscene repast. The Spaniards,
conceiving that they had fallen in with a tribe of Caribs, the only race in
that part of the New World known to be cannibals, retreated precipitately
to their vessel.17 They were not steeled by sad familiarity with the
spectacle, like the Conquerors of Mexico.

The weather, which had been favorable, now set in tempestuous, with
heavy squalls, accompanied by incessant thunder and lightning, and the
rain, as usual in these tropical tempests, descended not so much in drops
as in unbroken sheets of water. The Spaniards, however, preferred to
take their chance on the raging element rather than remain in the scene of
such brutal abominations. But the fury of the storm gradually subsided,
and the little vessel held on her way along the coast, till, coming abreast
of a bold point of land named by Pizarro Punts Quemada, he gave orders
to anchor. The margin of the shore was fringed with a deep belt of
mangrove-trees, the long roots of which, interlacing one another, formed
a kind of submarine lattice-work that made the place difficult of
approach. Several avenues, opening through this tangled thicket, led
Pizarro to conclude that the country must be inhabited, and he
disembarked, with the greater part of his force, to explore the interior.

He had not penetrated more than a league, when he found his conjecture
verified by the sight of an Indian town of larger size than those he had
hitherto seen, occupying the brow of an eminence, and well detended by
palisades. The inhabitants, as usual, had fled; but left in their dwellings a
good supply of provisions and some gold trinkets, which the Spaniards
made no difficulty of appropriating to themselves. Pizarro's flimsy bark
had been strained by the heavy gales it had of late encountered, so that it
was unsafe to prosecute the voyage further without more thorough
repairs than could be given to her on this desolate coast. He accordingly
determined to send her back with a few hands to be careened at Panama,
and meanwhile to establish his quarters in his present position, which
was so favorable for defence. But first he despatched a small party
under Montenegro to reconnoitre the country, and, if possible, to open a
communication with the natives.

The latter were a warlike race. They had left their habitations in order to
place their wives and children in safety. But they had kept an eye on the
movements of the invaders, and, when they saw their forces divided, they
resolved to fall upon each body singly before it could communicate with
the other. So soon, therefore, as Montenegro had penetrated through the
defiles of the lofty hills, which shoot out like spurs of the Cordilleras
along this part of the coast, the Indian warriors, springing from their
ambush, sent off a cloud of arrows and other missiles that darkened the
air, while they made the forest ring with their shrill warwhoop. The
Spaniards, astonished at the appearance of the savages, with their naked
bodies gaudily painted, and brandishing their weapons as they glanced
among the trees and straggling underbrush that choked up the defile,
were taken by surprise and thrown for a moment into disarray. Three of
their number were killed and several wounded. Yet, speedily rallying,
they returned the discharge of the assailants with their cross-bows,--for
Pizarro's troops do not seem to have been provided with muskets on this
expedition,--and then gallantly charging the enemy, sword in hand,
succeeded in driving them back into the fastnesses of the mountains. But
it only led them to shift their operations to another quarter, and make an
assault ,,n Pizarro before he could be relieved by his lieutenant.

Availing themselves of their superior knowledge of the passes, they
reached that commander's quarters long before Montenegro, who had
commenced a countermarch in the same direction. And issuing from the
woods, the bold savages saluted the Spanish garrison with a tempest of
darts and arrows, some of which found their way through the joints of the
harness and the quilted mail of the cavaliers. But Pizarro was too well
practised a soldier to be off his guard. Calling his men about him, he
resolved not to abide the assault tamely in the works, but to sally out, and
meet the enemy on their own ground. The barbarians, who had advanced
near the defences, fell back as the Spaniards burst forth with their valiant
leader at their head. But, soon returning with admirable ferocity to the
charge, they singled out Pizarro, whom, by his bold bearing and air of
authority, they easily recognized as the chief; and, hurling at him a storm
of missiles, wounded him, in spite of his armour, in no less than seven

Driven back by the fury of the assault directed against his own person,
the Spanish commander retreated down the slope of the hill, still
defending himself as he could with sword and buckler, when his foot
slipped and he fell. The enemy set up a fierce yell of triumph, and some
of the boldest sprang forward to despatch him. But Pizarro was on his
feet in an instant, and, striking down two of the foremost with his strong
arm, held the rest at bay till his soldiers could come to the rescue. The
barbarians, struck with admiration at his valor, began to falter, when
Montenegro luckily coming on the ground at the moment, and falling on
their rear, completed their confusion; and, abandoning the field, they
made the best of their way into the recesses of the mountains. The
ground was covered with their slain; but the victory was dearly
purchased by the death of two more Spaniards and a long list of

A council of war was then called. The position had lost its charm in the
eyes of the Spaniards, who had met here with the first resistance they had
yet experienced on their expedition. It was necessary to place the
wounded in some secure spot, where their injuries could be attended to.
Yet it was not safe to proceed farther, in the crippled state of their vessel.
On the whole, it was decided to return and report their proceedings to the
governor; and, though the magnificent hopes of the adventurers had not
been realized, Pizarro trusted that enough had been done to vindicate the
importance of the enterprise, and to secure the countenance of Pedrarias
for the further prosecution of it.19

Yet Pizarro could not make up his mind to present himself, in the present
state of the undertaking, before the governor. He determined, therefore,
to be set on shore with the principal part of his company at Chicarea, a
place on the main land, at a short distance west of Panama From this
place, which he reached without any further accident, he despatched the
vessel, and in it his treasurer, Nicolas de Ribera, with the gold he had
collected, and with instructions to lay before the governor in full account
of his discoveries, and the result of the expedition.

While these events were passing, Pizarro's associate, Almagro, had been
busily employed in fitting out another vessel for the expedition at the
port of Panama. It was not till long after his friend's departure that he
was prepared to follow him. With the assistance of Luque, he at length
succeeded in equipping a small caravel and embarking a body of
between sixty and seventy adventurers, mostly of the lowest order of the
colonists. He steered in the track of his comrade, with the intention of
overtaking him as soon as possible. By a signal previously concerted of
notching the trees, he was able to identify the spots visited by Pizarro,--
Puerto de Pinas, Puerto de la Hambre, Pueblo Quemado--touching
successively at every point of the coast explored by his countrymen,
though in a much shorter time. At the last-mentioned place he was
received by the fierce natives with the same hostile demonstrations as
Pizarro, though in the present encounter the Indians did not venture
beyond their defences. But the hot blood of Almagro was so exasperated
by this check, that he assaulted the place and carried it sword in hand,
setting fire to the outworks and dwellings, and driving the wretched
inhabitants into the forests.

His victory cost him dear. A wound from a javelin on the head caused
an inflammation in one of his eyes, which, after great anguish, ended in
the loss of it. Yet the intrepid adventurer did not hesitate to pursue his
voyage, and, after touching at several places on the coast, some of which
rewarded him with a considerable booty in gold, he reached the mouth of
the Rio de San Juan, about the fourth degree of north latitude. He was
struck with the beauty of the stream, and with the cultivation on its
borders, which were sprinkled with Indian cottages showing some skill in
their construction, and altogether intimating a higher civilization than
any thing he had yet seen.

Still his mind was filled with anxiety for the fate of Pizarro and his
followers. No trace of them had been found on the coast for a long time,
and it was evident they must have foundered at sea, or made their way
back to Panama. This last he deemed most probable; as the vessel might
have passed him unnoticed under the cover of the night, or of the dense
fogs that sometimes hang over the coast.

Impressed with this belief, he felt no heart to continue his voyage of
discovery, for which, indeed, his single bark, with its small complement
of men, was altogether inadequate. He proposed, therefore, to return
without delay. On his way, he touched at the Isle of Pearls, and there
learned the result of his friend's expedition, and the place of his present
residence. Directing his course, at once, to Chicama, the two cavaliers
soon had the satisfaction of embracing each other, and recounting their
several exploits and escapes. Almagro returned even better freighted
with gold than his confederate, and at every step of his progress he had
collected fresh confirmation of the existence of some great and opulent
empire in the South. The confidence of the two friends was much
strengthened by their discoveries; and they unhesitatingly pledged
themselves to one another to die rather than abandon the enterprise.20

The best means of obtaining the levies requisite for so formidable an
undertaking--more formidable, as it now appeared to them, than before --
were made the subject of long and serious discussion. It was at length
decided that Pizarro should remain in his present quarters, inconvenient
and even unwholesome as they were rendered by the humidity of the
climate, and the pestilent swarms of insects that filled the atmosphere.
Almagro would pass over to Panama, lay the case before the governor,
and secure, if possible, his good-will towards the prosecution of the
enterprise. If no obstacle were thrown in their way from this quarter,
they might hope, with the assistance of Luque, to raise the necessary
supplies; while the results of the recent expedition were sufficiently
encouraging to draw adventurers to their standard in a community which
had a craving for excitement that gave even danger a charm, and which
held life cheap in comparison with gold.

Book 2

Chapter 3

The Famous Contract-Second Expedition--Ruiz Explores The Coast--
Pizarro's Sufferings In The Forests--Arrival Of New Recruits-
Fresh Discoveries And Disasters--Pizarro On The Isle Of Gallo


On his arrival at Panama, Almagro found that events had taken a turn
less favorable to his views than he had anticipated. Pedrarias, the
governor, was preparing to lead an expedition in person against a
rebellious officer in Nicaragua; and his temper, naturally not the most
amiable, was still further soured by this defection of his lieutenant, and
the necessity it imposed on him of a long and perilous march. When,
therefore, Almagro appeared before him with the request that he might
be permitted to raise further levies to prosecute his enterprise, the
governor received him with obvious dissatisfaction, listened coldly to the
narrative of his losses, turned an incredulous ear to his magnificent
promises for the future, and bluntly demanded an account of the lives,
which had been sacrificed by Pizarro's obstinacy, but which, had they
been spared, might have stood him in good stead in his present
expedition to Nicaragua. He positively declined to countenance the rash
schemes of the two adventurers any longer, and the conquest of Peru
would have been crushed in the bud, but for the efficient interposition of
the remaining associate, Fernando de Luque.

This sagacious ecclesiastic had received a very different impression from
Almagro's narrative, from that which had been made on the mind of the
irritable governor. The actual results of the enterprise in gold and silver,
thus far, indeed, had been small,--forming a mortifying contrast to the
magnitude of their expectations. But, in another point of view, they were
of the last importance; since the intelligence which the adventurers had
gained in every successive stage of their progress confirmed, in the
strongest manner, the previous accounts, received from Andogoya and
others, of a rich Indian empire at the south, which might repay the
trouble of conquering it as well as Mexico had repaid the enterprise of
Cortes. Fully entering, therefore, into the feelings of his military
associates, he used all his influence with the governor to incline him to a
more favorable view of Almagro's petition; and no one in the little
community of Panama exercised greater influence over the councils of
the executive than Father Luque, for which he was indebted no less to his
discretion and acknowledged sagacity than to his professional station.

But while Pedrarias, overcome by the arguments or importunity of the
churchman, yielded a reluctant assent to the application, he took care to
testify his displeasure with Pizarro, on whom he particularly charged the
loss of his followers, by naming Almagro as his equal in command in the
proposed expedition. This mortification sunk deep into Pizarro's mind.
He suspected his comrade, with what reason does not appear, of
soliciting this boon from the governor. A temporary coldness arose
between them, which subsided, in outward show, at least, on Pizarro's
reflecting that it was better to have this authority conferred on a friend
than on a stranger, perhaps an enemy. But the seeds of permanent
distrust were left in his bosom, and lay waiting for the due season to
ripen into a fruitful harvest of discord.1

Pedrarias had been originally interested in the enterprise, at least, so far
as to stipulate for a share of the gains, though he had not contributed, as
it appears, a single ducat towards the expenses. He was at length,
however, induced to relinquish all right to a share of the contingent
profits. But, in his manner of doing so, he showed a mercenary spirit,
better becoming a petty trader than a high officer of the Crown. He
stipulated that the associates should secure to him the sum of one
thousand pesos de oro in requital of his good-will, and they eagerly
closed with his proposal, rather than be encumbered with his pretensions.
For so paltry a consideration did he resign his portion of the rich spoil of
the Incas! 2 But the governor was not gifted with the eye of a prophet.
His avarice was of that short-sighted kind which defeats itself. He had
sacrificed the chivalrous Balboa just as that officer was opening to him
the conquest of Peru, and he would now have quenched the spirit of
enterprise, that was taking the same direction, in Pizarro and his

Not long after this, in the following year, he was succeeded in his
government by Don Pedro de los Rios, a cavalier of Cordova. It was the
policy of the Castilian Crown to allow no one of the great colonial
officers to occupy the same station so long as to render himself
formidable by his authority.3 It had, moreover, many particular causes
of disgust with Pedrarias. The functionary they sent out to succeed him
was fortified with ample instructions for the good of the colony, and
especially of the natives, whose religious conversion was urged as a
capital object, and whose personal freedom was unequivocally asserted,
as loyal vassals of the Crown. It is but justice to the Spanish government
to admit that its provisions were generally guided by a humane and
considerate policy, which was as regularly frustrated by the cupidity of
the colonist, and the capricious cruelty of the conqueror. The few
remaining years of Pedrarias were spent in petty squabbles, both of a
personal and official nature; for he was still continued in office, though
in one of less consideration than that which he had hitherto filled. He
survived but a few years, leaving behind him a reputation not to be
envied, of one who united a pusillanimous spirit with uncontrollable
passions; who displayed, notwithstanding, a certain energy of character,
or, to speak more correctly, an impetuosity of purpose, which might have
led to good results had it taken a right direction. Unfortunately, his lack
of discretion was such, that the direction he took was rarely of service to
his country or to himself.

Having settled their difficulties with the governor, and obtained his
sanction to their enterprise, the confederates lost no time in making the
requisite preparations for it. Their first step was to execute the
memorable contract which served as the basis of their future
arrangements; and, as Pizarro's name appears in this, it seems probable
that that chief had crossed over to Panama so soon as the favorable
disposition of Pedrarias had been secured.4 The instrument, after
invoking in the most solemn manner the names of the Holy Trinity and
Our Lady the Blessed Virgin, sets forth, that, whereas the parties have
full authority to discover and subdue the countries and provinces lying
south of the Gulf, belonging to the empire of Peru, and as Fernando de
Luque had advanced the funds for the enterprise in bars of gold of the
value of twenty thousand pesos, they mutually bind themselves to divide
equally among them the whole of the conquered territory. This
stipulation is reiterated over and over again, particularly with reference
to Luque, who, it is declared, is to be entitled to one third of all lands,
repartimientos, treasures of every kind, gold, silver, and precious stones,-
-to one third even of all vassals, rents, and emoluments arising from such
grants as may be conferred by the Crown on either of his military
associates, to be held for his own use, or for that of his heirs, assigns, or
legal representative.

The two captains solemnly engage to devote themselves exclusively to
the present undertaking until it is accomplished; and, in case of failure in
their part of the covenant, they pledge themselves to reimburse Luque for
his advances, for which all the property they possess shall be held
responsible, and this declaration is to be a sufficient warrant for the
execu. tion of judgment against them, in the same manner as if it had
proceed. ed from the decree of a court of justice.

The commanders, Pizarro and Almagro, made oath, in the name of God
and the Holy Evangelists, sacredly to keep this covenant, swearing it on
the missal, on which they traced with their own hands the sacred emblem
of the cross. To give still greater efficacy to the compact, Father Luque
administered the sacrament to the parties, dividing the consecrated wafer
into three portions, of which each one of them partook; while the
bystanders, says an historian, were affected to tears by this spectacle of
the solemn ceremonial with which these men voluntarily devoted
themselves to a sacrifice that seemed little short of insanity.5

The instrument, which was dated March 10, 1526, was subscribed by
Luque, and attested by three respectable citizens of Panama, one of
whom signed on behalf of Pizarro, and the other for Almagro; since
neither of these parties, according to the avowal of the instrument, was
able to subscribe his own name.6

Such was the singular compact by which three obscure individuals coolly
carved out and partitioned among themselves, an empire of whose
extent, power, and resources, of whose situation, of whose existence,
even, they had no sure or precise knowledge. The positive and
unhesitating manner in which they speak of the grandeur of this empire,
of its stores of wealth, so conformable to the event, but of which they
could have really known so little, forms a striking contrast with the
general skepticism and indifference manifested by nearly every other
person, high and low, in the community of Panama.7

The religious tone of the instrument is not the least remarkable feature in
it, especially when we contrast this with the relentless policy, pursued by
the very men who were parties to it, in their conquest of the country. "In
the name of the Prince of Peace," says the illustrious historian of
America, "they ratified a contract of which plunder and bloodshed were
the objects."8 The reflection seems reasonable. Yet, in criticizing what
is done, as well as what is written, we must take into account the spirit of
the times.9 The invocation of Heaven was natural, where the object of
the undertaking was, in part, a religious one. Religion entered, more or
less, into the theory, at least, of the Spanish conquests in the New World.
That motives of a baser sort mingled largely with these higher ones, and
in different proportions according to the character of the individual, no
one will deny. And few are they that have proposed to themselves a long
career of action without the intermixture of some vulgar personal motive,
--fame, honors, or emolument. Yet that religion furnishes a key to the
American crusades, however rudely they may have been conducted, is
evident from the history of their origin; from the sanction openly given to
them by the Head of the Church; from the throng of self-devoted
missionaries, who followed in the track of the conquerors to garner up
the rich harvest of souls; from the reiterated instructions of the Crown,
the great object of which was the conversion of the natives; from those
superstitious acts of the iron-hearted soldiery themselves, which,
however they may be set down to fanaticism, were clearly too much in
earnest to leave any ground for the charge of hypocrisy. It was indeed a
fiery cross that was borne over the devoted land, scathing and consuming
it in its terrible progress; but it was still the cross, the sign of man's
salvation, the only sign by which generations and generations yet unborn
were to be rescued from eternal perdition.

It is a remarkable fact, which has hitherto escaped the notice of the
historian, that Luque was not the real party to this contract. He
represented another, who placed in his hands the funds required for the
undertaking. This appears from an instrument signed by Luque himself
and certified before the same notary that prepared the original contract.
The instrument declares that the whole sum of twenty thousand pesos
advanced for the expedition was furnished by the Licentiate Gaspar de
Espinosa, then at Panama; that the vicar acted only as his agent and by
his authority; and that, in consequence, the said Espinosa and no other
was entitled to a third of all the profits and acquisitions resulting from
the conquest of Peru. This instrument, attested by three persons, one of
them the same who had witnessed the original contract, was dated on the
6th of August, 1531.10 The Licentiate Espinosa was a respectable
functionary, who had filled the office of principal alcalde in Darien, and
since taken a conspicuous part in the conquest and settlement of Tierra
Firme. He enjoyed much consideration for his personal character and
station; and it is remarkable that so little should be known of the manner
in which the covenant, so solemnly made, was executed in reference to
him. As in the case of Columbus, it is probable that the unexpected
magnitude of the results was such as to prevent a faithful adherence to
the original stipulation; and yet, from the same consideration, one can
hardly doubt that the twenty thousand pesos of the bold speculator must
have brought him a magnificent return. Nor did the worthy vicar of
Panama, as the history will show hereafter, go without his reward.

Having completed these preliminary arrangements, the three associates
lost no time in making preparations for the voyage. Two vessels were
purchased, larger and every way better than those employed on the
former occasion. Stores were laid in, as experience dictated, on a larger
scale than before, and proclamation was made of "an expedition to
Peru." But the call was not readily answered by the skeptical citizens of
Panama. Of nearly two hundred men who had embarked on the former
cruise, not more than three fourths now remained.11 This dismal
mortality, and the emaciated, poverty-stricken aspect of the survivors,
spoke more eloquently than the braggart promises and magnificent
prospects held out by the adventurers. Still there were men in the
community of such desperate circumstances, that any change seemed like
a chance of bettering their condition. Most of the former company also,
strange to say, felt more pleased to follow up the adventure to the end
than to abandon it, as they saw the light of a better day dawning upon
them. From these sources the two captains succeeded in mustering about
one hundred and sixty men, making altogether a very inadequate force
for the conquest of an empire. A few horses were also purchased, and a
better supply of ammunition and military stores than before, though still
on a very limited scale. Considering their funds, the only way of
accounting for this must be by the difficulty of obtaining supplies at
Panama, which, recently founded, and on the remote coast of the Pacific,
could be approached only by crossing the rugged barrier of mountains,
which made the transportation of bulky articles extremely difficult. Even
such scanty stock of materials as it possessed was probably laid under
heavy contribution, at the present juncture, by the governor's
preparations for his own expedition to the north.

Thus indifferently provided, the two captains, each in his own vessel,
again took their departure from Panama, under the direction of
Bartholomew Ruiz, a sagacious and resolute pilot, well experienced in
the navigation of the Southern Ocean. He was a native of Moguer, in
Andalusia, that little nursery of nautical enterprise, which furnished so
many seamen for the first voyages of Columbus. Without touching at the
intervening points of the coast, which offered no attraction to the
voyagers, they stood farther out to sea, steering direct for the Rio de San
Juan, the utmost limit reached by Almagro. The season was better
selected than on the former occasion, and they were borne along by
favorable breezes to the place of their destination, which they reached
without accident in a few days. Entering the mouth of the river, they saw
the banks well lined with Indian habitations; and Pizarro, disembarking,
at the head of a party of soldiers, succeeded in surprising a small village
and carrying off a considerable booty of gold ornaments found in the
dwellings, together with a few of the natives.12

Flushed with their success, the two chiefs were confident that the sight of
the rich spoil so speedily obtained could not fall to draw adventurers to
their standard in Panama; and, as they felt more than ever the necessity
of a stronger force to cope with the thickening population of the country
which they were now to penetrate, it was decided that Almagro should
return with the treasure and beat up for reinforcements, while the pilot
Ruiz, in the other vessel, should reconnoitre the country towards the
south, and obtain such information as might determine their future
movements. Pizarro, with the rest of the force, would remain in the
neighborhood of the river, as he was assured by the Indian prisoners, that
not far in the interior was an open reach of country, where he and his
men could find comfortable quarters. This arrangement was instantly put
in execution. We will first accompany the intrepid pilot in his cruise
towards the south.

Coasting along the great continent, with his canvas still spread to
favorable winds, the first place at which Ruiz cast anchor was off the
little island of Gallo, about two degrees north. The inhabitants, who
were not numerous, were prepared to give him a hostile reception,--for
tidings of the invaders had preceded them along the country, and even
reached this insulated spot. As the object of Ruiz was to explore, not
conquer, he did not care to entangle himself in hostilities with the
natives; so, changing his purpose of landing, he weighed anchor, and ran
down the coast as far as what is now called the Bay of St. Matthew. The
country, which, as he advanced, continued to exhibit evidence of a better
culture as well as of a more dense population than the parts hitherto seen,
was crowded, along the shores, with spectators, who gave no signs of
fear or hostility. They stood gazing on the vessel of the white men as it
glided smoothly into the crystal waters of the bay, fancying it, says an
old writer, some mysterious being descended from the skies.

Without staying long enough on this friendly coast to undeceive the
simple people, Ruiz, standing off shore, struck out into the deep sea; but
he had not sailed far in that direction, when he was surprised by the sight
of a vessel, seeming in the distance like a caravel of considerable size,
traversed by a large sail that carried it sluggishly over the waters. The
old navigator was not a little perplexed by this phenomenon, as he was
confident no European bark could have been before him in these
latitudes, and no Indian nation, yet discovered, not even the civilized
Mexican, was acquainted with the use of sails in navigation. As he drew
near, he found it was a large vessel, or rather raft, called balsa by the
natives, consisting of a number of huge timbers of a light, porous wood,
tightly lashed together, with a frail flooring of reeds raised on them by
way of deck. Two masts or sturdy poles, erected in the middle of the
vessel, sustained a large square-sail of cotton, while a rude kind of
rudder and a movable keel, made of plank inserted between the logs,
enabled the mariner to give a direction to the floating fabric, which held
on its course without the aid of oar or paddle.13 The simple architecture
of this craft was sufficient for the purposes of the natives, and indeed has
continued to answer them to the present day; for the balsa, surmounted
by small thatched huts or cabins, still supplies the most commodious
means for the transportation of passengers and luggage on the streams
and along the shores of this part of the South American continent.

On coming alongside, Ruiz found several Indians, both men and women,
on board, some with rich ornaments on their persons, besides several
articles wrought with considerable skill in gold and silver, which they
were carrying for purposes of traffic to the different places along the
coast. But what most attracted his attention was the woollen cloth of
which some of their dresses were made. It was of a fine texture,
delicately embroidered with figures of birds and flowers, and dyed in
brilliant colors. He also observed in the boat a pair of balances made to
weigh the precious metals.14 His astonishment at these proofs of
ingenuity and civilization, so much higher than anything he had ever
seen in the country, was heightened by the intelligence which he
collected from some of these Indians. Two of them had come from
Tumbez, a Peruvian port, some degrees to the south; and they gave him
to understand, that in their neighborhood the fields were covered with
large flocks of the animals from which the wool was obtained, and that
gold and silver were almost as common as wood in the palaces of their
monarch. The Spaniards listened greedily to reports which harmonized
so well with their fond desires. Though half distrusting the exaggeration,
Ruiz resolved to detain some of the Indians, including the natives of
Tumbez, that they might repeat the wondrous tale to his commander, and
at the same time, by learning the Castilian, might hereafter serve as
interpreters with their countrymen. The rest of the party he suffered to
proceed without further interruption on their voyage. Then holding on
his course, the prudent pilot, without touching at any other point of the
coast, advanced as far as the Punta de Pasado, about half a degree south,
having the glory of being the first European who, sailing in this direction
on the Pacific, had crossed the equinoctial line. This was the limit' of his
discoveries; on reaching which he tacked about, and standing away to the
north, succeeded, after an absence of several weeks, in regaining the spot
where he had left Pizarro and his comrades.15

It was high time; for the spirits of that little band had been sorely tried by
the perils they had encountered. On the departure of his vessels, Pizarro
marched into the interior, in the hope of finding the pleasant champaign
country which had been promised him by the natives. But at every step
the forests seemed to grow denser and darker, and the trees towered to a
height such as he had never seen, even in these fruitful regions, where
Nature works on so gigantic a scale.16 Hill continued to rise above hill,
as he advanced, rolling onward, as it were, by successive waves to join
that colossal barrier of the Andes, whose frosty sides, far away above the
clouds, spread out like a curtain of burnished silver, that seemed to
connect the heavens with the earth.

On crossing these woody eminences, the forlorn adventurers would
plunge into ravines of frightful depth, where the exhalations of a humid
soil steamed up amidst the incense of sweet-scented flowers, which
shone through the deep glooms in every conceivable variety of color.
Birds. especially of the parrot tribe, mocked this fantastic variety of
nature with tints as brilliant as those of the vegetable world. Monkeys
chattered in crowds above their heads, and made grimaces like the
fiendish spirits of these solitudes; while hideous reptiles, engendered in
the slimy depths of the pools, gathered round the footsteps of the
wanderers. Here was seen the gigantic boa, coiling his unwieldy folds
about the trees, so as hardly to be distinguished from their trunks, till he
was ready to dart upon his prey; and alligators lay basking on the borders
of the streams, or, gliding under the waters, seized their incautious victim
before he was aware of their approach.17 Many of the Spaniards
perished miserably in this way, and others were waylaid by the natives,
who kept a jealous eye on their movements, and availed themselves of
every opportunity to take them at advantage. Fourteen of Pizarro's men
were cut off at once in a canoe which had stranded on the bank of a

Famine came in addition to other troubles, and it was with difficulty that
they found the means of sustaining life on the scanty fare of the forest,--
occasionally the potato, as it grew without cultivation, or the wild cocoa-
nut, or, on the shore, the salt and bitter fruit of the mangrove; though the
shore was less tolerable than the forest, from the swarms of mosquitos
which compelled the wretched adventurers to bury their bodies up to
their very faces in the sand. In this extremity of suffering, they thought
only of return; and all schemes of avarice and ambition--except with
Pizarro and a few dauntless spirits--were exchanged for the one craving
desire to return to Panama.

It was at this crisis that the pilot Ruiz returned with the report of his
brilliant discoveries; and, not long after, Almagro sailed into port with
his vessel laden with refreshments, and a considerable reinforcement of
volunteers. The voyage of that commander had been prosperous. When
he arrived at Panama, he found the government in the hands of Don
Pedro de los Rios; and he came to anchor in the harbor, unwilling to trust
himself on shore, till he had obtained from Father Luque some account
of the dispositions of the executive. These were sufficiently favorable;
for the new governor had particular instructions fully to carry out the
arrangements made by his predecessor with the associates. On learning
Almagro's arrival, he came down to the port to welcome him, professing
his willingness to afford every facility for the execution of his designs.
Fortunately, just before this period, a small body of military adventurers
had come to Panama from the mother country, burning with desire to
make their fortunes in the New World. They caught much more eagerly
than the old and wary colonists at the golden bait held out to them; and
with their addition, and that of a few supernumerary stragglers who hung
about the town, Almagro found himself at the head of a reinforcement of
at least eighty men, with which, having laid in a fresh supply of stores, he
again set sail for the Rio de San Juan.

The arrival of the new recruits all eager to follow up the expedition, the
comfortable change in their circumstances produced by an ample supply
of refreshments, and the glowing pictures of the wealth that awaited them
in the south, all had their effect on the dejected spirits of Pizarro's
followers. Their late toils and privations were speedily forgotten, and,
with the buoyant and variable feelings incident to a freebooter's life, they
now called as eagerly on their commander to go forward in the voyage,
as they had before called on him to abandon it. Availing themselves of
the renewed spirit of enterprise, the captains embarked on board their
vessels, and, under the guidance of the veteran pilot, steered in the same
track he had lately pursued.

But the favorable season for a southern course, which in these latitudes
lasts but a few months in the year, had been suffered to escape. The
breezes blew steadily towards the north, and a strong current, not far
from shore, set in the same direction. The winds frequently rose into
tempests, and the unfortunate voyagers were tossed about, for many
days, in the boiling surges, amidst the most awful storms of thunder and
lightning, until, at length, they found a secure haven in the island of
Gallo, already visited by Ruiz. As they were now too strong in numbers
to apprehend an assault, the crews landed, and, experiencing no
molestation from the natives, they continued on the island for a fortnight,
refitting their damaged vessels, and recruiting themselves after the
fatigues of the ocean. Then, resuming their voyage, the captains stood
towards the south until they reached the Bay of St. Matthew. As they
advanced along the coast, they were struck, as Ruiz had been before,
with the evidences of a higher civilization constantly exhibited in the
general aspect of the country and its inhabitants. The hand of cultivation
was visible in every quarter. The natural appearance of the coast, too,
had something in it more inviting; for, instead of the eternal labyrinth of
mangrove-trees, with their complicated roots snarled into formidable
coils under the water, as if to waylay and entangle the voyager, the low
margin of the sea was covered with a stately growth of ebony, and with a
species of mahogany, and other hard woods that take the most brilliant
and variegated polish. The sandal-wood, and many balsamic trees of
unknown names, scattered their sweet odors far and wide, not in an
atmosphere tainted with vegetable corruption, but on the pure breezes of
the ocean, bearing health as well as fragrance on their wings. Broad
patches of cultivated land intervened, disclosing hill-sides covered with
the yellow maize and the potato, or checkered, in the lower levels, with
blooming plantations of cacao.19

The villages became more numerous; and, as the vessels rode at anchor
off the port of Tacamez, the Spaniards saw before them a town of two
thousand houses or more, laid out into streets, with a numerous
population clustering around it in the suburbs.20 The men and women
displayed many ornaments of gold and precious stones about their
persons, which may seem strange, considering that the Peruvian Incas
claimed a monopoly of jewels for themselves and the nobles on whom
they condescended to bestow them. But, although the Spaniards had
now reached the outer limits of the Peruvian empire, it was not Peru, but
Quito, and that portion of it but recently brought under the sceptre of the
Incas, where the ancient usages of the people could hardly have been
effaced under the oppressive system of the American despots. The
adjacent country was, moreover, particularly rich in gold, which,
collected from the washings of the streams, still forms one of the staple
products of Barbacoas. Here, too, was the fair River of Emeralds, so
called from the quarries of the beautiful gem on its borders, from which
the Indian monarchs enriched their treasury.21

The Spaniards gazed with delight on these undeniable evidences of
wealth, and saw in the careful cultivation of the soil a comfortable
assurance that they had at length reached the land which had so long
been seen in brilliant, though distant, perspective before them. But here
again they were doomed to be disappointed by the warlike spirit of the
people, who, conscious of their own strength, showed no disposition to
quail before the invaders. On the contrary, several of their canoes shot
out, loaded with warriors, who, displaying a gold mask as their ensign,
hovered round the vessels with looks of defiance, and, when pursued,
easily took shelter under the lee of the land.22

A more formidable body mustered along the shore, to the number,
according to the Spanish accounts, of at least ten thousand warriors,
eager, apparently, to come to close action with the invaders. Nor could
Pizarro, who had landed with a party of his men in the hope of a
conference with the natives, wholly prevent hostilities; and it might have
gone hard with the Spaniards, hotly pressed by their resolute enemy so
superior in numbers, but for a ludicrous accident reported by the
historians as happening to one of the cavaliers. This was a fall from his
horse, which so astonished the barbarians, who were not prepared for
this division of what seemed one and the same being into two, that, filled
with consternation, they fell back, and left a way open for the Christians
to regain their vessels! 23

A council of war was now called. It was evident that the forces of the
Spaniards were unequal to a contest with so numerous and well-
appointed a body of natives; and, even if they should prevail here, they
could have no hope of stemming the torrent which must rise against them
in their progress--for the country was becoming more and more thickly
settled, and towns and hamlets started into view at every new headland
which they doubled. It was better, in the opinion of some,--the faint-
hearted,-to abandon the enterprise at once, as beyond their strength. But
Almagro took a different view of the affair. "To go home," he said,
"with nothing done, would be ruin, as well as disgrace. There was
scarcely one but had left creditors at Panama, who looked for payment to
the fruits of this expedition. To go home now would be to deliver
themselves at once into their hands. It would be to go to prison. Better
to roam a freeman, though in the wilderness, than to lie bound with
fetters in the dungeons of Panama.24 The only course for them," he
concluded, "was the one lately pursued. Pizarro might find some more
commodious place where he could remain with part of the force while he
himself went back for recruits to Panama. The story they had now to tell
of the riches of the land, as they had seen them with their own eyes,
would put their expedition in a very different light, and could not fail to
draw to their banner as many volunteers as they needed."

But this recommendation, however judicious, was not altogether to the
taste of the latter commander, who did not relish the part, which
constantly fell to him, of remaining behind in the swamps and forests of
this wild country. "It is all very well," he said to Almagro, "for you, who
pass your time pleasantly enough, careering to and fro in your vessel, or
snugly sheltered in a land of plenty at Panama; but it is quite another
matter for those who stay behind to droop and die of hunger in the
wilderness.25 To this Almagro retorted with some heat, professing his
own willingness to take charge of the brave men who would remain with
him, if Pizarro declined it. The controversy assuming a more angry and
menacing tone, from words they would have soon come to blows, as
both, laying their hands on their swords, were preparing to rush on each
other, when the treasurer Ribera, aided by the pilot Ruiz, succeeded in
pacifying them. It required but little effort on the part of these cooler
counsellors to convince the cavaliers of the folly of a conduct which
must at once terminate the expedition in a manner little creditable to its
projectors. A reconciliation consequently took place, sufficient, at least
in outward show, to allow the two commanders to act together in
concert. Almagro's plan was then adopted; and it only remained to find
out the most secure and convenient spot for Pizarro's quarters.

Several days were passed in touching at different parts of the coast, as
they retraced their course; but everywhere the natives appeared to have
caught the alarm, and assumed a menacing, and from their numbers a
formidable, aspect. The more northerly region, with its unwholesome
fens and forests, where nature wages a war even more relentless than
man, was not to be thought of. In this perplexity, they decided on the
little island of Gallo, as being, on the whole, from its distance from the
shore, and from the scantiness of its population, the most eligible spot
for them in their forlorn and destitute condition.26

But no sooner was the resolution of the two captains made known, than a
feeling of discontent broke forth among their followers, especially those
who were to remain with Pizarro on the island, "What!" they exclaimed,
"were they to be dragged to that obscure spot to die by hunger? The
whole expedition had been a cheat and a failure, from beginning to end.
The golden countries, so much vaunted, had seemed to fly before them
as they advanced; and the little gold they had been fortunate enough to
glean had all been sent back to Panama to entice other fools to follow
their example. What had they got in return for all their sufferings? The
only treasures they could boast were their bows and arrows, and they
were now to be left to die on this dreary island, without so much as a
rood of consecrated ground to lay their bones in!27

In this exasperated state of feeling, several of the soldiers wrote back to
their friends, informing them of their deplorable condition, and
complaining of the cold-blooded manner in which they were to be
sacrificed to the obstinate cupidity of their leaders. But the latter were
wary enough to anticipate this movement, and Almagro defeated it by
seizing all the letters in the vessels, and thus cutting off at once the
means of communication with their friends at home. Yet this act of
unscrupulous violence, like most other similar acts, fell short of its
purpose; for a soldier named Sarabia had the ingenuity to evade it by
introducing a letter into a ball of cotton, which was to be taken to
Panama as a specimen of the products of the country, and presented to
the governor's lady.28

The letter, which was signed by several of the disaffected soldiery
besides the writer, painted in gloomy colors the miseries of their
condition, accused the two commanders of being the authors of this, and
called on the authorities of Panama to interfere by sending a vessel to
take them from the desolate spot, while some of them might still be
found surviving the horrors of their confinement. The epistle concluded
with a stanza, in which the two leaders were stigmatized as partners in a
slaughter-house; one being employed to drive in the cattle for the other
to butcher. The verses, which had a currency in their day among the
colonists to which they were certainly not entitled by their poetical
merits, may be thus rendered into corresponding doggerel:

"Look out, Senor Governor,
For the drover while he's near;
Since he goes home to get the sheep
For the butcher who stays here." 29

Book 2

Chapter 4

Indignation Of The Governor--Stern Resolution Of Pizarro-
Prosecution Of The Voyage--Brilliant Aspect Of Tumbez-
Discoveries Along The Coast--Return To Panama-
Pizarro Embarks For Spain


Not long after Almagro's departure, Pizarro sent off the remaining vessel,
under the pretext of its being put in repair at Panama. It probably
relieved him of a part of his followers, whose mutinous spirit made them
an obstacle rather than a help in his forlorn condition, and with whom he
was the more willing to part from the difficulty of finding subsistence on
the barren spot which he now occupied.

Great was the dismay occasioned by the return of Almagro and his
followers, in the little community of Panama; for the letter,
surreptitiously conveyed in the ball of cotton, fell into the hands for
which it was intended, and the contents soon got abroad with usual
quantity of exaggeration. The haggard and dejected mien of the
adventurers, of itself, told a tale sufficiently disheartening, and it was
soon generally believed that the few ill-fated survivors of the expedition
were detained against their will by Pizarro, to end their days with their
disappointed leader on his desolate island.

Pedro de los Rios, the governor, was so much incensed at the result of
the expedition, and the waste of life it had occasioned to the colony, that
he turned a deaf ear to all the applications of Luque and Almagro for
further countenance in the affair; he derided their sanguine anticipations
of the future, and finally resolved to send an officer to the isle of Gallo,
with orders to bring back every Spaniard whom he should find still living
in that dreary abode. Two vessels were immediately despatched for the
purpose, and placed under charge of a cavalier named Tafur, a native of

Meanwhile Pizarro and his followers were experiencing all the miseries
which might have been expected from the character of the barren spot on
which they were imprisoned. They were, indeed, relieved from all
apprehensions of the natives, since these had quitted the island on its
occupation by the white men; but they had to endure the pains of hunger
even in a greater degree than they had formerly experienced in the wild
woods of the neighboring continent. Their principal food was crabs and
such shell-fish as they could scantily pick up along the shores. Incessant
storms of thunder and lightning, for it was the rainy season, swept over
the devoted island, and drenched them with a perpetual flood. Thus,
halfnaked, and pining with famine, there were few in that little company
who did not feel the spirit of enterprise quenched within them, or who
looked for any happier termination of their difficulties than that afforded
by a return to Panama. The appearance of Tafur, therefore, with his two
vessels, well stored with provisions, was greeted with all the rapture that
the crew of a sinking wreck might feel on the arrival of some unexpected
succour; and the only thought, after satisfying the immediate cravings of
hunger, was to embark and leave the detested isle forever.

But by the same vessel letters came to Pizarro from his two confederates,
Luque and Almagro, beseeching him not to despair in his present
extremity, but to hold fast to his original purpose. To return under the
present circumstances would be to seal the fate of the expedition; and
they solemnly engaged, if he would remain firm at his post, to furnish
him in a short time with the necessary means for going forward.1

A ray of hope was enough for the courageous spirit of Pizarro. It does
not appear that he himself had entertained, at any time, thoughts of
returning. If he had, these words of encouragement entirely banished
them from his bosom, and he prepared to stand the fortune of the cast on
which he had so desperately ventured. He knew, however, that
solicitations or remonstrances would avail little with the companions of
his enterprise; and he probably did not care to win over the more timid
spirits who, by perpetually looking back, would only be a clog on his
future movements. He announced his own purpose, however, in a
laconic but decided manner, characteristic of a man more accustomed to
act than to talk, and well calculated to make an impression on his rough

Drawing his sword, he traced a line with it on the sand from east to west.
Then turning towards the south, "Friend and comrades!" he said, "on that
side are toil, hunger, nakedness, the drenching storm, desertion, and
death; on this side, ease and pleasure. There lies Peru with its riches;
here, Panama, and its poverty. Choose, each man, what best becomes a
brave Castilian. For my part, I go to the south." So saying, he stepped
across the line.2 He was followed by the brave pilot Ruiz; next by Pedro
de Candia, a cavalier, born, as his name imports, in one of the isles of
Greece. Eleven others successively crossed the line, thus intimating their
willingness to abide the fortunes of their leader, for good or for evil.3
Fame, to quote the enthusiastic language of an ancient chronicler, has
commemorated the names of this little band, "who thus, in the face or
difficulties unexampled in history, with death rather than riches for their
reward, preferred it all to abandoning their honor, and stood firm by their
leader as an example of loyalty to future ages." 4

But the act excited no such admiration in the mind of Tafur, who looked
on it as one of gross disobedience to the commands of the governor, and
as little better than madness, involving the certain destruction of the
parties engaged in it. He refused to give any sanction to it himself by
leaving one of his vessels with the adventurers to prosecute their voyage,
and it was with great difficulty that he could be persuaded even to allow
them a part of the stores which he had brought for their support. This
had no influence on their determination, and the little party, bidding
adieu to their returning comrades, remained unshaken in their purpose of
abiding the fortunes of their commander.5

There is something striking to the imagination in the spectacle of these
few brave spirits, thus consecrating themselves to a daring enterprise,
which seemed as far above their strength as any recorded in the fabulous
annals of knight-errantry. A handful of men, without food, without
clothing, almost without arms, without knowledge of the land to which
they were bound, without vessel to transport them, were here left on a
lonely rock in the ocean with the avowed purpose of carrying on a
crusade against a powerful empire, staking their lives on its success.
What is there in the legends of chivalry that surpasses it? This was the
crisis of Pizarro's fate. There are moments in the lives of men, which, as
they are seized or neglected, decide their future destiny.6 Had Pizarro
faltered from his strong purpose, and yielded to the occasion, now so
temptingly presented, for extricating himself and his broken band from
their desperate position, his name would have been buried with his
fortunes, and the conquest of Peru would have been left for other and
more successful adventurers. But his constancy was equal to the
occasion, and his conduct here proved him competent to the perilous
post he had assumed, and inspired others with a confidence in him which
was the best assurance of success.

In the vessel that bore back Tafur and those who seceded from the
expedition the pilot Ruiz was also permitted to return, in order to
cooperate with Luque and Almagro in their application for further

Not long after the departure of the ships, it was decided by Pizarro to
abandon his present quarters, which had little to recommend them, and
which, he reflected, might now be exposed to annoyance from the
original inhabitants, should they take courage and return, on learning the
diminished number of the white men. The Spaniards, therefore, by his
orders, constructed a rude boat or raft, on which they succeeded in
transporting themselves to the little island of Gorgona, twenty-five
leagues to the north of their present residence. It lay about five leagues
from the continent, and was uninhabited. It had some advantages over
the isle of Gallo; for it stood higher above the sea, and was partially
covered with wood, which afforded shelter to a species of pheasant, and
the hare or rabbit of the country, so that the Spaniards, with their cross-
bows, were enabled to procure a tolerable supply of game. Cool streams
that issued from the living rock furnished abundance of water, though the
drenching rains that fell, without intermission, left them in no danger of
perishing by thirst. From this annoyance they found some protection in
the rude huts which they constructed; though here, as in their former
residence, they suffered from the no less intolerable annoyance of
venomous insects, which multiplied and swarmed in the exhalations of
the rank and stimulated soil. In this dreary abode Pizarro omitted no
means by which to sustain the drooping spirits of his men. Morning
prayers were duly said, and the evening hymn to the Virgin was regularly
chanted; the festivals of the church were carefully commemorated, and
every means taken by their commander to give a kind of religious
character to his enterprise, and to inspire his rough followers with a
confidence in the protection of Heaven, that might support them in their
perilous circumstances.7

In these uncomfortable quarters, their chief employment was to keep
watch on the melancholy ocean, that they might hail the first signal of the
anticipated succour. But many a tedious month passed away, and no
sign of it appeared. All around was the same wide waste of waters,
except to the eastward, where the frozen crest of the Andes, touched with
the ardent sun of the equator, glowed like a ridge of fire along the whole
extent of the great continent. Every speck in the distant horizon was
carefully noticed, and the drifting timber or masses of sea-weed, heaving
to and fro on the bosom of the waters, was converted by their
imaginations into the promised vessel; till, sinking under successive
disappointments, hope gradually gave way to doubt, and doubt settled
into despair.8

Meanwhile the vessel of Tafur had reached the port of Panama. The
tidings which she brought of the inflexible obstinacy of Pizarro and his
followers filled the governor with indignation. He could look on it in no
other light than as an act of suicide, and steadily refused to send further
assistance to men who were obstinately bent on their own destruction.
Yet Luque and Almagro were true to their engagements. They
represented to the governor, that, if the conduct of their comrade was
rash, it was at least in the service of the Crown, and in prosecuting the
great work of discovery. Rios had been instructed, on his taking the
government, to aid Pizarro in the enterprise; and to desert him now
would be to throw away the remaining chance of success, and to incur
the responsibility of his death and that of the brave men who adhered to
him. These remonstrances, at length, so far operated on the mind of that
functionary, that he reluctantly consented that a vessel should be sent to
the island of Gorgona, but with no more hands than were necessary to
work her, and with positive instructions to Pizarro to return in six months
and report himself at Panama, whatever might be the future results of his

Having thus secured the sanction of the executive, the two associates lost
no time in fitting out a small vessel with stores and a supply of arms and
ammunition, and despatched it to the island. The unfortunate tenants of
this little wilderness, who had now occupied it for seven months,9 hardly
dared to trust their senses when they descried the white sails of the
friendly bark coming over the waters. And although, when the vessel
anchored off the shore, Pizarro was disappointed to find that it brought
no additional recruits for the enterprise, yet he greeted it with joy, as
affording the means of solving the great problem of the existence of the
rich southern empire, and of thus opening the way for its future conquest.
Two of his men were so ill, that it was determined to leave them in the
care of some of the friendly Indians who had continued with him through
the whole of his sojourn, and to call for them on his return. Taking with
him the rest of his hardy followers and the natives of Tumbez, he
embarked, and, speedily weighing anchor, bade adieu to the "Hell," as it
was called by the Spaniards, which had been the scene of so much
suffering and such undaunted resolution.10

Every heart was now elated with hope, as they found themselves once
more on the waters, under the guidance of the good pilot Ruiz, who,
obeying the directions of the Indians, proposed to steer for the land of
Tumbez, which would bring them at once into the golden empire of the
Incas, --the El Dorado, of which they had been so long in pursuit.
Passing by the dreary isle of Gallo, which they had such good cause to
remember, they stood farther out to sea until they made point Tacumez,
near which they had landed on their previous voyage. They did not
touch at any part of the coast, but steadily held on their way, though
considerably impeded by the currents, as well as by the wind, which
blew with little variation from the south. Fortunately, the wind was light,
and, as the weather was favorable, their voyage, though slow, was not
uncomfortable. In a few days, they came in sight of Point Pasado, the
limit of the pilot's former navigation; and, crossing the line, the little bark
entered upon those unknown seas which had never been ploughed by
European keel before. The coast, they observed, gradually declined
from its former bold and rugged character, gently sloping towards the
shore, and spreading out into sandy plains, relieved here and there by
patches of uncommon richness and beauty; while the white cottages of
the natives glistening along the margin of the sea, and the smoke that
rose among the distant hills, intimated the increasing population of the

At length, after the lapse of twenty days from their departure from the
island, the adventurous vessel rounded the point of St. Helena, and
glided smoothly into the waters of the beautiful gulf of Guayaquil. The
country was here studded along the shore with towns and villages,
though the mighty chain of the Cordilleras, sweeping up abruptly from
the coast, left but a narrow strip of emerald verdure, through which
numerous rivulets, spreading fertility around them, wound their way into
the sea.

The voyagers were now abreast of some of the most stupendous heights
of this magnificent range; Chimborazo, with its broad round summit,
towering like the dome of the Andes, and Cotopaxi, with its dazzling
cone of silvery white, that knows no change except from the action of its
own volcanic fires; for this mountain is the most terrible of the American
volcanoes, and was in formidable activity at no great distance from the
period of our narrative. Well pleased with the signs of civilization that
opened on them at every league of their progress, the Spaniards, at
length, came to anchor, off the island of Santa Clara, lying at the
entrance of the bay of Tumbez.11

The place was uninhabited, but was recognized by the Indians on board,
as occasionally resorted to by the warlike people of the neighboring isle
of Puna, for purposes of sacrifice and worship. The Spaniards found on
the spot a few bits of gold rudely wrought into various shapes, and
probably designed as offerings to the Indian deity. Their hearts were
cheered, as the natives assured them they would see abundance of the
same precious metal in their own city of Tumbez.

The following morning they stood across the bay for this place. As they
drew near, they beheld a town of considerable size, with many of the
buildings apparently of stone and plaster, situated in the bosom of a
fruitful meadow, which seemed to have been redeemed from the sterility
of the surrounding country by careful and minute irrigation. When at
some distance from shore, Pizarro saw standing towards him several
large balsas, which were found to be filled with warriors going on an
expedition against the island of Puna. Running alongside of the Indian
flotilla, he invited some of the chiefs to come on board of his vessel.
The Peruvians gazed with wonder on every object which met their eyes,
and especially on their own countrymen, whom they had little expected
to meet there. The latter informed them in what manner they had fallen
into the hands of the strangers, whom they described as a wonderful race
of beings, that had come thither for no harm, but solely to be made
acquainted with the country and its inhabitants. This account was
confirmed by the Spanish commander, who persuaded the Indians to
return in their balsas and report what they had learned to their townsmen,
requesting them at the same time to provide his vessel with refreshments,
as it was his desire to enter into a friendly intercourse with the natives.

The people of Tumbez were gathered along the shore, and were gazing
with unutterable amazement on the floating castle, which, now having
dropped anchor, rode lazily at its moorings in their bay. They eagerly
listened to the accounts of their countrymen, and instantly reported the
affair to the curaca or ruler of the district, who, conceiving that the
strangers must be beings of a superior order, prepared at once to comply
with their request. It was not long before several balsas were seen
steering for the vessel laden with bananas, plantains, yuca, Indian corn,
sweet potatoes, pine-apples, cocoa-nuts, and other rich products of the
bountiful vale of Tumbez. Game and fish, also, were added, with a
number of llamas, of which Pizarro had seen the rude drawings
belonging to Balboa, but of which till now he had met with no living
specimen. He examined this curious animal, the Peruvian sheep,--or, as
the Spaniards called it, the "little camel" of the Indians,--with much
interest, greatly admiring the mixture of wool and hair which supplied
the natives with the materials for their fabrics.

At that time there happened to be at Tumbez an Inca noble, or orejon, --
for so, as I have already noticed, men of his rank were called by the
Spaniards, from the huge ornaments of gold attached to their ears. He
expressed great curiosity to see the wonderful strangers, and had,
accordingly, come out with the balsas for the purpose. It was easy to
perceive from the superior quality of his dress, as well as from the
deference paid to him by the others, that he was a person of
consideration, and Pizarro received him with marked distinction. He
showed him the different parts of the ship, explaining to him the uses of
whatever engaged his attention, and answering his numerous queries, as
well as he could, by means of the Indian interpreters. The Peruvian chief
was especially desirous of knowing whence and why Pizarro and his
followers had come to these shores. The Spanish captain replied, that he
was the vassal of a great prince, the greatest and most powerful in the
world, and that he had come to this country to assert his master's lawful
supremacy over it. He had further come to rescue the inhabitants from
the darkness of unbelief in which they were now wandering. They
worshipped an evil spirit, who would sink their souls into everlasting
perdition; and he would give them the knowledge of the true and only
God, Jesus Christ, since to believe in him was eternal salvation.12

The Indian prince listened with deep attention and apparent wonder; but
answered nothing. It may be, that neither he nor his interpreters had any
very distinct ideas of the doctrines thus abruptly revealed to them. It
may be that he did not believe there was any other potentate on earth
greater than the Inca; none, at least, who had a better right to rule over
his dominions. And it is very possible he was not disposed to admit that
the great luminary whom he worshipped was inferior to the God of the
Spaniards. But whatever may have passed in the untutored mind of the
barbarian, he did not give vent to it, but maintained a discreet silence,
without any attempt to controvert or to convince his Christian antagonist.

He remained on board the vessel till the hour of dinner, of which he
partook with the Spaniards, expressing his satisfaction at the strange
dishes, and especially pleased with the wine, which he pronounced far
superior to the fermented liquors of his own country. On taking leave, he
courteously pressed the Spaniards to visit Tumbez, and Pizarro
dismissed him with the present, among other things, of an iron hatchet,
which had greatly excited his admiration; for the use of iron, as we have
seen, was as little known to the Peruvians as to the Mexicans.

On the day following, the Spanish captain sent one of his own men,
named Alonso de Molina, on shore, accompanied by a negro who had
come in the vessel from Panama, together with a present for the curaca
of some swine and poultry, neither of which were indigenous to the New
World. Towards evening his emissary returned with a fresh supply of
fruits and vegetables, that the friendly people sent to the vessel. Molina
had a wondrous tale to tell. On landing, he was surrounded by the
natives, who expressed the greatest astonishment at his dress, his fair
complexion, and his long beard. The women, especially, manifested
great curiosity in respect to him, and Molina seemed to be entirely won
by their charms and captivating manners. He probably intimated his
satisfaction by his demeanor, since they urged him to stay among them,
promising in that case to provide him with a beautiful wife.

Their surprise was equally great at the complexion of his sable
companion. They could not believe it was natural, and tried to rub off
the imaginary dye with their hands. As the African bore all this with
characteristic good-humor, displaying at the same time his rows of ivory
teeth, they were prodigiously delighted.13 The animals were no less
above their comprehension; and, when the cock crew, the simple people
clapped their hands, and inquired what he was saying.14 Their intellects
were so bewildered by sights so novel, that they seemed incapable of
distinguishing between man and brute.

Molina was then escorted to the residence of the curaca, whom he found
living in much state, with porters stationed at his doors, and with a
quantity of gold and silver vessels, from which he was served. He was
then taken to different parts of the Indian city, saw a fortress built of
rough stone, and, though low, spreading over a large extent of ground.15
Near this was a temple; and the Spaniard's description of its decorations.
blazing with gold and silver, seemed so extravagant, that Pizarro,
distrusting his whole account, resolved to send a more discreet and
trustworthy emissary on the following day.16

The person selected was Pedro de Candia, the Greek cavalier mentioned
as one of the first who intimated his intention to share the fortunes of his
commander. He was sent on shore, dressed in complete mail as became
a good knight, with his sword by his side, and his arquebuse on his
shoulder. The Indians were even more dazzled by his appearance than
by Molina's, as the sun fell brightly on his polished armour, and glanced
from his military weapons. They had heard much of the formidable
arquebuse from their townsmen who had come in the vessel, and they
besought Candia "to let it speak to them." He accordingly set up a
wooden board as a target, and, taking deliberate aim, fired off the
musket. The flash of the powder and the startling report of the piece, as
the board, struck by the ball, was shivered into splinters, filled the
nativeswith dismay. Some fell on the ground, covering their faces with
their hands, and others approached the cavalier with feelings of awe,
which were gradually dispelled by the assurance they received from the
smiling expression of his countenance.17

They then showed him the same hospitable attentions which they had
paid to Molina; and his description of the marvels of the place, on his
return, fell nothing short of his predecessor's. The fortress, which was
surrounded by a triple row of wall, was strongly garrisoned. The temple
he described as literally tapestried with plates of gold and silver.
Adjoining this structure was a sort of convent appropriated to the Inca's
destined brides, who manifested great curiosity to see him. Whether this
was gratified is not clear; but Candia described the gardens of the
convent, which he entered, as glowing with imitations of fruits and
vegetables all in pure gold and silver!18 He had seen a number of
artisans at work, whose sole business seemed to be to furnish these
gorgeous decorations for the religious houses.

The reports of the cavalier may have been somewhat over-colored.19 It
was natural that men coming from the dreary wilderness, in which they
had been buried the last six months, should have been vividly impressed
by the tokens of civilization which met them on the Peruvian coast. But
Tumbez was a favorite city of the Peruvian princes. It was the most
important place on the northern borders of the empire, contiguous to the
recent acquisition of Quito. The great Tupac Yupanqui had established a
strong fortress there, and peopled it with a colony of mitimaes. The
temple, and the house occupied by the Virgins of the Sun, had been
erected by Huayna Capac, and were liberally endowed by that Inca, after
the sumptuous fashion of the religious establishments of Peru. The town
was well supplied with water by numerous aqueducts, and the fruitful
valley in which it was embosomed, and the ocean which bathed its
shores, supplied ample means of subsistence to a considerable
population. But the cupidity of the Spaniards, after the Conquest, was
not stow in despoiling the place of its glories; and the site of its proud
towers and temples, in less than half a century after that fatal period, was
to be traced only by the huge mass of ruins that encumbered the

The Spaniards were nearly mad with joy, says an old writer, at receiving
these brilliant tidings of the Peruvian city. All their fond dreams were
now to be realized, and they had at length reached the realm which had
so long flitted in visionary splendor before them. Pizarro expressed his
gratitude to Heaven for having crowned his labors with so glorious a
result; but he bitterly lamented the hard fate which, by depriving him of
his followers, denied him, at such a moment, the means of availing
himself of his success. Yet he had no cause for lamentation; and the
devout Catholic saw in this very circumstance a providential
interposition which prevented the attempt at conquest, while such
attempts would have been premature. Peru was not yet torn asunder by
the dissensions of rival candidates for the throne; and, united and strong
under the sceptre of a warlike monarch, she might well have bid defiance
to all the forces that Pizarro could muster. "It was manifestly the work
of Heaven," exclaims a devout son of the Church, "that the natives of the
country should have received him in so kind and loving a spirit, as best
fitted to facilitate the conquest; for it was the Lord's hand which led him
and his followers to this remote region for the extension of the holy faith,
and for the salvation of souls." 21

Having now collected all the information essential to his object, Pizarro,
after taking leave of the natives of Tumbez, and promising a speedy
return, weighed anchor, and again turned his prow towards the south.
Still keeping as near as possible to the coast, that no place of importance
might escape his observation, he passed Cape Blanco, and, after sailing
about a degree and a half, made the port of Payta. The inhabitants, who
had notice of his approach, came out in their balsas to get sight of the
wonderful strangers, bringing with them stores of fruits, fish, and
vegetables, with the same hospitable spirit shown by their countrymen at

After staying here a short time, and interchanging presents of trifling
value with the natives, Pizarro continued his cruise; and, sailing by the
sandy plains of Sechura for an extent of near a hundred miles, he
doubled the Punta de Aguja, and swept down the coast as it fell off
towards the east, still carried forward by light and somewhat variable
breezes. The weather now became unfavorable, and the voyagers
encountered a succession of heavy gales, which drove them some
distance out to sea, and tossed them about for many days. But they did
not lose sight of the mighty ranges of the Andes, which, as they
proceeded towards the south, were still seen, at nearly the same distance
from the shore, rolling onwards, peak after peak, with their stupendous
surges of ice, like some vast ocean, that had been suddenly arrested and
frozen up in the midst of its wild and tumultuous career. With this
landmark always in view, the navigator had little need of star or compass
to guide his bark on her course.

As soon as the tempest had subsided, Pizarro stood in again for the
continent, touching at the principal points as he coasted along.
Everywhere he was received with the same spirit of generous hospitality;
the natives coming out in their balsas to welcome him, laden with their
little cargoes of fruits and vegetables, of all the luscious varieties that
grow in the tierra caliente. All were eager to have a glimpse of the
strangers, the "Children of the Sun," as the Spaniards began already to be
called, from their fair complexions, brilliant armour, and the
thunderbolts which they bore in their hands.22 The most favorable
reports, too, had preceded them, of the urbanity and gentleness of their
manners, thus unlocking the hearts of the simple natives, and disposing
them to confidence and kindness. The iron-hearted soldier had not yet
disclosed the darker side of his character. He was too weak to do so.
The hour of Conquest had not yet come.

In every place Pizarro received the same accounts of a powerful monarch
who ruled over the land, and held his court on the mountain plains of the
interior, where his capital was depicted as blazing with gold and silver,
and displaying all the profusion of an Oriental satrap. The Spaniards,
except at Tumbez, seem to have met with little of the precious metals
among the natives on the coast. More than one writer asserts that they
did not covet them, or, at least, by Pizarro's orders, affected not to do so.
He would not have them betray their appetite for gold, and actually
refused gifts when they were proffered!23 It is more probable that they
saw little display of wealth, except in the embellishments of the temples
and other sacred buildings, which they did not dare to violate. The
precious metals, reserved for the uses of religion and for persons of high
degree, were not likely to abound in the remote towns and hamlets on the

Yet the Spaniards met with sufficient evidence of general civilization
and power to convince them that there was much foundation for the
reports of the natives. Repeatedly they saw structures of stone and
plaster, and occasionally showing architectural skill in the execution, if
not elegance of design. Wherever they cast anchor, they beheld green
patches of cultivated country redeemed from the sterility of nature, and
blooming with the variegated vegetation of the tropics; while a refined
system of irrigation, by means of aqueducts and canals, seemed to be
spread like a net-work over the surface of the country, making even the
desert to blossom as the rose. At many places where they landed they
saw the great road of the Incas which traversed the sea-coast, often,
indeed, lost in the volatile sands, where no road could be maintained, but
rising into a broad and substantial causeway, as it emerged on a firmer
soil. Such a provision for internal communication was in itself no slight
monument of power and civilization.

Still beating to the south, Pizarro passed the site of the future flourishing
city of Truxillo, founded by himself some years later, and pressed on till
he rode off the port of Santa. It stood on the banks of a broad and
beautiful stream; but the surrounding country was so exceedingly arid
that it was frequently selected as a burial-place by the Peruvians, who
found the soil most favorable for the preservation of their mummies. So
numerous, indeed, were the Indian guacas, that the place might rather be
called the abode of the dead than of the living.24

Having reached this point, about the ninth degree of southern latitude,
Pizarro's followers besought him not to prosecute the voyage farther.
Enough and more than enough had been done, they said, to prove the
existence and actual position of the great Indian empire of which they
had so long been in search. Yet, with their slender force, they had no
power to profit by the discovery. All that remained, therefore, was to
return and report the success of their enterprise to the governor at
Panama. Pizarro acquiesced in the reasonableness of this demand. He
had now penetrated nine degrees farther than any former navigator in
these southern seas, and, instead of the blight which, up to this hour, had
seemed to hang over his fortunes, he could now return in triumph to his
countrymen. Without hesitation, therefore, he prepared to retrace his
course, and stood again towards the north.

On his way, he touched at several places where he had before landed. At
one of these, called by the Spaniards Santa Cruz, he had been invited on
shore by an Indian woman of rank, and had promised to visit her on his
return. No sooner did his vessel cast anchor off the village where she
lived, than she came on board, followed by a numerous train of
attendants. Pizarro received her with every mark of respect, and on her
departure presented her with some trinkets which had a real value in the
eyes of an Indian princess. She urged the Spanish commander and his
companions to return the visit, engaging to send a number of hostages on
board, as security for their good treatment. Pizarro assured her that the
frank confidence she had shown towards them proved that this was
unnecessary. Yet, no sooner did he put off in his boat, the following day,
to go on shore, than several of the principal persons in the place came
alongside of the ship to be received as hostages during the absence of the
Spaniards,--a singular proof of consideration for the sensitive
apprehensions of her guests.

Pizarro found that preparations had been made for his reception in a style
of simple hospitality that evinced some degree of taste. Arbours were
formed of luxuriant and wide-spreading branches, interwoven with
fragrant flowers and shrubs that diffused a delicious perfume through the
air. A banquet was provided, teeming with viands prepared in the style
of the Peruvian cookery, and with fruits and vegetables of tempting hue
and luscious to the taste, though their names and nature were unknown to
the Spaniards. After the collation was ended, the guests were entertained
with music and dancing by a troop of young men and maidens simply
attired, who exhibited in their favorite national amusement all the agility
and grace which the supple limbs of the Peruvian Indians so well
qualified them to display. Before his departure, Pizarro stated to his
kind host the motives of his visit to the country, in the same manner as he
had done on other occasions, and he concluded by unfurling the royal
banner of Castile, which he had brought on shore, requesting her and her
attendants to raise it in token of their allegiance to his sovereign. This
they did with great good-humor, laughing all the while, says the
chronicler, and making it clear that they had a very imperfect conception
of the serious nature of the ceremony. Pizarro was contented with this
outward display of loyalty, and returned to his vessel well satisfied with
the entertainment he had received, and meditating, it may be, on the best
mode of repaying it, hereafter, by the subjugation and conversion of the

The Spanish commander did not omit to touch also at Tumbez, on his
homeward voyage. Here some of his followers, won by the comfortable
aspect of the place and the manners of the people, intimated a wish to
remain, conceiving, no doubt, that it would be better to live where they
would be persons of consequence than to return to an obscure condition
in the community of Panama. One of these men was Alonso de Molina,
the same who had first gone on shore at this place, and been captivated
by the charms of the Indian beauties. Pizarro complied with their
wishes, thinking it would not be amiss to find, on his return, some of his
own followers who would be instructed in the language and usages of the
natives. He was also allowed to carry back in his vessel two or three
Peruvians, for the similar purpose of instructing them in the Castilian.
One of them, a youth named by the Spaniards Felipillo, plays a part of
some importance in the history of subsequent events.

On leaving Tumbez, the adventurers steered directly for Panama,
touching only, on their way, at the ill-fated island of Gorgona to take on
board their two companions who were left there too ill to proceed with
them. One had died, and, receiving the other, Pizarro and his gallant
little band continued their voyage; and, after an absence of at least
eighteen months, found themselves once more safely riding at anchor in
the harbor of Panama.25

The sensation caused by their arrival was great, as might have been
expected. For there were few, even among the most sanguine of their
friends, who did not imagine that they had long since paid for their
temerity, and fallen victims to the climate or the natives, or miserably
perished in a watery grave. Their joy was proportionably great,
therefore, as they saw the wanderers now returned, not only in health and
safety, but with certain tidings of the fair countries which had so long
eluded their grasp. It was a moment of proud satisfaction to the three
associates, who, in spite of obloquy, derision, and every impediment
which the distrust of friends or the coldness of government could throw
in their way, had persevered in their great enterprise until they had
established the truth of what had been so generally denounced as a
chimera. It is the misfortune of those daring spirits who conceive an idea
too vast for their own generation to comprehend, or, at least, to attempt
to carry out, that they pass for visionary dreamers. Such had been the
fate of Luque and his associates. The existence of a rich Indian empire
at the south, which, in their minds, dwelling long on the same idea and
alive to all the arguments in its favor, had risen to the certainty of
conviction, had been derided by the rest of their countrymen as a mere
mirage of the fancy, which, on nearer approach, would melt into air;
while the projectors, who staked their fortunes on the adventure, were
denounced as madmen. But their hour of triumph, their slow and
hardearned triumph, had now arrived.

Yet the governor, Pedro de los Rios, did not seem, even at this moment,
to be possessed with a conviction of the magnitude of the discovery,--or,
perhaps, he was discouraged by its very magnitude. When the
associates, now with more confidence, applied to him for patronage in an
undertaking too vast for their individual resources, he coldly replied, "He
had no desire to build up other states at the expense of his own; nor
would he be led to throw away more lives than had already been
sacrificed by the cheap display of gold and silver toys and a few Indian
sheep!" 26

Sorely disheartened by this repulse from the only quarter whence
effectual aid could be expected, the confederates, without funds, and
with credit nearly exhausted by their past efforts, were perplexed in the
extreme. Yet to stop now,--what was it but to abandon the rich mine
which their own industry and perseverance had laid open, for others to
work at pleasure? In this extremity the fruitful mind of Luque suggested
the only expedient by which they could hope for success. This was to
apply to the Crown itself. No one was so much interested in the result of
the expedition. It was for the government, indeed, that discoveries were
to be made, that the country was to be conquered. The government alone
was competent to provide the requisite means, and was likely to take a
much broader and more liberal view of the matter than a petty colonial

But who was there qualified to take charge of this delicate mission?
Luque was chained by his professional duties to Panama; and his
associates, unlettered soldiers, were much better fitted for the business of
the camp than of the court. Almagro, blunt, though somewhat swelling
and ostentatious in his address, with a diminutive stature and a
countenance naturally plain, now much disfigured by the loss of an eye,
was not so well qualified for the mission as his companion in arms, who,
possessing a good person and altogether a commanding presence, was
plausible, and, with all his defects of education, could, where deeply
interested, be even eloquent in discourse. The ecclesiastic, however,
suggested that the negotiation should be committed to the Licentiate
Corral, a respectable functionary, then about to return on some public
business to the mother country. But to this Almagro strongly objected.
No one, he said, could conduct the affair so well as the party interested
in it. He had a high opinion of Pizarro's prudence, his discernment of
character, and his cool, deliberate policy.27 He knew enough of his
comrade to have confidence that his presence of mind would not desert
him, even in the new, and therefore embarrassing, circumstances in
which he would be placed at court. No one, he said, could tell the story
of their adventures with such effect, as the man who had been the chief
actor in them. No one could so well paint the unparalleled sufferings and
sacrifices which they had encountered; no other could tell so forcibly
what had been done, what yet remained to do, and what assistance would
be necessary to carry it into execution. He concluded, with characteristic
frankness, by strongly urging his confederate to undertake the mission.

Pizarro felt the force of Almagro's reasoning, and, though with
undisguised reluctance, acquiesced in a measure which was less to his
taste than an expedition to the wilderness. But Luque came into the
arrangement with more difficulty. "God grant, my children," exclaimed
the ecclesiastic, "that one of you may not defraud the other of his
blessing!" 28 Pizarro engaged to consult the interests of his associates
equally with his own. But Luque, it is clear, did not trust Pizarro.

There was some difficulty in raising the funds necessary for putting the
envoy in condition to make a suitable appearance at court; so low had the
credit of the confederates fallen, and so little confidence was yet placed
in the result of their splendid discoveries. Fifteen hundred ducats were at
length raised; and Pizarro, in the spring of 1528, bade adieu to Panama,
accompanied by Pedro de Candia.29 He took with him, also, some of
the natives, as well as two or three llamas, various nice fabrics of cloth,
with many ornaments and vases of gold and silver, as specimens of the
civilization of the country, and vouchers for his wonderful story.

Of all the writers on ancient Peruvian history, no one has acquired so
wide celebrity, or been so largely referred to by later compilers, as the
Inca Garcilasso de la Vega. He was born at Cuzco, in 1540; and was a
mestizo, that is of mixed descent, his father being European, and his
mother Indian. His father, Garcilasso de la Vega, was one of that
illustrious family whose achievements, both in arms and letters, shed
such lustre over the proudest period of the Castilian annals. He came to
Peru, in the suite of Pedro de Alvarado, soon after the country had been
gained by Pizarro. Garcilasso attached himself to the fortunes of this
chief, and, after his death, to those of his brother Gonzalo,--remaining.
constant to the latter, through his rebellion, up to the hour of his rout at
Xaquixaguana, when Garcilasso took the same course with most of his
faction, and passed over to the enemy. But this demonstration of loyalty,
though it saved his life, was too late to redeem his credit with the
victorious party; and the obloquy which he incurred by his share in the
rebellion threw a cloud over his subsequent fortunes, and even over
those of his son, as it appears, in after years.

The historian's mother was of the Peruvian blood royal. She was niece
of Huayna Capac, and granddaughter of the renowned Tupac Inca
Yupanqui. Garcilasso, while he betrays obvious satisfaction that the
blood of the civilized European flows in his veins shows himself not a
little proud of his descent from the royal dynasty of Peru; and this he
intimated by combining with his patronymic the distinguishing title of
the Peruvian princes,---subscribing himself always Garcilasso Inca de la

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