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Quito conquered by Benalcazar.
While his fellow-foldiers were thus employe ed, Benalcazar, governor of St. Michael, an able and enterprising officer, was ashamed of remaining inactive, and impatient to have his name distinguished among the discoverers and conquerors of the New World. The seasonable arrival of a fresh body of recruits from Panama and Nicaragua, put it in his power to gratify his passion. Leaving a sufficient force to protect the infant settlement entrusted to his care, he placed himself at the head of the rest, and set out to attempt the reduction of Quito, where, according to the report of the natives, Atahualpa had left the greatest part of his treasure. Notwithstanding the vast distance of that city from St. Michael, the difficulty of marching through a mountainous country covered with woods, and the frequent and fierce attacks of the bett troops in Peru , commanded by a skil. ful leader, the valour, good conduct, and perfeverance of Benalcazar surmounted every obftacle, and he entered Quito with his victori. ous troops. But they met with a cruel mortification there. The natives' now acquainted, to their sorrow, with the predominant passion of their invaders, and knowing how to disap- . : point it, had carried off all those treasures, the prospect of which had prompted them to undertake this arduous expedition, and had supported
them under all the dangers and hardships wherewith they had to struggle in carrying it ôn. x)
Alvarado's 'expedition. Benalcazar was not the only Spanish leader who attacked the kingdom of Quito. The fame of its riches attracted a more powerful eniemy. Pedro de Alvarado, who had distinguished himself foeminently in the conquest of Mexico, having obtained the government of Guatimala as a recompence for his valour, foon became disgusted with a life of uniform tranquillity, and longed to be again engaged in the bustle of military service. The glory and wealth acquired by the conquerors of Peru heightened this passion, and gave it a determined direction. Believing, or pretending to believe, that the kingdom of Quito did not lie within
the limits of the province allotted to Pizarro, 1. he resolved to invade it. The high reputation
of the commander allured volunteers from every . . quarter. He embarked with five hundred men,
of whom above two hundred were of such distinction as to serve on horseback. He landed at Puerto Viejo, and without sufficient knowledge of the country, or proper guides to conduct him, attempted to march directly to Quito, by following the course of the river Guay
x) Zarate, lib. ii. c. 9. Vega, p. 11. lib. ii. c. 9. Herrera,
dec. 5. lib. iv. c, 11, 12. lib. V. c. 2. 3. lib. vi. C. 3. ROBERTSON Vol. III.
quil, and crossing the ridge of the Andes towards its head. But in this route, one of the most impracticable in all America, his troops endured such fatigue in forcing their way through forests and marshes on the low grounds, and suffered so much from excessive cold when they began to ascend the mountains, that before they reached the plain of Quito, a fifth part of the men and half of their horses died, and the rest were so much dispirited and worn out, as to be almost unfit for service. y) There they met with a body, not of Indians but of Spaniards, drawn up in hostile array against them. Pizarro having received an account of Alvarado's armament, had detached Almagro with some troops to oppose this formidable invader of his jurifdiction; and these were, joined by Benalcazar and his victorious party. Alvarado, though surprised at the sight of enemies whom he did not expect advanced boldly to the charge. But, by the interposition of some moderate men in each party, an amicable accommodation took place ; and the fatal period, when Spaniards suspended their conquest to embrue their hands in the blood of their countrymen, was postponed a few years. Alvarado engaged to return to his government, upon Almagro's paying him a hun. dred thousand pesos to defray the expence of his armament. Most of his followers remained in the country; and an expedition, which
y) See NOTE X.
threatened Pizarro and his colony with ruin, contributed to augment its strenght. z)
Honours 'conferred on Pizarro and Almagro.
By this time (1534 ) Ferdinand Pizarro had landed in Spain. The immense quantities of gold and silver which he imported, a) filled the kingdom with no less astonishment than they had excited in Panama and the adjacent provinces. Pizarro was received by the emperor with the attention due to the bearer of a present so rich, as to exceed any idea which the Spaniards had formed concerning the value of their acquisitions in America, even after they had been ten years masters of Mexico. In recompence of his brother's services, his authority was confirmed with new powers and privileges, and the addition of seventy leagues, extending along the coast, to the fouthward of the territory granted in his former patent. Almagro received the honours which he had to long desired. The title of Adelantado, or governor, was conferred upon him, with juris. diction, over two hundred leagues of country, stretching beyond the southern limits of the province allotted to Pizarro. Ferdinand himself did not go unrewarded. He was admitted into
*) Zarate, lib ij. c. 10-13. Vega, p. 11. lib. i. c. 1, 2, 2.
&c. Gomara Hift. c. 126. &c. Remesal Hist. Guatimal. lib.
iii. c. 6. Herrera, dec. 5. lib, yi. c. 1, 2. 7, 8 .. a) See NOTE XI.
the military order of St. Jago, a distinction always acceptable to a Spanish gentleman, and foon set out on his return to Peru, accompanied by many persons of higher rank than had yet served in that country. b) : Beginning of diffentions between Pizarro and Almagro.
Some account of his negociations reached Peru before he arrived there himself. Almagro no sooner learned that he had obtained the royal grant of an independent government, than, pretending that Cuzco, the imperial residence of the Incas, lay within its boundaries, he attempted to render himself master of that important station. Juan and Gonzalez Pizarro, prepared to oppose him. Each of the contending parties was supported by powerful adherents, and the dispute was on the point of being terminated by the sword, when Francis Pizarro arrived in the capital. The reconciliation between him and Almagro had never been cordial. The treachery of Pizarro in engroffing to himself all the honours and emoluments, which ought to have been divided with his afe fociate, was always present in both their thoughts. The former, conscious of his own perfidy, did not expect forgiveness; the latter, feeling that he had been deceived, was impatient to be avenged, and though avarice and
b) Zarate, lib. iii. c. 3. Vega , pII. lib. ij. c. 19. Her
rera, dec. 5. lib. vi. C. 13.