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was equally solicitous to prevent the Peruvians from recovering possession of their capital, and to wrest it out of the hands of the Pizarros, From impatience to accomplish both, he ventured to return by a new route; and in marching through the sandy plains on the coast, he suffered, from heat and drought , calamities of a new fpecies, hardly inferior to those in which he had been involved by cold and famine on the summits of the Andes.
' . His operations. His arrival at Cuzco (1537) was in a critical moment. The Spaniards and Peruvians fixed their eyes upon him with equal folicitude. The former , as he did not ftudy to conceal his pretensions , were at a loss whether to welcome him as a deliverer, or to take precautions against him as an enemy. The latter, knowing the points in contest between him and his countrymen , flattered themselves that they had more to hope than to dread from his operations. Almagro himself, unacquainted with the detail of the events which had happened in his abfence, and folicitous to learn the precise posture of affairs, advanced towards the capital slowly, and with great; circumspection. Various ne. gociations with both parties were set on foot. The Inca conducted them on his part with much address. At first he endeavoured to gain the ? friendship of Almagro; and after many fruitless
overtures, despairing of any cordial union with a Spaniard, he attacked him by surprise with a numerous body of chosen troops. But the Spanish discipline and valour maintained their wonted fuperiority. The Peruvians were repulsed with fuch slaughter, that a great part of their army dispersed, and Almagro proceeded to the gates of Cuzco without interruption.
The 'Pizarros, as they had no longer to make head against the Peruvians, directed all their attention towards their new enemy, and took measures to obstruct his entry into the capital. Prudence, however, restrained both parties for some time from turning their arms against one another, while surrounded by common enemies, who would rejoice in the mutuat slaughter. Different schemes of accommodation were proposed. Each endeavoured to deceive the other, or to corrupt his followers. The generous, open, affable temper of Almagro gained many adherents of the Pizarros, who were disgusted' with their harsh domineering - manners. Encouraged by this defection, he advanced towards the city by night, surprised the centinels, or was admitted by them, and investing the house where the two brothers resided, compelled them, after an obftinate defence, to surrender at discretion. Almagro's claim of jurisdiction over Cuzco was universally
acknowledged, and a form
Civil war, and firni success of Almagro,
• Two or three persons only were killed in this first act of civil hostility; but it was soon followed by scenes more bloody. Francis Pizarro having dispersed the Peruvians who had invested Lima, and received some considerable reinforcements from Hispaniola and Nicaragua, ordered five hundred men, under the command of Alonso de Alvarado, to march to Cuzco, in hopes of relieving his brothers, if they and their garrison were not already cut off by the Peruvians. This body, which, at that period of the Spanish power in America, must be deemed considerable force, advanced near to the capital before they knew that they had any enemy more formidable than Indians to encounter. It was with astonishment that they beheld their countrymen posted on the banks of the river Abancay to oppose their progress. Almagro, however, wished rather to gain than to conquer them, and by bribes and promises endeavoured to seduce their leader. The fidelity of Alvarado remained unshaken; but his ta·lents for war were not equal to his virtue.
Almagro amused him with various movements, of which he did not comprehend the meaning,
g) Zarate , lib. iii. c.4. Vega, p. II. lib. i. 6. 29. Gome.
ra Hist.c. 134. Herrera, dec, 6. lib. ii, c. 1-5. .. ROBERTSON Vol. III.
while a large detachment of chosen foldiers pased the river by night, fell upon bis camp (July 12. ' 1537.) by surprise , broke his troops before they had time to form, and took him prisoner, together with his principal officers. h)
but does not improve his advantages.
By the sudden rout of this body, the contest between the two rivals must have been decided; if Almagro had known as well how to improve as how to gain a victory.. Rodrigo Orgognez, an officer of great abilities,' who having served under the constable Bourbon , when he led the Imperial army to Rome, had been accustomed to bold and decisive measures, advised him instantly to issue orders for putting to death Ferdinand and Gonzalo Pizarros, Alvarado, and a few other persons whom he could not hope to gain, and to march directly with his victorious troops to Lima, before the governor had time to prepare for his defence. But Almagro, though he discerned at once the utility of the counsel, and had courage to have carried it into execution, suffered himself to be influenced by sentiments unlike those of a fol.. dier of fortune grown old in service, and by scruples which suited not the chief of a party who had drawn his sword in civil war. Feelings of humanity restrained him from shedding the
h) Zarate, lib. iii. C. 6. Gom. Hift. c. 138. Vega, P. II,
lib. ii. C, 33, 3.4. 'Herrera., dec. 6lib. ji: C, D,
blood of his opponents and the dread of being deemed a rebel, deterred him from entering a province which the king had allotted to another. Though he knew that arms must terminate the dispute between him and Pizarro, and resolved not to fhun that mode of decision, yet, with a timid delicacy preposterous at such a juncture, he was so solicitous that his riyal should be considered as the aggressor, that he marched quietly back to Cuzco , to wait his approach. i) :
Distress of Pizarro. Pizarro was ftill unacquainted with all the interesting events which had happened near Cuzco. Accounts of Almagro's return, of the loss of the capital, of the death of one broa ther, of the imprisonment of the other two, and of the defeat of Alvarado, were brought to him at once. Such a tide of misfortunes almost overwhelmed a fpirit which had contin'ued firm and erect under the rudeft fhoks of adverlity.
His artful condu&.
.. But the necessity of attending to his own
safety, as well as the desire of revenge, preserved him from finking under it. He took measures for both with his wonted fagacity,
.. . E 2 i) Herrera, dec. 6. lib. ii. c. 10, II.