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was equally solicitous to prevent the Peruvians
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 nec 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 flaughter, that a great part of their army dispersed, and Almagro proceeded to the gates of Cuzco without interruption.
Takes possession of Cuzco.
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 mutual flaughter. 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 disgufted 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 of administration established in his name. g)
Civil war, and first success of Almagro,
• Two or three persons only were killed in this first act of civil hoftility; but it was soon followed by scenes more bloody. Francis Pizarro having dispersed the Peruvians who had invefted Lima, and received some confiderable 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 confiderable 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 talents 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, ij. 6. 29.
ra Hilt.c. 134. Herrera, dec, 6. lib. ii, c. 1-56 ROBERTSON Vol. III. E
while a large detachment of chosen foldiers pafled 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 conteft 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, fuffered 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, D. II,
lib. ii., C, 33, 34, "Herrera., dec. Op. lib. ii. C. 9.
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 shun that mode of decifion, yet, with a timid delicacy preposterous at such a juncture, he was so solicitous that his riyal should be considered as the aggreffor, that he marched quietly back to Cuzco, to wait his approach. i)
Distress of Pizarro,
Pizarro was still 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 brother, 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 spirit which had continued firm and erect under the rudelt shoks of adversity.
His artful conduct,
But the necessity of attending to his own safety, as well as the desire of revenge, preferved him from finking under it. He took measures for both with his wonted fagacity,
i) Herrera, dec, 6. lib. ii. 6. IO , II,