« ElőzőTovább »
enough to suffer himself to be amused with a
While the attention of Almagro, and of the officers with whom he consulted, was occupied in detecting and eluding the fraudulent intentions of the governor, Gonzalo Pizarro and Alvarado found means to corrupt the soldiers to whose custody they were committed, and not only made their escape themselves, but persuaded fixty of the men who formerly guarded them to accompany their flight. k) Fortune having thus delivered one of his brothers, the go
k) Zarate , lib, ili, s 8. Herrera, dec, 6. lib. ii. c. 14.
n and eft
vernor scrupled not at one act of perfidy more to procure the release of the other. He proposed, that every point in controversy between Almagro and himself should be submitted to the decision of their sovereign; that until his award was known, each should retain undisturbed possession of whatever part of the country he now occupied ; that Ferdinand Pizarro should be set at liberty, and return instantly to Spain, together with the officers, whom Almagro purposed to send thither to represent the justice of his claims. Obvious as the design of Pizarro was in those propositions, and familiar as his artifices might now have been to his opponent, Almagro, with a credulity approaching to infatuation, relied on his fincerity, and concluded an agreement on these terms. 1)
His preparations for war.
The moment that Ferdinand Pizarro reco. vered his liberty, the governor, no longer fettered in his operations by anxiety about his brother's life, threw off every disguise which his concern for it had obliged him to assume. The treaty was forgotten; pacifick and conciliating measures were no more mentioned; it was in the field, he openly declared, and not in the cabinet; by arms, and not by negociation; that it must now be determined who should
1) Herrera, dec. 6. lib. ii. C. 9. Zarate, lib. iii. 6. 9.
Gomara Hift., c. 140. Vega, p. ll. lib. ii. C. 35.
be master of Peru. The rapidity of his preparations suited such a decisive, resolution. Seven hundred men were foon ready to march towards Cuzco. The command of these was given (1538.) to his two brothers, in whom he could perfectly confide for the execution of his most violent schemes, as they were urged on, not only by the enmity flowing from family rivalship, but animated with the desire of ven, geance, excited by recollection of their own recent disgrace and sufferings. After an unsuccessful attempt to cross the mountains in the direct road between Lima and Cuzco, they marched' towards the fouth along the coast as far as Nasca, and then turning to the left, penetrated through the defiles in that branch of the Andes which lay between them and the capital. Almagro, instead of hearkening to some of his officers, who advised him to attempt the defence of those difficult passes, waited the approach of the enemy in the plain of Cuzco. Two reasons seem to have induced him to take this resolution. His followers amounted hardly to five hundred and he was afraid of weakening such a feeble body, by sending any detachment towards the mountains. His cavalry far exceeded that of the adverse party, both in number and discipline, and it was only in an open country that he could avail himself of that advantage.
His army marches to Cuzco,
The Pizarros advanced without any obstruction, but what arose from the nature of the desert and horrid regions through which they marched. As foon as they reached the plain, both factions were equally impatient to bring this long protracted contest to an issue. Though countrymen and friends, the subjects of the same fovereign, and each with the royal standard displayed; and though they beheld the mountains that surrounded the plain in which they were drawn up, covered with a vaft multitude of Indians, assembled to enjoy the spectacle of their mutual carnage, and prepared to attack whatever party remained master of the field, so fell and implacable was the rancoór which had taken poffeffion of every breaft, that not one pacifick counsel, not a fingle overture towards accommodation proceeded from either fide. Unfortunately for Almagro, he was so worn out with the fatigues of service, to which his advanced age was unequal, that, at this crisis of his fate, he could not exert his wonted activity; and he was obliged to commit the leading of his troops to Orgognez, who, though an offcer of great merit, did not possess the same ascendant either over the spirit or affection of the foldiers, as the chief whom they had long been accustomed to follow and revere,
Almagro defoated and taken. April 26. 1538.
The conflict was fierce, 'and maintained by each party with equal courage.
On the fide of Almagro, were more večeran soldiers, and a larger proportion of cavalry;, but these were counterbalanced by Pizarro's --superiority in numbers, and by two companies of welldisciplined musketeers, which, on receiving an account of the infurrection of the Indians, the emperor had sent from Spain, m) As the use of fire-arms was not frequent among the adventurers in America, n) haftily equipped for service, at their own expence, this small band of soldiers, regularly trained and armed, was a novelty in Peru, and decided the fate of the day. Wherever it advanced, the weight of a heavy and well-sustained fire bore down horse and foot before it; and Orgognez, while he endeavoured to rally and animate his troops, having received a dangerous wound, the rout became general. The barbarity of the conquerors stained the glory which they acquired by this complete victory. The violence of civil rage hurried on some to slaughter their countrymen with indiscriminate cruelty; the meanness of private revenge inftigated others to single out individuals as the objects of their vengeance. Orgognez and several officers of dir.