« ElőzőTovább »
Consider young Almagro as their leader.
The warm attachment with which every person who had served under the elder Almagro devoted himself to his interests, was quickly transferred to his son, who was now grown up to the age of manhood, and possessed all the qualities which captivate the affections of soldiers. Of a graceful appearance, dexterous at all martial exercises, bold, open, generous, he seemed to be formed for command; and as his father, conscious of his own inferiority from the total want of education, had been extremely attentive to have him instructed in every science becoming a gentleman; the accomplishments which he had acquired heightened the respect of his followers, as they gave him distinction and eminence among illiterate adventurers. In this young man the Almagrians found a point of union which they wanted, and looking up to him as their head, were ready to undertake any thing for his advancement. Nor was affection for Almagro their only incitement; they were urged on by their own diftreffes. Many of them, deftitute of common neceffaries, a) and weary of loitering away life, a burden to their chief, or to such of their afsociates as had fayed fome remnant of their fortune from pillage and confiscation, longed impatiently for an occasion to exert their acti
vity and courage, and began to deliberate how they might be avenged on the author of all their misery
Conspire against the life of Pizarro.
Their frequent cabals did not pass unobserved; and the governor was warned to be on his guard against men who meditated fome des perate deed, and had resolution to execute it. But either from the native intrepidity of his mind, or from contempt of persons whose poyerty seemed to render their machinations of little consequence, he disregarded the admonitions of his friends. Be in no pain,
" said he care. lessly , „ about my life, it is perfectly safe, as long as every man in Peru knows that I can in a moment cut off any head which dares to har. bour a thought against it." This security gave the Almagrians full leisure to digeft and ripen every part of their scheme; and Juan de Herrada, an officer of great abilities, who had the charge of Almagro's education, took the direction of their consultations, with all the zeal, which this connection inspired, and with all the authority which the afcendant that he was known to have over the mind of his pupil gave him.
And kill him.
On Sunday, the twenty- fixth of June, at midday, the season of tranquillity and repose in all fultry climates, Herrada, at the head of
eighteen of the most determined conspirators, fallied out of Almagro's house in complete armour; and drawing their swords, as they advanced hastily towards the governor's palace, cried out: „ Long live the king, but let the tyrant die!" Their associates, warned of their motions by a signal, were in arms at different ftations ready to support them. Though Pi. zarro was usually surrounded by such a numerous train of attendants as suited the magnificence of the most opulent subject of the age in which he lived, yet as he was just risen from table, and most of his domesticks had retired to their own apartments, the conspirators pasied through the two outer courts of the palace unobserved. They were at the bottom of the staircase, before a page in waiting could give the alarm to his master, who was conversing with a few friends in a large hall. The governor, whose steady mind no form of danger could appal, starting up, called for arms,, and commanded Francisco de Chaves to make fast the door.' But that officer, who did not retain fo much presence of mind as to obey this pru, dent order, running to the top of the staircafe, wildly asked the confpirators what they meant, and wither they were going? Instead of answering, they stabbed him to the heart, and, burst into the hall. Some of the persons who were there threw themselves from the windows; others attempted to fly; and a few
drawing their swords, followed their leader into an inner apartment.
The confpirators, animated with having the object of their yengeance now in view, rushed forward after them. Pizarro, with no other arms than his sword and buckler, defended the entry, and supported by his half-brother Alcantara, and his little knot of friends, he maintained the unequal contest with intrepidity worthy of his past exploits, and with the vigour of a youthful combatant. „Courage,“ cried he, „ companions, we are yet enow to make those traitors repent of their audacity. But the armour of the confpirators protected them, while every thrust they made took effect. Alcantara fell dead at his brother's feet; his other defenders were mortally wounded,
fo weary that he could hardly wield his sword, and no longer able to parry the many weapons furiously aimed at him, received a deadly thrust full in his throat, funk to the ground, and expired.
Almagro acknowledged as his fucceffor.
As soon as he was slain, the assassins ran out into the streets, and waving their bloody swords, proclaimed the death of the tyrant, Above two hundred of their associates having joined them, they conducted young Almagro in folemn proceffion through the city, and afsembling the magistrates and principal citizens,
compelled them to acknowledge him as lawful fucceffor to his father in his government. The palace of Pizarro, together with the houses of several of his adherents', were pillaged by the soldiers, who had the satisfaction at once of being avenged on their enemies, and of enriching themselves by the spoils of those through whose hands all the wealth of Peru had passed. b)
New appearances of discord. The boldness and success of the confpiracy, as well as the name and popular qualities of Almagro , drew many foldiers to his standard. Every adventurer of desperate fortune, all who were dissatisfied with Pizarro, and from the rapaciousness of his government in the latter years of his life, the number of malcontents was considerable, declared without hesitation in favour of Almagro, and he was soon at the head of eight hundred of the most gallant veterans in Peru. As his youth and inexperience disqualified him from taking the command of them himself, he appointed Herrada to act as general. But though Almagro speedily collected such a respectable force, the acquiescence in his government was far from being general. Pizarro had left many friends to whom his memory was
b) Zarate , lib. iy. C. 6. g. Gomara Hiß. c. 144, 145.
Vega, p. 11. lib. iii. c. 5 - 7. Herrera, dec, 6. lib. X. 0.4 - 7. Pizarro Var. Illuft. p. 183.