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dear; the barbarous affaffination of a man to whom his country was so highly indepted, filled every impartial person with horror, The ignominious birth of Almagro, as well as the doubtful title on which he founded his pretenfions, led others to consider him as an usurper. The officers who commanded in some provinces refused to recognize his authority, until it was confirmed by the emperor.
In others, particularly at Cuzco, the royal standard was erected, and preparations made to revenge the murder of their ancient leader.
Arrival of Vaca de Castro, who assumes the title of
Those feeds of difcord, which could not have lain long dormant, acquired great vigour and activity, when the arrival of Vaca de Castro was known. After a long and disastrous voyage, he was driven by stress of weather into a small harbour in the province of Popayan, and proceeding from thence by land, after a journey no less tedious than difficult, he reached Quito. In his way he received accounts of Pizarro's death, and of the events which followed uponit. He immediately produced the royal commission appointing him governor of Peru, with the same privileges and authority; and his jurisdiction was acknowledged without hesitation by Benalcazar, Adelantado, or lieutenant-general for the emperor in Popayan, and by Pedro
de Puelles, who, in the absence of Gonzalo Pizarro, had the command of the troops left in Quito. Vaca de Castro not only assumed the supreme authority, but shewed that he pofleffed the talents which the exercise of it at that juncture required. By his influence and address he foon afsembled such a body of troops, aš not only set him above all fear of being exposed to any insult from the adverse party, but enabled him to advance from Quito with the dignity that became his character. By dispatching persons of confidence to the different settlements in Peru, with a formal notification of his arrival and of his commission, he communicated to his country men the royal pleasure with respect to the government of the country. By private emiffaries, he excited such officers as had difcovered their disapprobation of Almagro's proceedings, to manifeft their duty to their sovereign by supporting the person honoured with his commission. Those measures were productive of great effects. Encouraged by the approach of the new governor, or prepared by his machinations, the loyal were confirmed in their principles, and avowed them with greater bold. ness; the timid ventured to declare their fentiments; the neutral and wavering, finding it necessary to chuse a fide, began to lean to that which now appeared to be the safest as well as the most juft, c) ,
c) Benzo1), lib. iii. c. 9. Zarate, lib. iv. C. II. Gomara,
c. 146, 147. Herrera, dec. 6. lib. X. C.I, 2, 3. 7. &c.
Conduct of Almagro.
Almagro observed the rapid progress of this spirit of disaffection to his cause, and in order to give an effectual check to it before the arrival of Vaca de Castro, he set out at the head of his troops for Cuzco, (1542.) where the most confiderable body of opponents had erected the royal standard, under the command of Pedro Alvarez Holguin. During his march thither," Herrada, the skilful guide of his youth and of his counsels, died; and from that time his meafures were conspicuous for their violence, but concerted with little fagacity, and executed with no address. Holguin, who, with forces far inferior to those of the opposite party, was descending towards the coast at the very time that Almagro was on his way to Cuzco, deceived his unexperienced adversary by a very fimple stratagem, avoided an engagement, and effected a junction with Alvarado, an officer of note, who had been the first to declare against Almagro as an usurper.
Progress of Vaca de Castro.
Soon after, Vaca de Castro entered their camp with the troops which he brought from Quito, and erecting the royal standard before his own tent, he declared, that as governor, he would discharge in person all the functions of general of their combined forces. Though
formed by the tenour of his past life to the habits of a sedentary and pacifick profession , he at once assumed the activity and discovered the decision of an officer long accustomed to command. Knowing his strength to be now far superior to that of the enemy, he was impatient to terminate the contest by a battle. Nor did the followers of Almagro, who had no hopes of obtaining a pardon for a crime fo atrocious as the murder of the governor, decline that mode of decision. They met (Sept. 16.) 1542.) at Chupas, about two hundred miles from Cuzco, and fought with all the fierce animosity inspired by the violence of civil rage, the rancour of private enmity, the eagerness of revenge, and the last efforts of despair.
Victory, after remaining long doubtful, declared at last for Vaca de Castro. The superior number of his troops, his own intrepidity, and the martial talents of Francisco de Carvajal, a veteran officer formed under the great captain in the wars of Italy, and who on that day laid the foundation of his future fame in Peru , triumphed over the bravery of his opponents, though led on by young Almagro with a gallant fpirit, worthy of a better cause, and deserving. another fate. The carnage was great in proportion to the number of the combatants, Many of the vanquished, especially such as were con
scious that they might be charged with being accessory to the assassination of Pizarro, rushing on the swords of the enemy, chose to fall like soldiers, rather than wait an ignominious doom. Of fourteen hundred men, the total amount of combatants on both sides, five hundred lay dead on the field, and the number of the wounded was ftill greater. d)
If the military talents displayed by Vaca de Castro, both in the council and in the field, surprised the adventurers in Peru, they were still more astonished at his conduct after the victory. As he was by nature a rigid dispenser of justice, and persuaded that it requited examples of extraordinary severity to restrain the licentious spirit of foldiers so far removed from the seat of government, he proceeded directly to try his prisoners as rebels. Forty were condemned to suffer the death of traitors, others were banished from Peru. Their leader, who made his escape from the battle, being betrayed by fome of his officers, was publickly beheaded in Cuzco; and in him the name of Almagro, and the spirit of the party, was extinct. e)
d) Zarate, lib. iv. C. 12 - 19. Gomara, f. 148. Vega ,
p. II. lib. iii. c. II 18. Herrera, dec, 7. lib. I. C. I,
2, 3. lib. iii. c. I II. e) Zarate, lib, iv. c. 21. Gomara, 6. 150. Herrera, dec. 7.
lib, iii, c. 12. lib. vi. C. I. ROBERTSON Vol. III.