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assume a superior part in conducting the former, and in governing the latter. c)
Almagro had as little to boast of his descent as Pizarro. The one was a bastard, the other a foundling. Bred, like his companion, in the camp, he yielded not to him in any of the soldierly qualities of intrepid valour, indefą. tigable activity, or insurmountable constancy in enduring the hardships inseparablc from military service in the New World. But in Almagro these virtues were accompanied with the openness, generosity, and candour, natural to men whose profession is arms; in Pizarro, they were united with the address, the craft, and the diffimulation of a politician, with the art of concealing his own purposes, and with fagacity to penetrate into those of other men.
Hernando de Luque was an ecclefiaftick, who acted both as priest and schoolmaster at Panama, and by means which the contemporary writers have not described, had amaffed riches that inspired him with thoughts of rising to greater eminence.
Such were the men destined to overturn one of the most extensive empires on the face of the earth. Their confederacy for this purpose was authorised by Pedrarias, the governor
c) Herrera, dec. 1 & 2, pailim. dec, iv. lib. vi. G. 107. Go.
mara Hift. 0. 144. Zarate, lib. iv. Co Da
of Panama. Each engaged to employ his whole fortune in the adventure. Pizarro, the leait wealthy of the three, as he could not throw fo large a fum as his affociates into the common stock, engaged to take the department of greatest fatigue and danger, and to command in perfon the armament which was to go first, upon discovery. Almagro offered to conduct the supplies of provisions and reinforcements of troops, of which Pizarro might stand in need. Luque was to remain at Panama to negociate with the governor, and superintend whatever was carrying on for the general intereft. As the spirit of enthusiasm uniformly accompanied that of adventure in the New World, and by that strange union both acquired an increase of force, this confederacy, formed by ambition and avarice was confirmed, by the most folemin act of religion. Luque celebrated mass, divided a consecrated hoft into three, and reserving one part to himself, gave the other two to his associates, of which they partook; and thus, in name of the Prince of Peace, ratified a contract of which plunder and bloodshed were the objects. d)
Their first attempt, attended with little fuccess.
I The attempt was begun with a force more suited to the humble condition of the three afsociates, than to the greatness of the enterprise in which they were engaged. Pizarro set d) Herrera , dec. 3. lib. vi. c. 13. Zarate , lib. i. c. I.
fail from Panama ( Nov. 14. 1524) with a single vessel, of small burden, and a hundred and twelve men. But in that age, so little were the Spaniards acquainted with the peculiarities of climate in America, that the time which Pizarro chose for his departure was the most improper in the whole year; the periodical winds, which were then set in, being directly adverse to the course which he purposed to fteer. e) After beating about for seventy days, with (much danger and inceffant fatigue, Pizarro's progress towards the fouth-east was not greater than what a skilful navigator will now make in as many hours. He touched (1525) at several places on the coast of Tierra Firmè, but found every where the fame uninviting country which former adventurers had described ; the low grounds converted into swamps by the overflowing of rivers, the higher, covered with impervious woods; few inhabitants, and those fierce and hoftile. Famine, fatigue, frequent rencounters with the natives, and above all, the distempers of a moist, sultry climate, cam.. bined in wafting his slender band of followers. The undaunted resolution of their leader continued, however, for some time, to sustain their spirits, although no sign had yet appeared of discovering those golden regions to which he had promised to conduct them. At length, he was obliged to abandon that inhospitable coast,
and retire to Chuchama, opposite to the pearl islands, where he hoped to receive a supply of provisions and troops from Panama.
But Almagro having 'failed from that port with seventy men, stood directly towards that part of the continent where he hoped to meet with his affociate. Not finding him there, he landed his foldiers; who, in searching for their companions, underwent the fame distresles, and were exposed to the same dangers, which had driven them out of the country. Repulsed at length by the Indians in a sharp conflict , in which their leader lost one of his eyes by the wound of an arrow, they likewise were compelled to reimbark. Chance led them to the place of Pizarro's retreat ( June 24. ) where they found some consolation in recounting to each other their adventures, and comparing their sufferings. As Almagro had advanced as far as the river St. Juan, in the province of Popayan, where bo‘h the country and inhabitants appeared with a more promising aspect, that dawn of better fortune was sufficient to determine such fanguine projectors not to abandon their scheme, notwithstanding all that they had suffered in prosecuting it. f)
They resume the undertaking, 1526. , Almagro repaired to Panama, in hopes of recruiting their shattered troops. But what he 1) Herrera, dec. 3. lib. viii. c. 11, 12. See NOTE II. ROBERTSON Vol. III.
and Pizarro had suffered, gave his countrymen such an unfavourable idea , of the fervice, that it was with difficulty he could levy fourscore men. g) Feeble as this reinforcement was, they did not hesitate about resuming their operations. After a long series of disasters and disappointments, not inferior to those which they had already experienced, part of the armament reached the Bay of St. Matthew, on the coast of Quito, and landing at Tacamez, to the south of the river of Emeraulds, they beheld a country more champaign and fertile than any they had yet discovered in the Southern Ocean, the na.. tives clad in garments of woollen or cotton stuff, and adorned with several trinkets of gold and silver.
But, notwithftanding those favourable appearances, magnified beyond the truth, both by the vanity of the persons who brought the report from Tacamez, and by the fond imagination of those who listened to them, Pizarro and Almagro durft not venture to invade a country so populous with a handful of men enfeebled by fatigue and diseases. They retired to the small island of Gallo, where Pizarro remained with part of the troops, and his associate returned to Panama, in hopes of bringing such a reinforcement, , as might enable them to take poffeffion of the opulent territories, whose exist.ence seemed to be no longer doubtful. h)
g) Zarate , lib. i. c. I.