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Pizarro, at the head of his chofen band, advanced directly towards the Inca; and though his nobles crowded around him with officious zeal, and fell in numbers at his feet, while they vied one with another in facrificing their own lives, that they might cover the facred, perfon of their fovereign, the Spaniards foon penetrated to the royal feat; and Pizarro feizing the Inca by the arm, dragged him to the ground, and carried him as a prifoner to his quarters. The fate of the monarch increafed the precipitate flight of his followers. The Spaniards purfued them towards every quarter, and with deliberate and unrelenting barbarity continued to flaughter wretched fugitives, who never once offered at refiftance. The carnage did not ceafe until the clofe of day. Above four thoufand Peruvians were killed. Not a fingle Spaniard fell, nor was one wounded but Pizarro himself, whole hand was flightly hurt by one of his own foldiers, while struggling eagerly to lay hold on the Inca.'

This tranfaction exhibits a moft ftriking proof of the funplicity and timidity of the Peruvians. That they fhould permit their monarch, in the center of his dominions abounding with people, to be made a prifoner, in a manner fo ignominious by a handful of men, without a fingle effort having been made to defend or refcue him, is an example of pufillanimity to which, perhaps, the hiftory of mankind affords no parallel. This event decided the fate of Peru. The Inca refigning all confidence in the military operations of his subjects, turned his thoughts intirely to negotiation. He foon difcovered that avarice was the ruling paffion of his conquerors. He offered therefore a ransom for his liberty, which aftonished the Spaniards, even after all they knew of the opulence of his kingdom. The apartment in which he was confined was 22 feet in length and 15 in breadth, and he undertook to fill it with veffels of gold as high as he could reach. He actually performed his part of the agreement, but the Spaniards most perfidiously deceived him. They feized the treasure of the captive monarch, and ftill detained him in cuftody. They foon proceeded to a much higher act of treachery and injuftice. They pretended to bring to a trial before a tribunal of Spanish judges the independent Emperor of Peru, on the ridiculous arraignment, that he had rebelled againft his lawful fovereign the king of Caftile, to whom the pope had granted a right to his dominions. Men who could thus proftitute the forms of law and juftice had refolved to commit murder, and were folicitous only to avoid the infamy of it. The trial accordingly terminated in condemnation, and the unfortunate Atahualpa foon. after fuffered the death of a criminal.

The remaining part of this book' contains an account of the conqueft of the kingdoms of Quito and Chili; of the discovery of the extenfive regions between the Andes and the Atlantic ocean, in the voyage down the Maragnon, conducted by Orel



lana; and of the diffenfions and civil wars among the Spaniards in Peru. But we must refer the reader to the History itself for information with respect to these curious and interefting events. The limits by which we are confined will not permit us to abridge all the important events and tranfactions which our ingenious historian has recorded. Though the em pires of Mexico and Peru might be reckoned polished when compared with the rude tribes who occupied the rest of the continent and the islands of America; yet, when compared with the refined ftates of the ancient continent, they feem fcarcely to have advanced beyond the infancy of fociety, or to have merited other appellations than those of savage and barbarous. They were deftitute of two capital advantages requi fite to cultivated fociety, the knowledge of the ufeful metals, and the fervice of the inferior animals. "Even with all that command over nature which these confer, many ages elapfe before an idea is conceived of the various inftitutions neceffary in a well ordered fociety.' But so infurmountable must have been the disadvantages arifing from the want of them, that a community could not be denominated civilized where they were unknown.

In delineating the institutions and policy of the Mexicans and Peruvians, the author difcuffes thofe of each empire apart, and enumerates, first, the circumftances which would determine us to rank the inhabitants among polished nations, and, fecondly, the circumftances which would induce us to affign them a place among favages. But as we cannot treat the subject so much in detail, we shall content ourselves with specifying fome of the most remarkable particulars relative to both.

In Mexico as well as Peru the idea of property was fully established, and the lands were divided among different orders of the people. In the former, fome poffeffed it in full right, and it defcended to their heirs. The title of others to their lands was derived from the office or dignity which they enjoyed, and when deprived of the one they loft poffeffion of the other. Both thefe modes of occupying land were deemed noble and peculiar to citizens of the highest rank. The te nure by which the great body of the people held their property was very different. In every district a certain quantity of land was measured out, in proportion to the number of families. This was cultivated by the joint labour of the whole, its produce was depofited in a common ftore-house, and divided among them in proportion to their refpective exigencies. In the latter, all the lands capable of cultivation were divided into three fhares: one was confecrated to the fun, and whatever it produced was applied towards the erection of temples,


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and furnishing what was requifite towards celebrating the pub lic rite of religion; another belonged to the Inca, and was fet apart as the provifion made by the community for the support of government; the third and largeft fhare was referved for the maintenance of the people, among whom it was parcelled No perfon however had an exclufive right to the portion allotted him. He poffeffed it only for a year, at the expiration of which a new divifion was made in proportion to the rank, the number and the exigences of each family. All these lands were cultivated by the joint labour of the community.


In these empires alfo we discover manifest marks of a civil conftitution, the establishment of laws and police, and different ranks and orders of men.

The monarchy of Mexico was elective: the right of election feems to have been originally vested in the whole body of the nobility, who amounted to thirty in number, but was after-` wards limited to fix of them. Each of these had in his territories about 100,000 people; and fubordinate to these there were about 3000 nobles of a lower class. The greater nobles poffeffed complete territorial jurisdiction, and levied taxes from their own vaffals; but all of them followed the standard of Mexico in war, ferving with a number of men in proportion to their domain, and most of them paid tribute to its monarch' as their fuperior lord. Complete jurifdiction, civil as well as criminal, over its immediate vaffals was vefted in the crown. It appointed judges for each department, impofed taxes according to established rules, and stationed public couriers at proper intervals to convey intelligence. The conftruction also of roads, aqueducts, and bridges, however imperfect, marks a progrefs in police; and the appointment of perfons to clean the streets of Mexico, and to patrole as watchmen, difcovers a degree of attention which even polished nations are late in acquiring.

The government of Peru was the most abfolute defpotifin; but the obedience of the fubject was not founded in fear, the ufual principle in fimilar governments, it flowed entirely from conviction of the fuperior title and ability of the fovereign to command. The Peruvians regarded their monarchs as beings of heavenly extraction, and poffeffed of the most pure inclination, as well as of fufficient power to take proper care of their interefts. The will of the emperor was therefore liftened to with attention, and obeyed with cheerfulness.

The difference of rank was established in Peru.

• A great

body of the people, under the denomination of Yanaconas, were held in a state of fervitude. Next to them were fuch of the people as were free, but were diftinguished by no hereditary or official honours. Above them were the Orejones, who might


be denominated the order of nobles, and who, in peace as well as war, held every office of power and truft. At the head of all were the children of the fun, who by their high descent and peculiar priviledges, were as much exalted above the Orejones, as they were elevated beyond the people.'

The Peruvians had built very few cities, but their country abounded with temples and other edifices. The temple of Pachacamac, together with a palace of the Inca, and a fortrefs, were fo conjoined as to form a ftructure above half a league in circuit. As they had no engines for elevating stones, the walls of this edifice, in which they seem to have made their greateft efforts towards magnificence, did not rife above twelve feet from the ground; and though they knew not the use of cement, the ftones were joined with fo much nicety that the feams could hardly be difcerned. The apartments however were ill difpofed, and there was not a fingle window in any part of the building.

But the most furprifing monuments of the art of the Peruvians, is the two great roads extending without interruption, above 500 leagues from Cuzco to Quito. The one was conducted through the interior and mountainous part of the country, the other along the plains on the fea-coaft. Thefe roads however were conftructed only for the use of the human foot, as the Peruvians were unacquainted with every beaft of burden. In many places the path of the traveller is marked only by erect pofts especially along the plains; and even where the road traverses the mountains, no more was done than to form it of fuch materials as happened to lie in its courfe. The fainous hanging bridges thrown over the streams which interfected it in pouring down from the high grounds, were framed of frong cables of twifted ofiers interwoven and covered with turf,

The religion of thefe empires is the laft particular we fhall mention, and this article is rendered particularly curious and interefting on account of the ftriking contraft it exhibits between the gloomy, fevere, and bloody tenets of the Mexicans; and the chearful, the focial, and beneficent principles of the Peruvians.

The afpect of fuperftition in Mexico was gloomy and atrocious. Its divinities were clothed with terror, and delighted in vengeance. They were exhibited to the people under deteftable forms that created horror. The figures of ferpents, of tygers, and of other deftructive animals, decorated their temples. Fear was the only principle that infpired their votaries. Fafts, mortifications, and penances, all rigid and many of them excruciating to an extreme degree, were the means which they employed to appease their wrath, and they never approached their altars without fprinkling them with blood drawn from their own bodies. But, of all offer

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ings, human facrifices were deemed the most acceptable. This religious belief, mingling with the implacable fpirit of vengeance, and adding new force to it, every captive taken in war was brought to the temple, was devoted as a victim to the deity, and facrificed with rites no lefs folemn than cruel. The heart and head were the portion confecrated to the gods; the warrior by whose prowefs the prifoner had been feized, carried off the body to feaft upon it with his friends. Under the impreffion of ideas fo dreary and terrible, and accustomed daily to fcenes of bloodshed rendered awful by religion, the heart of man must harden, and be steeled to every fentiment of humanity. The fpirit of the Mexicans was accordingly unfeeling and atrocious. The genius of their religion fo far counterbalanced the influence of policy and arts, that, notwithstanding their progrefs in both, their manners, instead of softening, became more fierce. To what circumstances it was owing that fuperftition affuined fuch a dreadful form among the Mexicans, we have not fufficient knowledge of their history to determine. But its influence is vifible, and produced an effect that is fingular in the hiftory of the human fpecies. The manners of the people in the new world who had made the greatest progrefs in the arts of policy, were the moft ferocious, and the barbarity of fome of their customs exceeded even those of the savage ftate.

The fyftem of fuperftition on which the Incas ingrafted their pretenfions to fuch high authority, was of a genius very different from that established among the Mexicans. Manco Capac turned the veneration of his followers entirely towards natural objects. The fun, as the great fource of light, of joy, and fertility in the creation, attracted their principal homage. The moon and stars, as co-operating with him, were entitled to fecondary honours. Whereever the propenfity in the human mind to acknowledge and to adore some superior power, takes this direction, and is employed in contemplating the order and beneficence that really exift in nature, the fpirit of fuperftition is mild. Wherever imaginary beings created by the fancy and fears of men, are supposed to prefide in nature, and become the objects of worship, fuperftition always affumes a wilder and more atrocious form. Of the lat ter we have an example among the Mexicans, of the former among the people of Peru. They had not indeed, made fuch progrefs in obfervation or inquiry, as to have attained juft conceptions of the deity; nor was there in their language any proper name or appellation of the fupreme power, which intimated that they had formed any idea of him as the creator and governor of the world. But by directing their veneration to that glorious luminary, which, by its univerfal and vivifying energy, is the best emblem of divine beneficence, the rites and obfervances which they deemed acceptable to him were innocent and humane. They offered to the fun a part of thofe productions which his genial warmth had called forth from the bofom of the earth, and reared to maturity. They facrificed, as an oblation of gratitude, fome of the animals who were indebted to his influence for nourishment. They prefented to him choice fpecimens of thofe works of ingenuity which his light had guided the hand of man in forming. But the Incas never stained his altars with human blood, nor could they conceive that their beneficent father the fun would be delighted with fuch horrid victims. Thus the Peruvians, unacquainted with those barbarous rites which extinguish fenfibility, and suppress the feel

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