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which the most disheartening obstacles were successfully overcome The main road from Quito to Cuzco, and thence to the southern portions of the kingdom, was led along the mountain ridges for a distance estimated at not much less than two thousand miles. It was massively built of stone, or hewn out from the native rock, and, although only about twenty feet broad, afforded a smooth and easy passage between the great cities, for foot-passengers or trains of loaded llamas. The highway second in importance was conducted through the level plains, parallel with the sea-coast, and consisted of an embankment, or causeway, lined, where the soil was fruitful, with ornamental trees and shrubs.
All these public works, as well as the massive palaces and religious temples, of hewn stone, seem the more marvellous when we consider that the materials were wrought without any iron instrument, as the Peruvians, like the Mexicans, had no harder tools than those manufactured from an alloy of copper and tin.
It may be readily perceived what immense facilities were afforded for military operations by these roads, and by the granaries which were built and stored at regular intervals throughout the routes. The government pursued a warlike policy towards neighbouring nations, and the successes of the Peruvian armies resulted in vast additions to the empire. When a province was subdued, the first steps taken were to introduce the national worship of the Sun, to establish the laws of Peru, giving to the conquered people equal privileges with their conquerors, and to introduce colonies of Peruvians into the new country, by whose association and example the natives might the sooner perceive the advantages of quietly submitting to the despotic but paternal care of the inca. The native nobles and governors were often continued in office, and conciliated by favours and honours, and a decent respect was paid to the religious belief and popular usages of the newly-acquired territory.
In the conduct of the complicated machinery of government, reg. ularity and precision were maintained by a species of record, crude indeed, as compared with a written language, but ingenious, and well adapted to secure accuracy in numerical computations. This was the “quipu,” which consisted simply of a series of variously coloured threads, attached at regular intervals to a cord. Knots tied in these threads, according to a certain prescribed order, supplied all the requisite means for registering the population of the country, the births, deaths, and marriages, the public resources, the revenue, and even a chronological history of the empire. None, of course, except those versed in the art, to whom the keeping of the quipus were entrusted, could expound their mysteries, and the annals so quaintly recorded mostly perished with these officials.
The Peruvian religion was in many respects as wild and fanciful as that of any unenlightened nation, and in the mode of worship every variety of imposing and ceremonious pageant was resorted to, to preserve a due impression of its importance. As one-third of all cultivable lands was sequestered for the use of the church, an ample revenue was furnished for the construction and adornment of the most magnificent temples and the support of a numerous priesthood. Chief among this body, which consisted entirely of descendants from the royal stock, was the inca himself, who officiated personally on great and solemn occasions. The principal objects of adoration were the sun, and the subordinate moon and stars; but we are told that besides these visible emblems of divinity, and superior to them all, the God Pachacamac was adored as the invisible creator of all things. To this deity a single temple, of ancient date, standing in a valley near the present city of Lima, was devoted; but for various reasons it has been supposed that this branch of the religion of the incas and their subjects was but the remnant of a theology more ancient than the date of their conquests. Early writers give minute and tedious descriptions of Peruvian religious rites and ceremonies, details affording no interest, now that their meaning and origin are no longer to be ascertained.
The national traditions concerning the commencement and progress of civilization in Peru throw little light upon modern speculation. The mythological progenitor of the race of the incas, Man Capac, a child of the Sun, taking to wife his sister Mama Oello Huaco, was said to have first instituted the customs of civilization, and taught the arts of agriculture and manufactures to the barbarous inhabitants of the vale of Cuzco. In order to preserve the royal stock as distinct as possible from that of the commonalty, the inca, in later times, always married his sister, although this unnatura! union was strictly prohibited between those of inferior rank.
The accounts of the early princes are so vague and uncertain that we commence our history of the empire with the reign of Topa Inca Yupanqui, father to Huayna Capac, who filled the throne at the time of the first Spanish discoveries upon the western coast of South America. Under these two warlike monarchs the Peruvian territory
was extended from the country of the unconquerable Araucanians, in southern Chili, to the northern confines of modern Equador. The latter province was subdued by Huayna Capac, who established himself at Quito, its ancient capital, and formed a connection with the daughter of its last native prince. He died about a year after the first expedition of Pizarro, and by the regular laws of descent his whole dominions should have passed to his legitimate son, Huascar. Atahuallpa, his son by the princess of Quito, possessed, however, so strong a hold upon his affections, that he had determined to bestow upon him that portion which had belonged to his maternal ancestors.
The two princes commenced their reigns with favourable auspices for long.continued peace, but, in the course of a few years, mutual jealousies and encroachments involved the country in a fierce civil war. Atahuallpa marched for the ancient capital of the incas, determined, if possible, to dethrone his brother, and constitute himself sole monarch of the Peruvian empire. At Ambato, near the great moun. tain Chimborazo, only sixty miles from Quito, he was encountered by the forces of Huascar, and a severe engagement ensued. Atahu allpa was completely successful, and having annihilated his opponents, pressed on to the southward, wreaking terrible vengeance on the revolted province of Cañaris.
Another great and decisive battle was fought in the vicinity of Cuzco, and the unfortunate Huascar found himself stripped of his kingdom, and a prisoner in the hands of his rival. The successful invader established himself in the village of Caxamalca, the modern Caxamarca, where he still held his court when Pizarro landed on the Peruvian coast. Although he had no open opponent to his schemes of aggrandizement, the whole country was necessarily in an unsettled state, and he was in no condition to make a successful defence against the handful of fierce and warlike adventurers who came to lay waste his territory, and deprive him of power, liberty, and life.
The remainder of the native history of Peru is but a mournful detail of the effects of foreign oppression, cruelty, and avarice. On several occasions the miserable aborigines, reduced and degraded as they were by ages of cruelty and oppression, rose against their enslavers, and fought for their liberty with all the courage of desperation. As late as the year 1781, one Jose Gabriel Condorcanqui, a linea! descendant of the old line of incas, headed a formidable insurrection ngainst the Spanish authorities. The numbers of both races who perished in this civil war, before the reduction of the aborigines, has been set down at over one hundred thousand. The leader, historic. ally known as Tupac Amaru the Second, with several of his family, was finally taken prisoner, and was publicly quartered at Cuzco.
CHA P PER I 17.
PIZARRO LANDS AT TUM BEZ. -MARCHES SOUTHWARD, AND
HIS RESERVE.-STRENGTH OF THE PERUVIANS.
On landing his forces at Tumbez, Pizarro was surprised to find the town, lately so splendid and populous, deserted and demolished. A party of Indians gave him a hostile reception, but his hopes were réanimated, it is said, by a note, written, perhaps, by two Spaniards whom he had left on a former voyage, and purporting as follows: "Know, whoever you may be, that may chance to set foot in this country, that it contains more gold and silver than there is iron in Biscay."
Early in May, 1532, with the principal part of his force, he set forth for the interior, marching through a thickly-settled country, and obtaining abundant supplies from the natives, whom he conciliated by gentle treatment. Formal proclamation, at every village, was made in behalf of the political and ecclesiastical supremacy of the emperor and the pope; and the natives, though not comprehending a word of the mystical ceremony, their silence being held for consent, were duly enrolled by a notary as subjects of Spain. Thirty leagues south of Tumbez, he founded a city, named, in fulfilment of his vow, San Miguel, and, enslaving the natives of the adjoining region, distributed them among the Spanish colonists. The reason assigned was, “that it would redound to the service of God, as well as of the natives themselves_*
that they might sustain the settlers, and that the Christians might indoctrinate them in our Holy Faith.” Considerable gold which had been acquired by the troops, Pizarro persuaded them to send back to Panama, as a
means of enticing fresh volunteers to share the arduous enterprise in which they were engaged.
In this march he had learned much of the state of the country, and the reports of its wealth had been confirmed beyond all reasonable doubt. He now resolved to set forth on a visit to the Inca Atahuallpa, probably with no definite ideas of immediate conquest, but from eager desire to behold the extraordinary state and riches, with glimpses of wbich his imagination had been so long inflamed. Leaving a small garrison at San Miguel, on the 24th of September, with the remainder of his little army, he set forth in quest of the distant and unknown capital of the Peruvian monarch. After a march of five days through a most beautiful country, cultivated with the perfection of agricultural skill, he halted, and with politic boldness, invited all who were averse to the expedition to return. Only nine accepted the offer, and the rest, by declining it, were irrevocably pledged to prosecute the adventure. With an hundred and sixtyeight men, a third of whom were cavalry, he continued his march to the mountains.
At a place called Zaran, he halted for a week, and dispatched De Soto to a Peruvian military post, further on. That officer, on his return, was accompanied by an emissary from the inca himself, bearing presents for the Spanish general, and a friendly message, inviting him to court. By the aid of interpreters much civility was exchanged, and a courteous answer was dispatched to the Peruvian court. A few days' march brought the Spaniards to the foot of the Andes, behind which, at the town of Caxamalca, they were informed, Atahuallpa, with his army, lay encamped.
An easy and level road, leading to Cuzco, the Indian capital, contrasted with the terrors of the ascent, and the dangers which might lie beyond, caused many of the soldiers to waver in their resolution; but Pizarro, with his customary eloquence, urged them on, entreating that they would not expose themselves to the contempt of the inca by drawing back, and assuring them that the Lord would ever be found fighting on their side. The march up the mountain proved toilsome and dangerous in the extreme, the cavaliers being compelled to lead their horses along frightful ledges and precipices, where a single mis-step would prove destruction; and where a few resolute men might have withstood their march altogether. They also suffered greatly from cold. At night they lodged in a strong fortress of stone, and at day break resumed the march. A friendly embassy from the