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ceived him as a person entitled to high respect, for the eminence of his services. The order of St. Jago, the title of Marquis del Valle de Guaxaca, the grant of a vast territory in New Spain, were successively bestowed upon him; and he was admitted to the same familiar intercourse with the emperor, as noblemen of the first rank. But amidst these external proofs of regard, some symptoms of remaining distrust appeared. Although he earnestly solicited to be reinstated in the government of New Spain, Charles peremptorily refused granting his request. The military department, with power to attempt new discoveries, was left in his hands: with this diminished authority, he returned to New Spain. Antonio de Mendoza was sent thither with the title of viceroy. Cortes fitted out several small squadrons, and sent them into the South Sea to make discoveries, which either perished in the attempt, or returned unsuccessful. Cortes, weary of entrusting his operations to others, in the year 1536 took the command of a new armament, and after enduring incredible hardships, he discovered the large peninsula of California, and surveyed the greater part of the gulph which separates it from New Spain. The discovery of a country of such extent, would have reflected credit on a common adventurer, but could add little new honour to the name of Cortes. Disgusted with ill success, and weary of contesting with adversaries, to whom he considered it as a disgrace to be opposed, he once more sought for redress in his native country. His fate there was the same with that of all the persons who had distinguished themselves in the discovery of the New World; envied by his contemporaries, and ill-requited by the court which he served, he ended his days on the second of December, 1547, in the sixty-second year of his age.




HAVING related in the last book the splendid achievements of Cortes, and his followers, and the subju gation of the Mexican empire, it now remains to close the history of South America with the conquest of Peru, The chief actors in this undertaking were Francisco Pizarro, Diego de Almagro, and Hernando de Luque.

Pizarro was the natural son of a gentleman, by an illicit amour with a woman of very low birth; and as it frequently happens to the offspring of unlawful love, he was neglected by the author of his birth, who was so unnatural as to set him, when arriving at the years of manhood, to feed his hogs. Young Pizarro could not long brook such an ignoble occupation. His aspiring mind thirsted after military glory, and he enlisted as a soldier ; and after serving some years in Italy, embarked for America, where he soon distinguished himself. With a courage no less daring, than the constitution of his body was robust, he was foremost in every danger, and endured the greatest hardships. Though he was so illiterate that he could not read, he was considered as a man formed to command. Every expedition committed to his conduct, proved successful: he was as cautious in executing as bold in forming his plans. Engaging early in active life, without any resource but his own talents and industry, and by depending upon himself to emerge from obscurity, he acquired such a perfect knowledge of affairs, and of men, that he was qualified to conduct the one, and govern the other.

Almagro had as little to boast of his descent. The one was a bastard, the other a foundling. Educated like his companion, in the camp, he was equally intrepid, of insurmountable constancy, in enduring those hardships

which were inseparable from military service in the New World. But in Almagro these splendid accomplishments were joined to an openness, generosity, and candour, natural to men who profess the military art. In Pizarro they were united with the address, the craft, and the dissimulation of a politician; he had the art to conceal his own purpose, and sagacity to penetrate into those of other


Hernando de Luque was an ecclesiastic, who acted both as priest and school-master at Panama, and who had amassed riches that inspired him with thoughts of rising to greater eminence. Such were the men who eventually overturned one of the most extensive empires recorded in history.

Their confederacy was authorized by Pedrarias, the governor of Panama, and was confirmed by the most solemn act of religion. Luque celebrated mass, divided a consecrated host into three parts, of which each had his portion, and thus in the name of the prince of peace, ratified a contract, of which plunder and bloodshed were the objects.

Pizarro set sail from Panama on the fourteenth of November, 1524, with one single vessel, and an hundred and twenty men. Almagro was to conduct the supplies of provisions, and reinforcements of troops, and Luque was to remain at Panama to negociate with the governor, and promote the general interest. Pizarro had chosen the most improper time of the whole year; the periodical winds at that time set in, and were directly adverse to the course he proposed to steer. After beating about for seventy days, his progress towards the southeast was no more than what a skilful navigator will make in as many hours.

Pizarro, notwithstanding his suffering incredible hard. ships from famine, fatigue, and the hostility of the natives where he landed, but above all the distempers incident to a moist sultry climate, which proved fatal to several of his men; yet his resolution remained undaunted, and he en deavoured by every persuasive art, to reanimate their desponding hopes. At length he was obliged to abandon the inhospitable coast of Terra Firma, and retire to Chuchama, opposite to the pearl islands, where he hoped to receive a supply of provisions and troops from Panama.

Almagro soon after followed him with seventy men, and landing them on the continent, where he had hoped to meet with his associate, was repulsed by the Indians; in which conflict he lost one of his eyes, by the wound of an arrow; they likewise were compelled to re-embark, and chance directed them to the place of Pizarro's retreat, where they found some consolation in recounting to each other their sufferings. Notwithstanding all they had suffered, they were inflexibly bent to pursue their original intention. Almagro repaired to Panama, in hopes of recruiting their shattered troops; but his countrymen, discouraged at the recital of the sufferings he and Pizarro had sustained, were not to be persuaded to engage in such hard service. The most that he could muster was about fourscore men. Feeble as this reinforcement was, they did not hesitate about resuming their operations.

After a long series of disasters, part of the armament reached the bay of St. Matthew on the coast of Quito, and landed at Tacamez to the south of the river of Emeralds, and beheld a country more fertile than any they had yet discovered on the Southern Ocean; the natives were clad in garments of woollen, or cotton stuff, and adorned with trinkets of gold and silver. Pizarro and Almagro, however, were unwilling to invade a country so populous, with a handful of men enfeebled by diseases and fatigue.

Almagro met with an unfavourable reception from Pedro de los Rios, who had succeeded Pedrarias in the govern ment of Panama. After weighing, the matter with that cold œconomical prudence esteemed the first of all virtues, by persons of limited faculties, incapable of conceiving or executing great designs, he concluded the expedition detrimental to an infant colony; prohibited the raising new levies, and dispatched a vessel to bring home Pizarro and his companions from the island of Gallo.

Almagro and Luque deeply affected with these measures, communicated their sentiments privately to Pizarro, requesting him not to relinquish an enterprise on which all their hopes depended, as the means of re-establishing their reputation and fortune. Pizarro's mind, inflexibly bent on all its pursuits, required no incentive to persist in the scheme. He peremptorily refused to obey the governor of Panama's orders, and employed all his address

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