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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.
HISTORY OF AMERICA.
HAVING related in my last book the splendid achievements of Cortes and his followers, and the subjugation 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 unuatural 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 purposes, and sagacity to penetrate into those of other men.
Hernando de Luque was an ecclesiastic, who acted both as priest and school-master at Panama, and who had amassed riche es that inspired him with thoughts of rising to greater eminence. Such were the men who eventually overturned one of the most ex. tensive 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 reinforce. ments of troops, and Luque was to remain at Panaina to negoci. ate with the governor, and promote the general interest. Pizare ro 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 hardships from famine, fatigue, and the hostility of the natives where he landed, but above ail the distempers incident to a moist sultry climate, which proved fatal to several of his men ; yet his resolution re. mained undaunted, and he endeavoured 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 Chucama, 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 reembark, 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. Ali magro 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 Ta. camez 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 stuf, and adorired with trinkets of gold and silver. Pizarro and
Almagro, however, were unwilling to invade a country so popu. lous, 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 government of Pana
After weighing the matter with that cold economical 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 despatched a vessel to bring home Pizarro and his companions froin the island of Gallo.
Almagro and Luque deeply affected with these measures, communicated their sentiments privately to Pizarro, requesting him not to relinquish an enterprize 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 and eloquence in persuading his men not to abandon him. But the thoughts of revisiting their families and friends, after so long an absence, and suffering such incredible hardships, rushed with such joy into their minds, that when Pizarro drew a line upon the sand with his sword, permitting such as wished to return home to pass over it, only thirteen daring veterans remained with their commander. This small, but determined band, whose names the Spanish historians record with deserved praise, as the persons to whose persevering fortitude their country is indebted for the most valuable of all its American possessions, fixed their residence in the island of Gorgona, where they determined to wait for supplies from Panama, which they trusted their associates there would eventually procure.
Almagro and Luque were not inattentive or cold solicitors, and their incessant importunity was seconded by the general voice of the people, who exclaimed loudly against the infamy of exposing brave men, engaged in the public service, charged with no error, but what flowed from an excess of zeal and courage. nor overcome with intreaties and expostulations at last consented to send a small vessel to their relief. But unwilling to encourage Pizarro in any new enterprize, he would not permit one land-man to embark on board it.
Pizarro and his companions had remained at this time five months on an island in the most unhealthy climate in the region of America : during which period, they were buoyed up with hopes of succours from Panama ; till worn out with fruitless-ex. pectations, they in despair came to a resolution of committing themselves to the ocean on a float; but on the arrival of the vessel from Panama, they were transported with such joy, that all their sufferings were forgotten, Pizarro easily induced them to resume their former scheme with fresh ardour. Instead of returning to Panama, they stood towards the south east, wben on the