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1847.] Prescott's History of the Conquest of Peru.
15 of the polish of a court, he had a soldier nature of the latter, governed by impulse like bearing, and the air of one accustomed rather than principle. It is hardly necesto command. But, though not polished, sary to speak of the courage of a man there was no embarrassment or rusticity pledged to such a career as that of Pizarro. in his address, which, where it served his Courage, indeed, was a chief quality among purpose, could be plausible and even in
the Spanish adventurers, for danger was sinuating. The proof of it is the favour. their element; but he possessed something able impression made by him on present higher than mere animal courage, in that ing himself after his second expedition constancy of purpose which was rooted stranger as he was to all its forms and too deeply in his pature to be shaken by usages-at the punctilious court of Castile. the wildest storms of fortupe. It was this Unlike many of his countrymen, he had inflexible constancy which formed the key no passion for ostentatious dress, which to his character, and constituted the secret he regarded as an incumbrance. The cos. of his success..... There is something tume which he most affected on public oc oppressive to the imagination in this war casions was a black cloak, with a white hat, against nature. In the struggle of man and shoes of the same colour, the last, it is against man the spirits are raised by a said, being in imitation of the great Captain, contest conducted on equal terms; but in whose character he had early learned to a war with the elements we feel that howadmire in Italy, but to which his own ever bravelywe may contenuwe can have no certainly bore very faint resemblance. power to control. Nor are we cheered He was temperate in eating, drank spa on by the prospect of glory in such a conringly, and generally rose an hour before test; for, in the capricious estimate of dawn. He was punctual in attendance to human glory, the silent endurance of pri. business, and shrunk from no toil. He vations, however painful, is little in comhad, indeed, great powers of patient en parison with the ostentatious trophies of durance. Like most of his nation, he was victory. The laurel of the hero-alas for fond of play, and cared little for the quality humanity that it should be so !--grows of those with whom he played, though best on the battle-field .... But Pizarro's when his antagonist could not afford to ruling motives, so far as they can be lose he would allow himself it is said to scanned by human judgment, were avarice be the loser, a mode of conferring an obli and ambition. The good missionaries, gation much commended by a Castilian indeed, followed in his train to scatter the writer for its delicacy. Though avaricious, seeds of spiritual truth, and the Spanish it was in order to spend, not to hoard. government directed its beneficent legisHis ample treasures-more ample than lation to the conversion of the natives. those probably that ever before fell to the But the moving power with Pizarro and lot of an adventurer-were mostly dissi. his followers was the lust of gold. This pated in his enterprises, his architectural was the real stimulus to their toils, the works, and schemes of public improve price of perfidy, the true guerdon of their ment, which, in a country where gold and victories. This gave a base and mercenary silver might be said to have lost their character to their enterprise ; and when value from their abundance, absorbed an we contrast the ferocious cupidity of the incredible amount of money. While he re conquerors with the mild and inoffensive garded the whole country in a manner as manners of the conquered, our sympathies his own, and distributed it freely among -the sympathies eren of the Spaniardhis captains, it is certain that the princely are necessarily thrown into the scale of grant of a territory with twenty thousand the Indian. But as no picture is withvassals made to him by the crown was never out its lights, we must not, in justice to carried into effect, nor did his heirs ever Pizarro, dwell exclusively on the darker reap the benefit of it. . . . . Though bold features of his portrait. There was no in action, and not easily turned from his one of her sons to whom Spain was under purpose, Pizarro was slow in arriving at larger obligations for extent of empire; a decision. This gave bim an appearance for bis band won for her the richest of of irresolution foreign to his character. the Indian jewels that once sparkled in Perhaps the consciousness of this led her imperial diadem. When we contem. him to adopt the custom of saying 'No' plate the peri
he braved, the sufferings at first to applicants for favour, and after he patiently endured, the incredible ob. wards at leisure to revise his judgment, stacles he overcame, the magnificent results and grant what seemed to him expedient. he effected with his single arm as it were, una He took the opposite course from aided by the government,-though neither his comrade Almagro, who, it was ob a good nor a great man in the highest served, generally said 'Yes,' but too often sense of that term,-it is impossible not to failed to keep his promise. This was regard him as a very extraordinary one; characteristic of the careless and easy nor can we fairly omit to Dotice, in ex
tenuation of his errors, the circumstances as their rightful spoil. Who does not
We place next to this picture that of his great rival and companion in arms,--of one who achieved the same glory, and perished by a similar fate.
Almagro at the time of his death was and the generosity of his nature, made him probably not far from seventy years popular with his followers. No comof age, but this is somewhat uncertain, mander was ever more beloved by his for Almagro was a foundling, and his early soldiers. His generosity was often carried history is lost in obscurity. He had many to prodigality. When he entered on the excellent qualities by nature, and his de. campaign of Chili he lent a hundred thou. fects, which were not few, may reasonably sand gold ducats to the poor cavaliers to be palliated by the circumstances of his equip themselves, and afterwards gave situation. For what extenuation is not them up the debt. He was profuse to authorised by the position of a foundling ostentation ; but his extravagance did no -without parents, or early friends, or harm among the roving spirits of the teachers to direct him-his little bark set camp, with whom prodigality is apt to adrift on the ocean of life to take its gain more favour than a strict and wellchance among the rude billows and break regulated economy. He was a good sol. ers, without one friendly hand stretched dier, careful and judicious in his plans, forth to steer or to save it. The name of patient and intrepid in their execution. foundling comprehends an apology for His body was covered with the scars of his much, very much, that is wrong in after battles, till the natural plainness of his perlife. * He was a man of strong passions, son was converted almost into deformity. and not too well used to control them, He must not be judged by his closing cam. but he was neither vindictive nor habitually paign when, depressed by disease, he cruel. I have mentioned one atrocious yielded to the superior genius of his rival, outrage which he committed on the na. but by his numerous expeditions, by land tives; but insensibility to the rights of the and by water, for the conquest of Peru and Indian he shared with many a better in• the remote Chili. Yet it may be doubted structed Spaniard. Yet the Indians, after whether be possessed those uncommon his conviction, bore testimony to his gene qualities, either as a warrior or as a man, ral humanity, by declaring that they had that, in ordinary circumstances, would no such friend among the white men; have raised him to distinction. He was indeed, far from being vindictive, he was one of the three, or to speak more strictly placable, and easily yielded to others. The of the two, associates who had the good facility with which be yielded, the result fortune and the glory to make one of the of goodnatured credulity, made him too most splendid discoveries in the western often the dupe of the crafty; and it world. He shares largely in the credit shewed certainly a want of that self. of this with Pizarro; for, when he did not reliance which belongs to great strength accompany that leader in his perilous of character. Yet his facility of temper, expeditions, he contributed no less to their
* Compare with this verbose declamation on the foundling the simple manner in which Robertson mentions and dismisses the subject :-" Almagro had as little to boast of his descent as Pizarro. The one was a bastard, the other a foundling." Yet these were the identical words of Burke, in The European Settlements, vol. i. p. 132. Raynal's language has the same precision without the coarseness :-"11 associa à ses Vues Diego d'Almagro, dont la naissance étoit incertaine, mais dont le courage étoit éprouvé. Vol. üi. p. 118.-Rev,
success by his exertions in the colonies. into collision. Still the final ruin of Yet his connection with that chief can Almagro may be fairly imputed to himhardly be considered a fortunate circum self. He made two capital blunders. The stance in his career. A partnership be first was his appeal to arms by the seizure tween individuals for discovery and con of Cuzco. The determination of a bounquest is not likely to be very scrupulously dary line was not to be settled by arms; observed, especially by men more accus it was a subject for arbitration, and if artomed to govern others than to govern bitrators could not be trusted, it should themselves. If causes for discord do not have been referred to the decision of the arise before, they will be sure to spring up crown. But having once appealed to arms on division of the spoil. But this associa he should not then have resorted to negotiation was particularly ill-assorted. For the tion-above all to negotiation with Pizarro. free, sanguine, and confiding temper of This was bis second and greatest error. Almagro was no match for the cool and He had seen enough of Pizarro to know crafty policy of Pizarro; and he was in that he was not to be trusted ; Almagro variably circumvented by his companion, did trust him, and he paid for it with his whenever their respective interests came life."
The next character is one that would stand for the abstract representation of those of whom these adventurous squadrons were formed, whose strangely mixed qualities, at the best exciting wonder rather than admiration, yet were better adapted for the work they had to accomplish, than if they had been tempered with feelings and passions of a higher and nobler nature.
“ Francisco de Carbajal was one of the was sent to the support of Francis Pizarro, most extraordinary characters of these and was rewarded by that chief with a dark and turbulent times, the more ex grant of land in Cuzco. Here he retraordinary from his great age, for at the mained for several years, busily employed period of his death he was in bis 84th year, in increasing his substance, for the love an age when the bodily powers and, for of lucre was a ruling passion in his bosom. tunately, the passions are usually blunted, On the arrival of Vaca de Castro we find when, in the witty words of the French him doing good service under the royal moralist, .We flatter ourselves we are banner, and at the breaking out of the leaving our vices, whereas it is our vices great rebellion under Gonzalo Pizarro he that are leaving us. But the fires of youth converted his property into gold, and preglowed fierce and unquenchable in the pared to return to Castille. He seemed bosom of Carbajal. The date of his birth to have a presentiment that to remain carries us back towards the middle of the where he was would be fatal. But though fifteenth century, before the times of Fer he made every effort to leave Peru he was diband and Isabella. He was of obscure unsuccessful, for the viceroy had laid an parentage, and born, as it was said, at embargo on the shipping. He remained Arevalo. Por forty years he served in in the country therefore, and took service, the Italian wars, under the most illustrious as we have seen, though reluctantly, uncaptains of the day, Gonsalvo de Córdova, der Pizarro. It was his destiny. The Navarro, and the Colonnas. He was an tumultuous life on which he now ep. ensiga at the battle of Ravenna, witnessed tered roused all the slumbering passions the capture of Francis the First at Pavia, of his soul,* which lay there perhaps and followed the banner of the ill-starred unconsciously to bimself-cruelty, avarice, Bourbon at the sack of Rome. He got revenge. He found ample exercise for no gold for his share of the booty on them in the war with his countrymen; this occasion, but simply the papers of a for civil war is proverbially the most notary's office, which Carbajal shrewdly sanguinary and ferocious of all. The thought would be worth gold to him, and atrocities recorded of Carbajal in his $0 it proved, for the potary was fain to new career, and the number of his vicredeem them at a price which enabled tims, are scarcely credible. For the the adventurer to cross the seas to Mexico, honour of humanity we may trust the and seek his fortune in the New World. accounts are greatly exaggerated ; but On the insurrection of the Peruvians he that he should have given rise to them at
of his per
deformity. ising cam.
Peru and doubted common a man,
would He was
strictly le good of the
not ous heir
to Yet 32. ses oit
* The words in italics form a complete and regular heroic verse, of which many examples might be taken from these volumes. Such poetical numbers sometimes occur in the writings of our best authors, sometimes among the ancients.-Rev. GENT. MAG. Vol. XXVIII.
all is sufficient to consign his name to in soldiers of the New World. He was strict,
A still vacant space reminds us that another portrait is wanting for its place :
“ Gonzalo Pizarro had reached only his had a brilliant exterior ; excelled in all forty-second year at the time of his death, martial exercises ; rode well; fenced well ; being just half the space allotted to his managed bis lance to perfection ; was a follower Carbajal. He was the youngest first-rate marksman with the arquebuse ; of the remarkable family to whom Spain and added the accomplishment of being an was indebted for the acquisition of Peru. excellent draughtsman. He was bold and He came over to the country with his chivalrous even to temerity; courted ad. brother Francisco, on the return of the venture, and was always in the front of dan. latter from his visit to Castile. Gonzalo ger. He was a knight-errant in short in was present in all the remarkable passages the most extravagant sense of the term ; of the conquest. He witnessed the seizure “and, mounted on his favourite charger,' of Atahuallpa, took an active part in the says one who had often seen him, 'made suppression of the insurrection of the no more account of a squadron of Indians Incas, and especially in the reduction of than of a swarm of flies.'+ While thus, Charcas. He afterwards led the disas- by his brilliant exploits and showy mantrous expedition to the Amazon, and ners, he captivated the imaginations of his finally headed the memorable rebellion countrymen, he won their hearts no less which ended so fatally to himself. There by his soldier-like frank ness, his trust in are but few men whose lives abound in their fidelity-too often abused and his such wild and romantic adventure, and liberal largesses ; for Pizarro, though for the most part crowned with success. avaricious of the property of others, was, The space which he occupies in the page like the Roman conspirator, prodigal of of history is altogether disproportioned to
This was his portrait in happier his talents. It may be in some measure days, when his heart had not been corascribed to fortune, but still more to those rupted by success; for that some change showy qualities which form a sort of sub was wrought on him by his prosperity is stitute for mental talent, and which se well attested. His head was made giddy cured his popularity with the vulgar. He by his elevation ; and it is proof of a want
* “Este Carbajal era tan sabio que decian tenia familiar.” Descub. y Conq. MS.--REV
+ “No hazia mas caso de esquadrones de Yndios, que si fueran de moscas." Gar. cilasso, Com, Rcal, parte ii. lib. v. cap. xliii,
He was strict, discipline, so his followers for military nducting mar
be doubted; i guerilla warPrompt, active,
insensible to days spent in little valne to
Elew familiarly euch were the played in his tas vulgarly
a familiar. * Erdinary, with ond the usual ions so fierce
of the grave,
irculated re. ebajal should
terrors as a Che demon of
of talent equal to his success that he this he was inferior to his elder brothers, knew not how to profit by it. Obeying although be fully equalled them in ambithe dictates of his own rash judgmeut, he tion. Had he possessed a tithe of their rejected the warnings of his wisest coun sagacity, he would not have madly persellors, and relied with blind confidence sisted in rebellion, after the coming of on his destiny. Garcilasso imputes this the president. Before this period be reto the malignant influence of the stars. presented the people. Their interests and But the superstitious chronicler might his were united. He had their support, have better explained it by a common for he was contending for the redress of principle of human nature,--by the pre their wrongs. When these were redressed sumption nourished by success; the in- by the government, there was nothing to sanity, as the Roman, or rather Grecian, contend for. From that time he was proverb calls it, with which the gods aftlict battling only for himself. The people had man when they design to ruin him.* no part nor interest in the contest. WithGonzalo was without education, except out a common sympathy to bind them tosuch as he had picked up in the rough gether, was it strange that they should school of var. He had little even of that fall off from him, like leaves in winter, wisdom which springs from natural shrewd and leave him exposed, a bare and sapless ness and insight into character. In all trunk, to the fury of the tempest ? ”
We close our list of these great captains of war with the milder features of the dispenser of justice and peace : of him who was sent on a more useful and gentle mission, to repair the wrongs, so far as they extended to their own countrymen, which had been inflicted by violence, and selfishness, and cupidity; to bring the unbridled will of the soldier under the power of the laws he had despised ; and to restore the injured dignity and violated rights of the throne of Spain.
"Gasca was plain in person, and his placable, yet could deal sternly with the countenance was far from comely; he was impenitent offender; lowly in his deportawkward and ill proportioned, for his ment, yet with a full measure of that limbs were too long for bis body, so that self-respect which springs from conwhen he rode, he appeared to be much scientious rectitude of purpose; modest shorter than he really was.
Ilis dress and unpretending, yet not shrinking from was humble, his manners simple, and the most difficult enterprizes ; deferring there was nothing imposing in his pre- greatly to others, yet in the last resort sence; but on a nearer intercourse there relying mainly on himself; moving with was a charm in his discourse that effaced deliberation, patiently waiting his time every unfavourable impression produced but when that came, bold, prompt, and by his exterior, and won the hearts of bis decisive. Gasca was not a man of genius hearers. The president's character may in the vulgar sense of that term. At least be thought to be sufficiently pourtrayed no one of his intellectual powers seems to in the history already given of his life. have received anextraordinary development It presented a combination of qualities beyond what is found in others. He was which generally serve to neutralize each not a great writer, nor a great orator, nor other, but which were mixed in such pro a great general. He did not affect to be portions in him as to give it additional either. He committed the care of his strength. He was gentle, yet resolute, military matters to military men ; of ecby nature intrepid, yet prefering to rely clesiastical,'to the clergy; and his civil on the softer arts of policy. He was and judicial concerns he reposed on the frugal in his personal expenditure, and members of the Audience. He was not economical in the public, yet caring no
one of those litlle great men who aspire thing for riches on his own account, and to do everything themselves, under the never stinting his bounty when the public conviction that nothing can be done so good required it. He was benevolent and well by others. But the president was a
• See Euripidis Fragmenta,
“Οταν δε Δαίμων ανδρί πορσύνη κακά, ,
Τον νούν έβλαψε πρώτον. . When Mr. Prescott calls this a Roman proverb he probably mistook the Latin words "Quem Jupiter vult perdere, prius dementat" for those of some ancient author, instead of being, as they are, the translation, by Joshua Barnes, of the Greek sentence. ---Rev.