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promising, state of his present circumstances. If vanity be ever pardonable, it is certainly in a man who, born in an obscure station in life, without family, interest, or friends to back him, has carved out his own fortunes in the world, and, by his own resources, triumphed over all the obstacles which nature and accident had thrown in his way. Such was the condition of Pizarro as he now revisited the place of his nativity, where he had hitherto been known only as a poor outcast, without a home to shelter, a father to own him, or a friend to lean upon. But he now found both friends and followers, and some who were eager to claim kindred with him and take part in his future fortunes. Among these were four brothers. Three of them, like himself, were illegitimate,-one of whom, named Francisco Martin de Alcántara, was related to him by the mother's side, the other two, named Gonzalo and Juan Pizarro, were descended from the father. “They were all poor, and proud as they were poor," says Oviedo, who had seen them; “and their eagerness for gain was in proportion to their poverty.'
The remaining and eldest brother, named Hernando, was a legitimate son,-"legitimate," continues the same caustic authority, “by his pride, as well as by his birth.” His features were plain, even disagreeably so; but his figure was good. He was large of stature, and, , like his brother Francis, had on the whole an imposing presence. In his character he combined some of the
7 "Trujo tres o cuatro hermanos suyos tan soberbios como pobres, é tan sin hacienda como deseosos de alcanzarla." Hist. de las Indias, MS., Parte 3, lib. 8, cap. I.
8 Oviedo's portrait of him is by no means flattering. He writes like
worst defects incident to the Castilian. He was jealous in the extreme; impatient, not merely of affront, but of the least slight, and implacable in his resentment. He was decisive in his measures, and unscrupulous in their execution. No touch of pity had power to arrest his arm.
His arrogance was such that he was constantly wounding the self-love of those with whom he acted; thus begetting an ill will which unnecessarily multiplied obstacles in his path. In this he differed from his brother Francis, whose plausible manners smoothed away difficulties and conciliated confidence and co-operation in his enterprises. Unfortunately, the evil counsels of Hernando exercised an influence over his brother which more than compensated the advantages derived from his singular capacity for business.
Notwithstanding the general interest which Pizarro's adventures excited in his country, that chief did not find it easy to comply with the provisions of the Capitulation in respect to the amount of his levies. Those who were most astonished by his narrative were not always most inclined to take part in his fortunes. They shrank from the unparalleled hardships which lay in the path of the adventurer in that direction; and they listened with visible distrust to the gorgeous pictures of the golden temples and gardens of Tumbez, which they looked upon as indebted in some degree, at least, to the coloring of his fancy, with the obvious purpose one too familiar with the original. “É de todos ellos el Hernando Pizarro solo era legitimo, é mas legitimado en la soberbia, hombre de alta estatura é grueso, la lengua é labios gordos, é la punta de la nariz con sobrada carne é encendida, y este fue el desavenidor y estorbador del sosiego de todos y en especial de los dos viejos compañeros Francisco Pizarro é Diego de Almagro." Hist, de las Indias, MS. ubi supra.
of attracting followers to his banner. It is even said that Pizarro would have found it difficult to raise the necessary funds, but for the seasonable aid of Cortés, a native of Estremadura like himself, his companion in arms in early days, and, according to report, his kinsnan. No one was in a better condition to hold out a helping hand to a brother adventurer, and probably no one felt greater sympathy in Pizarro's fortunes, or greater confidence in his eventual success, than the man who had so lately trod the same career with renown.
The six months allowed by the Capitulation had elapsed, and Pizarro had assembled somewhat less than his stipulated complement of men, with which he was preparing to embark in a little squadron of three vessels at Seville ; but before they were wholly ready he received intelligence that the officers of the Council of the Indies proposed to inquire into the condition of the vessels and ascertain how far the requisitions had been complied with.
Without loss of time, therefore, Pizarro, afraid, if the facts were known, that his enterprise might be nipped in the bud, slipped his cables, and, crossing the bar of San Lucar, in January, 1530, stood for the isle of Gomera,—one of the Canaries,—where he ordered his brother Hernando, who had charge of the remaining vessels, to meet him.
Scarcely had he gone, before the officers arrived to institute the search. But when they objected the deficiency of men they were easily—perhaps willinglydeceived by the pretext that the remainder had gone forward in the vessel with Pizarro. At all events, no further obstacles were thrown in Hernando's way, and he was permitted, with the rest of the squadron, to join his brother, according to agreement, at Gomera.
e Pizarro y Orellana. Varones ilustres, p. 143.
After a prosperous voyage, the adventurers reached the northern coast of the great southern continent, and anchored off the port of Santa Marta. Here they received such discouraging reports of the countries to which they were bound, of forests teeming with insects and venomous serpents, of huge alligators that swarmed on the banks of the streams, and of hardships and perils such as their own fears had never painted, that several of Pizarro's men deserted, and their leader, thinking it no longer safe to abide in such treacherous quarters, set sail at once for Nombre de Dios.
Soon after his arrival there, he was met by his two associates, Luque and Almagro, who had crossed the mountains for the purpose of hearing from his own lips the precise import of the Capitulation with the crown. Great, as might have been expected, was Almagro's discontent at learning the result of what he regarded as the perfidious machinations of his associate. “ Is it thus,” he exclaimed, “that you have dealt with the friend who shared equally with you in the trials, the dangers, and the cost of the enterprise, and this, notwithstanding your solemn engagements on your departure to provide for his interests as faithfully as your own? How could you allow me to be thus dishonored in the eyes of the world by so paltry a compensation, which seems to estimate my services as nothing in comparison with your own ?" 10
80 Herrera, Hist. general, dec. 4, lib. 7, cap. 9.-Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., MS.
Pizarro, in reply, assured his companion that he had faithfully urged his suit, but that the government refused to confide powers which intrenched so closely on one another to different hands. He had no alternative but to accept all himself or to decline all; and he endeavored to mitigate Almagro's displeasure by representing that the country was large enough for the ambition of both, and that the powers conferred on himself were, in fact, conferred on Almagro, since all that he had would ever be at his friend's disposal, as if it were his own. But these honeyed words did not satisfy the injured party; and the two captains soon after returned to Panamá with feelings of es. trangement, if not hostility, towards one another, which did not augur well for their enterprise.
Still, Almagro was of a generous temper, and might have been appeased by the politic concessions of his rival, but for the interference of Hernando Pizarro, who, from the first hour of their meeting, showed little respect for the veteran, which, indeed, the diminutive person of the latter was not calculated to inspire, and who now regarded him with particular aversion as an impediment to the career of his brother.
Almagro's friends—and his frank and liberal manners had secured him many—were no less disgusted than himself with the overbearing conduct of this new ally. They loudly complained that it was quite enough to suffer from the perfidy of Pizarro, without being exposed to the insults of his family, who had now come over with him to fatten on the spoils of conquest which belonged to their leader. The rupture soon proceeded to such a length that Almagro