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ORDERS OF THE STATE. - PROVISIONS FOR JUSTICE.
DIVISION OF LANDS. -REVENUES AND REGISTERS. GREAT ROADS AND POSTS.—MILITARY TACTICS AND POLICY.
If we are surprised at the peculiar and original features of what may be called the Peruvian aristocracy, we shall be still more so as we descend to the lower orders of the community and see the very artificial character of their institutions, -as artificial as those of ancient Sparta, and, though in a different way, quite as repugnant to the essential principles of our nature. The institutions of Lycurgus, however, were designed for a petty state, while those of Peru, although originally intended for such, seemed, like the magic tent in the Arabian tale, to have an indefinite power of expansion, and were as well suited to the most flourishing condition of the empire as to its infant fortunes. In this remarkable accommodation to change of circumstances we see the proofs of a contrivance that argues no slight advance in civilization.
The name of Peru was not known to the natives. It was given by the Spaniards, and originated, it is said, in a misapprehension of the Indian name of “river."':
* Pelu, according to Garcilasso, was the Indian name for "river," and was given by one of the natives in answer to a question put to him by the Spaniards, who conceived it to be the name of the country. (Com. Real., Parte 1, lib. I, cap. 6.) Such blunders have led to the
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However this may be, it is certain that the natives had no other epithet by which to designate the large collection of tribes and nations who were assembled under the sceptre of the Incas, than that of Tavantinsuyu, or “four quarters of the world." This will not surprise a citizen of the United States, who has no other name by which to class himself among nations than what is borrowed from a quarter of the globe. The kingdom, names of many places both in North and South America. Montesinos, however, denies that there is such an Indian term for "river."* (Mem. antiguas, MS., lib. I, cap. 2.) According to this writer, Peru was the ancient Ophir, whence Solomon drew such stores of wealth, and which, by a very natural transition, has in time been corrupted into Phiru, Piru, Peru! The first book of the Memorias, consisting of thirty-two chapters, is devoted to this precious discovery.t
> Ondegardo, Rel. Prim., MS.-Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 1, lib. 2, cap. II.
3 Yet an American may find food for his vanity in the reflection that the name of a quarter of the globe, inhabited by so many civilized nations, has been exclusively conceded to him.-Was conceded or assumed ?
* [This statement would appear to be correct, and Garcilasso s etymology must be rejected on that, if on no other ground. More probable derivations are those given by Pascual de Andagoya,-from Birú, the name of a province first visited by Gaspar de Morales and Francisco Pizarro,-and by Father Blas Valera-from the Quichua word Pirua, a granary. Garcilasso's objection, that the spelling Piru was a later and corrupt form, would, even if well founded, be of little moment.--Ed.]
† [A recent writer, forgetting, as Montesinos seems also to have done, that Peru was not the native name for the country, suggests its connection with Persia-itself a mere corruption--as an argument in support of the Aryan origin of the Quichuans!—ED.]
# [This comparison, which seems quite out of place, might be supposed to imply that the Peruvian word translated "four quarters of the world" bore a similar meaning to that conveyed by the English phrase. But Garcilasso himself explains it as indicating merely the
conformably to its name, was divided into four parts, distinguished each by a separate title, and to each of which ran one of the four great roads that diverged from Cuzco, the capital or navel of the Peruvian monarchy. The city was in like manner divided into four quarters; and the various races which gathered there from the distant parts of the empire lived each in the quarter nearest to its respective province. They all continued to wear their peculiar national costume, so that it was easy to determine their origin; and the same order and system of arrangement prevailed in the motley population of the capital as in the great provinces of the empire. The capital, in fact, was a miniature image of the empire.
The four great provinces were each placed under a viceroy or governor, who ruled over them with the assistance of one or more councils for the different departments. These viceroys resided, some portion of their time, at least, in the capital, where they constituted a sort of council of state to the Inca.5 The nation at large was distributed into decades, or small bodies of ten; and every tenth man, or head of a decade, had supervision of the rest,-being required to see that they enjoyed the rights and immunities to which they were entitled, to solicit aid in their behalf from government, when necessary, and to bring offenders to justice. To this last they were stimulated by a law that imposed on them, in case of neglect, the same penalty that would have been incurred by the guilty party. With this law hanging over his head, the magistrate of Peru, we may well believe, did not often go to sleep on his post.
4 Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 1, lib. 2, cap. 9, 10.-Cieza de Leon, Cronica, cap. 93.—The capital was further divided into two parts, the Upper and Lower town, founded, as pretended, on the different origin of the population; a division recognized also in the inferior cities. Ondegardo, Rel. Seg., MS.
5 Dec. de la Aud. Real., MS.-Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 1, lib.
four cardinal points, by which divisions of territory, as well as architectural arrangements and even social organizations, were so commonly regulated among primitive nations. The extent to which this was carried in America, and the consequent importance and sacredness attached to the number four, as exemplified in many myths and traditions, have been pointed out with great fulness of research and illustration by Dr. Brinton, in his Myths of the New World.-E..!
The people were still further divided into bodies of fifty, one hundred, five hundred, and a thousand, each with an officer having general supervision over those beneath, and the higher ones possessing, to a certain extent, authority in matters of police. Lastly, the whole empire was distributed into sections or departments of ten thousand inhabitants, with a governor over each, from the Inca nobility, who had control over the curacas and other territorial officers in the district. There were, also, regular tribunals of justice, consisting of magistrates in each of the towns or small communities, with jurisdiction over petty offences, while those of a graver character were carried before superior judges, usually the governors or rulers of the districts. These judges all held their authority and received their support from the crown, by which they were appointed and removed at pleasure. They were obliged to determine every suit in five days from the time it was brought before them; and there was no appeal from one tribunal to another. Yet there were important provisions for the security of justice. A committee of visitors patrolled the kingdom at certains times to investigate the character and conduct of the magistrates; and any neglect or violation of duty was punished in the most exemplary manner. The inferior courts were also required to make monthly returns of their proceedings to the higher ones, and these made reports in like manner to the viceroys: so that the monarch, seated in the centre of his dominions, could look abroad, as it were, to their most distant extremities, and review and rectify any abuses in the administration of the law.?
2, cap. 15.-For this account of the councils I am indebted to Garci. lasso, who frequently fills up gaps that have been left by his fellow laborers. Whether the filling up will, in all cases, bear the touch of time as well as the rest of his work, one may doubt.
6 Dec. de la Aud. Real., MS.-Montesinos, Mem. antiguas, MS., lib. 2, cap. 6.-Ondegardo, Rel. Prim., MS.—How anaiogous is the Peruvian to the Anglo-Saxon division into hundreds and tithings! But the Saxon law which imposed only a fine on the district in case of a criminal's escape was more humane.
The laws were few and exceedingly severe. They related almost wholly to criminal matters. Few other laws were needed by a people who had no money, little trade, and hardly anything that could be called fixed property. The crimes of theft, adultery, and murder were all capital ; though it was wisely provided that some extenuating circumstances might be allowed to
7 Dec. de la Aud. Real., MS.-Ondegardo, Rel. Prim. et Seg., MSS.-Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 1, lib. 2, cap. II-14.—Montesinos, Mem. antiguas, MS., lib. 2, cap. 6.-The accounts of the Peruvian tribunals by the early authorities are very meagre and unsatisfactory. Even the lively imagination of Garcilasso has failed to supply the blank.