« ZurückWeiter »
the inmate of a prison. Such was the commence. ment of those brilliant fortunes which, as he had trusted, awaited him at home. The circumstance excited general indignation; and no sooner was the court advised of his arrival in the country, and the great purpose of his mission, than orders were sent for his release, with permission to proceed at once on his journey.
Pizarro found the emperor at Toledo, which he was soon to quit, in order to embark for Italy. Spain was not the favorite residence of Charles the Fifth in the earlier part of his reign. He was now at that period of it when he was enjoying the full flush of his triumphs over his gallant rival of France, whom he had defeated and taken prisoner at the great battle of Pavia; and the victor was at this moment preparing to pass into Italy to receive the imperial crown from the hands of the Roman Pontiff. Elated by his successes and his elevation to the German throne, Charles made little account of his hereditary kingdom, as his ambition found so splendid a career thrown open to it on the wide field of European politics. He had hitherto received too inconsiderable returns from his transatlantic possessions to give them the attention they deserved. But, as the recent ac• quisition of Mexico and the brilliant anticipations in respect to the southern continent were pressed upon his notice, he felt their importance as likely to afford him the means of prosecuting his ambitious and most expensive enterprises.
Pizarro, therefore, who had now come to satisfy the royal eyes, by visible proofs, of the truth of the golden
rumors which from time to time had reached Castile, was graciously received by the emperor. Charles examined the various objects which his officer exhibited to him with great attention. He was particularly interested by the appearance of the llama, so remarkable as the only beast of burden yet known on the new continent; and the fine fabrics of woollen cloth which were made from its shaggy sides gave it a much higher value, in the eyes of the sagacious monarch, than what it possessed as an animal for domestic labor. But the specimens of gold and silver manufacture, and the wonderful tale which Pizarro had to tell of the abundance of the precious metals, must have satisfied even the cravings of royal cupidity.
Pizarro, far from being embarrassed by the novelty of his situation, maintained his usual self-possession, and showed that decorum and even dignity in his ad dress which belong to the Castilian. He spoke in a simple and respectful style, but with the earnestness and natural eloquence of one who had been an actor in the scenes he described, and who was conscious that the impression he made on his audience was to decide his future destiny. All listened with eagerness to the account of his strange adventures by sea and land, his wanderings in the forests, or in the dismal and pestilent swamps on the sea-coast, without food, almost without raiment, with feet torn and bleeding at every step, with his few companions becoming still fewer by disease and death, and yet pressing on with unconquerable spirit to extend the empire of Castile and the name and power of her sovereign; but when he painted his lonely condition on the desolate island, abandoned by the government at home, deserted by all but a handful of devoted followers, his royal auditor, though not easily moved, was affected to tears. On his departure from Toledo, Charles commended the affairs of his vassal in the most favor. able terms to the consideration of the Council of the Indies.
There was at this time another man at court, who had come there on a similar errand from the New World, but whose splendid achievements had already won for him a name that threw the rising reputation of Pizarro comparatively into the shade. This man was Hernando Cortés, the Conqueror of Mexico. He had come home to lay an empire at the feet of his sovereign, and to demand in return the redress of his wrongs and the recompense of his great services. He was at the close of his career, as Pizarro was at the commencement of his; the Conqueror of the North and of the South; the two men appointed by Providence to overturn the most potent of the Indian dynasties, and to open the golden gates by which the treasures of the New World were to pass into the coffers of Spain.
Notwithstanding the emperor's recommendation, the business of Pizarro went forward at the tardy pace with which affairs are usually conducted in the court
: Pedro Pizarro, Descub. y Conq., MS.-Naharro, Relacion sumaria, MS.-Conq. i Pob. del Piru, MS.—“Hablaba tan bien en la materia, que se llevó los aplausos y atencion en Toledo donde el Emperador estaba, diole audiencia con mucho gusto, tratolo amoroso, y oyole tierno, especialmente cuando le hizo relacion de su consistencia y de los trece compañeros en la Isla en medio de tantos trabajos.” Montesinos, Annales, MS., año 1528.
of Castile. He found his limited means gradually sinking under the expenses incurred by his present situation, and he represented that unless some measures were speedily taken in reference to his suit, however favorable they might be in the end, he should be in no condition to profit by them. The queen, accordingly, who had charge of the business, on her husband's departure, expedited the affair, and on the twenty-sixth of July, 1529, she executed the memorable Capitulation which defined the powers and privileges of Pizarro. *
The instrument secured to that chief the right of discovery and conquest in the province of Peru, or New Castile, -as the country was then called, in the same manner as Mexico had received the name of New Spain,--for the distance of two hundred leagues south of Santiago. He was to receive the titles and rank of Governor and Captain-General of the province, together with those of Adelantado and Alguacil Mayor, for life; and he was to have a salary of seven hundred and twenty-five thousand maravedis, with the obligation of maintaining certain officers and military retainers, corresponding with the dignity of his station. He was to have the right to erect certain fortresses, with the absolute government of them; to assign encomiendas of Indians, under the limitations
* [There seems to be in this sentence a confusion of two distinct personages. On leaving Spain in 1529, Charles intrusted the government to his wife, the Empress Isabella, who therefore "had charge of the business" referred to, and may have "expedited the affair."
But “the queen" in whose name the agreement with Pizarro was cuted" was the unfortunate Juana, Charles's mother.—ED.] Peru-VOL. I.
prescribed by law; and, in fine, to exercise nearly all the prerogatives incident to the authority of a viceroy.
His associate, Almagro, was declared commander of the fortress of Tumbez, with an annual rent of three hundred thousand maravedis, and with the further rank and privileges of an hidalgo. The reverend Father Luque received the reward of his services in the bishopric of Tunibez, and he was also declared Protector of the Indians of Peru. He was to enjoy the yearly stipend of a thousand ducats,to be derived, like the other salaries and gratuities in this instrument, from the revenues of the conquered territory.
Nor were the subordinate actors in the expedition forgotten. Ruiz received the title of Grand Pilot of the Southern Ocean, with a liberal provision; Candia was placed at the head of the artillery; and the remaining eleven companions on the desolate island were created hidalgos and cavalleros, and raised to certain municipal dignities,-in prospect.*
* [Mr. Markham, after quoting this clause of the instrument, which contains the list of names before cited as those of the men who elected to remain with Pizarro at the island of Gallo, instead of returning to Panamá (p. 261, note 3), observes, “It has always been supposed that these were the men who crossed the line, and hence their number has been placed at thirteen. But it is not asserted in the Capitulation that the men whose names are given in it were those who crossed the line, and it might be that Pizarro, in asking favors for his most faithful companions, on the one hand omitted one or more of those who crossed the line, and on the other included some who did not take part in that transaction, but who joined him afterwards." Proceeding on this supposition, he rejects the accounts of Cieza de Leon, Gomara, Herrera, and Garcilasso, who all concur in fixing the number of those who remained at Gallo at thirteen, and accepts instead the statement of Francisco de Xerez, afterwards secretary of Pizarro, who, in a