Abbildungen der Seite

character of the resistance; and the Peruvian annals contain more than one of those sanguinary pages which cannot be pondered at the present day without a shudder. It should be added that the beneficent policy which I have been delineating as characteristic of the Incas did not belong to all, and that there was more than one of the royal line who displayed a full measure of the bold and unscrupulous spirit of the

vulgar conqueror. olda

The first step of the government after the reduction of a country was to introduce there the worship of the Sun. Temples were erected, and placed under the care of a numerous priesthood, who expounded to the conquered people the mysteries of their new faith and dazzled them by the display of its rich and stately ceremonial. Yet the religion of the conquered was not treated with dishonor. The Sun was to be worshipped above all ; but the images of their gods were removed to Cuzco and established in one of the tem. ples, to hold their rank among the inferior deities of the Peruvian Pantheon. Here they remained as hostages, in some sort, for the conquered nation, which would be the less inclined to forsake its allegiance when by doing so it must leave its own gods in the hands of its enemies. 63

The Incas provided for the settlement of their new. conquests, by ordering a census to be taken of the population and a careful survey to be made of the country, ascertaining its products and the character

62 Sarmiento, Relacion, MS., cap. 14. 63 Acosta, lib. 5, cap. 12.-Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 1, lib. 5.

cap. 12,

and capacity of its soil. A division of the territory was then made on the same principle with that adopted throughout their own kingdom, and their respective portions were assigned to the Sun, the sovereign, and the people. The amount of the last was regulated by the amount of the population, but the share of each individual was uniformly the same. It may seem strange that any people should patiently have acquiesced in an arrangement which involved such a total surrender of property. But it was a conquered nation that did so, held in awe, on the least suspicion of meditated resistance, by armed garrisons, who were established at various commanding points throughout the country. It is probable, too, that the Incas made no greater changes than was essential to the new arrangement, and that they assigned estates, as far as possible, to their former proprietors. The curacas, in particular, were confirmed in their ancient authority; or, when it was found expedient to depose the existing curaca, his rightful heir was allowed to succeed him.66 Every respect was shown to the ancient usages and laws of the land, as far as was compatible with the fundamental institutions of the Incas. It must also be remembered that the conquered tribes were, many of them, too little advanced in civilization to possess that attachment to the soil which belongs to a cultivated nation. But, to whatever it be referred, it seems prob

64 Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 1, lib. 5, cap. 13, 14.-Sarmiento, Relacion, MS., cap. 15.

65 Sarmiento, Relacion, MS., cap. 19.
66 Fernandez, Hist. del Peru, Parte 2, lib. 3, cap. II.

67 Sarmiento has given a very full and interesting account of the singularly humane policy observed by the Incas in their conquests, forming a striking contrast with the usual course of those scourges of mankind, whom mankind is wise enough to requite with higher admiration, even, than it bestows on its benefactors. As Sarmiento, who was President of the Royal Council of the Indies, and came into the country soon after the Conquest, is a high authority, and as his work,* lodged in the dark recesses of the Escorial, is almost unknown, I have transferred the whole chapter to Appendix No. 3.


able that the extraordinary institutions of the Incas were established with little opposition in the conquered territories.

Yet the Peruvian sovereigns did not trust altogether to this show of obedience in their new vassals; and, to secure it more effectually, they adopted some expedients too remarkable to be passed over in silence. · Immediately after a recent conquest, the curacas and their families were removed for a time to Cuzco. Here they learned the language of the capital, became familiar with the manners and usages of the court, as well as with the general policy of the government, and experienced such marks of favor from the sovereign as would be most grateful to their feelings and might attach them most warmly to his person.

Under the influence of these sentiments, they were again sent to rule over their vassals, but still leaving their eldest sons in the capital, to remain there as a guarantee for their own fidelity, as well as to grace the court of the Inca. 69

68 According to Velasco, even the powerful state of Quito, sufficiently advanced in civilization to have the law of property well recognized by its people, admitted the institutions of the Incas "not only without repugnance, but with joy.” (Hist. de Quito, tom. ii. p. 183.) But Velasco, a modern authority, believed easily,-or reckoned on his readers' doing so.

* [Sarmiento never visited America, and, as already mentioned, was not the author of the work here referred to. See infra, p. 178.-Ed.]

Another expedient was of a bolder and more original character. This was nothing less than to revolutionize the language of the country. South America, like North America, had a great variety of dialects, or rather languages, having little affinity with one another. This circumstance occasioned great embarrassment to the government in the administration of the different provinces with whose idioms they were unacquainted. It was determined, therefore, to substitute one universal language, the Quichua,—the language of the court, the capital, and the surrounding country, the richest and most comprehensive of the South American dialects. Teachers were provided in the towns and villages throughout the land, who were to give instruction to all, even the humblest classes; and it was intimated at the same time that no one should be raised to any office of dignity or profit who was unacquainted with this tongue. The curacas and other chiefs who attended at the capital became familiar with this dialect in their intercourse with the court, and, on their return home, set the example of conversing in it among themselves. This example was imitated by their followers, and the Quichua gradually became the language of elegance and fashion, in the same manner as the Norman French was affected by all those who aspired to any consideration in England after the Conquest. By this means, while each province retained its peculiar tongue, a beautiful medium of communication was introduced, which enabled the inhabitants of 69 Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 1, lib. 5. cap. 12; lib. 7. cap. 2


one part of the country to hold intercourse with every other, and the Inca and his deputies to communicate with all. This was the state of things on the arrival of the Spaniards. It must be admitted that history furnishes few examples of more absolute authority than such a revolution in the language of an empire at the bidding of a master.70

Yet little less remarkable was another device ɔf the Incas for securing the loyalty of their subjects. When any portion of the recent conquests showed a pertina. cious spirit of disaffection, it was not uncommon to cause a part of the population, amounting, it might be, to ten thousand inhabitants or more, to remove to a distant quarter of the kingdom, occupied by ancient vassals of undoubted fidelity to the crown. A like number of these last was transplanted to the territory left vacant by the emigrants. By this exchange the population was composed of two distinct races, who regarded each other with an eye of jealousy, that served as an effectual check on any mutinous proceeding. In time, the influence of the well-affected prevailed, supported as they were by royal authority and by the silent working of the national institutions, to which the strange races became gradually accustomed. A spirit

go Garcilasso, Com. Real., Parte 1, lib. 6, cap. 35; lib. 7, cap. I, 2. -Ondegardo, Rel. Seg., MS.-Sarmiento, Relacion, MS., cap. 55."Aun la Criatura no hubiese dejado el Pecho de su Madre quando le comenzasen á mostrar la Lengua que havia de saber; y aunque al principio fué dificultoso, é muchos se pusieron en no querer deprender mas lenguas de las suyas propias, los Reyes pudieron tanto que salieron con su intencion y ellos tubieron por bien de cumplir su mandado y tan de veras se entendió en ello que en tiempo de pocos años se savia, y usaba una lengua en mas de mil y doscientas leguas." Ibid., cap. 21.

« ZurückWeiter »