398

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398 C H I

[nominni emperor of Peru, -who had succeeded the
unrortunate Atahiialpa.

2. Roads from Peru to Chile. — Two roads lead
from Peru to Cliile ; one is by the sea-coast, and is
destitute of water and provision ; the other, for a
distance of 120 miles, passes over the immense
mountains of the Andes : the inexperience of Al
magro caused him to take the latter ; for although
it was, without doubt, the shortest, it Avas difficult
in the extreme : for his army, after having been
exposed to infinite fatigue, and many conflicts
Avith the adjoining savages, reached the cordilleras
just at the commencement of Avinter, destitute of
provisions, and but ill supplied Avith clothing. In
this season the snow falls almost incessantly, and
completely covers the Icav paths that are passable
in summer ; notwithstanding, the soldiers, en
couraged by their general, advanced with much
toil to the top of those rugged heights. But, vic
tims to the severity of the weather, 150 Spaniards
there perished, Avith 10,000 Peruvians, Avho, being
accustomed to the Avarmth of the torrid zone, were
less able to endure the rigours of the frost. It is
affirmed, that of all this army not one Avould have
escaped Avith life, had not Almagro, resolutely
pushing forward with a few horse, sent them timely
succours and provisions, which were found in
abundance at Copiapo.

3. Kindly receined at Copiapó. — Those of the
most robust constitutions, who Avere able to resist the
inclemency of the season, by this unexpected aid,
were enabled to extricate themselves from the snow,
and at length reached the plains of that province,
Avhich is the first in Chile ; Avhere, through respect
for the Peruvians, they were well received and en
tertained by the inhabitants. While Almagro re
mained in Copiapo, he discovered that the reigning
ulmen had usurped the government in prejudice
of his nephew and Avard, who, through fear of his
uncle, had fled to the Avoods. Pretending to be
irritated at this act of injustice, he caused the
guilty chief to be arrested, and calling before him
the laAvful heir, reinstated him in the government,
Avith the universal applause of his subjects, avIio
attributed this conduct entirely to motives of jus
tice, and a Avish to redress the injured. The Spa
niards, having recovered from their fatigues through
the hospitable assistance of the Copiapiirs, and re
inforced by a number of recruits Avliom Rodrigo
Organez had brought from Peru, comniencc<l their
march for the s. provinces. As it was natural,
the natives were not a little curious concern
ing these their new visitors : they croAvded around
them to their march, as Avell to examine them near,
as a present them with such things as they thought

Avould prove agreeable to a people who appeared to
them of a character far superior to that of other
men. In the mean time, tAvo soldiers having se
parated from the army, proceeded to Guasco,
Avhere they Avere at first Avell receiA'ed, but Avere
afterwards put to death by the inhabitants, in con
seqtience, no doubt, of some acts of violence, which
soldiers freed from the controul of their officers are
very apt to commit.

4. First European blood shed. — This Avas the
first European blood spilt in Ciiile, a country
afterwards so copiously deluged with it. On being
informed of this unfortunate accident, calculated
to destroy the exalted opinion Avhich he Avished to
inspire of his soldiers, Almagro, having proceeded
to Coquirnbo, ordered the ulnien of the district,
called Marcando, his brother, and tAventy of the
principal inhabitants, to be brought thither; all of
Avhorn, together Avith the usurper of Copiapo, he
delivered to the flames, without, according to Her
rera, pretending to assign any reason for his con
duct. This act of cruelty appeared to every one
very extraordinary and unjust, since among those
adventurers there Avere not wanting men of sensi
bility, and advocates for the rights of humanity.
The greater part of the army openly disapproved
of the severity of their general, the aspect of Avhose
affairs, from this time forAvard, became gradually
worse and worse. About this period, 1537, Alma
gro received a considerable reinforcement of re
cruits under Juan de Rada, accompanied with
royal letters patent, appointing him governor
of 200 leagues of territory, situate to the s.
of the government granted to Francis Pizarro.
The friends Avhom he had left in Peru, taking ad
vantage of this opportunity, urged him by private
letters to return, in order to take possession of
Cuzco, Avhich they assured him Avas within the
limits of his jurisdiction. Notwithstanding this,
inflated with his new conquest, he pursued his
march, passed the fatal Cachapoal, and regardless
of the remonstrances of the Peruvians, advanced
into the country of the Promaucians.

5. Battle with the Promaucians. — At the first
sight of the Spaniards, their horses, and the thun
dering arms of Europe, these valiant people Avere
almost petrified Avith astonishment; but soon re
covering from the effects of surprise, they opposed
Avith intepridity their new enemies upon the shore
of the Rio Claro. Almagro, despising their force,
placed in the first line his Peruvian auxiliaries, in
creased by a number Avhom Paullu had drawn
from the garrisons ; but these, being soon routed,
fell back in confusion upon the rear. The Spa
niards, who expected to have been merely specta-]
1

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