399

OverviewTranscribeVersionsHelp

Facsimile

Transcription

Show Translation

C H I L E.

599

[tors of the battle, saw themselves compelled to sus
tain the vigorous attack of tlie enemy, aud advanc
ing with their horse, began a furious battle, Avhich
continued with great loss upon either side till night
separated the combatants- Although the Promau
cians had been very roughly handled, they lost not
courage, but encamped in the sight of their enemy,
determined to renew the attack the next morning.
The Spaniards, however, though by the custom of
Europe the_y considered themselves as victors,
having kept possession of the field, were very dif
ferently inclined. Having been accustomed to
subdue immense provinces with little or no resist
ance, they became disgusted willi an enterprise
which could not be effected without great fatigue,
and the loss of much blood, since in its prosecution
they must contend with a bold and independent na
tion, by whom they were not believed to be im
mortal.

6. Expedition abandoned, and whp. — Thus all,
by common consent, resolved to abandon this ex
pedition ; but they Avere of various opinions re
specting their retreat, some being desirous of re
turning to Peru, while others wished to form a set
tlement in the n. provinces, where they had been
received Avith such hospitality. The first opinion
was supported by Almagro, Avhose mind began to
be impressed by the suggestions contained in the
letters of his friends. Accordingly Ave find him re
turning Avith his army to Peru in 1538: he took
possession of the ancient capital of that empire ;
and after several ineffectual jiegociations, fought a
battle with the brother of Pizarro, by Avhom he Avas
taken, tried, and beheaded as a disturber of the
public peace. His army having dispersed at
their defeat, afterAvards reassembled under the title
ofthe soldiers of Chile, and e.xecuted ncAv disturb
ances in Peru, already sufficiently agitated. Such
was the fate of the first expedition against Chile,
undertaken by the best body of European troops
that had as yet been collected in those parts. The
thirst of riches Avas the moving spring ofthe ex
pedition, and the disappointment of their hopes of
obtaining them, the cause of its failure. Francis
Pizarro, having by the deatli of his rival obtained
the absolute command ofthe Spanish possessions in
S. America, lost not sight of the conquest of Chile,
which he conceived might, in any event, prove an
important acquisition to him. Among the adv’en
turers avIio hatl come to Peru, were two officers
commissioned by the court of Spain, under the
titles of Governors, to attempt this expedition. To
the first, called Pedro Sanchez de FIoz, Avas com
mitted the conquest of the country as far as tlic river
Maule ; and to the other, Carmargo, the remainder

to the Archipelago of Chiloe. Pizarro, jealous of
these men, under frivolous pretexts, refused to con
firm the royal nomination, and appointed to this
expeditioi! his quarter-master, Pedro de Valdivia,
a prudent and active officer, who Inid gaiticd ex
perience in the Italian Avar, and wiiat was still a
greater recommendation, Avas attached to his party ;
directing him to take De Hoz with him, Avho Avas
probably more (o be feared than his colleague, and
to ailoAv him every advantage in the partidon of
the lands.

7. Valdivia marches against Chile. — This officer
having determined to cstabiisli a pennanent settle
ment in the country, set out on his march in the
year 1540, Avith 200 Spaniards, and a numerous
body of Peruvian auxiliaries, accompanied by
some monks, several Avomen, and a great number
of European quadrupeds, Avith CAmry tiling requisite
for a new colony. He pursued the same route as
Almagro ; but, instructed by the misfortunes of his
predecessor, he did not attempt to pass the Andes
until midsummer. He entered Chile Avithout in
curring any loss, but very difi’erent Avas the recep
tion lie experienced from the inhabitants of the n.
provinces from that Avhich Almago had met Avith.
Those people, informed of the fate of Peru, ami
freed from the submission they professed to owe the
Inca, did not consider themselves obliged to respect
their invaders. They of course began to attack
them upon all sides, Avith more valour than con
duct. liike barbarians in general, incapable of
making a common cause Avihli each other, and for
a long time accustomed to the j'oke of servitude,
they attacked them by hordes or tribes, as they
advanced, without that steady firmness Avhich cha
racterises the valour of a civilized people. The
Spaniards, hoAvever, notwithstanding the ill-com
bined opposition of the natives, traversed the pro
vinces ofCopiapo, Coquimbo, Quillota, and Meli
pilla, and arrived, much harrassed, but Avith little
loss, at that of Mapocho, now called St. Jago.

8. Province, of St. Jago described. — This pro
vince, Avhich is more than 600 miles distance from
the confines of Peru, is one of the most fertile and
pleasant in the kingdom. Its name signifies the
land of many people;” and from the accounts of
the first Avriters upon Chile, its population corres
ponded thercAvith, being extrcnsciy numerous. Jt
lies upon the confines of the principal mountain
of the Andes, and is 140 miles in circiimfereiicc.
It is watered by the rivers Maypo, Colina, Lampa,
and Mapocho, Avhich last divides it into two nearly
equal parts; and after pursuing a subterraneous
course for the space of five miles, again shows it
self Avith increased copiousness, and disdiarges itsl

Page Notes

Please sign in to write a note for this page

JoshuaOB

This section is not in Alcedo's text