A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 04 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 764 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 04.
Testament and death of Huayna Capac.  XVI.  How horses and mares were first bred in Peru.  XVII.  Of cows and oxen.  XVIII.-XXIII.  Of various animals, all introduced after the conquest.  XXIV.-XXXI.  Of various productions, some indigenous, and others introduced by the Spaniards.  XXXII.  Huascar claims homage from Atahualpa.  XXXIII.-XL.  Historical incidents, confusedly arranged, all without dates.

The whole work is equally confused at best, and often much more so; often consisting of extracts from other writers, with commentaries, argumentations, ridiculous speeches, miracles, and tales recited by old Incas and Coyas, uncles aunts and cousins of the author.  To add to the difficulty of consultation, Sir Paul, having exhausted his industry in the translation, gives no table of contents whatever, and a most miserable Index which hardly contains an hundredth part of the substance of the work.  Yet the author of the Bibliotheque des Voyages, says “that this work is very precious, as it contains the only remaining notices of the government, laws, manners, and customs of the Peruvians.”—­Ed.

[1] History of America, note cxxv.


After having enjoyed the office of secretary to the royal council of Castille for fifteen years, the king was graciously pleased to order me to Peru in 1543, as treasurer-general of that province and of the Tierra Firma; in which employment I was entrusted with the entire receipt of the royal revenues and rights, and the payment of all his majesties officers in those countries.  I sailed thither in the fleet which conveyed Blasco Nugnez Vela the viceroy of Peru; and immediately on my arrival in the New World, I observed so many insurrections, disputes, and novelties, that I felt much inclined to transmit their memory to posterity.  I accordingly wrote down every transaction as it occurred; but soon discovered that these could not be understood unless the previous events were explained from which they originated.  I found it necessary, therefore, to go back to the epoch of the discovery of the country, to give a detail of the occurrences in their just order and connection.  My work might perhaps have been somewhat more perfect, if I had been able to compose it in regular order while in Peru; but a brutal major-general, who had served under Gonzalo Pizarro[1], threatened to put any one to death who should presume to write a history of his transactions, so that I was obliged to satisfy myself with collecting all the documents I could procure for enabling me to compose my history after returning into Spain.  He was perhaps right in wishing these transactions might fall into oblivion, instead of being transmitted to posterity.

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