A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels - Volume 05 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 739 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels.
levying the troops which he led against Pizarro nine hundred thousand pesos.  The distributions of property, bestowed as the reward of services, were still more exorbitant.  Cepeda as the reward of his perfidy, in persuading the court of royal audience to give the sanction of its authority to the usurped jurisdiction of Pizarro, received a grant of lands which yielded an annual income of an hundred and fifty thousand pesos.  Hinojosa, who, by his early defection from Pizarro, and surrender of the feet to Gasca, decided the fate of Peru, obtained a district of country affording two hundred thousand pesos of yearly value.  While such rewards were dealt out to the principal officers, with more than royal munificence, proportional shares were conferred on those of inferior rank.”

“Such a rapid change of fortune produced its natural effects.  It gave birth to new wants, and new desires.  Veterans, long accustomed to hardship and toil, acquired of a sudden a taste for profuse and inconsiderate dissipation and indulged in all the excesses of military licentiousness.  The riot of low debauchery occupied some; a relish for expensive luxuries spread among others.  The meanest soldier in Peru would have thought himself degraded by marching on foot; and, at a time when the price of horses in that country was exorbitant, each individual insisted on being furnished with one before he would take the field.  But, though less patient under the fatigues and hardships of service, they were ready to face danger and death with as much intrepidity as ever; and, animated by the hope of new rewards, they never failed, on the day of battle, to display all their ancient valour.”

“Together with their courage, they retained all the ferocity by which they were originally distinguished.  Civil discord never raged with a more fell spirit than among the Spaniards in Peru.  To all the passions which usually envenom contests among countrymen, avarice was added, and rendered their enmity more rancorous.  Eagerness to seize the valuable forfeitures expected upon the death of every opponent, shut the door against mercy.  To be wealthy was, of itself, sufficient to expose a man to accusation, or to subject him to punishment.  On the slightest suspicions, Pizarro condemned many of the most opulent inhabitants of Peru to death.  Carvajal, without searching for any pretext to justify his cruelty, cut off many more.  The number of those who suffered by the hand of the executioner, was not much inferior to what fell in the field; and the greater part was condemned without the formality of any legal trial.”

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