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.
all punished according to their sentences next day.  The unthinking people styled Alvarado a Nero, who could thus condemn so many of a day, yet amused himself afterwards with the attorney-general in vain and light discourses, as if those whom he condemned had been so many capons or turkies to be served up at his table.  In the month of October, Basco Godinez was put upon his trial, for many heinous offences, and was condemned to be drawn and quartered.  But a stop was put to farther proceedings about the end of November, by the news of another rebellion raised by Francisco Hernandez Giron, as shall be related in the sequel.

“The Indians of Cuzco prognosticated this rebellion openly and loudly in the streets, as I heard and saw myself:  For the eve before the festival of the most holy sacrament, I being then a youth, went out to see how the two marketplaces of the city were adorned; for at that time the procession passed through no other streets but those, though since that time, as I am told, the perambulation is double as far as before.  Being then at the corner of the great chapel of our lady of the Merceds, about an hour or two before day, I saw a comet dart from the east side of the city towards the mountains of the Antis, so great and clear that it enlightened all places round with more splendor than a full moon at midnight.  Its motion was directly downwards, its form was globular, and its dimensions as big as a large tower; and coming near the ground, it divided into several sparks and streams of fire; and was accompanied with a thunder so loud and near as struck many deaf with the clap, and ran from east to west; which when the Indians heard and saw, they all cried out with one voice, Auca, Auca, Auca, which signifies in their language, tyrant, traitor, rebel[44], and every thing that may be attributed to a violent and bloody traitor.  This happened on the nineteenth of June 1553, when the feast of our Lord was celebrated; and this prognostication which the Indians made, was accomplished on the 13th of November in the same year, when Francisco Hernandez Giron began a rebellion, which we shall now relate[45].”

[Footnote 44:  In the language of Chili at least, Auca signifies free, or a freeman; it is possible however that in an absolute government, the same term may signify a rebel, yet it is a singular stretch of interpretation to make it likewise signify a tyrant.—­E.]

[Footnote 45:  This paragraph, within inverted commas, is given as a short specimen of the taste of Garcilasso, and the respectable talents of his translator, Sir Paul Rycant, in 1688.  It gives an account of one of these singular meteors or fire balls, improperly termed a comet in the text, which some modern philosophers are pleased to derive from the moon, and to suppose that they are composed of ignited masses of iron alloyed with nickel.  It were an affront to our readers to comment on the ridiculous pretended prognostication so gravely believed by Garcilasso Inca.—­E.]

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