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А Б В Г Д Е Ж З И Й К Л М Н О П Р С Т У Ф Х Ц Ч Ш Щ Э Ю Я


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INTRODUCTION

The present chapter, like that immediately preceding from the pen of Bernal Diaz, although in strict language neither a journey nor a voyage, records in every step of the conquerors a new discovery of coasts, islands, rivers, districts, and tribes, that had never been visited before. In conformity with our uniform desire to have recourse upon all occasions to the most authentic original authorities for every article admitted into this collection, so far as in our power, the work of Zarate has been chosen as the record of the discovery and conquest of Peru, in preference to any modern compilation on the same subject. As we learn from himself, Zarate was a person of rank and education, who went into Peru in 1543, only eighteen years after the first movements of Pizarro and Almagro towards the discovery of that extensive country, and only eleven years after its actual invasion by Pizarro in 1532. From the illustrious historian of America, Dr William Robertson, the work which we now offer to the public for the first time in the English language, has the following high character: "The history of Zarate, whether we attend to its matter or composition, is a book of considerable merit, and great credit is due to his testimony." Besides this general eulogy; in his enumeration of six original authors whom he had consulted in the composition of that portion of his History of America which refers to Peru, he clearly shews that Zarate alone can be considered as at the same time perfectly authentic and sufficiently copious for the purpose we have at present in view. The substance of his account of all the six is as follows.

"Two of the more early writers on the subject of the discovery and conquest of Peru, Francisco de Xeres, the secretary of Pizarro, and Pedro Sanchez, an officer who served under the conqueror, break off almost in the introduction to the narrative, going no farther into the history of the conquest than the death of Atahualpa in 1533, only one year after the invasion of Peru. The third in point of time, Pedro Cioca de Leon, only two years earlier in his publication than Zarate, gives nothing more than a description of the country, and an account of the institutions and customs of the natives. Zarate is the fourth. The fifth, Don Diego Fernandez, solely relates to the dissentions and civil wars among the Spanish conquerors. The sixth and last of these original authors, Garcilasso de la Vega Inca, the son of a Spanish officer of distinction by a Coya, or Peruvian female of the royal race, gives little more than a commentary on the before mentioned writers, and was not published till 1609, seventy five years after the invasion of Peru by Pizarro105."

In the Bibliotheque des Voyages, VI. 319. mention is made of a Description of Peru as published in French in 1480, and said to be a very rare work: Rare, indeed, if the imprint be not an error, fifty-two years before the actual invasion and discovery. In the same useful work, the performance of Zarate is thus characterized. "The author has not confined his views to the history and conquest of Peru, but has given us a statement of the natural features of the country, an account of the manners of the inhabitants, and a curious picture of the religious opinions and institutions of the Peruvians."

Four of the six original authors respecting Peru which are noticed by Robertson, we have not seen; having confined our views to that of Zarate, which is not only the best according to the opinion of that excellent judge, but the only one which could answer the purpose of our present collection. In preparing this original work for publication, it is proper to acknowledge that we have been satisfied with translating from the French edition of Paris, 1742; but, besides every attention to fidelity of translation, it has been carefully collated throughout with the Royal Commentary of the Inca Garcilasso de la Vega, as published in English by Sir Paul Rycaut, knight, in 1688; and with the excellent work of Dr Robertson. It may be proper to mention, however, that the following translation, though faithful, has been made with some freedom of retrenching a superfluity of useless language; though nothing has been omitted in point of fact, and nothing altered.

Having mentioned the work of Garcilasso de la Vega, which we have employed as an auxiliary on the present occasion, it may be worth while to give a short account of it in this place: For there never was, perhaps, a literary composition so strangely mixed up of unconnected and discordant sense and nonsense, and so totally devoid of any thing like order or arrangement, in the whole chronology of authorship, or rather of book-making, as has been produced by this scion of the Incas. No consideration short of our duty to the public, could have induced us to wade through such a labyrinth of absurdity in quest of information. It is astonishing how the honest knight could have patience to translate 1019 closely printed folio pages of such a farrago; and on closing the work of the Inca for ever, we heartily joined in the concluding pious thanksgiving of the translator, Praised be God. This enormous literary production of the Inca Garcilasso, is most regularly divided and subdivided into parts, books, and chapters; which contain here a little history, then digressions on manners, customs, opinions, ceremonies, laws, policy, arts, animals, vegetables, agriculture, buildings, &c. &c. &c. intermixed with bits and scraps of history, in an endless jumble; so that for every individual circumstance on any one of these topics, the pains-taking reader must turn over the whole work with the most anxious attention. We quote an example, taken absolutely at random, the titles of the Chapters of Part I. Book ix.

Chap. I. Huayna Capac makes a gold chain as big as a cable, and why. II. Reduces ten vallies of the coast. III. Punishes some murderers. IV.-VII. Incidents of his reign, confusedly related. VIII. Gods and customs of the Mantas. IX. Of giants formerly in Peru. X. Philosophical sentiments of the Inca concerning the sun. XI. and XII. Some incidents of his reign. XIII. Construction of two extensive roads. XIV. Intelligence of the Spaniards being on the coast. XV. 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.



CHAPTER VI. HISTORY OF THE DISCOVERY AND CONQUEST OF PERU, BY FRANCISCO PIZARRO, WRITTEN BY AUGUSTINO ZARATE, TREASURER OF THAT KINGDOM, A FEW YEARS AFTER THE CONQUEST | A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Vol.IV | PREFACE OF THE AUTHOR