« ПредишнаНапред »
The ancient Peruvian oracles foretold the advent of a Liberator, who would break the iron hand of Spanish oppression ; scatter the darkness of superstition before the light of reason, and plant the tree of Liberty on both sides of the Andes; and that he would fall before the great work of political redemption was finished, by the poisonous tooth of a serpent. The poison that curdled the thin' and wholesome blood of the mighty warrior, the sage lawgiver, and disinterested patriot, was the ingratitude of his countrymen.
Laurentius' Eulogy on Bolivar.
THERE are some spots on the earth more beautiful than others, in which nature shows her power over the mountain, the vale, the wild wood and the water-fall. On these we love to linger and mark the lights and shadows of the landscape as they change with the course of the sun; so in the history of man, there are romantic incidents that are constant themes of admiration to each succeeding generation. Among these is the history of the Incas of Peru, who called themselves the children of the sun. The first of the Incas was Mango Capac; and his wife was Coya Mama. It is now well settled that they were Mongels, who, as they were sent from China to attack the Japanese with large ships carrying elephants to assist them in battle, were blown off, and after a long voyage landed in South America. There can be no question but that the Peruvians and the Mexicans were originally of the same race. They had the same customs, laws, manners, and habits, both in war and in peace. Mango Capac and his few followers arrived at that part of the continent now called Peru. These strangers, the children of the sun, taught the Indians the arts of civil life, and to cultivate the ground with wheat and maize. Coya Mama instructed the females in spinning cotton and wool. The Incas did not disclose to the Indians whence they came, or what was their true origin. Their first appearance was probably about the middle of the thirteenth century. The circle of their influence was continued from age to age for nearly three centuries ; first, by conquest, and then by the wisdom of their institutions. The Peruvians were originally small, independent tribes, like the other aborigines of that country; rude in their policy, but more inoffensive and mild than those of North America. They were in the state of nature, when, as their traditions inform us, a man and woman, dressed in elegant garments, made their appearance on the banks of the lake Titiaca. They told the Indians that they were sent by the sun, their father, and the moon their mother, to bring them from savage lives, and to teach them to worship the sun, and to make them good and happy. Mango bore in his hand a rod of gold ;-he said that his father told him wherever he stopped to strike the rod into the ground, and where it should at the first stroke go down to the top, on that spot he should build a temple to the sun, and fix the seat of his government. This happened in the vale of Cuzo, where he founded a city as the capital of his kingdom. Here he began the primitive arts of civilization, by dividing the people
into small families, and by putting rulers over them, and superintended them himself. The most beautiful upland cotton grew spontaneously around them, and the use of it, under the instruetion of Coya Mama, soon became common. The females, who before wandered almost in a state of nudity, now wore flowing robes of shining whiteness, or those dyed by coloring vegetables or by insects which grew or swarmed around them. Belonging to a warlike race, himself a warrior, he, by degrees, organized an army powerful enough to carry his conquests as far as he wished. After a long reign, Mango Capac died beloved by his subjects as a father, and was adored by them as a demigod, when dead. The next Inca was Sinchi Roca. He, like the Roman Numa, was brave and powerful, but preferred the arts of peace to those of war. He extended the olive-branch with such kindness and persuasion, that he never was under the necessity of using his arms, which were always in readi
He understood the maxim—to keep peace, a nation should be prepared for war.
Loqui YUPANQUI was the first who made use of arms against the natives. He added new provinces to the empire, and spent his time and treasures in the internal improvements, in the provinces he had conquered,-making canals, roads and public buildings; but his great labor was erecting a temple of the sun, and a house of consecrated virgins therein. This inner temple for the vestal virgin was called ACLLAHUA.
MAYTA CAPAC added the province of Collao to his
empire. The inhabitants made no resistance. The fame of the Incas had reached them, and they were happy to accept him as their sovereign. His next campaign was in the end successful after much exertion. Then success followed success until many provinces were added to his dominions. He died at Cuzo full of prosperity and glory. He examined the regions of the mountains more accurately than any of his predecessors.
He was a warrior and a philosopher.
Capac YUPONQUI had a prosperous reign, and by his decision of character settled many disputes between the tribes, which are so common among aboriginals.
INCA Roca was a philosopher and a moralist. He erected schools for the education of the princes. His maxims are often repeated at this hour by the inhabitants of Peru. One of them that has reached us has all the sentimental sweetness of the moral aphorisms of the son of David, who ruled so gloriously over the Israelites. "If there be any thing in this lower world which we might adore, it is a wise and virtuous man, who surpasses all other objects in dignity; but how can we pay divine honors to one who is born in tears, who is in a daily state of change, who arrived but as yesterday, and who is not exempt from death, perhaps to-morrow.” It will be for ever true, that the inevitable fate of the human race
to die and go we know not where," sinks deep upon the heart, and its effects are seen in all its outpourings.”
YAHUA HUACAC, so named from having wept tears of blood in his infancy, and which were deemed a presage
of his early misfortunes. He was imbecile and unfortunate; and after having sent his son into exile, was deposed by him, without any sympathy from his people.
VIRA Cocha was a bold, enterprising chief. He caused gardens, fish ponds, and parks to be madecollected all the rare animals for his menagerie. His greatest work was an aqueduct, which he caused to be made, three hundred and sixty miles in length, and twelve feet deep, to convey the famous mountain springs, which are between Porcu and Picuy, to Rucana, for the purpose of watering the pastures, which are about fifty miles broad, but extend nearly the length of Peru. Vira Cocha extended his conquests on the east to the Andes, on the west to the sea, and on the south to the desert of Chili; on the north, all the rebels submitted. This is an immense extent of country. His reign was long and glorious.
Pacha Cutec succeeded Vira Cocha, and was both a warrior and a philosopher. He extended the conquests his father began, and founded schools and erected palaces and temples. He also made maxims for the guide of his people ;-some of them are finely magnanimous, others severe upon pretenders.
“A noble and generous heart is known by the patience with which it supports misfortune,” is one of them. Another is, “How ridiculous is he, who is not able to count by quipois, (a simple mode of calculating by strings of different colors and knots,) and yet pretends to number the stars."