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wards the equinoctial line along the coast of America. He did not reach the river de la Plata till the twelfth of January, 1520.
That spacious body of water allured him to enter into it, but after sailing for some days, he concluded, from the shallowness of the stream, and its freshness, that the wished for strait was not situated there..
On the thirty-first of March he arrived at the port of St. Julian, at about forty-eight degrees of south latitude, where he resolved to winter. In this uncomfortable station he lost one of his squadron, and the Spaniards suffered so much from the inclemency of the climate, that the crews of three of the ships, headed by their officers, rose in open mutiny, and insisted on relinquishing the visionary project of a desperate adventurer, and returning directly to Spain. This dangerous insurrection Magellan wisely suppressed, by an effort of courage, no less prompt thau intrepid: and inflicted exemplary punishment on the ringleaders. With the remainder of his followers, overawed, but not reconciled to his scheme, he continued his voyage toward the south, and at length discovered, near the fifty-third degree of latitude, the mouth of a strait, into which he entered, notwithstanding the murmurs of the people under his cominand.
After sailing twenty days in that winding and dangerous channel, to which he gave his own name, and where one of his ships deserted him, the great southern ocean opened to his view; and with tears of joy, he returned thanks to heaven, for having thus far crowned his endeavours with success. He continued to sail in a north west direction three months and twenty days, without discovering land; in this voyage, the longest that had ever been made in the unbounded ocean, he suffered incredible distress. His stock of provisions was almost exhausted, the water became putrid, the men were reduced to the shortest allowance, with which it was possible to sustain lite: and the scurvy began to spread among them. One circumstance alone afforded consolation. They enjoyed an uninterrupted succession of fair weather, with such 'favourable winds, that Magellan bestowed on that ocean the name of Pacific, which it still retains.
They would have soon sunk under their sufferings, had they not discovered and fell in with a cluster of islands, whose fertility afforded them refreshments in such abundance, that their health was soon re-established. From these isles, to which he gave the name of De los Ladrones, he proceeded on his voyage, and soon made a more important discovery of the islands now known by the name of the Phillippines; in one of these he got into an unfortunate quarrel with the natives, who attacked him with a numerous body of troops well armed; and while he fought at the head of his men, with his usual valour, he fell by the hands of those barbarians, together with several of his principal officers. Other officers took the command, and after touching at several other islands in the Indian ocean, they at length landed at Tidore, one of the Moluccas, to the astonishment of the Portuguese, who could not comprehend how the Spaniards, by holding a westerly course, had arrived at that sequestered seat of their valuable commerce, which they had discovered by sailing in an opposite direction.
There, and in the adjacent isles, they found a people acquainted with the benefit of trade, and pleased with opening an intercourse with a new nation. They took in a cargo of valuable spices, with that and other specimens of rich commodities which they had collected from other countries, they loaded the
Victory, which, of the two ships that remained, was the most fit for a long voyage, and set sail for Spain, under the command of Juan Sebas. tian del Cano. He followed the course of the Portuguese by the cape of Good Hope; and after many sufferings, he arrived at St. Lucar, on the seventh of September, 1522, having sailed round the globe in the space of three years and twenty-eight days.
To return to the transaction of New Spain : At the time that Cortes was acquiring such vast territories, for his sovereign, and
preparing the way for future conquests, it was bis singular fate, • 'not only to be destitute of any coinmission or authority from the
sovereign whom he served with such successful zeal, but was regarded as an undutiful, sedicious subject. By the influence of Fonseca, bishop of Burgos, his conduct, in assuming the government of New Spain, was declared to be an irregular usurpation, in contempt of the royal authority; and Christoval de Tapia was commissioned to supercede Cortes, to seize his person, confiscate his effects, make a strict scrutiny into his proceedings, and trans. mit the result of his inquiries to the court of the Indies, of which the bishop of Burgos was president. Tapia landed a few weeks after the reduction of Mexico, at Vera Cruz, with the royal mandate to divest its conqueror of his power, and treat him as a criminal.
But Fonseca had chosen a very improper person to wreak bis vengeance on Cortes. Tapia had neither the reputation, nor the talents, that suited the high command to which he had been appointed. Cortes, while he publicly expressed the highest vene. ration for the emperor's authority, secretly took measures to de. feat the effect of his commission: and having involved Tapia and his followers in a multiplicity of conferences and negociations, sometimes making use of threats, but more frequently employing bribes and promises, he at length prevailed on that weak man to abandon a province he was unworthy of governing. But Cortes was so sensible of the precarious tenure by which he held his pow. er, that he despatched deputies to Spain with a pompous account of the success of his arms, with further specimens of the produc
tions of the country, and with rich presents to the emperor, as the earnest of future contributions from his new conquest; requesting, as a recompense for all his services, the approbation of his proceedings, and that he might be entrusted with the government of those territories which his conduct, and the valour of his followers, had added to the crown of Castile.
The account of Cortes's victories filled his countrymen with admiration. The public voice declared loudly in favour of his pretensions, and Charles adopted the sentiments of his subjects with a youthful ardour. He appointed bim captain-general and governor of New Spain.
It was not, however, without difficulty that the Mexican empire could be entirely reduced into the form of a Spanish colony. Enraged and rendered desperate by oppression, the natives often forgot the superiority of their enemies; and took up arms in defence of their liberties. In every contest, however, the European valour and discipline prevailed. But fatally for the honour of their country, the Spaniards sullied the glory redounding from their repeated victories, by their mode of treating the vanquished.
In almost every province of the Mexican empire, the progress of the Spanish arms is marked with blood, and with deeds so atrocious, as disgrace the enterprising valour that conducted them to success. In the province of Panuco, sisty caziques or chiefs, and fourabundred nobles, were burnt at one time. Nor was this shocking barbarity committed in any sudden effect of rage, or by a cominander of inferior note; it was the act of Sandoval, who was entitled to the second rank in the annals of New Spain, executed after a solemn consultation with Cortes: and to coinplete the horror of the scene, the children and relations of the victims were compelled to be spectators of their dying agonies. This dreadful example of severity, was followed by another which affected the Mexicans still more sensibly. On a slight suspicion, confirmed by very imperfect evidence, Guatimozin was charged with attempting to throw off the yoke, and to excite his former subjects to take up arms. Cortes, without the formality of a trial, ordered the unhappy monarch, together with the caziques of 'Tezcuco and Tacuba, two persons of the greatest eminence, next to the emperor, to be hanged; and the Mexicans with astonishment beheld this ignominious punishment inflicted upon persons whom they had been accustomed to look up to with a reverence, little inferior to that which they paid to the gods themselves.
When Charles V. advanced Cortes to the government of New Spain, he at the same time appointed commissioners to receive and administer the royal revenue there. These men were astonished, when arriving in Mexico, at the high authority which Cortes exercised. In their letters they represented Cortes as ac am-.bitious tyrant, who having usurped a jurisdiction superior to law, aimed at independence. These insinuations made such deep impression on the mind of the Spanish ministers, that unmindful of the past services of Cortes, they infused the same suspicions into the mind of Charles, and prevailed on him to order a solemn inquest to be made into his conduct, with powers to the licentiate, Ponce de Leon, entrusted with that commission, to seize his person, if expedient, and send him prisoner to Spain.
T'he sudden death of Ponce de Leon, which happened soon after his arrival in New Spain, prevented the execution of this commission. Cortes beheld the approaching crisis of his fortune, with all the violent emotions natural to a haughty miod, consci. ous of high desert, and receiving unworthy treatment. His old faithful followers, stung with resentment, advised him to seize that
power, which the courtiers were so mean as to accuse him of coveting
Actuated by sentiments of loyalty, he rejected the dangerous advice, and repaired directly to Spain; choosing rather to commit himself and his cause to the justice of his sovereign, than submit to be tried in a country, where he had the chief command, and by a set of interested and partial judges.
In the year 1528, Cortes appeared in his native country, with the splendour that suited the conqueror of a mighty kingdom. He brought with him a great part of his wealth, many jewels and ornaments of great value, and was attended by some Mexicans of the first rank, as well as by the most considerable of his own of ficers. His arrival in Spain, removed at once every suspicion. The emperor received him as a person entitled to high respect, for the eminence of his services. The order of St. Jago, the title of Marquis del Valle de Guaxaca, the grant of a vast territory.in New Spain, were successively bestowed upon him; and he was admitted to the same familiar intercourse with the emperor, as noblemen of the first rank. But anidst these external proofs of regard, soine symptoms of remaining distrust appeared. Although he earnestly solicited to be reinstated in the government of New Spain, Charles peremptorily refused to grant his request. The military department, with power to attempt new discoveries, was left in his hands: with this diminished authority he returned to New Spain. Antonio de Mendoza was sent thither with the title of viceroy. Cortes fitted out several small squadrons, and sent them into the South Sea to make discoveries, which either perished in the attempt, or returned unsuccessful. Cortes, weary of entrusting his operations to others, in the year 1536, took the command of a new armament, and after enduring incredible hardships, he discovered the large peninsula of California, and surveyed the greater part of the gulf which separates it from New Spain. The discovery of a country of such extent, would have reflected credit on a common adventurer, but could add little new honour to the name of Cortes. Disgusted with ill-success, and weary of contending with adversaries, 1o whon be consider ed it a disgrace to be opposed, he once more sought for redress in his native country. His fare there was the same with that of all the persons who had distinguished themselves in the discovery of the New World; envied by bis contemporaries, and ill-requited by the court which he served, he ended his days on the second of December, 1547, in the sixty-second year of his age.
HISTORY OF AMERICA.
HAVING related in my last book the splendid achievements of Cortes and his followers, and the subjugation of the Mexican empire, it now remains to close the history of South America with the conquest of Peru. The chief actors in this undertaking were Francisco Pizarro, Diego de Almagro, and Hernando de Luque.
Pizarro was the natural son of a gentleman, by an illicit amour with a woman of very low birth ; and as it frequently happens to the offspring of unlawful love, he was neglected by the author of his birth, who was so unnatural as to set him, when arriving at the years of manhood, to feed his hogs. Young Pizarro could not long brook such an ignoble occupation. His aspiring mind thirsted after military glory, and he enlisted as a soldier; and after serving some years in Italy, embarked for America, where he soon distinguished himself. With a courage no less daring, than the constitution of his body was robust, he was foremost in every danger, and endured the greatest hardships. Though he was so illiterate that he could not read, he was considered as a man formed to command. Every expedition committed to his conduct, proved successful
: he was as cautious in executing, as bold in forming, bis plans. Engaging early in active life, without any resource but his own talents and industry, and by depending upon himself to emerge from obscurity, he acquired such a perfect