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Patriots enter Cuzco.-Rejoicings.-Prophecy recorded by Garcilaso de la Vega. - Tradition of the origin of the Incas. -Their form of government.-Their policy.--Population previous to the conquest.-City of Cuzco.-Ruins.-Temple of the Sun.-Public edifices.-Summary of the history of Cuzco. Compared with Rome.-Veneration in which the memory of the Incas is held.-Dress, manners, and customs of the Indians.-Description of the Coca.
GENERAL SUCRE, determining to lose no time or advantage after the victory of Ayacucho, ordered General Gamarra to march with a Peruvian battalion from Guamanga for Cuzco, on the 12th of December. General Miller followed on the 16th.
On the march, many patriot soldiers, who, from wounds or sickness, had been unable to keep up with the army, and had managed to conceal themselves during the advance of the royalists, now came forth, and were re-attached to their respective corps. Amongst those who had been wounded and taken was Lieutenant Wyman, of the usares de Junin, whose gallantry and good conduct entitle him to notice.
Having failed in a desperate attempt to escape from his escort, he was treated with great severity. Not being able to sit upright on horseback, the Spaniards slung him across a raw-boned mule, and conducted him in this manner almost senseless for
two days. On arriving at Abancay, he was supposed to be so near his end, that he was thrown upon a heap of rubbish at the door of a hut, and left to die. A poor Indian woman, under cover of the night, with the assistance of her son, removed the almost lifeless body, and concealed it until the royalists marched away, after which she watched over the unfortunate Wyman with the greatest care and solicitude, administering all the aid her scanty means would allow.
Upon Miller's entering Abancay, about ten days afterwards, he was told that an Englishman was lying in a hovel, in the most deplorable condition. He hastened to visit him, and found Lieutenant Wyman stretched out upon a rug, which was saturated with his blood, and sticking fast to his festering wounds. The unfortunate youth was quite delirious, and so emaciated, that it was with difficulty the general could recognise the features of his young friend. He immediately supplied him with some linen and clothes, and left what money he had with him for the Indian Samaritan. Wyman recovered under her care, and is now a promising officer in the Peruvian service.
Gamarra entered Cuzco on Christmas-day, 1824, and was received with acclamations. Miller arrived a few hours after. The Peruvian division La Mar joined on the 30th, and those of Colombia, Cordova, and Lara, arrived a few days subsequently. Sucre attempted to enter the city incognito, but was recognised, and hailed with ardent vivas.
A complete jubilee followed, and many splendid. entertainments were got up in compliment to the
patriots. The balls were well attended by ladies, who were principally of the royalist party. They were accompanied by their husbands or brothers, who had held civil or military employment under the king. Amongst the military were several general and other officers, who had capitulated after the battle of Ayacucho. At a grand dinner, given by the clergy of San Antonio, to the Peruvian generals La Mar, Gamarra, and Miller, the proposal to drink the health of the last was prefaced by a complimentary interpretation of a tradition, construing his arrival at the ancient capital of the Incas into a partial verification of the prophecy recorded by Garcilaso de la Vega (born at Cuzco eight years after the conquest), as well as by Calandra, author of the Chronicles of Saint Augustine, and by Herrera in his Decades. "Deum ego testor, mihi a Don Antonio de Berreo affirmatum, quemadmodum etiam ab aliis cognovi, quòd in præcipuo ipsorum templo, inter alia vaticinia quæ de amisione regni loquuntur, hoc enim sit, quod dicitur fore ut Ingæ sive imperatores et reges Peruviæ, ab aliquo populo qui ex regione quâdam quæ Inclaterra vocetur, in regnum suum rursus introducantur*."
The city of Cuzco is situated one hundred leagues from the coast, and, in 1825, contained above forty thousand inhabitants. It was founded by Manco Capac, the first Inca of Peru, about the tenth or eleventh century.
“I declare, before God, that it was affirmed to me by Don Antonio de Berreo, as well as by others whom I knew, that, amongst other prophecies, in their chief temple, which spoke of the loss of the empire, there was one which declared that it would come to pass, that the incas, or emperors, or kings, of Peru, would be restored to their throne by a certain people from a country called Inglaterra" (England).
But before attempting to describe some of the most remarkable features of that interesting capital, we shall recount one of the traditional fables as to the origin of the incarial race, and draw a brief outline of their ancient policy and laws. In conformity with the general rule by which most nations and heroes claim a supernatural origin, the Peruvians pretend, that their Incas descended from the sun. The source of their belief is thus explained. It is said that a white man was cast away upon the coast of Peru, and was received and adopted by a cacique, whose daughter, although blind from her birth, the stranger married, and by her had a son and a daughter. It is supposed that he taught his children something of agriculture, architecture, and, perhaps, some other arts, until then unknown in Peru. The white man and his Peruvian wife both dying, the cacique took his grandchildren to a mountain overlooking the thicklypeopled valley of Cuzco: he then descended, and assembled the inhabitants, to whom he declared that their god, the sun, had taken pity upon them, and sent two of his own children to instruct and govern them that they would find them upon the mountain, and that the truth of his assertion would be proved by the hair of the young man and woman being actually of the colour of the sun's beams. But the Cuzqueños, however, imagining that the light hair and fair complexion had been produced by witchcraft, banished the brother and sister to the valley of Rimac. Thence the cacique afterwards removed his golden-haired grandchildren to an island in the
Cuzco is the corruption of Ccozccoo, which means navel, or centrical.
lake of Titicaca, where he luckily found the inhabitants more easy of belief. Persevering in his original intention of aggrandizing and deifying his family, the cacique counselled his grandson to assemble the whole population of the island, and to return at their head to Cuzco. The inhabitants of the latter, seeing the fair-haired strangers return, followed by a powerful multitude, quietly submitted; acknowledged them as children of the sun; and proclaimed them Incas. The city of Cuzco then gradually arose.
We will leave it to antiquarians to decide upon the probability of an Englishman's having been thrown upon the coast of Peru 800 years ago. Quichuan etymologists affirm that the cacique, on asking the shipwrecked stranger who he was, received for answer, Englishman." This was pronounced in the Quichua language Ingasman. To this was added Cocopac (or blooming), which united would make Ingasman-cocopac, which, say the Peruvians, is the derivation of Inca Manco-Capac, the founder of the incarial race.
The government of the Incas was a pure despotism, but so modified, by patriarchal customs and institutions, that Peru advanced rapidly in the arts as well of peace as of war, and flourished during the unblemished lives of eleven successive sovereigns. The destructive civil war, which brought about the murder of Huascar, by his yet more unfortunate halfbrother Atahualpa, cast the first stain upon their, until then, blameless annals.
The happiness of the people appears to have been the main object of the policy and solicitude of the Incas. Even their conquests would seem to have