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population for at least seven years. To the monthly - returns of the amount of population in each province and subdivision of the country, which so greatly facilitated the various regulations, and the distribution of labour and provisions, were added equally regular and minute returns of the amount and quality of the produce, raw and manufactured, of the different districts; and thus the government was enabled at a glance to determine how far the general result of the national industry at any given period would meet the national wants, or how far the reserved stores in the magazines must be drawn upon. But the state of tutelage in which the Peruvian government held the people did not end here—it extended to the most intimate relations of life ; and even the period of his marriage, the Peruvian, were he of high or low degree, could not determine for himself. At the age of twenty-four it was fixed by law that every man, and at the age of twenty every maiden, should marry; and accordingly, on an appointed day each year, all the young men and women of the Inca race having attained this age were assembled in the great square of the capital, and there the couples destined for each other were united by the sovereign Inca himself—the ceremony consisting simply in his placing the hands of the parties concerned within each other, and declaring them to be man and wife. On the same day the same ceremony was performed, in every town and village throughout the empire, for those of inferior degree by the curaca of the district. To a certain extent, it seems, each man was allowed to consult his own taste in the choice of a wife ; however, if the consent of the parents on both sides were not given, the marriage was illegal, and the liberty of choice did not extend beyond the limits of the kindred circle. Where such a custom had long existed, this circle must, however, have been pretty extensive, and indeed Garcilasso de la Vega maintains that all the inhabitants of a village were very frequently of the same kin.
The marriage - portion in lands was, as alluded to above, provided by the state; and the dwelling of the newly-married couple was also raised at the public charge, but the furniture was supplied by the nearest relatives,
A government claiming, like that of Peru, the right of interfering even with the domestic arrangements of its subjects, must of course be expected to exercise its rule with regard to the education of the citizen also; and thus indeed it was. Among the inferior classes this education was limited to the learning of the various handicrafts with which every individual was expected to be familiar, and did not therefore necessitate any separation from home; but for the sons of the Inca nobles and the curacas higher intellectual and physical training was considered necessary. For this purpose schools were established in the metropolis, where the noble youths, and with them the sons of the sovereign Inca, were instructed by the amautus, or wise men,' in the various branches of knowledge which these sages had mastered, and more especially in the principles of government and the ceremonies of religion, a knowledge of which was required to qualify them for their future functions in the state. But in the army also the nobles occupied the leading positions, and instruction in military acquirements therefore formed part, and not the least important part, of their education. They were trained in all the athletic exercises—such as wrestling, running, &c. --which could impart strength and agility to their
bodies. They learned to handle the various weapons in use among their people, and were initiated in the principles as well as the practice of the art of war. At the age of sixteen the pupils were subjected to a public trial, to prove themselves worthy to be admitted to the honours of manhood; and so important was this examination considered, that it was watched with intense interest by the whole nation, and was made an occasion of public festivities. The examination lasted thirty days, and commenced by the neophytes being subjected to rigorous fasts and every hardship and privation which it might in future be their lot to sustain during protracted campaigns; while, according to Garcilasso, these trials were made to subserve the moral purpose of rendering the noble youths more ready to sympathise with those whose fate in life it was to suffer daily such privations. This must, however, be a moral of Garcilasso's own extracting, for in a system as that of Peru, as he himself tells us in other parts of his work, there was no room for poverty; and starvation, sleeping on the bare earth, insufficient covering, &c. cannot have been the conditions of life of any of the inhabitants. Those youths whose bodily strength had proved equal to bear the hardships imposed, were afterwards examined in the various martial exercises in which they were required to be proficient, and were made to prove their prowess in mimic combats. The aspirants who came victorious out of these various trials, and who were pronounced worthy by the aged and experienced nobles who presided as judges, were then presented to the sovereign, who addressed to them a few words, in which he exhorted them to prove themselves in future also worthy of the name of * Children of the Sun,' and reminded them of their responsibilities as such. The novices then, one at a time, knelt at the feet of the monarch, who pierced their ears with golden bodkins, preparatory to the introduction of the heavy pendants, which formed one of the distinguishing marks of the royal blood, and which produced that deformity of the ear that procured for the Inca nobles the name of orejones, or the large-eared,' bestowed upon them by the Spaniards. The aspirants thus honoured next turned to the nearest relative of the sovereign, who, unloosing the common sandals which they wore, dressed their feet in others of more costly materials. The neophyte was then invested with the girdle of manhood; on his head was placed a garland of flowers, emblematic of the gentle virtues which would through life be his brightest ornaments; in his hands were placed the arms which he was in future to wield in the service of his country; and the ceremony was complete as regarded the generality of the youths. At this stage of the proceedings, however, the heir to the throne, who until then was in nowise distinguished from his comrades, was further invested with a head-dress, forming his peculiar insignia, and received the homage of the whole of the Inca nobility, who knelt at his feet and recognised him as their future sovereign. The whole assembly then proceeded to the great square of the city, where the public rejoicings began, and where the night was spent with dancing, music, feasting, and drinking.
If we are struck with the resemblance between this ceremony, termed the huaracu, to the chivalrous customs of the middle ages, we are still more so with the similarity between the institutions in which a great number of the maidens of the Inca race and the daughters of the curacas received their education, and the conventual establishments of Roman Catholic countries
The ultimate destination of the inmates of the Peruvian convents was, however, very different from that of Catholic nuns; for when they had attained a marriageable age, the most beautiful among them were selected to be the 'Inca's brides,' or, in other words, to stock the Inca's harem, such selection being the greatest honour that could be conferred on a woman of Peru.* At a tender age these maidens, dedicated to the service of the national deity, the Sun, were removed to certain establishments called the • Houses of the Virgins of the Sun,' which were carefully secluded by high surrounding walls from all intercourse with the world without, and decorated with the same profuse magnificence as all the other edifices in any way connected with religion or with royalty. Here the young girls—placed under the guardianship of elderly and experienced members of the sisterhood, called mamaconas, whose life from childhood to old age had been spent within the sacred walls—were instructed in their religious duties, which consisted chiefly in guarding the sacred fire, drawn from heaven by means of a concave mirror of polished metal, at the great festival of the summer solstice, called the feast of raymi. They were also taught to spin and weave of the fine wool of the vicuña, and to embroider with many-coloured threads the splendid hangings with which the temples and the royal residences were adorned, and the vestments in which the sacred limbs of the Inca were clad. The most rigorous conventual seclusion reigned in the establishment, the maidens being only allowed to inhale the fresh air in the gardens surrounding their sumptuous homes, and being even cut off from all intercourse with their own relatives from the moment they were dedicated to the Sun. The Inca and the coya, and a certain number of visitors sent yearly to examine into the management and morals of the institutions, were the only persons from the world without allowed to enter the hallowed precincts. Any attempt of unprivileged persons to overstep the consecrated limits was punished with death. On a Virgin of the Sun, detected in a love intrigue, the law of Peru pronounced the same dreadful penalty with which the Romans visited a similar fault in their Vestals; while the lover was to be put to death by strangulation, and the very memory of his existence obliterated from the land by the total destruction of the village or town to which he belonged.
This severity, apparently so little in harmony with the mild and paternal system of government of the Incas, prevailed in all the laws of Peru, and was a necessary consequence of the reverence in which the sovereign, the fountain of the law, was held. Emanating from a ruler supposed to partake of the divine nature, and to be inspired by the great luminary that swayed the destinies of the nation, all the police regulations of the Peruvian empire bore the character of religious laws, and every infringement of them was looked upon as an offence against the divine majesty of the royal person, and was as such punished with death. Rebellion in particularunder all systems of government a crime of most serious character—was in
* So honourable, indeed, was it deemed to hold a place among the thousand • brides of the Incas,' who formed the ornaments of his court, and waited upon him as his handmaidens, that when the royal personage, for some reason or other, wished to reduce the number of the ladies in his harem, and in consequence sent some of them hoıne to their families, these were ever after treated with particular reverence by their kindred. To the · Houses of the Sun ' they did not, however, again return.
Peru branded as the direst of all misdeeds, and one that admitted of no extenuating circumstances in the case of any of the participators. Accordingly a rebellious population was mercilessly exterminated, and the place of its habitation, whether hamlet, village, or town, converted into a barren and solitary wilderness. The judicial arrangements for enforcing the execution of the laws and punishing every infringement of them were very simple, and being made to harmonise with the general organisation of the state, afforded the same means for direct government control as all the other administrative departments. The captains of tens performed, as has been stated, the functions of public accusers, and reported all offences to regular tribunals of justice established in each small community. These local tribunals were authorised to pass judgment on petty offences; but there being no appeal from the decisions of one tribunal to another, they were to refer the more serious cases to the superior courts, presided over by the governors of the provinces, which were bound to bring to a close within five days every suit brought before them. The inferior magistrates were also obliged to make monthly reports to the superior tribunals of all the cases on which they had passed judgment; and the superiors transmitted these, together with the records of their own proceedings, to the viceroys who governed the four principal divisions of the empire, whence again they were transmitted to the chief seat of government. With a further view to securing a pure administration of justice, royal commissioners traversed the empire at irregular intervals to inquire into the conduct of the various magistrates, who were severely punished if found guilty of any irregularities.
The city of Cuzco was, as we have seen, the nucleus of the empire of the Incas, and gradually only the surrounding country and the more distant tribes were brought under their dominion. The manner in which these successive conquests were accomplished formed an important part of the political system of the Peruvians, and at this we must now cast a glance.
The Inca Manco Capac had laid it down as a general principle, to be followed by his successors, that violent measures for the reduction of the barbarous Indian tribes should not be resorted to until the more pacific and generous expedients of conciliation and benefits had been tried ; for,' said he,' the vassals which they gained by fair means would always prove devoted subjects, while from those brought under their dominion by force they might always fear rebellion.' The descendants of Manco Capac seem in the most cases to have adhered faithfully to the rule established by the illustrious founder of their dynasty, and also to have followed the invitation to conquest implied therein. One after another the independent tribes were folded within the embrace of the Incas' empire; but in each successive instance gentle endeavours to establish the worship of the Sun, and to open the eyes of the barbarians to the advantages of civilisation, were made, and incentives held out to them to come and place themselves within its pale, before war was resorted to. But when all other means of persuasion proved incapable of surmounting the love of independence, then the sword was called in to cut the matter short; and thus, though peace ever reigned undisturbed in the bosom of the Incas' dominions, on the frontiers war was as constantly raging. To meet the exigencies of such a state of things, the military system of the country was organised so as to furnish a constant supply of well-trained troops without interfering with the other regulations of the state. Every man having attained a certain age was, it seems, bound to do military service, but not for any long period at a time, the levies succeeding each other by regular rotation; while a system of drilling, introduced in each village, prepared every man in his turn to fill his place in the army with honour to himself and to his country. The arms in use among the Peruvians were bows and arrows, slings, darts, spears, battle-axes, cutlasses, and wooden clubs studded with metal knobs; the metal used for all these weapons being copper tempered by the peculiar process already adverted to. The defensive armour consisted of doublets of quilted cotton, of shields covered with the skins of animals, and of casques—in some instances made to imitate the heads of wild animals; in others, ornamented with gold and precious stones, and with the brilliant plumes of the tropical birds. These casques were, however, worn by the officers only, the common soldiers having their heads enveloped in a kind of cotton turban. When attacking towns it was customary to discharge into them burning arrows, or stones made red-hot and wrapped in cotton impregnated with a bituminous substance, which alighting on the roofs of houses set them on fire. So far there was nothing peculiar in the Peruvian instruments of war, they being the same as were in use even among all the nations of Europe up to a comparatively recent period. But one weapon the Peruvians possessed, peculiar to the Indian tribes of South America, which took the Spaniards by surprise in their first encounters with this people: this was the lasso, still so much in use in those countries, though for more peaceful purposes, and which the Peruvian of the time of the conquest threw as adroitly round the Spanish horse and its rider, so as to bring them both to the ground, as the Pampas hunter of the present day throws it round the wild ox which he wishes to secure. The Peruvian troops were divided into smaller and larger bodies, cortesponding to the companies and battalions of modern armies; and the officers rose in like manner in regular gradation from the lowest to the highest, each holding his particular command. Whether a regular army was always kept on foot does not appear in the accounts of the historians of Peru; but even if this were not the case, the perfect organisation of the people, the facility in transmitting messages from one end of the empire to the other by means of the chasquis, and of moving large bodies of men along the excellent roads, enabled the government to draw its troops together in a very short time, and to direct them without loss of time towards any point where their presence was required; while the excellent quarters provided for the soldiers in the large edifices called tambos, erected, as we have seen, at intervals along the roads, enabled them to perform the most distant marches without much fatigue. In order that the people who remained at home, and whose industry supplied the labour which was withdrawn from the common stock by the absence of the soldiers, should not have to bear more than their due share of the burdens of war, the armies, instead of being quartered on the people, were provided with all requisites from the great public magazines, and thus was obviated one of the chief causes which make a people disinclined to war. The same tender solicitude for the happiness and the wellbeing of the people which characterised the policy of the Incas in all other matters was extended to the soldiers also. Their comfort was attended to in every way, it being even customary when the