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quered the entire empire, which became subject to the Spanish Dominion

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though their numbers were thinned by the early wars, and further reduced by the impoverishment of their country, they still amount to several millions. Most of them have partially adopted the Spanish customs and the Catholic religion, though they preserve many of their ancient superstitions. They are generally occupied in laborious pursuits, and few instances have occurred in which they have risen above a menial condition in society.

5. In the year 1808, the people of Mexico rebelled against the government of Spain, and determined to throw off their foreign yoke. In 1813, a national congress declared Mexico to be independent. Spain made great efforts to subdue the rebellion, but without effect. struggle continued with various success until 1821, when the Spanish army left the country.

The

6. The independence of Mexico has since been recognized by Spain and the other leading governments of Christendom. It has been subject, however, to internal convulsions, and can hardly be considered as yet in a settled state. The government is republican in form, but several constitutions have been adopted and repudiated since the era of its independence. Mexico now contains eight millions of inhabitants, most of whom are Indians, and mixed races. The present title of the country is the United States of Mexico. The Archduke Maximilian of Austria has lately been proclaimed Emperor of Mexico, but the Mexican Government are (1866) opposing his authority.

3. Who was the king of the country? How was the empire conquered? What was it named after its conquest? 4. What can you say of the natives? 5. What of the people of Mexico in 1808? In 1813? When did the Spanish army leave the country? 6. What of the independence of Mexico? What of its government? What of the population! What of Maximilian?

SOUTH AMERICA.

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7. Texas formerly belonged to Mexico, and was one of the states of that confederacy, as we have elsewhere stated. She threw off the yoke, and Mexico strenuously endeavored to recover her authority, but without avail. The government of Texas, which was republican, became established, and the independence of the country was recognized by the United States, Great Britain, etc. In 1845, it was annexed to the United States, and war with this country followed, as already related.

8. GUA-TE-MA'-LA, or CENTRAL AMERICA, Occupies the greater portion of the isthmus that connects North and South America. At the time of the invasion of Cortez, it was thickly peopled with Indians called Quiches. These had considerable cities, and presented nearly the same state of civilization as the Mexicans.

9. They were conquered by Alvarado, an officer dispatched for that purpose by Cortez, and the country became a Spanish province. It remained in this condition till the struggle for independence commenced in Mexico, when a similar effort was made by the inhabitants of this territory, which resulted in their independence. They adopted a republican form of government, with the title of the United States of Central America.

10. These states consisted of Honduras, Guatemala, San Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. After a time, divisions and hostilities arose among them, and in 1839 they became independent of each other. They have since been subject to almost constant convulsions or anarchy.

CHAPTER CCXXXVII.

SOUTH AMERICA.

Discovery of South America by Columbus.-Discovery of the Pacific by Balboa.-Conquest of Peru.

1. We have already seen that Columbus discovered the mainland of South America in 1498. Other discoveries, in this quarter, soon followed. The coast was visited by Vespucius, in 1499, and, the same

7. What of Texas? What of the United States and Mexico? 8. Where is Guatemala? Who were the Quiches? 9. Who conquered them? Give the history of the country. What title did the republic of Guatemala adopt? 10. What were the names of the states of Guatemala, or the republic of Central America? What is their present condition?

CHAP. CCXXXVII.-1. When was the mainland of South America discovered by Colum bus? What of Vespucius? Of Pinzon?

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year, the shores of Brazil were visited by Pinzon, a Spanish navigator.

2. In 1513, Balboa crossed the Isthmus of Pa-na-ma', and was the first European whose eyes rested upon the eastern borders of the Pacific Ocean, then called the South Sea. What a mighty discovery-for this is the largest ocean on the globe, and occupies nearly one-fourth part of its surface!

3. It is not easy, at this day, for us to conceive of the state of excitement in which these European navigators came to America. They not only looked upon it as a New World, but as one abounding in wonders. They had found here a strange people, and they had discovered amid the tropical regions a multitude of new and interesting productions.

4. Flowers of the greatest beauty, spices of the rarest fragrance, valuable gums, rich fruits, birds of magnificent plumage, and all new to them, crowded upon their attention. Nature, indeed, seemed to have realized here the enchantments of the fairy tales; yet, thus far, the avarice of the discoverers was not satisfied. Gold, silver, and precious stones were believed to abound in America, and the greediness with which they were sought, carried the adventurers over sea and land, through flood and forest.

2. What of Balboa? 8. What of the excitement of the early navigators? 4. What Interesting objects were found in America?

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5. Like other illusions, which haunt the overheated imagination, the regions of gold seemed always to be near, yet never reached. The ursuit was still urged, but the object was never fully attained.

6. There were indeed two exceptions; Cortez had found spoils of immense value in Mexico, but his saccess was to be surpassed by that of another adventurer. In 1515, Peru had been discovered, and Pizarro, an illiterate but daring Spanish soldier, soon after determined

5. What of the regions of gold? 6. What of Cortez? What of Pizarro? How many men did Pizarro take with him in 1531 for the conquest of Peru?

upon its conquest. In 1531, he led thither a small band of soldiers -thirty horse and one hundred and fifty foot.

7. He found Peru to be an immense empire, united under a race of sovereigns, called In'-cas or Children of the Sun. The people were pacific, some living in large and handsome cities, and all subsisting chiefly by agriculture. They had a mild government, a gentle religion, and many useful arts. The reigning prince was A-ta-hu-al'-pa. 8. Pi-zar'-ro invited him to a conference, but, when the unsuspecting monarch, with thousands of his attendants, came, the daring and perfidious Spaniard rushed upon him and dragged him away from the midst of his nobles. At the same time, the artillery and muskets played upon the masses of the Indians, and cut them to pieces by thousands. It was one of the most brutal, bloody, and dastardly acts in all the sad tragedies of human warfare.

9. The captive Inca offered to fill the room in which he was confined with gold and silver, for his ransom. This was accepted by Pizarro, and it was affecting to see with what devotion the people, in all parts of the country, parted with their treasures to release their captive chief. At length, a mass of gold and silver, of the value of two millions of dollars, was accumulated, and Atahualpa claimed his liberty.

10. But Pizarro had no idea of fulfilling his promise. The Inca was subjected to a mock trial, condemned, and executed, and the ruthless murderer proceeded to take possession of his empire. Having conquered the country, and now being gorged with plunder, Pizarro founded the city of Li'-ma, and became governor of the country.

11. But his ill-gotten wealth and power were vain to their possessor. Hostility and strife sprung up among the band of robbers. Pizarro was slain by his associates, and the rest of the leaders fell, one after another, by violence. Let it be remembered that the most splendid and successful robbery on record was followed by the swiftest retribution!

12. We may pause here a moment to reflect upon the fate which attended the three greatest names connected with the early history of America. Columbus discovered a new world, but he was once carried home in chains, and at last died in poverty and neglect. Cortez conquered an empire, but the crown did not rest upon his brow. Pizarro also conquered an empire, and acquired gold beyond the dreams of avarice, but he, soon after, expired by the assassin's blade.

7. What did Pizarro find Peru to be? What of the sovereigns of Peru? What of the) people? Who was their king? 8. Describe Pizarro's conduct. 9. What did Atahualpa promise to give Pizarro in order to be liberated? How was the Inca treated? 10. What town was founded by Pizarro ? 11. What became of him and his associates? 12. What was the fate of the three great men connected with the early history of Spanish America?

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