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With respect to mufic, they had an inftrument of hollow canes glew'd together, the notes of which were like thofe of an organ. They had love-fongs accompanied with a pipe; and war-fongs, which were their feftival entertainment. They compofed and acted comedies and tragedies. The art of writing was unknown: but filken threads, with knots caft upon them of divers colours, enabled them to keep exact accounts, and to fum them up with a readiness that would have rivalled an expert European arithmetician. They had alfo attained to as much geometry as to measure their fields.

In war, their offenfive arms were the bow and arrow, lance, dart, club, and bill. Their defensive arms, were the helmet and target. The army was provided from the King's ftores, and no burden was laid on the people.

In philofophy, they had made no progrefs. An eclipfe of the moon was attributed to her being fick; and they fancied the milky way to be a cwe giving fuck to a lamb. With regard to the fetting fun, they faid, that he was a good fwimmer, and that he pierced through the waves, to

rife next morning in the east. But fuch ignorance is not wonderful; for no branch. of fcience can make a progress without writing.

The people were divided into small bodies of ten families each every divifion had a head, and a register was kept of the whole; a branch of public police, that very much resembles the English decennaries.

They made but two meals, one between eight and nine in the morning, the other before funfet. Idlenefs was punished with infamy: even children were employ'd according to their capacity. Public visitors or monitors were appointed, having accefs to every house, for infpecting the manners of the inhabitants; who were rewarded or punished according to their behaviour. Moderation and industry were so effectually enforc'd by this article of police, that few were reduced to indigence; and these got their food and cloathing out of the King's ftores.

With respect to their laws and customs, children were bound to ferve their parents until the age of twenty-five; and marriage contracted before that time, without Z 2 confent

confent of parents, was null. Polygamy was prohibited, and perfons were confined to marry within their own tribe. The tradition, that the Inca family were children of the fun, introduced incest among them; for it was a matter of religion to "preferve their divine blood pure, without


It was the chief article of the Peruvian creed, upon which every other article of their religion depended, that the Inca family were children of their great god the fun, and fent by him to fpread his worfhip and his laws among them. Nothing could have a greater influence upon an ignorant and credulous people, than such a doctrine. The fanctity of the Inca family was fo deeply rooted in the hearts of the Peruvians, that no perfon of that family was thought capable of committing a crime. Such blind veneration for a family, makes it probable, that the government of Peru under the Incas had not fubfifted many years; for a government founded upon deceit and superstition, cannot long fubfift in vigour. However that be, fuch belief of the origin of the Incas, is evidence of great virtue and modera

tion in that family; for any grofs act of tyranny or injustice, would have opened the eyes of the people to fee their error. Moderation in the fovereign and obedience without reserve in the subjects, cannot fail to produce a government mild and gentle; which was verified in that of Peru; fo mild and gentle, that to manure and cultivate the lands of the Inca and to lay up the produce in ftorehouses, were the only burdens impofed upon the people, if it was not fometimes to make cloaths and weapons for the army. At the fame time, their kings were fo revered, that these articles of labour were performed with affection and alacrity.

The government was equally gentle with regard to punishments. Indeed very few crimes were committed, being confidered as a fort of rebellion against their great god the fun. The only crime that seems to have been punished with severity, is the marauding of foldiers; for death was inflicted, however inconfiderable the damage.

In this empire, there appears to have been the most perfect union between law and religion; which could not fail to produce obedience, order, and tranquillity,


among that people, tho' extremely numerous. The Inca family was fam'd for moderation: they made conquefts in order to civilize their neighbours; and as they feldom if ever tranfgreffed the bounds of morality, no other art was neceffary to preferve the government entire, but to keep the people ignorant of true religion. They had virgins dedicated to the fun, who, like the vestal virgins in Rome, were under a vow of perpetual chastity. : This fubject fhall be concluded with fome flight obfervations on the two governments I have been defcribing. Comparing them together, the Mexican government feems to have been supported by arms; that of Peru by religion.


The kings of Peru were hereditary and abfolute thofe of Mexico elective. contradiction however to political principles, the government of Peru was by far the milder. It is mentioned above, that the electors of the Mexican kings were hereditary princes; and the fame electors compofed the great council of state. Montefquieu therefore has been misinformed when he terms this a defpotic monarchy (a) a monarchy can never be defpo

(a) L'Efprit des loix, liv. 17. ch. 2.


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