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of March they reaped their maize, and celebrated the harvest with joy and feasting.
There being no artist nor manufacturer by profession, individuals were taught to do every thing for themselves. Every one knew how to plough and manure the land: every one was a carpenter, a mason, a fhoemaker, a weaver, &c.; and the women were the most ingenious and diligent of all. Blas Valera mentions a law, named the law of brotherhood, which, without the prospect of reward, obliged them to be mutually aiding and assisting in ploughing, fowing, and reaping, in building: their houses, and in every
As the art was unknown of melting down metals by means of bellows, long copper pipes were contrived, contracted at the end next the fire, that the breath might act the more forcibly on it; and they used ten or twelve of these pipes together, when they wanted a very hot fire. Having no iron, their hatchets and pick-axes were of copper; they had neither saw nor augre, nor any instrument that requires iron : ignorant of the use of nails, they tied their timber with cords of hemp. The tool
they they had for cutting stone, was a sharp flint; and with that tool they shaped the stone by continual rubbing, more than by cutting. Having no engines for raising stones, they did all by strength of arm. These defects notwithstanding, they erected great edifices; witness the fortress of Cusco, a stupenduous fabric.
It passes all understanding, by what means the stones, or rather great rocks, employ'd in that building, were brought from the quarry. One of these stones, measured by Acosta, was thirty feet in length, eighteen in breadth, and fix in thickness.
Having neither scissars nor needles of metal, they used a certain long thorn for a needle. · The mirrors used by ladies of quality were of burnished copper : but such implements of dress were reckoned too effeminate for men.
With respect to music, they had an inftrument of hollow canes glew'd together, the notes of which were like those of an organ. They had love-songs accompanied with a pipe ; and war-songs, which were their festival entertainment. They composed and acted comedies and tragedies. The art of writing was unknown ; but
filken threads, with knots cast upon them of divers colours, enabled them to keep exact accounts, and to fum them
with a readiness that would have rivalled an expert European arithmetician. They had also attained to as much geometry as to measure their fields.
In war, their offensive 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 stores, and no burden was laid on the people.
In philosophy, they had made no progress. An eclipfe of the moon was attributed to her being fick; and they fancied the milky way to be a ewe giving fuck to a lamb. With regard to the setting fun, they said, that he was a good swimmer, and that he pierced through the waves, to rise next morning in the east. But such ignorance is not wonderful; for no branch of science can make a progress without writing
The people were divided into small bodies of ten families each : every division 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 sunset. Idleness was punished with infamy: even children were employ'd according to their capacity. Public visitors or monitors were appointed, having access to every house, for inspecting 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 stores.
With respect to their laws and customs, children were bound to serve their parents until the age of twenty-five; and marriage contracted before that time, without consent of parents, was null. Polygamy was prohibited, and persons 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 preserve their divine blood pure, without mixture.
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 sun, and sent by him to spread his worship 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 so deeply rooted in the hearts of the Peruvians, that no person 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
deceit and fuperftition, cannot long subsist in vigour. However that be, such belief of the origin of the Incas, is evidence of great virtue and moderation in that family; for any gross act of tyranny or injustice, would have opened the eyes of the people to see their error. Moderation in the fovereign and obedience without reserve in the subjects, cannot fail to produce a government mild and
a gentle ; which was verified in that of
; Peru ; so mild and gentle, that to manure