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A DAY OF TURMOIL.
direction of Tlatelulco, with a view to meet the large force of Indians who were said to be gathering there intending to march to the main square.
All this time the rabble at the palace were having their own way, with little or no attempt at interference on the part of the oidores remaining at the city hall. Gelves even charges them with promoting the trouble, and intimates that Gaviria kept away on purpose, so that he might be driven to extremes for the benefit of Gaviria's party. Part of the palace was already in the hands of the sackers, and the viceroy and his adherents were beaten further and further back, with loss both in dead and wounded. Finding that it would not be possible to hold out much longer, and warned by the insensate outcry against him, Gelves resolved to seek safety in flight. He donned the garments of a servant, took off his well known spectacles, and favored by the darkness he mingled with the mob, shouting awhile as lustily as any of them against himself. With two servants he thereupon hurried to San Francisco convent, and hid in a room behind the refectory.
His departure gave the signal for a general abandonment of the palace, which the rioters now overran, plundering and destroying, and respecting not even the sacred vessels and images in the chapel. They also sacked the houses of Armenteros and the viceregal asesor, and would have extended their raid against other adherents of the opposite party, perhaps against any one whom it might pay to plunder; but Gaviria now returned at the head of an overwhelming force of citizens. Whatever may have been his motives they could no longer be promoted by countenancing the riot, which now threatened to endanger the common interest. It was not long, therefore, ere he had cleared the palace and its neigh
"Some of their people were actually led against the viceroy under Regidor Valmaseda. Mex., Rel. Svm., 10.
With a white band on the hat. Cavo, Tres Siglos, i. 274.
borhood of all dangerous persons; the fire was extinguished, the wounded received due care, and patrols paraded the streets all night, keeping guard and maintaining bonfires at the corners.
Few, however, of those concerned in that day's turmoil thought of returning home, for another excitement of a more peaceful nature was in store. During the day the marqués del Valle, and the bearers of the audiencia order, had come up with the archiepiscopal party, and urged upon the prelate to return at once and aid in calming the people. He set out at 3 P. M., escorted by a crowd, which greatly swelled as he advanced. At Guadalupe he was met by a procession of Indians with blazing torches, the advance guard of many others, and the entry into the capital about midnight resembled that of a victorious monarch. The houses were illuminated, the bells pealed merrily, and cheering crowds lined the street,10 impressed more than ever by the grandeur and power of the church. In the morning the prelate removed the interdict, and then, borne aloft to the altar over the heads of the crowds, he held mass and chanted the te deum, the rest of the day, a Tuesday, being held as a feast. The dead rioters he buried free of cost, showing them particular honor, but the fallen defenders of the palace he disregarded."
The same day the audiencia took steps to plant themselves firmly in power, and rumor being brought by their zealous henchmen that the people were again showing uneasiness at the possible restoration of Gelves, they seized this as a pretext for issuing a proclamation to the effect that they would retain the government. In this document were cited the views and wishes of judges, clergymen, and citizens of dif
10 They would not depart from the palace till he came forth on the balcony to give his blessing. Crowds replaced crowds. 'Traian mas de quinientas hachas encendidas.' Doc. Hist. Mex., série ii. tom. ii. 284–5, 291, 296; Id., iii. 150-1, etc.
11 Id., 94. Captain Velasco was at first declared a heretic, but a handsome fee induced the clergy to bury him. Mex., Rel. Svm., 11. The oidores received the formal thanks of the prelate for their action.
ferent degrees. All the provinces were notified and ordered to obey the new rulers. The demand for maintaining order appeared to call for a standing force, and since this would strengthen their position, they hastened to mass arms and enroll men, and formed several companies, including a corps of cavalry from among the encomenderos under Captain Legaspi. Contador Juan de Cervantes Casaus was created maestre de campo. Three companies of one hundred men each were regularly assigned for guard duty, their pay being taken from the drainage fund.12
A number of these were detailed to protect the government house and enforce the behests of the audiencia, and another body attended Gaviria as escort. He and his associates moved about with great pomp; banners were lowered as they passed, and besides carrying staffs and other insignia they adopted the broad frilled collar hitherto restricted to the higher nobles. The royal seal was brought from the palace to their hall, and the papers of the viceroy were seized, many of them being freely ventilated, notably his secret report on the character of the officials. It contained reflections far from flattering, and served to increase the animosity against him, and to encourage hostility. Indeed a number of his most excellent measures were annulled, wherever the oidores thought it for their interest to do so. The restriction on bearing arms was removed, persons exiled for crimes were recalled, prisoners released, and apostates restored to their orders. Further than this, many worthy officials had to yield their posts to adherents of the new party, and among them Pedro Velez de Guevara, governor of San Juan de Ulúa, who was replaced by Francisco Bravo de la Serna, a nephew of the archbishop.13 Pedro de la Gorreta, governor
12 This levy amounted to 64,000 pesos a year. Artillery was placed on the roof of the government house and double pass-words were at first required. Id., 13. Fonseca states that merely 39,853 pesos were taken from the fund. Hist. Hac., v. 359.
13 To this end he was first made corregidor of New Vera Cruz, and as soon HIST. MEX., VOL. III. 5
of Acapulco, declined to surrender his post to the relative of Gaviria, who had been appointed to receive it. The public feeling against the viceroy was maintained by libellous notices and abusive songs; and although printers were not as a rule permitted to issue them, no restriction was placed on public delivery.14
These proceedings received encouragement from the effort of the viceroy to keep secret his hiding-place, even from the oidores. They ferreted it, however, and placed a guard round the convent, ostensibly for his protection, but really to keep him prisoner. They also took precautions to restrict visits by allowing none to enter save with their permission.15 Many of those who came as visitors or servants were subjected to the indignity of search, and the viceroy's secretary was confined elsewhere so as to be unable to communicate with him.
Notwithstanding the secrecy concerning his abode the viceroy had not failed from the first to let it be known that he was still among the living. On the very evening of his flight he had summoned Inquisitor Juan Gutierrez Flores 16 and Fray Juan de Lormendi, guardian of the convent, and commissioned them to treat with the audiencia for his restoration to power, and for a meeting between them. They must also secure his papers. While considering themselves firmly enough established to follow their bent, the oidores nevertheless thought it necessary to call a
as the fleet for Spain had sailed he assumed command. Guevara at first refused to yield, but certain promises prevailed upon him. The alcalde mayor here maintained himself in his office, however, by command of Gelves. Grambila, Tumultos, MS., 17.
14 Even boys sang couplets on the streets, one of which ran:
'Ahora vivamos en nuestra ley,
The archbishop allowed an abusive attack on the viceroy to be printed by one Cristóbal Ruiz.
15 Y que matasen al virey, si instase de hecho en su salida.' Doc. Hist. Mex., série ii. tom. iii. 97. The viceroy's defenders point out that the placing of a few guards at Varaez' asylum had raised a terrible outcry, but none objected to the present violation.
16 Also visitador of Peru. Grambila, Tumultos, MS., 15.
PROCEEDINGS OF THE VICEROY.
meeting of leading men to give them support. They failed not to magnify the danger of restoring to power so unpopular a viceroy. A civil war might thereby be ignited which would not only imperil the lives and estates of every Spaniard in New Spain, but the interests and authority of the crown itself. Although the marqués del Valle among others made some blunt objections to these manifest efforts of the oidores to retain control, yet their influence and arguments prevailed in obtaining a very respectable endorsement. The more prudent refrained from committing themselves. Thus strengthened in their position, Gaviria and his colleagues replied to Gelves that he had been deposed, not by them but by the people, and had virtually admitted the removal by abandoning his post. Under the circumstances the law and the popular will demanded that they should administer the government till the king decided in the matter. He might confer with any oidor, but it would not be advisable for them to meet him as a body. His private papers would be surrendered, but not official documents nor his estate.
On receiving this answer the viceroy, partly with a view of sounding his opponents, proposed to leave for Spain since it was not proper that he should remain after being deprived of his position. It was also necessary that he should be allowed to consult with his secretary, his confessor, and other persons, in order to prepare the report which the king expected from him. Moreover he needed funds for the support of himself and followers. To this came the reply that the viceroy could not be permitted to leave before his residencia was taken. But residencia in this case could not be taken except by special order from the king, it was urged, since the office had not been left in due form, and bonds would be given if required. This caused the audiencia to yield and offer a vessel, at his own expense however. Shortly after they changed their mind and paid no attention to proposals