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My Man Jeeves

P. G. Wodehouse

The Pictorial Key to the Tarot

Arthur Edward Waite

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Christopher Morely

Esoteric Buddhism

A. P. Sinnett

First part of the Royal commentaries of the Yncas

by Garcilaso de la Vega


* This lady was the daughter of the Portuguese Infant Dom Duarte, and grand-daughter of Manuel King of Portugal, who died in 1557. She was married to John Duke of Braganza. After the terrible rout at Alcazar, and the death of Dom Sebastian (grandson of King John III, and great grandson of King Manuel) in 1578, that unfortunate youth's uncle, the old Cardinal Henry, succeeded to the throne of Portugal. During his short reign of two years the various claimants to the Portuguese throne were heard. The one who had the best right was young Ranuccio of Parma, whose mother was the eldest sister of the lady Catharine, Duchess of Braganza. Next came the Duchess herself, next, the King of Spain, who claimed by right of his mother the Infanta Isabella, a sister of the Infant Dom Duarte. The Duke of Savoy claimed through his mother Beatrice, a sister of the Infanta Isabella; and Antonio, Prior of Crato, had the worst claim of all. He was an illegitimate son of Dom Luis, a brother of Dom Duarte. The claim of Catharine de Medicis was absurd.

When the old Cardinal King Henry died in 1580, Portugal fell to the strongest claimant, and was seized by Philip II. The Duchess of Braganza, instead of being Queen, had to be satisfied with a private station, and the patronage of authors. When the Ynca dedicated his Commentaries to her in 1609, she must have been about fifty years of age. Her son Theodore, Duke of Braganza, had a son John, who, when the Portuguese threw off the yoke of Spain in 1641, became their king, and founded the dynasty of Braganza.

Mariana says that when Philip II came to take possession of Portugal, he was received with great splendour at Yelves by the Duke of Braganza, and that the king afterwards visited his cousin the Duchess Catharine. Historia de Espaha, x, lib. viii, cap. 6.

favoured by the virtuous, and more free from the calumnies of evil speakers. I am minded, 0 most serene Princess, in imitation of the example of other writers, to dedicate these Commentaries to your Highness, that they may find shelter under your royal protection. Your Highness is known, not only in Europe, but even in the most remote parts of the east, the west, the north, and the south, wherever the glorious princes, your Highness's ancestors, have planted the standard of our well-being and of their glory, at so great a cost of blood and of lives, as is notorious. It is also known to all how great is the generosity of your Highness, for this generosity is the child and descendant of the distinguished kings and princes of Portugal; and although your Highness may not think much of this virtue, yet when over the gold of such lofty rank the enamel of so heroic a virtue is cast, it should be valued very highly. When we behold the grace with which God our Lord has enriched the soul of your Highness, we find it to be even greater than the natural qualities, the piety, and the virtue, of which the whole world speaks with admiration; and I would say somewhat more without any sign of flattery, if your Highness did not hate these praises as much as you desire silence concerning your virtues. Those who have been or may be favoured by your royal countenance in the whole of these kingdoms, and in those abroad, are proclaimed in so many languages that neither they nor the favours of your royal hand can be numbered. Judging from this experience, I hope to receive favour and countenance for these my books, in proportion to my necessity. I confess that my audacity is great, and my whole service very small, though my wish to serve is sincere. This I also offer, protesting that if I should be deemed worthy, I am most ready to serve your Highness, whose royal person and house may our Lord watch over and bless. Amen. Amen.

Thb Ynca GauciLasso De La Vega.


Although there have been curious Spaniards who have written accounts of the commonwealths of the New World, such as that of Mexico, that of Peru, and those of other kingdoms of heathendom, yet these accounts have not been so complete as they might have been. I have remarked this particularly in the accounts which I have seen written of affairs in Peru, concerning which, as a native of the city of Cuzco, the Rome of that empire, I have a fuller and clearer knowledge than has hitherto been supplied by any writer. It is true that former writers touch upon many of the great events which occurred in the empire of Peru, but they write them so briefly that (owing to the manner in which they are told) I am scarcely able to understand them. For this reason, and influenced by a natural love of my country, I undertook the task of writing these Commentaries, in which the events that happened in that land, before the arrival of the Spaniards, are clearly and distinctly set forth, as well touching the rites of their vain religion, as the government of their kings during peace and war, and all other things that relate to those Indians, from the lowest affairs of the vassals to the highest matters touching the royal crown. I only write concerning the events of the empire of the Yncas, without entering upon those of other monarchies, respecting which I have no knowledge. In the

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