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From drawings by Octavien Dalvimart (d'Alvimart), engraved F.H. Clark



Ladle Bearer from the NYPL

    The rank of this officer must not be judged of by the ideas which we should naturally be led to affix to his designation. The greatest disgrace which any of our regiments could suffer, would be in the loss of their colours; the utmost which could befall a Turkish one, would be in the loss of its ladles and kettles; every ortah, or regiment, has two of each, which are carried with great ceremony at the head of the corps, and should both be taken by an enemy, the regiment is considered as destroyed, and is formed anew before others are given to it.
    In strict conformity with such ideas of military parade, the Janizaries have each of them a wooden spoon, wherewith they eat their pilau, and which they wear instead of a feather, stuck into a copper tube, which is affixed in front of their bonnets. When they receive their rations with quickness and alacrity, it is concluded that they are well affected and satisfied in their ortah; on the contrary, they show their dissatisfaction by advancing to receive their rations in a sour negligent manner; whilst the greatest sign of their discontent is to keep away altogether at the time of distribution.
    In general revolts or mutinies of the Janizaries at Constantinople, they have a custom of carrying their kettles to the front of the seraglio, where they place them on the ground, upside down: when they give this terrible instance of their displeasure, it becomes necessary to appease them, by delivering the heads of the first characters of the state, who are sacrificed to them without even the form of a trial; even the deposition of the Sultan himself has frequently become the consequence of their exhibiting this mark of their displeasure.

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Other Illustrations of Ottoman Janissaries (Janizary, Yeniceri)