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



Capidgi Bachi from the NYPL

    THE Capidgi Bachi are officers of the Grand Seignior, frequently employed in executing his confidential commands; they have also the honour of carrying the bowstring before him, the appearance of which instrument in their hands fails not to excite apprehension in all.
    When the head of a Pacha is on any account required by the Sublime Porte, it is these officers who are employed to procure and bring it to Constantinople; the execution of this commission requires no little address on their part, and is frequently attended with considerable danger to themselves. As success in their object depends upon their displaying the katcherif, or imperial mandate, in the provincial divan before the Pacha can acquire a knowledge of their design, they either disguise themselves, or make some feigned excuse for their journey on their arrival in his Pachalic; but as the Pacha is frequently awake to the designs of the Porte, he endeavours to find out the employment of the Capidgi, and get hold of the katcherif before the latter has an opportunity of exhibiting it to the divan, in which case the head of the unfortunate Capidgi is frequently sent to Constantinople by the Pacha instead of his own.
    The Capidgi Bachi are also a kind of chamberlains, or masters of the ceremonies, as they introduce those who are admitted to an audience of the Grand Seignior, and, in fine, execute all the extraordinary orders of the Sultan, whether it be to collect provisions, levy troops, confirm a Pacha in his post, drain him of his wealth, or cut off his head
    The dress of ceremony of the Capidgi Bachi consists of rich silks trimmed and lined with valuable furs, with a sort of crested plume on their heads.

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