History

Ruffian Dick’s Pilgrimage to Mecca

In a time of turmoil in the Middle East, a thirty-one-year-old Englishman’s pilgrimage to Islam’s holiest shrine—Mecca’s House of Allah—disguised as a wandering Dervish doctor, is even more remarkable today than it was in 1853. Infidel, n. In New York, one who does not believe in the Christian religion; in Constantinople, one who does. A kind of scoundrel imperfectly reverent of, and niggardly contributory to, divines, ecclesiastics, popes, parsons, canons, monks, mullahs, voodoos, presbyters, hierophants, prelates, abbés, nuns, missionaries, exhorters, deacons, friars, hadjis, high-priests, muezzins, Brahmins, medicine-men, confessors, eminences, elders, primates, pilgrims, prophets, etc. — [Ambrose Bierce, 1911, The Devil’s…

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