Protestant Maid, The
DESCRIPTION: A Protestant maid marries a Catholic who has a priest help convince her to convert. The priest plans a transubstantiation demonstration. She adds arsenic to the cake and he balks at eating it. Her husband is convinced to convert to Protestantism.
EARLIEST DATE: 1987 (OrangeLark)
LONG DESCRIPTION: "A pretty maid, a Protestant, got to a Papist wed" In spite of her husband's urging she would not convert. He brought a priest home to convince her. The priest planned a demonstration of transubstantiation. She agreed and volunteered to make the cake. As he prepared to eat it she told him she had added arsenic; if the cake was changed by transubstantiation, it should be harmless. The priest left without a taste, crying "'This is a cursed place.'" She replied, "'You are a cursed race." Her husband was convinced to convert "and quite forsake the system that's impure."
KEYWORDS: marriage trick poison ritual Ireland religious husband wife clergy food
REFERENCES (1 citation):
OrangeLark 26, "The Protestant Maid" (1 text, 1 tune)
cf. "The Old Orange Flute" (subject: religious conversion)
cf. "The Banks of Dunmore" (subject: religious conversion)
cf. "Garvagh Town" (subject: religious conversion)
cf. "Rosedale Waters (The Skeptic's Daughter)" (subject: religious conversion)
cf. "Silver Jack" [Laws C24] (subject: religious conversion)
NOTES: This almost sounds like an answer to "The Banks of Dunmore" -- with the addition, amazingly, of an actual experiment. Of course, there is the complication that the body can become relatively accustomed to arsenic, so possibly in the process of transubstantiation, the arsenic would remain behind -- and the alleged body of Christ would merely be subject to a high arsenic level which would kill the consumers. It would be an interesting experiment to try on, say, a child-abusing priest.
But the idea that anyone would be convinced by this is highly unlikely. For a discussion of the myriad arguments over transubstantiation, which is one of the many hard-to-bridge divides between Protestant and Catholic, see the notes to "The Banks of Dunmore." - RBW
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