The Crucible Act 3 All Quotes

Hathorne Now, Martha Corey, there is abundant evidence in our hands to show that you have given yourself to the reading of fortunes. Do you deny it?
Martha Corey I am innocent to a witch. I know not what a witch is.
Hathorne How do you know, then, that you are not a witch?
Martha Corey If I were, I would know it.
Hathorne Why do you hurt these children?
Martha Corey I do not hurt them. I scorn it!
Giles I have evidence for the court!
Danforth You will keep your seat!
Giles Thomas Putnam is reaching out for land!
Danforth Remove that man, Marshal!
Giles You’re hearing lies, lies!
Parris Giles Corey, sir, and a more contentious—
Giles I am asked the question, and I am old enough to answer it! My name is Corey, sir, Giles Corey. I have six hundred acres, and timber in addition. It is my wife you be condemning now.
Danforth And how do you imagine to help her cause with such contemptuous riot? Now be gone. Your old age alone keeps you out of jail for this.
Giles They be tellin’ lies about my wife, sir, I—
Danforth Do you take it upon yourself to determine what this court shall believe and what it shall set aside?
Giles Your Excellency, we mean no disrespect for—
Danforth Disrespect, indeed! It is disruption, Mister. This is the highest court of the supreme government of this province, do you know it?
Giles Your Excellency, I only said she were readin’ books, sir, and they come and take her out of my house for—
Danforth Books! What books?
Giles It is my third wife, sir; I never had no wife that be so taken with books, and I thought to find the cause of it, d’y’see, but it were no witch I blamed her for. I have broke charity with her. I have broke charity with the woman.
Hale Execellency, he claims hard evidence for his wife’s defense. I think that in all justice you must—
Danforth Then let him submit his evidence in proper affidavit. You are certainly aware of our procedure here, Mr. Hale. Clear this room.
Herrick Come now, Giles.
Francis We are desperate, sir; we come here three days now and cannot be heard.
Danforth Who is this man?
Francis Francis Nurse, Your Excellency.
Hale His wife’s Rebecca that were condemned this morning.
Danforth Indeed! I am amazed to find you in such uproar. I have only good report of your character, Mr. Nurse.
Hathorne I think they must both be arrested in contempt, sir.
Danforth Let you write your plea, and in due time I will—
Francis Excellency, we have proof for your eyes; God forbid you shut them to it. The girls, sir, the girls are frauds.
Danforth What’s that?
Francis We have proof of it, sir. They are all deceiving you.
Hathorne This is contempt, sir, contempt!
Danforth Peace, Judge Hathorne.
Francis I surely do, sir, and I think you must be a wise judge to be what your are.
Danforth Do you know who I am, Mr Nurse? And do you know that near to four hundred are in the jails from Marblehead to Lynn, and upon my signature?
Danforth And seventy-two condemned to hang by that signature?
Francis Excellency, I never thought to say it to such a weighty judge, but you are deceived.
Parris Mary Warren! What are you about here?
Proctor She would speak with the Deputy Governor.
Danforth Did you not tell me Mary Warren were sick in bed?
Herrick She were, Your honor. When I go to fetch her to the court last week, she said she were sick.
Giles She has been striven’ with her soul all week, Your Honor; she comes now to tell the truth of this to you.
Danforth Who is this?
Proctor John Proctor, sir. Elizabeth Proctor is my wife.
Parris Beware this man, Your excellency, this man is mischief.
Hale I think you must hear the girl, sir, she—
Danforth Peace. What would you tell us, Mary Warren?
Proctor She never saw no spirits, sir.
Danforth Never saw no spirits!
Giles Never.
Proctor She has signed a deposition, sir—
Danforth No, no, I accept no depositions. Tell me, Mr. Proctor, have you given out this story in the village?
Proctor We have not.
Parris They’ve come to overthrow the court, sir! This man is—
Danforth I pray you, Mr. Parris. Do you know, Mr. Proctor, that the entire contention of the state in these trips is that the voice of Heaven is peaking through the children?
Proctor I know that, sir.
Danforth And you, Mary Warren, how came you to cry out people for sending their spirits against you?
Mary Warren It were pretense, sir.
Danforth I cannot hear you.
Proctor It were pretense, she says.
Danforth Ah? And the other girls? Susanna Walcott, and—the others? They are also pretending? Indeed.
Parris Excellency, you surely cannot think to let so vile a lie be spread in open court?
Danforth Indeed not, but it strike hard upon me that she will dare come here with such a tale. Now, Mr. Proctor, before I decide whether I shall hear you or not, it is my duty to tell you this. We burn a hot fire here; it melts down all concealment.
Proctor I know that, sir.
Danforth Let me continue. I understand well, a husband’s tenderness may drive him yo extravagance in defense of a wife. Are you certain in your conscience, Mister, that your evidence is the truth?
Proctor It is. And you will surely know it.
Danforth And you thought to declare this revelation in the open court before the public?
Proctor I thought I would, aye—with your permission.
Danforth Now, sir, what is your purpose in doing so?
Proctor Why, I—I would free my wife, sir.
Danforth There lurks nowhere in your heart, nor hidden in your spirit, and desire to undermine this court?
Proctor Why, no, sir.
Cheever I think it must be my duty, sir—You’ll not deny it, John. When we come to take his wife, he damned the court and ripped your warrant.
Parris Now you have it!
Danforth He did that, Mr. Hale?
Hale Aye, he did.
Proctor It were a temper, sir. I knew not what I did.
Danforth Mr. Proctor. Have you ever seen the Devil?
Danforth You are in all respects a Gospel Christian?
Parris Such a Christian that will not come to church but once a month!
Danforth Not come to church?
Proctor I—I have no love for Mr. Parris. It is no secret. But God I surely love.
Cheever He plow on Sunday, sir.
Danforth Plow on sunday!
Cheever I think it be evidence, John. I am I am an official of the court, I cannot keep it.
Proctor I—I have once or twice plowed on Sunday. I have three children, sir, and until last year my land give little.
Giles You’ll find other Christians that do plow on Sunday if the truth be known.
Hale Your Honor, I cannot think you may judge the man on such evidence.
Danforth I judge nothing. I tell you straight, Mister—I have seen marvels in this court. I have seen people choked before my eyes by spirits; I have seen them stuck by pins and slashed by daggers. I have until this moment not the slightest reason to suspect that the children may be deceiving me. Do you understand my meaning?
Proctor Excellency, does it not strike upon you that so many of these women have lived so long with such upright reputation, and—
Parris Do you read the Gospel, Mr. Proctor.
Proctor I read the Gospel.
Parris I think not, or you should surely know that Cain were an upright man, and yet he did kill Abel.
Proctor Aye, God tells us that. But who tells us Rebecca Nurse murdered seven babies by sending out her spirit on them?Is it the children only, and the is one will swear she lied to you.
Hathorne Aye, she’s the one.
Danforth Mr. Proctor, this morning, your wife send me a claim in which she states that she is pregnant now.
Proctor My wife pregnant!
Danforth There be no sign of it—we have examined her body.
Proctor But if she say she is pregnant, then she must be! That woman never lie, Mr Danforth.
Danforth She will not?
Proctor Never, sir, never.
Danforth We have thought it too convenient to be credited. However, if I should tell you now that I will let her be kept another month; and if she begin to show her natural signs, you shall have her living yet another year until she is delivered—what say you to that? Come now. You say your only purpose is to save your wife. Good, then, she is saved at least this year, and a year is long. What say you, sir? It is done now. Will you drop this charge?
Proctor I—I think I cannot.
Danforth Then your purpose is somewhat larger.
Parris He’s come to overthrow this court, Your Honor!
Proctor These are my friends. Their wives are also accused—
Danforth I judge you not, sir. I am ready to hear your evidence.
Proctor I come not to hurt the court; I only—
Danforth Marshal, go into the court and bid Judge Stoughton and Judge Sewall declare recess for one hour. And let them of to the tavern, if they will. All witnesses and prisoners are to be kept in the building.
Herrick Aye, sir. If I may say it, sir, I know this man all my life. It is a good man, sir.
Danforth I am sure of it, Marshal. Now, what deposition do you have for us, Mr. Proctor? And I beg you to be clear, open as the sky, and honest.
Proctor I am no lawyer, so I’ll—
Danforth The pure in heart need no lawyers. Proceed as you will.
Proctor Will you read this first, sir? It’s a sort of testament. The people signing it declare their good opinion of Rebecca, and my wife, and Martha Corey.
Parris Their good opinion!
Proctor These are all landholding farmers, members of the church. If you’ll notice, sir— they’ve known the women many years and never saw no sign they had dealings with the Devil.
Danforth How many names are here?
Francis Ninety-one, Your Excellency.
Parris These people should be summoned. For questioning.
Francis Mr. Danforth, I gave them all my word no harm would come to them for signing this.
Parris This is a clear attack upon the court!
Hale Is every defense an attack upon the court? Can no one—?
Parris All innocent and Christian people are happy for the courts in Salem! These people are gloomy for it. And I think you will want to know, from each and every one of them, what discontents them with you!
Hathorne Arrest him, excellency!
Giles I have evidence. Why will you not hear my evidence?
Giles Hands off, damn you, let me go!
Herrick Giles, Giles!
Giles Out of my way, Herrick! I bring evidence—
Herrick You cannot go in there, Giles; it’s a court!
Hale Pray be calm a moment.
Giles You, Mr. Hale, go in there and demand I speak.
Hale A moment, sir, a moment.
Giles They’ll be hangin’ my wife!
Hathorne How do you dare come roarin’ into this court! Are you gone daft, Corey?
Giles You’re not a Boston judge yet, Hathorne. You’ll not call me daft!
Danforth Who is this man?
Hathorne I think they ought to be examined, sir.
Danforth It is not necessarily an attack, I think. Yet—
Francis These are all covenanted Christians, sir.
Danforth Then I am sure they may have nothing to fear. Mr. Cheever, have warrants drawn for all of these—arrest for examination. Now, Mister, what other information do you have for us? You may sit, Mr. Nurse.
Francis I have brought trouble on these people. I have—
Danforth No, old man, you have not hurt these people if they are of good conscience. But you must understand, sir, that a person is either with this court or he must be counted against it, there be no road between. This is a sharp time, now, a precise time—we live no longer in the dusky afternoon when evil mixed itself with good and befuddled the world. Now, by God’s grace, the shining sun is up. and them that fear not light will surely praise it. I hope you will be one of those She’s not hearty, I see.
Proctor No, she’s not, sir. Now remember what the angel Raphael said to the boy Tobias. Remember it.
Proctor “Do that which is good, and no harm shall come to thee.”
Danforth Come, man, we wait you.
Giles John, my deposition, give him mine.
Proctor Aye. This is Mr. Corey’s deposition.
Hathorne What lawyer drew this, Corey?
Giles You know I never hired a lawyer in my life, Hathorne.
Danforth It is very well phrased. My compliments. Mr. Parris, if Mr. Putnam is in the court, will you bring him in? You have no legal training, Mr. Corey?
Giles I have the best, sir—I am thirty-three time in court in my life. And always plaintiff, too.
Danforth Oh, then you’re much put-upon.
Giles I am never put-upon; I know my rights, sir, and I will have them. You know, your father tried a case of mine—might be thirty-five years ago.
Giles That’s strange, he give me nine proud damages. He were a fair judge, your father. Y’see, I had a white mare that time, and this fellow come to borrow the mare—Aye, there he is.
Danforth Mr. Putnam, I have here an accusation by Mr. Corey against you. He states that you coldly prompted your daughter to cry witchery upon George Jacobs that is now in jail.
Putnam It is a lie.
Danforth Mr. Putnam states your charge is a lie. What say you to that?
Giles A fart on Thomas Putnam, that is what I say to that!
Danforth What proof do you submit for your charge, sir?
Giles My proof is there! If Jacobs hangs for a witch he forfeit up his property—that’s law! And there is none but Putnam with the coin to buy so great a piece. This man is killing his neighbors for their land!
Danforth But proof, sir, proof.
Giles The proof is there! I have it from an honest man who heard Putnam say it! The day his daughter cried out on Jacobs, he said she’d given him a fair gift of land.
Hathorne And the name of this man?
Giles What name?
Hathorne The man that give you this information.
Giles Why, I—I cannot give you his name.
Hathorne And why not?
Giles You know well why not! He’ll lay in jail if I give his name!
Hathorne This is contempt of court, Mr. Danforth!
Danforth You will surely tell us the name.
Giles I will give you no name. I mentioned my wife’s name once and I’ll burn in hell long enough for that. I stand mute.
Danforth In that case, I have no choice but to arrest you for contempt of this court, do you know that?
Giles This is a hearing; you cannot clap me for contempt of a hearing.
Danforth Oh, it is a proper lawyer! Do you wish me to declare the court in full session here? Or will you give me good reply?
Giles I cannot give you no name, sir, I cannot.
Danforth You are a foolish old man. Mr. Cheever, begin the record. The court is now in session. I ask you, Mr. Corey—
Proctor Your honor— he has the story in confidence, sir, and he—
Parris The Devil lives on such confidences! Without confidences, there could be no conspiracy, Your Honor!
Hathorne I think it must be broken, sir.
Danforth Old man, if your informant tells the truth let him come here openly like a decent man. But if he hide in anonymity I must know why. Now sir, the government and central church department demand of you the name of them who reported Mr. Thomas Putnam a common murder.
Hale We cannot blink it more. There is a prodigious fear of this court in the country—
Danforth Then there is a prodigious guilt in the country. Are you afraid to be questioned here?
Hale I may only fear the Lord, sir, but there is fear in the country nevertheless.
Danforth Reproach me not with the fear in the country; there is fear in the country because there is a moving plot to topple Christ in the country!
Hale But it does not follow that everyone accused is part of it.
Danforth No uncorrupted man may fear this court, Mr. Hale! None! You are under arrest in my contempt of this court. Now sit down and take counsel with yourself, or you will be set in the jail until you decide to answer all questions.
Proctor No, Giles.
Giles I’ll cut your throat, Putnam, I’ll kill you yet!
Proctor Peace, Giles, peace. We’ll prove ourselves. Now we will.
Giles Say nothin’ more, John. He’s only playin’ you! He means to hang us all!
Danforth This is a court of law, Mister. I’ll have no effrontery here!
Proctor Forgive him, sir, for his old age. Peace, Giles, we’ll prove it all now. You cannot weep, Mary. Remember the angel, what he say to the boy. Hold to it, now; there is your rock. This is Mary Warren’s deposition. I—I would ask you remember, sir, while you read it, that until two week ago she were no different than the other children are today. You saw her scream, she howled, she swore familiar spirits choked her; she even testified that Satan, in the form of women now in jail, tried to win her soul away, and then when she refused—
Danforth We know all this.
Proctor Aye, sir. She swears now that she never saw Satan; nor any spirit, vague or clear, that Satan may have sent to hurt her. And she declares her friends are lying now.
Hale Excellency, a moment. I think this goes to the heart of the matter.
Danforth It surely does.
Hale I cannot say he is an honest man; I know him little. But in all justice, sir, a claim so weighty cannot be argued by a farmer. In God’s name, sir, stop here; send him home and let him come again with a lawyer—
Danforth Now look you, Mr. Hale—
Hale Excellency, I have signed seventy-two death warrants; I am a minister of the Lord, and I dare not take a life without there be a proof so immaculate no slightest qualm of conscience may doubt it.
Danforth Mr. Hale, you surely do not doubt my justice.
Hale I have this morning signed away the soul of Rebecca Nurse, Your Honor. I’ll not conceal it, my hand shakes yet as with a wound! I pray you, sir, this argument let lawyers present to you.
Danforth Mr. Hale, believe me; for a man of such terrible learning you are most bewildered—I hope you will forgive me. I have been thirty-two year at the bar; sir, and I should be confounded were I called upon to defend these people. Let you consider; now—And I bid you all do likewise. In an ordinary crime, how does one defend the accused? One calls up witnesses to prove his innocence. But witchcraft is ipso facto, on its face and by its nature, an invisible crime, is it not? Therefore, we must rely upon her victims—and they do testify, the children certainly do testify. As for the witches, none will deny that we are most eager for all their confessions. Therefore, what is left for a lawyer to bring out? I think I have made my point. Have I not?
Hale But this child claims the girls are not truthful, and if they are not—
Danforth That is precisely what I am about to consider, sir. What more may you ask of me? Unless you doubt my probity?
Hale I surely do not, sir. Let you consider it, then.
Danforth And let you put your heart to rest. Her deposition, Mr. Proctor.
Parris I should like to question—
Danforth Mr. Parris, I bid you be silent! Mr. Cheever, will you go into the court and bring the children here? Mary Warren, how came you to this turnabout? Has Mr. Proctor threatened you for this deposition?
Danforth Has he ever threatened you?
Danforth Has he threatened you?
Danforth Then you tell me that you sat in my court, callously lying, when you knew that people would hang by your evidence? Answer me!
Danforth How were you instructed in your life? Do you not know that ********s all liars? Or is it now that you lie?
Mary Warren No, sir—I am with God now.
Danforth You are with God now.
Danforth I will tell you this—you are either lying now, or you were lying in the court, and in either case you have committed perjury and you will go to jail for it. You cannot lightly say you lied, Mary. Do you know that?
Mary Warren I cannot lie no more. I am with God, I am with God.
Cheever Ruth Putnam’s not in the court, sir, nor the other children.
Danforth These will be sufficient. Sit you down, children. Mary Warren, has given us a deposition. In which she swears that she never saw familiar spirits, apparitions, nor any manifest of the Devil. She claims as well that none of you have seen these things either. Now children, this is a court of law. The law, based upon the Bible, and the Bible, writ by Almighty God, forbid the practice of witchcraft, and describe death as the penalty thereof. But likewise, children, the law and Bible damn all bearers of false witness. Now then. It does not escape me that this deposition may be devised to blind us; it may well be that Mary Warren has been conquered by Satan, who sends her here to distract our sacred purpose. If so, her neck will break for it. But if she speaks true, I bid you now drop your guile and confess your pretense, for a quick confession will go easier with you. Abigail Williams, rise. Is there any truth in this?
Danforth Children, a very augur bit will now be turned into your souls until your honestly is proved. Will either of you change your positions now, or do you force me to hard questioning?
Abigail I have naught to change, sir. She lies.
Danforth You would still go on with this?
Danforth A poppet were discovered in Mr. Proctor’s house, stabbed by a needle. Mary Warren claims that you sat beside her in the court when she made it, and that you saw her make it and witnessed how she herself stuck her needle into it for safe-keeping. What say you to that?
Abigail It is a lie, sir.
Danforth While you worked for Mr. Proctor, did you see poppets in that house?
Abigail Goody Proctor always kept poppets.
Proctor Your Honor, my wife never kept no poppets. Mary Warren confesses it was her poppet.
Cheever Your Excellency.
Danforth Mr. Cheever.
Cheever When I spoke with Goody Proctor in that house, she said she never kept no poppets. But she said she did keep poppets when she were a girl.
Proctor She has not been a girl these fifteen years, Your Honor.
Hathorne But a poppet will keep fifteen years, will it not?
Proctor It will keep if it is kept, but Mary Warren swears she never saw no poppets in my house, nor anyone else.
Parris Why could there not have been poppets hid where no one ever saw them?
Proctor There might also be a dragon with five legs in my house, but no one has ever seen it.
Parris We are here, Your Honor, precisely to discover what no one has ever seen.
Proctor Mr. Danforth, what profit this girl to turn herself about? What may Mary Warren gain but hard questioning and worse?
Danforth You are charging Abigail Williams with a marvelous cool plot to murder, do you understand that?
Proctor I do, sir. I believe she means to murder.
Danforth This child would murder your wife?
Proctor It is not a child. Now hear me, sir. In the sight of the congregation she were twice this year put out of this meetin’ house for laughter during prayer.
Danforth What’s this? Laughter during—!
Parris Excellency, she were under Tituba’s power at that time, but she is solemn now.
Giles Aye, now she is solemn and goes to hang people!
Danforth Quiet, man.
Hathorne Surely it have no bearing on the question, sir. He charges contemplation of murder.
Danforth Aye. Continue, Mr. Proctor.
Proctor Mary. Now tell the Governor how you danced in the woods.
Parris Excellency, since I come to Salem this man is blackening my name. He—
Danforth In a moment, sir. What is this dancing?
Mary Warren I—Mr. Proctor—
Proctor Abigail leads the girls to the woods, Your Honor, and they have danced there naked—
Parris Your Honor, this—
Proctor Mr. Parris discovered them himself in the dead of night! There’s the “child” she is!
Danforth Mr. Parris—
Parris I can only say, sir, that I never found any of them naked, and this man is—
Danforth But you discovered them dancing in the woods? Abigail?
Hale Excellency, when I first arrived from Beverly, Mr. Parris told me that.
Danforth Do you deny it, Mr. Parris?
Parris I do not, sir, but I never saw any of them naked.
Danforth But she have danced?
Parris Aye, sir.
Hathorne Excellency, will you permit me?
Danforth Pray, proceed.
Hathorne You say you never saw no spirits, Mary, were never threatened or afflicted by any manifest of the Devil or the Devil’s agents.
Mary Warren No, sir.
Hathorne And yet, when people accused of witchery confronted you in court, you would faint, saying their spirits came out of their bodies and choked you—
Mary Warren That were pretense, sir.
Danforth I cannot hear you.
Mary Warren Pretense, sir.
Parris But you did turn cold, did you not? I myself picked you up many times, and your skin were icy. Mr. Danforth, you—
Danforth I saw that many times.
Proctor She only pretended to faint, Your Excellency. They’re all marvelous pretenders.
Hathorne Then can she pretend to faint now?
Proctor Now?
Parris Why not? Now there are no spirits attacking her, for none in this room is accused of witchcraft. So let her turn herself cold now, let her pretend she is attacked now, let her faint. Faint!
Mary Warren Faint?
Parris Aye, faint. Prove to us how you pretended in the court so many times.
Mary Warren I—cannot faint now, sir.
Proctor Can you to pretend it?
Mary Warren I—I—have no sense of it now, I—
Danforth Why What is lacking now?
Mary Warren I—cannot tell, sir, I—
Danforth Might it be that here we have ni afflicting spirit loose, but in the court there were some?
Mary Warren I never saw no spirits.
Parris Then see no spirits now, and prove to us that you can faint by your own will, as you claim.
Mary Warren I—cannot do it.
Parris Then you will confess, will you not? It were attacking spirits made you faint!
Mary Warren No, sir, I—
Parris Your Excellency, this is a trick to blind the court!
Mary Warren It’s not a trick! I—I used to faint because I—I thought I saw spirits.
Danforth Thought you saw them!
Mary Warren But I did not, Your Honor.
Hathorne How could you think you saw them unless you saw them?
Mary Warren I—I cannot tell how, but I did. I—Your Honor, you seemed to believe them, and I—It were only sport in the beginning, sir, but then the whole world cried spirits, spirits, and I—I promise you Mr. Danforth, I only thought I saw them but I did not.
Parris Surely Your Excellency is not taken by this simple lie.
Danforth Abigail. I bid you now search your heart and tell me this—and beware of it, child, to God Every soul is precious and His vengeance is terrible on them that take life without cause. Is it possible, cild, that the spirits you have seen are illusion only, some deception that may cross your mind when—
Abigail Why, this—this—is a base question, sir.
Danforth Child, I would have you consider it—
Abigail I have been hurt, Mr. Danforth; I have seen my blood runnin’ out! I have been near to murdered every day because I done my duty pointing out the Devil’s people—and this is my reward? To be mistrusted, denied, questioned like a—
Abigail Let you beware, Mr. Danforth. Think you to be so mighty that the power of Hell may not turn your wits? Beware of it! There is—
Danforth What is it, child?
Abigail I—I know not. A wind, a cold wind, has come.
Mary Warren Abby!
Mercy Lewis Your Honor, I freeze!
Proctor They’re pretending!
Hathorne She is cold, Your Honor, touch her!
Mercy Lewis Mary, do you send this shadow on me?
Mary Warren Lord, save me!
Susanna Walcott I freeze, I freeze!
Abigail It is a wind, a wind!
Mary Warren Abby, don’t do that!
Danforth Mary Warren, do you witch her? I say to you, do you send your spirit out?
Mary Warren Let me go, Mr. Proctor, I cannot, I cannot—
Abigail Oh, Heavenly Father, take away this shadow!

You Might Also Like