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When Parris demands that these ninety-one be summoned for questioning, and claims it is an attack on the court. Hale asks if every defense is an attack on the court, but Parris tells him that all innocent and Christian people are satisfied with the courts in Salem.
Hale advises Danforth that he cannot say that Proctor is an honest man, but it would be better to send him home to hire a lawyer. Hale has signed seventy-two death warrants, and he claims that he dares not take a life without examining any reasonable doubt. He now doubts the guilt of Rebecca Nurse.
When Elizabeth lies in court, Proctor says that his wife meant only to save his reputation. Hale claims that it is a natural lie to tell, and to stop before another person is condemned. Abigail then claims that she sees Mary Warren's spirit manifested as a bird, trying to hurt her. Mary Warren sobs that she is merely standing in court, but Abigail continues with the charade. Mary Warren claims that the girls are lying, but after Danforth threatens her and Abigail refuses to stop her charade, Mary submits and accuses Proctor of being the Devil's man. She says that Proctor made her sign the Devil's book and made her try to overthrow the court. Danforth orders Proctor to admit his allegiance with Satan, but Proctor cries out that God is dead, and that a fire is burning because the court is "pulling Heaven down and raising up a whore." Hale denounces the proceedings and quits the court.