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Proctor asks about Elizabeth's unborn child and the boys, who are kept by Rebecca's son Samuel. Elizabeth tells Proctor that Giles is dead; he would not answer to his indictment and the court pressed him to death, laying stones on his chest until he pleaded aye or nay. His last words were "more weight."
Proctor asks Elizabeth what she would think if he confessed, but Elizabeth says that she cannot judge him. She says that she will have him do what he wishes, but she does want him alive. Proctor says that he cannot mount the gibbet as a saint, as he is not a saint like Goody Nurse. Elizabeth says that she has her own sins to account for, and blames herself for forcing her husband to turn to lechery. Proctor states to Hathorne that he will confess himself, but he asks Elizabeth once again if it is evil. She answers that she cannot judge, but he asks in return who will judge him. When they demand a written confession, Proctor asks why he must sign. Danforth says it is for the good instruction of the village.
The guards bring in Rebecca Nurse, who is astonished that John is confessing. Proctor refuses to say that he saw Rebecca Nurse in the Devil's company, or anybody else. Danforth demands that Proctor prove the purity of his soul by accusing others, but Hale advises that it is enough that he confess himself. Parris agrees, but Danforth once again demands that Proctor sign the document. Proctor says that he has confessed to God, and that is enough. He asks Danforth whether a good penitence must be public. Proctor asks how he can teach his children to walk like men when he has sold his friends. Proctor wishes to keep only his name, and Danforth thus refuses to accept his confession. Danforth orders Proctor to be hanged. Hale begs Elizabeth to plead with Proctor to sign a confession, but Elizabeth states that Proctor has his goodness now, and God forbid she take it from him.