The Crucible

Arthur Miller

REBECCA: A child's spirit is like a child, you can never catch it by running after itl you must stand still and, for love, it will soon itself come back.

MRS PUTNAM: You think it God's work you should never lose a child, nor grandchild either, and I bury all but one? There are wheels within wheels in this village, and fires within fires!

PROCTOR: I have trouble enough without I come five mile to hear him preach only hellfire and bloody damnation. Take it to heart, Mr Parris. There are many others who stay away from church these days because you hardly ever mention God any more.

PARRIS: Why, that's a drastic charge!

REBECCA: It's somewhat true; there are many that quail to bring their children -

PARRIS: I do not preach for childrem, Rebecca. It is not the children who are unmindful of their obligations toward this ministry.

PARRIS: There is either obedience or the church will burn like Hell is burning!

PROCTOR: Can you speak one minute without we land in Hell again? I am sick of Hell!

PARRIS: It is not for you to say what is good for you to hear!

PROCTOR: I may speak my heart, I think!

PARRIS: What, are we Quakers? We are not Quakers here yet, Mr Proctor. And you may tell that to your followers!

PROCTOR: My followers!

PARRIS: There is a party in this church. I am not blind; there is a faction and a party.

PROCTOR: Against you?

PARRIS: Against him and all authority!

PROCTOR: Why, then I must find it and join it.

... we conceive the Devil as a necessary part of a respectable view of cosmology. Ours is a divided empire in which certain ideas and emotions and actions are of God, and their opposites are of Lucifer. It is as impossible for most men to conceive of a morality without sin as of an earth without 'sky'. Since 1692 a great but superficial change has wiped out God's beard and the Devil's horns, but the world is still gripped between two diametrically opposed absolutes. The concept of unity, in which positive and negative are attributes of the same force, in which good and evil are relative, ever-changing, and always joined to the same phenomenon - such a concept is still reserved to the physical sciences and to the few who have grasped the history of ideas.

When it is recalled that until the Christian era the underworld was never regardded as a hostile area, that all gods were useful and essentially friendly to man despite occasional lapsesl when we see the steady methodical inculcation into humanity of the idea of man's worthlesseness - until redeemed - the necessity of the Devil may become evident as a weapon, a weapon designed and used time and time again in every age to whip men into a surrender to a particular church or church state.

Our difficulty in believing the - for the want of a better word - political inspiration of the Devil is due in great part to the fact that he is called up and damned not only by our social antagonists but by our own side, whatever it may be. The Catholic Church, through its Inquisition, is famous for cultivating Lucifer as the arch-fiend, but the Church's ebemies relied no less upon the Old Boy to keep the human mind entralled.

HALE: What victory would the Devil have to win a soul already dab? It is the best the Devil wants...

PROCTOR: Spare me! You forget nothin' and forgive nothin'. Learn charity, woman. I have gone tiptoe in this house all seven months since she is gone. I have not moved from there to there without I think to please you, and still an everlasting funeral marches round your heart. I cannot speak but I am doubted, every moment judged for lies, as though I come into a court when I come into this house!...

No more! I should have roared you down when first you told me your suspicion. But I wilted, and, like a Christian, I confessed. Confessed! Some dreams I had must have mistaken you for God that day. But you're not, you're not, and let you remember it! Let you look sometimes for the goodness in me, and judge me not.

HALE: Mister, I have myself examined Tituba, Sarah Good, and numerous others that have confessed in dealing with the Devil. They have confessed it.

PROCTOR: And why not, if they must hand for denyin' it? There are them that will swear to anything before they'll hang; have you never thought of that?

PROCTOR: I will bring you home. I will bring you home soon.

ELIZABETH: Oh, John, bring me soon!

PROCTOR: I will fall like an ocean on that court! Fear nothing, Elizabeth.

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.

DANFORTH: The pure in heart need no lawyers.

DANFORTH: Mr Putnam states your charge is a lie. What say you to that?

GILES: A fart of Thomas Putnam, that is what I say to that!

DANFORTH: Will you confess yourself befouled with Hell, or do you keep that black allegiance yet? What say you?

PROCTOR: I say - I say - God is dead! A fire, a fire is burning! I hear the boot of Lucifer, I see his filthy face! And it is my face, and yours, Danforth! For them that quial to bring men out of ignorance, as I have quialed, and you quail now when you know in all your black hearts that this be fraud - God damns our kindespecially, and we will burn, we will burn together!

HALE: I came into this village like a bridegroon to his belived, bearing gifts of high religion; the very crown of holy war I brought, and what I touched with my bright confidence, it died; and where I turned the eye of my great faith, blood flowed up. Beware, Goody Proctor - cleave to no faith when faith brings blood. It is mistaken law that leads you to sacrifice. Life, woman, life is God's most precious gift; no principle, however glorious, may justify the taking of it. I beg you, woman, prevail upon your husband to confess. Let him give his lie. Quail not before God's judgement in this, for it may well be God damns a liar less than he that throws his life away for pride.

PROCTOR: And Giles?

ELIZABETH: You have not heard it?

PROCTOR: I hear nothin', where I am kept.

ELIZABETH: Giles is dead.

PROCTOR: When were he hanged?

ELIZABETH: He were not hanged. He would not answer aye or nay to his indictmentl for if he denied the charge they'd hang him surely, and auction out his property. So he stand mute, and died Christian under the law. And so his sons will have his farm. It is the law, for he could not be condemned a wizard without he answer the indictment, aye or nay.

PROCTOR: Then he does he die?

ELIZABETH: They press him, John.


ELIZABETH: Great stones they lay upon his chest until he plead aye or nay. They say he give them but two words. 'More weight," he says. And died.

PROCTOR: 'More weight.'

ELIZABETH: Aye. It were a fearsome man, Giles Corey.