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They will be brought in for questioning. Parris, trying to save his own skin, fears the great numbers who will attest to the innocence of the accused. He makes a great bluffing gesture, hoping that all who signed will fear that they too might meet the grim noose of the hangman. But by now, even Hale is beginning to become suspicious. When Parris rails that Francis is conducting "a clear attack upon the court," Hale replies: "Is every defense an attack upon the court?"
Danforth, however, sides with Paris, saying if the petitioners are innocent, then "they have nothing to fear...a person is either with this court or he must be counted against it, there be no road between."
Though eventually the ridiculousness of the trials ceases, those who signed have good reason to be afraid, for even the most upstanding, blameless citizens, such as Rebecca Nurse and Elizabeth Proctor, have been accused and convicted.
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