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Danforth tells Proctor that his wife asserts she is pregnant,and offers to let Elizabeth go free until she has delivered. Even so, John cannot in good conscience drop his charge of fraudulence against the court.
Danforth is asking him to give up any further attempt to show that the proceedings are fraudulent. Proctor must again make the difficult decision to either remain uninvolved or do what he can to make the truth known.
difficult decision to either remain uninvolved or do what he
hell to the yes
Deputy Governor Danforth informs John Proctor with the news that his wife, Elizabeth, is pregnant. He tells Proctor, "This morning, your wife send me a claim in which she states that she is pregnant now" but "There be no sign of it--we have examined her body." Danforth tries to strike the following deal with Proctor, provided that his wife is in fact pregnant and "if she begin to show her natural signs", then he will let Elizabeth out of jail until she delivers. In return, Proctor must drop his charges against the court.
Proctor comes to the court and tells them that his wife, Elizabeth, has not seen any spirits. She has signed a deposition to prove this claim. Danforth is in shock and worries over this new twist.
Danforth does not want anyone to be able to prove that they are innocent. It would look badly on him. He then tells Proctor that Elizabeth is pregnant. Proctor is in shock, but tells the men that if his wife says she is pregnant, then she is. She is unable to tell a lie, he tells them. Proctor is ready to go into the courtroom and announce what his wife has said. Danforth knows that if this happens, the whole situation will change for him. He offers to let Elizabeth stay alive for one year and have the baby, if Proctor will promise not to go to court. Proctor, being an honest man, can't do this. Danforth is still proving that he has control over the situation.
Danforth thinks he is being reasonable. He knows how bad it would look on him, if he had a pregnant woman executed, but he doubts that Elizabeth is pregnant. He thinks she is just saying this to try to save her life. He knows how bad it would look if Proctor brings his charges to the court. He is knows he is in a tight spot and is willing to do whatever he can to stay in control.
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