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Putnam advises Reverend Parris to be honest. The Putnam's urging is what tips the balance between Parris' self interest and his acceptance of his suspicions.
His daughter Betty is in the same kind of mysterious trance as Ruth, and the Reverand definitely suspects witchcraft, but he knows that if he admits this, it will be the end of his career, and could even be a death sentence for his daughter and himself!
So when Reverend Parris goes downstairs to address the crowd, it is no trivial decision, and the Putnams' persuasion has had a significant effect on his choice.
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