In act 4 of The Crucible, Elizabeth Proctor gives John the dispiriting news of what has been happening in Salem. When she mentions that Giles Corey is dead, John assumes that he was hanged for witchcraft like the others, but Elizabeth explains that this is not how he died. Giles was a stubborn and courageous man placed in an impossible position. He did not have it in him to pretend that he was a witch and beg for forgiveness. However, he knew that if he denied the charge, he would be found guilty and hanged, and all his property would be confiscated.
Giles, therefore, took the only course he could and remained silent. This, Elizabeth notes, means that he died "Christian under the law." He was not hanged, and his property was his own when he died. However, in an attempt to make him talk, he was pressed with heavy stones, which were placed on his chest, crushing the air out of his lungs in the attempt to make him say something. His body was crushed by the stones but his spirit was not, since his last words before he died were "More weight." John repeats these words admiringly, gaining some grim satisfaction that Giles Corey died as he had lived, obstinate and steadfast to the end.