In "The Crucible", what is Hale's advice to the Proctors as he prepares to leave their house?

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Act Two, Reverend Hale is traveling to the homes of the accused on his own in search of further evidence of their involvement in witchcraft. When Reverend Hale arrives at Proctor's home, he begins to question him about the number of times he's been absent from church. Hale then asks Proctor why only two of his children have been baptized. Proctor responds by telling him that he doesn't want Parris to touch his child. Reverend Hale then asks Proctor to recite the Ten Commandments, and he remembers all but one commandment. Before Hale leaves for the first time, Proctor tells him that Abigail Williams said that the children's sickness has nothing to do with witchcraft. Hale is astonished and asks Proctor if he will testify in court. Proctor says that he will and then reveals that he questions the existence of witchcraft altogether. Before Hale leaves, he advises that they baptize their third child quickly, attend church every Sunday, and to remain solemn. 

favoritethings eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Mr. Hale has come to the Proctors' home in order to find out why the couple hasn't been to church very often -- only twenty six times in the last seventeen months -- as well as why their third child has not been baptized.  These are oddities among the well-respected members of the community, and since Elizabeth's name was brought up in court that day, Hale wishes to see what these two are like for himself.  When he leaves, he tells them, "let the third child be quickly baptized, and go you without fail each Sunday in to Sabbath prayer, and keep a solemn, quiet way among you."  He cautions the Proctors to keep their noses clean, to do everything that they are supposed to do, so that they do not arouse further suspicion.  They need to adhere to all the rules and standards of their church so as not to give anyone in the community any reason to accuse them of anything.

jilllessa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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The Crucible

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