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.