In act 4, Elizabeth Proctor tells her husband, John, that Giles Corey's last words were "'More weight.'" He refused to answer his indictment, after he'd been accused of witchcraft, and the court could not proceed with his trial until he did so. In the play, he continues to refuse to speak, as he knows that this would allow his property to pass to his sons upon his death (rather than being auctioned off to the highest bidder were he to be found guilty of witchcraft), and so the sheriff and magistrates make the decision to "press him." To do this, they would strip him down and lay him on the ground in a kind of shallow ditch, place a large wooden board on his chest and begin piling the rocks on until either he answered his indictment or was crushed to death. Giles thumbs his nose at this corrupt authority by continuing in silence until, finally, the only words he would speak were not the ones they wanted to hear. He was a stubborn man, both in the play and in real life, and though the play's account of his motives have been questioned, the facts of his death and the legend of his last words seem accurate.