Why won't Proctor go to court to expose Abby's lies when he first hears about the trial?

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In act 2, Elizabeth Proctor attempts to get her husband, John, to go to the court and tell the magistrates what Abigail told him, that the girls weren't using witchcraft in the woods and that it was only "sport," or play. She advises him to go to his friend Ezekiel Cheever and tell him that Abigail said the girls' illnesses "had naught to do with witchcraft." However, John is reticent to go, and he even gets a little defensive with Elizabeth. At first, he says,

I am only wondering how I may prove what she told me, Elizabeth. If the girl's [thought of as] a saint now, I think it is not easy to prove she's fraud, and the town gone so silly. She told it to me in a room alone—I have no proof for it.

In other words, then, he claims to be concerned that he will not be believed because everyone currently thinks of Abby as a "saint." Further, he does not have any proof or any witnesses to what she said because the two of them were alone when she said it. However, Elizabeth believes that he has an additional motive, especially when John reveals to her that he was alone with Abigail (which, according to her, is not the way he told it to her before). She says,

John, if it were not Abigail that you must go to hurt, would you falter now? I think not.

So, she believes that John still has some feelings for Abigail and that he wishes to protect her from any trouble she might get into, as a result of her lies. Perhaps he does not truly yet realize how dire the situation is becoming, but Elizabeth seems to be at least a little bit right about his feelings.

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John Proctor doesn't want to publicly accuse Abigail of lying because it would make him appear to be a hypocrite. He lied to his wife Elizabeth about his sexual relationship with Abby, and so in order to maintain his integrity he decides not to confront Abigail's lies in court. He is also concerned that Abby would mention their relationship, which would cause Proctor and his wife public embarrassment. Because Proctor is dealing with the difficulty of earning his wife's forgiveness, he doesn't at to complicate his marriage any further.

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