More Weight (WPMY 132)

ELIZABETH: Giles is dead.

He looks at her incredulously.

PROCTOR: When were he hanged?

ELIZABETH, quietly, factually: He were not hanged. He would not answer aye or nay to his indictment; for if he denied the charge they’d hang him surely, and auction out his property. So he stand mute, and died Christian under the law. And so his sons will have his farm. It is the law, for he could not be condemned a wizard without he answer the indictment, aye or nay.

PROCTOR: Then how does he die?

ELIZABETH, gently: They press him, John.

PROCTOR: Press?

ELIZABETH: Great stones they lay upon his chest until he plead aye or nay. With a tender smile for the old man: They say he give them but two words. “More weight,” he says. And died.

The Crucible

Arthur Miller          1952

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