A small upper bedroom in the home of Reverend Samuel Parris, Salem, Massachusetts, in the spring of the year 1692



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Hale, quickly: What jumped in?

Abigail: Why, a very little frog jumped -

Parris: A frog, Abby!

Hale, grasping Abigail: Abigail, it may be your cousin is dying. Did you call the Devil last night?

Abigail: I never called him! Tituba, Tituba...

Parris, blanched: She called the Devil?

Hale: I should like to speak with Tituba,

Parris: Goody Ann, will you bring her up? Mrs, Putnam exits.

Hale: How did she call him?

Act One

43

Abigail: I know not - she spoke Barbados.



Hale: Did you feel any strangeness when she called him? A sudden cold wind, perhaps? A trembling below the ground?

Abigail: I didnNt see no Devil! Shaking Betty: Betty, wake up. Betty! Betty!

Hale: You cannot evade me, Abigail. Did your cousin drink any of the brew in that kettle?

Abigail: She never drank it! Hale: Did you drink it? Abigail: No, sir!

Hale ". Did Tituba ask you to drink it? Abigail: She tried, but I refused.

Hale: Why are you concealing? Have you sold yourself to Lucifer?

Abigail: I never sold myself! INm a good girl! INm a proper girl! Mrs. Putnam enters with Tituba, and instantly Abigail points at Tituba.

Abigail: She made me do it! She made Betty do it! TiTUBA, shocked and angry: Abby!

Abigail: She makes me drink blood! Parris: Blood!!

Mrs. Putnam: My babyNs blood?

TiTUBA: No, no, chicken blood. I give she chicken blood! Hale: Woman, have you enlisted these children for the Devil? TiTUBA: No, no, sir, I donNt truck with no Devil!

Hale: Why can she not wake? Are you silencing this child?

44 The Crucible TiTUBA: I love me Betty!

Hale; You have sent your spirit out upon this child, have you not? Are you gathering souls for the Devil?

Abigail: She sends her spirit on me in church; she makes me laugh at prayer!

Parris: She have often laughed at prayer!

Abigail: She comes to me every night to go and drink blood!

TiTUBA: You beg me to conjure! She beg me make charm -

Abigail: DonNt lie! To Hale: She comes to me while I sleep; sheNs always making me dream corruptions!

TiTUBA: Why you say that, Abby?

Abigail: Sometimes I wake and find myself standing in the open doorway and not a stitch on my body! I always hear her laughing in my sleep. I hear her singing her Barbados songs and tempting me with -

TiTUBA: Mister Reverend, I never -

Hale, resolved now: Tituba, I want you to wake this child.

TiTUBA: I have no power on this child, sir.

Hale: You most certainly do, and you will free her from it now! When did you compact with the Devil?

Tituba: I donNt compact with no Devil!

Parris: You will confess yourself or I will take you out and whip you to your death, Tituba!

PuTNAM: This woman must be hanged! She must be taken and hanged!

Tituba, terrified, falls to her knees: No, no, donNt hang Tituba! I tell him I donNt desire to work for him, sir.

Parris: The Devil?

Act One

45

Hale: Then you saw him! Tituba weeps. Now Tituba, I know that when we bind ourselves to Hell it is very hard to break with it. We are going to help you tear yourself free -



Tituba, frightened by the coming process: Mister Reverend, I do believe somebody else be witchinN these children.

Hale: Who?

Tituba: I donNt know, sir, but the Devil got him numerous witches.

Hale: Does he! It is a clue. Tituba, look into my eyes. Come, look into me. She raises her eyes to his fearfully. You would be a good Christian woman, would you not, Tituba?

TiTUBA: Aye, sir, a good Christian woman. Hale: And you love these little children?

Tituba: Oh, yes, sir, I donNt desire to hurt little children. Hale: And you love God, Tituba?

TiTUBA: I love God with all my beinN. Hale: Now, in GodNs holy name -

Tituba: Bless Him. Bless Him. She is rocking on her kness, sobbing in terror.

Hale: And to His glory -

Tituba: Eternal glory. Bless Him - bless God...

Hale: Open yourself, Tituba - open yourself and let,GodNs holy light shine on you.

TiTUBA: Oh, bless the Lord.

Hale: When the Devil comes to you does he ever come - with another person? She stares up into his face, Perhaps another person in the village? Someone you know.

Parris: Who came with him?

46 The Crucible

Putnam: Sarah Good? Did you ever see Sarah Good with him? Or Osburn?

Parris: Was it man or woman came with him?

TiTUBA: Man or woman. Was - was woman.

Parris: What woman? A woman, you said. What woman?

TiTUBA: It was black dark, and I -

PaRRis: You could see him, why could you not see her?

Tituba: Well, they was always talking; they was always runninN round and carryinN on -

Parris: You mean out of Salem? Salem witches?

TiTUBA: I believe so, yes, sir.



Now Hale takes her hand. She is surprised.

Hale: Tituba. You must have no fear to tell us who they are, do you understand? We will protect you. The Devil can never overcome a minister. You know that, do you not?

Tituba, kisses HaleLs hand: Aye, sir, oh, I do.

Hale: You have confessed yourself to witchcraft, and that speaks a wish to come to HeavenNs side. And we will bless you, Tituba.

Tituba, deeply relieved: Oh, God bless you, Mr. Hale!

Hale, with rising exaltation: You are GodNs instrument put in our hands to discover the DevilNs agents among us. You are selected, Tituba, you are chosen to help us cleanse our village. So speak utterly, Tituba, turn your back on him and face God - face God, Tituba, and God will protect you.

TITUBA, joining with him: Oh, God, protect Tituba!

Hale, kindly: Who came to you with the Devil? Two? Three? Four? How many?

Act One

47

Tituba pants, and begins rocking back and forth again, staring ahead.



Tituba: There was four. There was four.

Parris, pressing in on her: Who? Who? Their names, their names!

Tituba, suddenly bursting out: Oh, how many times he bid me .kill you, Mr. Parris!

Parris: Kill me!

TiTUBA, in a fury: He say Mr. Parris must be kill! Mr. Parris no goodly man, Mr. Parris mean man and no gentle man, and he bid me rise out of my bed and cut your throat! They gasp. But I tell him KNo! I donNt hate that man. I donNt want kill that man.M But he say, KYou work for me, Tituba, and I make you free! I give you pretty dress to wear, and put you way high up in the air, and you gone fly back to Barbados!M And I say, KYou lie, Devil, you lie!M And then he come one stormy night to me, and he say, KLook! I have white people belong to me.M And I look - and there was Goody Good.

Parris: Sarah Good!

TiTUBA, rocking and weeping: Aye, sir, and Goody Osburn.

Mrs. Putnam: I knew it! Goody Osburn were midwife to me three times. I begged you, Thomas, did I not? I begged him not to call Osburn because I feared her. My babies always shriveled in her hands!

Hale: Take courage, you must give us all their names. How can you bear to see this child suffering? Look at her, Tituba. He is indicating Betty on the bed. Look at her God-given innocence; her soul is so tender; we must protect her, Tituba; the Devil is out and preying on her like a beast upon the mesh of the pure lamb. God will bless you for your help.

48 The Crucible



Abigail rises, staring as though inspired, and cries out.

Abigail: I want to open myself! They turn to her, startled. She is enraptured, as though in a pearly light. I want the light of God, I want the sweet love of Jesus! I danced for the Devil; I saw him; I wrote in his book; I go back to Jesus; I kiss His hand. I saw Sarah Good with the Devil! I saw Goody Osburn with the Devil! I saw Bridget Bishop with the Devil!



As she is speaking, Betty is rising from the bed, a fever in her eyes, and picks up the chant.

Betty, staring too: I saw George Jacobs with the Devil! I saw Goody Howe with the Devil!

Parris: She speaks! He rushes to embrace Betty. She speaks! Hale: Glory to God! It is broken, they are free!

Betty, calling out hysterically and with great relief: I saw Martha Bellows with the Devil!

Abigail: I saw Goody Sibber with the Devil! It is rising to o great glee. PutNAM: The marshal, INll call the marshal!

Parris is shouting a prayer of thanksgiving.

BETTY: I saw Alice Barrow with the Devi1!



The curtain begins to fall.

Hale, as Putnam goes out: Let the marshal bring irons! Abigail: I saw Goody Hawkins with the Devil! BeTTY: I saw Goody Bibber with the Devil!

Abigail: I saw Goody Booth with the Devil!

On their ecstatic cries

THE CURTAIN FALLS

ACT TWO

The common room of ProctorLs house, eight days later.

At the right is a door opening on the fields outside. A fireplace is at the left, and behind it a stairway leading upstairs. It is the low, dark, and rather long living room of the time. As the curtain rises, the room is empty. From above, Elizabeth is heard softly singing to the children. Presently the door opens and John Proctor enters, carrying his gun. He glances about the room as he comes toward the fireplace, then halts for an instant as he hears her singing. He continues on to the fireplace, leans the gun against the wall as he swings a pot out of the fire and smells it. Then he lifts out the ladle and tastes. He is not quite pleased. He reaches to a cupboard, takes a pinch of salt, and drops it into the pot. As he is tasting again, her footsteps are heard on the stair. He swings the pot into the fireplace and goes to a basin and washes his hands and face, Elizabeth enters.

Elizabeth: What keeps you so late? ItNs almost dark.

Proctor: I were planting far out to the forest edge. Elizabeth: Oh, youNre done then.

Proctor: Aye, the farm is seeded. The boys asleep? 49

50 The Crucible

Elizabeth: They will be soon. And she goes to the fireplace, proceeds to ladle up stew in a dish.

Proctor: Pray now for a fair summer.

Elizabeth: Aye.

Proctor: Are you well today?

Elizabeth: I am. She brings the plate to the table, and, indi-cating the food:. It is a rabbit.

Proctor, going to the table: Oh, is it! In JonathanNs trap?

Elizabeth: No, she walked into the house this afternoon; I found her sittinN in the corner like she come to visit.

Proctor: Oh, thatNs a good sign walkinN in.

Elizabeth: Pray God. It hurt my heart to strip her, poor rabbit. She sits and watches him taste it.

Proctor: ItNs well seasoned.

Elizabeth, blushing with pleasure: I took great care. SheNs tender?

Proctor: Aye. He eats. She watches him. I think weNll see green fields soon. ItNs warm as blood beneath the clods.

Elizabeth: ThatNs well.



Proctor eats, then looks up.

Proctor: If the crop is good INll buy George JacobNs heifer. How would that please you?

Elizabeth: Aye, it would.

Proctor, with a grin: I mean to please you, Elizabeth.

Elizabeth - it is hard to say: I know it, John.


He gets up, goes to her, kisses her. She receives it. With a certain disappointment, he returns to the table.

Act Two Proctor, as gently as he can: Cider?

51

Elizabeth, with a sense of reprimanding herself for having forgot: Aye! She gets up and goes and pours a glass for him. He now arches his back.



Proctor: This farmNs a continent when you go foot by foot droppinN seeds in it.

Elizabeth, coming with the cider: It must be.

Proctor, drinks a long draught, then, putting the glass down: You ought to bring some flowers in the house.

Elizabeth: Oh! I forgot! I will tomorrow.

Proctor: ItNs winter in here yet. On Sunday let you come with me, and weNll walk the farm together; I never see such a load of flowers on the earth. With good feeling he goes and looks up at the sky through the open doorway. Lilacs have a purple smell. Lilac is the smell of nightfall, I think. Massachusetts is a beauty in the spring!

Elizabeth: Aye, it is.



There is a pause. She is watching him from the table as he stands there absorbing the night. It is as though she would speak but cannot. Instead, now, she takes up his plate and glass and fork and goes with them to the basin. Her back is turned to him. He turns to her and watches her. A sense of their separation rises.

Proctor: I think youNre sad again. Are you?

Elizabeth - she doesnLt want friction, and yet she must: You come so late I thought youNd gone to Salem this afternoon.

Proctor: Why? I have no business in Salem.

Elizabeth: You did speak of going, earlier this week. Proctor - he knows what she means: I thought better of it since.

52 The Crucible

Elizabeth: Mary WarrenNs there today,

Proctor: WhyNd you let her? You heard me forbid her go to Salem any morel

Elizabeth: I couldnNt stop her.

Proctor, holding back a full condemnation of her: It is a fault, it is a fault, Elizabeth - youNre the mistress here, not Mary Warren.

Elizabeth: She frightened all my strength away.

Proctor: How may that mouse frighten you, Elizabeth? You -

Elizabeth: It is a mouse no more. I forbid her go, and she raises up her chin like the daughter of a prince and lays to me, KI must go to Salem, Goody Proctor; I am an official of the court!M

Proctor: Court! What court?

Elizabeth: Aye, it is a proper court they have now. TheyNve sent four judges out of Boston, she says, weighty magistrates of the General Court, and at the head sits the Deputy Governor of the Province.

PRoCTOR, astonished: Why, sheNs mad.

Elizabeth: I would to God she were. There be fourteen people in the jail now, she says. Proctor simply looks at her, unable to grasp it. And theyNll be tried, and the court have power to hang them too, she says.

Proctor, scoffing, but without conviction: Ah, theyNd never hang -

Elizabeth: The Deputy Governor promise hanginN if theyNll not confess, John. The townNs gone wild, I think. She speak of Abigail, and I thought she were a saint, to hear her. Abigail brings the other girls into the court, and where she walks the

Act Two


53

crowd will part like the sea for Israel. And folks are brought before them, and if they scream and howl and fall to the floor - the personNs clapped in the jail for bewitchinN them.

Proctor, wide-eyed: Oh, it is a black mischief.

Elizabeth: I think you must go to Salem, John. He turns to her. I think so. You must tell them it is a fraud.

Proctor, thinking beyond this: Aye, it is, it is surely.

Elizabeth: Let you go to Ezekiel Cheever - he knows you well. And tell him what she said to you last week in her uncleNs house. She said it had naught to do with witchcraft, did she not?

Proctor, in thought: Aye, she did, she did. Now, a pause.

Elizabeth, quietly, fearing to anger him by prodding: God for-bid you keep that from the court, John. I think they must be told.

Proctor, quietly, struggling with his thought: Aye, they must, they must. It is a wonder they do believe her.

Elizabeth: I would go to Salem now, John - let you go tonight.

Proctor: INll think on it.

Elizabeth, with her courage now: You cannot keep it, John,

Proctor, angering: I know I cannot keep it. I say I will think on it!

Elizabeth, hurt, and very coldly: Good, then, let you think on it. She stands and starts to walk out of the room.

Proctor: I am only wondering how I may prove what she told me, Elizabeth. If the girlNs a saint now, I think it is not easy to prove sheNs fraud, and the town gone so silly. She told it to me in a room alone - I have no proof for it.

Elizabeth: You were alone with her?

54 The Crucible

Proctor, stubbornly: For a moment alone, aye. Elizabeth: Why, then, it is not as you told me.

Proctor, his anger rising: For a moment, I say. The others come in soon after.

Elizabeth, quietly - she has suddenly lost all faith in him: Do as you wish, then. She starts to turn.

Proctor: Woman. She turns to him. INll not have your sus-picion any more. Elizabeth, a little loftily: I have no -

Proctor: INll not have it! Elizabeth: Then let you not earn it.

Proctor, with a violent undertone: You doubt me yet?

Elizabeth, with a smile, to keep her dignity: John, if it were not Abigail that you must go to hurt, would you falter now? I think not.

Proctor: Now look you - Elizabeth: I see what I see, John.

Proctor, with solemn warning: You will not judge me more, Elizabeth. I have good reason to think before I charge fraud on Abigail, and I will think on it. Let you look to your own im-provement before you go to judge your husband any more. I have forgot Abigail, and -

Elizabeth: And I.

Proctor: Spare me! You forget nothinN and forgive nothinN. Learn charity, woman. I have gone tiptoe in this house all seven month since she is gone. I have not moved from there to there without I think to please you, and still an everlasting funeral marches round your heart. I cannot speak but I am

Act Two

55

doubted, every moment judged for lies, as though I come into a court when I come into this house!



Elizabeth: John, you are not open with me. You saw her with a crowd, you said. Now you -

Proctor: INll plead my honesty no more, Elizabeth.

Elizabeth - now she would justify herself: John, I am only -

Proctor: No more! I should have roared you down when first you told me your suspicion. But I wilted, and, like a Christian, I confessed. Confessed! Some dream I had must have mistaken you for God that day. But youNre not, youNre not, and let you remember it! Let you look sometimes for the goodness in me, and judge me not.

Elizabeth: I do not,judge you. The magistrate sits in your heart that judges you. I never thought you but a good man, John - with a smile - only somewhat bewildered.

Proctor, laughing bitterly: Oh, Elizabeth, your justice would freeze beer! He turns suddenly toward a sound outside. He starts for the door as Mary Warren enters. As soon as he sees her, he goes directly to her and grabs her by her cloak, furious. How do you go to Salem when I forbid it? Do you mock me? Shaking her. INll whip you if you dare leave this house again!



Strangely, she doesnLt resist him, but hangs limply by his grip.

Mary Warren: I am sick, I am sick, Mr. Proctor. Pray, pray, hurt me not. Her strangeness throws him op, and her evident pallor and weakness. He frees her. My insides are all shuddery; I am in the proceedings all day, sir.

Proctor, with draining anger - his curiosity is draining it:. And what of these proceedings here? When will you proceed to keep this house, as you are paid nine pound a year to do - and my wife not wholly well?

56 The Crucible



As though to compensate, Mary Warren goes to Elizabeth with a small rag doll.

Mary Warren: I made a gift for you today, Goody Proctor. I had to sit long hours in a chair, and passed the time with sewing.

Elizabeth, perplexed, looking at the doll: Why, thank you, itNs a fair poppet.

Mary Warren, with a trembling, decayed voice: We must all love each other now, Goody Proctor.

Elizabeth, amazed at her strangeness: Aye, indeed we must.

Mary Warren, glancing at the room: INll get up early in the morning and clean the house. I must sleep now. She turns and starts off.

Proctor: Mary. She halts. Is it true? There be fourteen women arrested?

Mary Warren: No, sir. There be thirty-nine now - She sud-denly breaks op and sobs and sits down, exhausted.

Elizabeth: Why, sheNs weepin'! What ails you, child? Mary WARREN: Goody Osburn - will hang!

There is a shocked pause, while she sobs.

Proctor: Hang! He calls into her face. Hang, yNsay? Mary Warren, through her weeping: Aye.

Proctor: The Deputy Governor will permit it?

Mary Warren: He sentenced her. He must. To ameliorate it: But not Sarah Good. For Sarah Good confessed, yNsee.

Proctor: Confessed' To what?

Mary Warren: That she - in horror at the memory - she some-times made a compact with Lucifer, and wrote her name in his

Act Two

57

black book - with her blood - and bound herself to torment Christians till GodNs thrown down - and we all must worship Hell forevermore,



Pause.

Proctor: But - surely you know what a jabberer she is. Did you tell them that?

MARY WARREN: Mr. Proctor, in open court she near to choked us all to death.

Proctor: How, choked you?

Mary Warren: She sent her spirit out.

Elizabeth: Oh, Mary, Mary, surely you -

Mary Warren, with an indignant edge: She tried to kill me many times, Goody Proctor!

Elizabeth: Why, I never heard you mention that before.

Mary Warren: I never knew it before. I never knew anything before. When she come into the court I say to myself, I must not accuse this woman, for she sleep in ditches, and so very old and poor. But then - then she sit there, denying and denying, and I feel a misty coldness climbinN up my back, and the skin on my skull begin to creep, and I feel a clamp around my neck and I cannot breathe air; and then - entranced - I hear a voice, a screaminN voice, and it were my voice - and all at once I re-membered everything she done to me!

Proctor: Why? What did she do to you?

Mary Warren, like one awakened to a marvelous secret in-sight: So many time, Mr. Proctor, she come to this very door, begginN bread and a cup of cider - and mark this: whenever I turned her away empty, she mumbled.

Elizabeth: Mumbled! She may mumble if sheNs hungry.

58 The Crucible

Mary Warren: But what does she mumble? You must re-member, Goody Proctor. Last month - a Monday, I think - she walked away, and I thought my guts would burst for two days after. Do you remember it?

Elizabeth: Why - I do, I think, but -

Mary Warren: And so I told that to Judge Hathorne, and he asks her so. KSarah Good,M says he, Kwhat curse do you mumble that this girl must fall sick after turning you away?M And then she replies - mimicking an old crone - "Why, your excellence, no curse at all. I only say my commandments; I hope I may say my commandments,M says she!

Elizabeth: And thatNs an upright answer.

Mary Warren: Aye, but then Judge Hathorne say, KRecite for us your commandments!M - leaning avidly toward them - and of all the ten she could not say a single one. She never knew no commandments, and they had her in a flat lie!

Proctor: And so condemned her?

Mary Warren, now a little strained, seeing his stubborn doubt: Why, they must when she condemned herself.

Proctor: But the proof, the proof!



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