Abigail is the former servant of John and Elizabeth Proctor. John and Abigail had an affair, but John now wants nothing to do with Abigail, since his wife knows about the affair and the eyes of the village, which is steeped in superstition, are upon him. Abigail, however, is still in love with John and as determined as ever to be with him. In this speech she describes the purity of their love in contrast with the religious hypocrisy and masked cruelty of the villagers…

 I cannot bear lewd looks no more, John. My spirit’s changed entirely. I ought to be given Godly looks when I suffer for them as I do. Look at my leg. I’m holes all over from their damned needles and pins. The jab your wife gave me’s not healed yet, y’know. And George Jacobs comes again and again and raps me with his stick – the same spot every night all this week. Looks at the lump I have. Oh John, the world’s so full of hypocrites! They pray in jail, I’m told they pray in jail! And torture me in my bed while sacred words are coming from their mouths! It will need God Himself to cleanse this town properly. If I live, if I am not murdured, I will surely cry out others until the last hypocrite is dead! But John, you taught me goodness, therefore you are good. It were a fire you walked me through and all my ignorance was burned away. It were a fire, John, we lay in fire. And from that night no woman called me wicked any more but I knew my answer. I used to weep for my sins when the wind lifted up my skirts; and blushed for shame because some old Rebecca called me loose. And then you burned my ignorance away. As bare as some December tree I saw them all – walking like saints to church, running to feed the sick, and hypocrites in their hearts! And God gave me strength to call them liars and God made men listen to me, and by God I will scrub the world clean for the love of Him! John, I will make you such a wife when the world is white again! You will be amazed to see me every day, a light of heaven in your house!