In pressing times truth oft' lies so oppressed And falsehoods rouse to speak in joyed debate That burdens brought to bear upon the breast Might anchor nought but will of one testate
What courage leant upon a graven guest Not thrift of fear in bearing of his fate But silent as all untruths so expressed, Except to cry with cursed tongue, "More weight!"
Giles Corey was executed via "Pressing" during the Salem Witch Trials on September 19th 1692 at the age of 81. He refused to enter any plea against the charges of witchcraft, as was his legal right. Entering a plea meant he could be tried in court and if found guilty, all of his estate would be forfeit to the crown. By not entering a plea his assets could be passed to his children. To prevent people from using this legal loophole, the law allowed a person to be "Pressed". This involved the person being stripped, having a large plank placed upon their chest, and then large rocks piled on top of the plank to slowly crush the chest, until a plea is entered or until death occurs. Giles endured his torture for two days before succumbing, only ever crying out "More weight!" when asked for his plea.