A/N: This is actually an assignment from English class last year that I found while organizing computer files.
I really loved writing this.
I hope you enjoy it, and can imagine it as it should look, written by Elizabeth's hand.
Also, reviews make my day.
Oh, John… I tried to start this letter so many ways…
It never will be sent, anyhow, so the writing of it makes less difference. Even so, I would I were starting a proper letter to you; one that'd be sent home for you and the boys to open.
I would you'd be living to open it.
But I'd rather have claim to a proud man hanged than one alive whose spirit's broken, John. I'd have you know that, your decision made as it has been.
I've wondered, though— how often I've wondered— if our fortune wouldn't have been different with just one moment's variation from what led up to this.
I'm constantly haunted by the fact that, had I only realized you'd confessed yourself to adultery, or had I been able to receive any indication to answer either aye or nay, we'd have proven discredit to Abigail, and none of this would have ever come to be.
Or if Mary Warren's soul had been a little heartier, to stick true to her testimony.
…If I'd been a more compassionate wife to begin with, and so never driven you to lechery.
So many hours in this jail I passed, wondering what might have happened, and trying to pinpoint the instance that sealed our fates. I think it must've been back on that very first afternoon we talked of witchcraft in Salem- do you remember? I'd cooked a rabbit, and over dinner we talked of the fields and the coming summer…. By that evening I was brought here. Of course, it's impossible to blame Ezekiel or Mary, Danforth, the Reverend, you, or myself— we're all to blame, us and every last person had or said anything to do with crying out witches. But how I wondered, John, if I was doing the right thing, and how I tried- and how I know you and Giles and Mr. Hale and perhaps even Mary, in her cowardice, tried- to be able to face God without shame of the bearing of false witness.
But even the truth may not stand up to so many lies and pretenses. The 'official' version of the happening becomes so convoluted with lies, and tangled within more lies; one cannot hope to salvage both life and honesty intact.
I couldn't say any better than you what story to give.
"Do what you will," I said, and how that's haunted me…
It were a happiness for me when you agreed to sign and I thought you'd live, John, but a strange one. I saw your face and I could not fathom how your relent reconciled to your expression… You confirmed all their accusations of trafficking with the Devil…
And then you swore you never saw a witch- Rebecca Nurse, Mary Eastey, nor any of the rest- with him, and John, I never knew pride so well for anything beside that.
It were a noble thing you did, John.
And I were still full of that pride in you when you ripped that confession to pieces.
I've told you, John, I cannot be your judge— for I couldn't have known what to judge, what action to advise you to. And it was better, a hundred times over, that you make the decision.
Your judgment gave you resolve- and I would to God it let you forgive yourself finally, for the forgiveness you asked from me comes to naught if you believe yourself forever guilty.
I said to you once that there is no judge of you higher than John Proctor save the Lord God… though I had almost began to doubt His subsistence these last three month, if truth be known. How could the highest, goodliest power in the Universe let the innocent be condemned on nothing but a few words from a child? What deity could justify the killing of ones such as Rebecca, who never strayed an instant from the pious life she led for over seventy years? "Do that which is good, and no harm will come to thee", said the Angel Raphael…
I've made my peace with God, however. As Rebecca herself once said, "another judgment waits us all". Mayhap we are only rewarded or punished for how we go through life, and not merely being punished through the living of it. This, I believe, is how one defines fate— that I choose to believe in this second judgment, and to cling to the hope that we may both be judged worthy, to meet again in Heaven.
…Of course, even having come to this conclusion, my questioning of my beliefs at all only serves to further condemn me in the eyes of the judges.
They would condemn me for my lack of tears as well, that I mustbe a witch not to show emotion at your impending execution.
I cannot cry— how can I cry? My husband faces his fate with valiance; God forbid I soil this with weakness of my own. I would not beg reconsideration either— John Proctor has his goodness, and should perish with the having of it, not adhering to some lie fed by dogs of the court, that would be used to guile the people into believing guilt from all of them.
I always knew you for a good man, John. I was at least able to tell you that much.
I can only hope to meet my own demise with as much strength and confidence. For I am certain that as soon as my pregnancy is ended, so then will my life be, and the baby turned over to Rebecca's Samuel, like the rest of our boys. I can only hope a good life for them all, as I will surely still be condemned to face the gallows— I will not waver, or sign myself over to lies, and so I will face them. And in doing so, I will remember your voice, John: "Fear nothing, Elizabeth."
I will fear nothing.