Letter from a 17th Century Citizen

Dear Abigale,

How are you?

Please consider reading what I have to say. I know you want to throw out this letter, but it would mean a lot to me if you would at least read it once.

I changed since the last time you saw me. I know that before, you thought of me as a cruel, merciless killer who cared nothing about his daughter. The image that you possess of me, is a different person than the one writing this letter. About a year ago, I dropped my identity and started anew, far away from Manningtree where people would recognize me. Now, I live an ordinary life among the common people. I run a small business, earning off trading and supporting myself in a humble home. I know before I was against the arts, but now I recognize and encourage it. I personally find music and theater quite enjoyable.

I heard through some sources that you own multiple coffee houses in an unnamed town a few miles from Manningtree. I’m glad things are going well for you, and I apologize for not being there for you as a father figure. I’m proud that you made your own path and stayed a strong young woman. I hope that you recognize I’m sincere.

I will be blunt and upfront to you. The reason why I sent you this letter is because I’m dying. I have an unidentifiable illness… not the black plague, but something else. My lungs are failing me, and there is no way to cure it. I spoke to some professionals about this matter, and they estimated I have about a year left to live.

I know you’ll never forgive me for what I did, but please, give me a chance. At the time, I believed I truly helped to protect people, but now, I know I acted wrongly. I am no longer the famous witch hunter that killed hundreds of people, but a humble citizen who hopes to make up for his mistakes.

Please, please forgive me for all the wrongs I committed. I want to start fresh with you, and let you know that I can’t die without telling you how sorry I am. I know you will never forgive me for what I did to your mother, but I beg you to give me another chance. I swear I will be the best father you could ever have. I want to make up for all our lost time together.

I understand if you don’t want to see me again. I know that you hate me for hurting you, and we will never have the same relationship as we did before. I hope you will at least send me a letter back. Like I said, I can’t live with myself for what I did to you. I want to let you know that I love you and I am so sorry for all the wrongs I committed in the past. I hope you consider everything I just said.

Your father,
Matthew Hopkins

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