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Created with Fabric.js 1.4.5 Symbol of the Scaffold Chapman Cooper & Allie Godso g In fact, this scaffold constituted a portion of a penal machine, which now, for two or three generations past, has been merely historical and traditionary among us, but was held, in the old time, to be as effectual an agent in the promotion of good citizenship, as ever was the guillotine among the terrorists of France (Hawthorne 48; ch. 2). In Hester Prynnes instance, however, as not unfrequently in other cases, her sentence bore, that she should stand a certain time upon the platform, but without undergoing that gripe about the neck and confinement of the head, the proneness to which was the most devilish characteristic of this ugly engine (Hawthorne 48; ch. 2). 09_0_ac5002ec.jpg?version=1385257532 Standing on that miserable eminence, she saw again her native village, in Old England, and her paternal home; a decayed house of gray stone, with a poverty-stricken aspect, but retaining a half-obliterated shield of arms over the portal, in token of antique gentility (Hawthorne 50; ch. 2). -street-british-6750505.jpg And thus, while standing on the scaffold, in this vain show of expiation, Mr. Dimmesdale was overcome with a great horror of mind, as if the universe was gazing at the scarlet token on his naked breast, right over his heart. On that spot, in very truth, there was, and there had long been,the gnawing and poisonous tooth of bodily pain (Hawthorne 138; ch.12). It was revealed! But it were irreverent to describe that revelation. For an instant the gaze of the horror-stricken multitude was concentrated on the ghastly miracle; while the minister stood with a flush of triumph in his face, as one who, in the crisis of acutest pain, had won a victory. Then, down he sank upon the scaffold!” (Hawthorne 209; ch. 23).
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