With almost a serene deportment, therefore, Hester Prynne passed through this portion of her ordeal, and came to a sort of scaffold, at the western extremity of the market-place.
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.
He himself had drawn his sword and leaped down the stairs from the scaffold
, followed by his three men.
Tis true, madame," answered he, "that my father was a Girondin, but he was not among the number of those who voted for the king's death; he was an equal sufferer with yourself during the Reign of Terror, and had well-nigh lost his head on the same scaffold
on which your father perished.
My king," said Aramis, "they well may raise a scaffold, but they cannot make an executioner.
The scaffold will be ready by to-morrow, but the headsman will be wanting and they will put it off till the day after to-morrow.
You know something of that, monsieur, -- you, who are one of the Frenchmen whom my unfortunate father found at the foot of his scaffold
, on the day of his death, after having found them at his right hand on the day of battle.
I have parliaments who sit and judge in my name, and I have scaffolds
on which supreme authority is carried out.
I used to think disgrace, and death on the scaffold
, the most frightful prospect that a man can contemplate.
was so badly built that it was ready to fall, so Sir Thomas, jesting, turned to the lieutenant.
And now, the sun's first beams came glancing into the street; and the night's work, which, in its various stages and in the varied fancies of the lookers-on had taken a hundred shapes, wore its own proper form--a scaffold
, and a gibbet.
These being answered in the negative, communicated the welcome intelligence to clusters in the street, who pointed out to one another the door from which he must come out, and showed where the scaffold
would be built, and, walking with unwilling steps away, turned back to conjure up the scene.
Suddenly the troops beat a tattoo, we were unbound, brought back upon the scaffold
, and informed that his Majesty had spared us our lives.
Others of the men were busied erecting scaffolds
, and other contrivances, for jerking or drying meat; others were lighting great fires for the same purpose; soon the hunters began to make their appearance, bringing in the choicest morsels of buffalo meat; these were placed upon the scaffolds
, and the whole camp presented a scene of singular hurry and activity.
Workmen in aprons, standing on scaffolds
, were laying bricks, pouring mortar out of vats, and smoothing it with trowels.