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"Gradually, a faint brightness appeared in the east, and the air, which had been very warm through the night, felt cool and chilly. Though there was no daylight yet, the darkness was diminished, and the stars looked pale. The prison, which had been a mere black mass with little shape or form, put on its usual aspect; and ever and anon a solitary watchman could be seen upon its roof, stopping to look down upon the preparations in the street . . . By and by the feeble light grew stronger, and the houses with their sign-boards and inscriptions stood plainly out, in the dull grey morning . . . 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 . . . " (The Complete Works of Charles Dickens, Harper & Brothers, New York and London, Barnaby Rudge, Vol. II, Chapter XIX, page 164. ) Dickens describes an activity which takes place in the early morning hours, just before sunrise. As the day begins and people start to go about their business and get ready to watch the hanging, the hangman is ready with the gallows.
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