SCARLET LETTER Chapter 1 -- The Prison Door

4. What was positioned in front of the building?

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From the text:

Before this ugly edifice, and between it and the wheel-track of the street, was a grass-plot, much overgrown with burdock, pig-weed, apple-pern, and such unsightly vegetation, which evidently found something congenial in the soil that had so early borne the black flower of civilised society, a prison.