Oh! But he was a tight-fisted hand at the grindstone, Scrooge! a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner! Hard and sharp as flint, from which no steel had ever struck out generous fire; secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster. The cold within him froze his old features, nipped his pointed nose, shriveled his cheek, stiffened his gait, made his eyes red, his thin lips blue, and spoke out shrewdly in his grating voice. A frosty rime was on his head, and on his eyebrows, his wiry chin. He carried his own low temperature always about with him; he iced his office in the dog days [of summer]; and didn't thaw it one degree at Christmas.
External heat and cold had little influence on Scrooge. No warmth could warm, nor wintry weather chill him. No wind that blew was bitterer than he; no falling snow was more intent upon its purpose; no pelting rain less open to entreaty. Foul weather didn't know where to have him. The heaviest rain, and snow, and hail, and sleet, could boast of the advantage over him in only one respect. They often "came down" handsomely, and Scrooge never did.
Nobody ever stopped him in the street to say, with gladsome looks, "My dear Scrooge, how are you? When will you come to see me?" No beggars implored him to bestow a trifle; no children asked him what it was o'clock; no man or woman ever once in all his life inquired the way to such and such a place, of Scrooge. Even the blind men's dogs appeared to know him; and when they saw him coming on, would tug their owners into doorways and up courts; and then would wag their tails as though they said, "No eye at all is better than an evil eye, dark master!" But what did Scrooge care? It was the very thing he liked. To edge his way along the crowded paths of life, warning all human sympathy to keep its distance, was what the knowing ones call "nuts" to Scrooge.
WHAT ACTIONS ARE CONSIDERED CRIMINAL?
The laws of each state determine what is considered a crime. In one state, driving over 70 miles an hour may be a crime in one state and not in another. Crime varies with time as well as place. Thus, in colonial America, failure to attend church was a crime, as was participation in witchcraft. Today, these are no longer crimes.
In general, there are two kinds of crimes. Felonies, which include murder, robbery, and arson (deliberately setting something ablaze), are the most serious. Anyone who commits a felony can be sent to a state prison for a year or more; in some states certain felonies carry the death penalty. Misdemeanors are less serious; the penalty is a fine or imprisonment of up to a year in jail. Shoplifting, driving while drunk, and stealing money and goods worth less than $50 are examples of misdemeanors. In case where it is not clear whether the crime is a felony or a misdemeanor, it is a judge who makes the final decision. Crimes may also be classified as being against persons or against property. Crimes against persons include assault, murder, and kidnapping; property crimes include burglary, robbery, and auto theft.
--Excerpted from Crime and Juvenile Delinquency by Gerald Leinwald.