Knowing who they are talking about makes the conversation between the businessmen pretty cruel. But I can't help thinking that Scrooge would have said something similar about the death of an acquaintance.

But, of course, he assumes that his future self would be above such pettiness. A bit bold of him to think, that he's changed enough to affect his future, when this change is only in his mind and not yet put into action. Pah, he hasn't even saved a single child's life yet.

Lastly, I had to laugh when it completely went over Scrooge's head that the "very wealthy" men were just dismissing him as "Old Scratch". So, I'd guess the attempt to "standing well in their esteem" didn't work out so well.

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Yes, Ebenezer, you're probably not there, in this room where men of business are talking about one of their own who died, because you've turned over a new leaf. That must be it.

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