"But I have finished, and now we will go up-stairs to receive the
two great men properly."
"I beg your pardon for coming too early," said Finn.
"Not a minute too early. Seven is seven, and it is I who am too late.
But, Lord bless you, you don't think I'm ashamed of being found in
the act of decanting my own wine! I remember Lord Palmerston saying
before some committee about salaries, five or six years ago now, I
daresay, that it wouldn't do for an English Minister to have his hall
door opened by a maid-servant. Now, I'm an English Minister, and
I've got nobody but a maid-servant to open my hall door, and I'm
obliged to look after my own wine. I wonder whether it's improper? I
shouldn't like to be the means of injuring the British Constitution."
"Perhaps if you resign soon, and if nobody follows your example,
grave evil results may be avoided."
"I sincerely hope so, for I do love the British Constitution; and I
love also the respect in which members of the English Cabinet are
held. Now Turnbull, who will be here in a moment, hates it all; but
he is a rich man, and has more powdered footmen hanging about his
house than ever Lord Palmerston had himself."
"He is still in business."
"Oh yes;--and makes his thirty thousand a year.