In the fourth of the Palliser series Phineas Finn is working as a Poorhouse Inspector in Ireland. His wife having died in childbirth, he finds his existence dull and unsatisfying after the excitement of his former career as a Member of Parliament. Back in England, the Whigs are determined to overturn the Tory majority in Parliament. As Finn had been considered the most promising of the younger set, he is invited to run for office again.
the good men that are to be had. Have you a mind to try again? After all, there is nothing like it.
Perhaps you may have some Irish seat in your eye for which you would be safe. To tell the truth we know very little of the Irish seats--not so much as, I think, we ought to do. But if you are not so lucky I would suggest Tankerville in Durham. Of course there would be a contest, and a little money will be wanted; but the money would not be much. Browborough has sat for the place now for three Parliaments, and seems to think it all his own. I am told that nothing could be easier than to turn him out. You will remember the man--a great, hulking, heavy, speechless fellow, who always used to sit just over Lord Macaw's shoulder. I have made inquiry, and I am told that he must walk if anybody would go down who could talk to the colliers every night for a week or so. It would just be the work for you. Of course, you should have all the assistance we could give you, and Molescroft would put you into the hands o