the small matter of (something)

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the small matter of (something)

Said in reference to a rather large or important issue that has not yet been completed or addressed. A: "Thank you for your services, Jennings. My valet will show you out." B: "Thank you, sir. However, there is still the small matter of my pay for the last three months."
See also: matter, of, small
References in classic literature ?
I really pity the poor fellow, and no longer ago than yesterday sent a small matter to his wife.
Captain," resumed the other, untying his little wallet with great deliberation, and even in a manner to show he found satisfaction in the delay, "I wish to offer you a small matter of trade.
There is a small matter to-night in which you may take a hand if it so please you.
To leap across the intervening space was a small matter to the ape-man, and a moment later he was proceeding along a narrow tunnel, moving cautiously for fear of being precipitated into another shaft such as he had just crossed.
Glory be, 'tis a small matter at most, an' right in our neighbourhood--not a dozen blocks away.
When they were at work they could not even wipe off their faces--they were as helpless as newly born babes in that respect; and it may seem like a small matter, but when the sweat began to run down their necks and tickle them, or a fly to bother them, it was a torture like being burned alive.
Wherefore, bind the heathen crew, and bestow on them a small matter of stripes apiece, as earnest of our future justice.
But if the miller were to send me some eels as a return for my advice, I should tell him that he is too generous for such a small matter.
And now, gentlemen, seein' as we've met so happily, I think I'll stand up to a small matter of a treat in this here parlor.