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The minute sub-divisions of land in Ireland the little connection which the Protestant clergyman commonly has with the Catholic population of his parish have made the introduction of tithe proctors very general, sometimes as the agent of the clergyman, sometimes as the lessee or middleman between the clergyman and the cultivator of the land, but, in either case, practised, dexterous estimators of tithe.

Then they fell foul of the picture dealers, dirty black-guards, who preyed on artists and starved them. It was really a pity that connoisseurs mistrusted painters to such a degree as to insist upon a middleman under the impression that they would thus make a better bargain. This question of bread and butter excited them yet more, though Claude showed magnificent contempt for it all.

Venice was, in the Sixteenth Century, not only a buyer of tapestries for her own use, but one of the largest markets for the sale of hangings to all Europe. Men and monarchs from all Christendom went there to purchase. The same may be said of Genoa, so that although these two cities had occasional unimportant looms, their position was that of middleman vendors of the works of others.

The brass-plate, as all the world knows, is the badge of the non-producer the parasite, the middleman, agent, call him what you will the man who wears a tall hat and black coat, and who lives in a villa, and lives on and by the products of the labour of others. As society is constituted he is an essential when he exists in reasonable numbers. In Melbourne his numbers are out of reason.

Years earlier, in The Middleman and Judah, Mr Henry Arthur Jones tackled two questions and strikes have been treated more than once notably in George Moore's clever, interesting, uneven work, The Strike at Arlingford. Much further back there was Man and Wife, an attack upon the system of irregular marriages still existing in Scotland and some of the States of the Union.

From all this living Nature breathing about him in the night, a message had reached the strangers and himself a message shaped in beauty and in power. Nature had become at last aware of his presence close against her ancient face. Henceforth would every sight of Beauty take him direct to the place where Beauty comes from. No middleman, no Art was necessary. The gates were opening.

No one doubts the excess is traceable to the levy of the middleman, but it would be unfair to charge him with all responsibility before we appraise what is exacted of him by our modernly complex life. We have attacked the problem on one side by the promotion of cooperative marketing, and we might well inquire into the benefits of cooperative buying.

All the gang are spotted at the offices, and it costs too much for them to pay a fence or a middleman of any standing. Why, all that flaky river gold they took from the Excelsior Company can be identified as easy as if it was stamped with the company's mark.

Travers, the head agent of the property on which they had lived, especially upon contrasting the extensive farm and respectable residence, from which their middleman landlord had so harshly and unjustly ejected them, with the squalid kennel in which they then endured such a painful and pitiable existence.

All of these powers contributed their share to the success of what was one of the most important features of the food control and one to which Hoover devoted most determined and continuous effort, namely, the radical cutting out, or at least, down, of speculative and middleman profits.