NOTES AND QUERIES. [9 th s. v. APRIL 28, MOO.
dark blue coats. One of them was chaplain to the army. Is it known if that colour was occasionally worn, or if it is likely to have changed in many years 1 H. Y. POWELL.
MELEK TAUS. This is the name of an idol deity worshipped by the Izedis, Yezidis, or Devil- worshippers, of Assyria, and seems to mean " King Peacock." It is referred to in Layard's 'Nineveh and its Remains,' and in the first volume of the Transactions of the Ethnological Society, 1861 (N.S.). Any other references or information upon the subject would be welcome. A. SMYTHE PALMER.
SHILSTON OF DEVON. The arms of this family a saltire between four cross-crosslets fitchee were quartered by the Palmers and the Coleshills, and may be seen on the monument of Tho. Coleshull (d. 1595) in Chigwell Church ; but in the Visitation pedigrees (Essex, &c.) it is not shown in what way they were entitled to do so. Where can an account of this Devonshire family be found 1 A. S. E.
THE DEVIL WALKING THROUGH ATHLONE. The following extract from a soldier's letter appeared recently in a daily paper relative to the battle of the Tugela at Colenso (first attempt). Can any of your readers furnish an explanation of the tradi- tion regarding the devil walking through Athlone ?
" The Boers and the Dublin Fusiliers. Just before battle the Irish Brigade with the Boers sent a note to our Dublin Fusiliers saying that they would be glad to get the opportunity to wipe them off the face of the earth. The note was returned by the Dublins to say that they would walk through the Irish Brigade as the devil did through Athlone."
R. S. C.
"LES GRACES." Can any reader of * N. & Q.' favour me with the rules of this old-fashioned game, which used to amuse young ladies in the early years of the present century ? It can be played on the principles of lawn tennis, or rather of badminton, but I should like to know the orthodox game.
FAMILIAR FRENCH QUOTATIONS. Is any collection of these similar to the compila- tions of Bartlett and Dalbiac in existence 1
DUCHESS OF GORDON. Will some reader of 'N. & Q.' kindly tell me where to look for information concerning the eccentric
Scotch Duchess of Gordon, who became the wife of Col. Staats Morris, an American ? Time, end of eighteenth century.
M. B. W.
R. L. STEVENSON. Can any correspondent of C N. <fe Q.' tell me the name or number in his opera of the air by Schubert to which Robert Louis Stevenson wrote his poem ' The Vagabond,' which occupies the first position in ' Songs of Travel ' 1
ALFRED R. BROWN.
45, Crompton Road, Handsworth, Birmingham.
DELAGOA AND ALGOA. Can any of your readers give me the correct meaning of these two names ? By whom were the names given arid why 1 LIFF.
FUR DYEING. Although these pages are properly closed to the discussion of all technical subjects, I trust you will permit me to ask through your columns whether any of your readers can recommend a cheap book on fur dyeing. An elementary work would be preferred. M. L. R. BRESLAR.
SIR ROBERT AND SIR WM. STUART. I should be obliged for information or refer- ences concerning the Sir Robert and Sir Wm. Stuart described in the following tract, which apparently refers to the wars in Ireland of the time, the above being probably officers sent over by Charles I. I have never seen this tract, but it is described as "Old Irish Tracts A Most True Relation of A Wonderful Victory it pleased God to give those two Worthy Commanders, Sir Robt. and Sir Wm. Stuart, Against the Rebells of Sir Philim O'Neale. Lon. 1642."
THOS. P. STUART.
22, Garville Avenue, Rathgar, co. Dublin.
" BUTT," THE COUNTERFOIL OF A CHEQUE. In a novel by a well-known modern author "butt" is again and again used to express the counterfoil of a bank cheque. Is there any authority for this use of the word, except that the end of anything maj 7 be called its butt? HENRY FISHWICK.
" SWEEPSTAKES." Miss Frances Gerard in her book * Picturesque Dublin, Old and New,' quotes a letter from Lord Charlemont to his architect and friend Sir William Chambers, in reference to Charlernont House, then in course of construction, in which he says, " I have sent herewith a plan of the manner in which I think the sweepstakes should be ornamented," &c. What in this connexion are sweepstakes? 1 cannot find the word in