Naboth, a Jew, who was stoned
by order of Ahab, king of Israel, because he refused to sell
him his vineyard, an outrage for which Ahab was visited by Divine
judgment; is symbol, in the regard of the Jews, of the punishment
sure to overtake all rich oppressors of the poor.
Nachtigal, Gustav, German
traveller and explorer; visited (1869-1874), the first European
to do so, at the instance of Prussia, by way of Tripoli, the
heart of Africa, and returned by way of Cairo, and wrote an
account of his journey, "Sahara and Sudan"; in 1884
annexed to Germany territory in West Africa; died on his return
journey, and was buried at Cape Palmas (1834-1885).
Nadir, name given to the part
of the heavens directly under our feet, as zenith to that directly
over our head.
Nadir Shah, king of Persia,
born in Khorassan of low origin; began his career as a brigand;
set himself at the head of 3000 brigands to deliver Persia from
the yoke of the Afghans, and expelled them, rising by degrees
to the sovereignty of Persia himself; made war on the Afghans,
invaded Hindustan, and took and plundered Delhi, restoring its
former dominion to the Persian monarchy; became subject to suspicion
of plots against him, had recourse to violence, and was assassinated
one of the earliest Roman poets, born in Campania; wrote dramas,
and an epic poem on the first Punic War, in which he had served;
satirised the aristocracy, and was obliged to leave Rome, where
he had spent thirty years of his life; died at Utica (265-204
Nagari, the name given to the
characters In Sanskrit and Hindi alphabets.
Nâgas, in the Hindu mythology "deified
serpents," sons of Kadru, a personification of darkness,
are represented as more or less invested with a human form,
and endowed with knowledge, strength, and beauty; live in the
depths of the ocean, and their capital city exposes to the vision
a display of the most dazzling riches. They are not always represented
as harmful; though armed with poison they possess the elixir
of strength and immortality, and form the supports of the universe.
They are a reflection of the belief that the deadly powers as
well as the regenerative centre in one and the same deity, in
his wisdom killing that he may make alive. Also the name of
a race of aborigines in North-East India.
Nagasaki (61), one of the six
treaty ports of Japan, on the NW. of the island Kiushiu; has
a beautiful and extensive harbour, within which lies the island
of Deshima; manufactures "egg-shell" china, exports
coal, tea, &c., and possesses an excellent dockyard; American
and English missions are carried on.
Nagpur or Nagpore (117),
capital of the Central Provinces of British India, and of a
district and division of the same name; an important railway
terminus, 450 m. NE. of Bombay; is noted for the manufacture
of fine cloth, and carries on a brisk trade in wheat, salt,
Nahum, one of the minor prophets
of the Old Testament; appears to have been a contemporary of
Isaiah, and to have prophesied after the destruction of Samaria
and the defeat of Sennacherib before
Jerusalem in the reign of Hezekiah. His mission as a prophet
was to console the people in the presence of the formidable
power of Assyria, and to predict its downfall, and especially
that of its capital city Nineveh, an event which happened under
Cyaxares the Mede 603 B.C. His thought is forcible, his expression
clear, and his diction pure, all three worthy of the classical
age of Hebrew literature.
Naiads, nymphs of the fresh-water
fountains and streams, and as such endowed with prophetic power,
and associated with other deities in the sphere of nature gifted
with the same power; are represented as lovely maidens in a
nude or semi-nude state.
Nairn (4), chief town of its county,
prettily situated at the entrance of the Nairn into the Moray
Firth, 16 m. NE. of Inverness; is frequented by summer visitors,
and has a harbour and golf links.
Nairne, Baroness, Scottish
poetess, born at Gask, Perthshire, third daughter of Laurence
Oliphant of that Ilk, of Jacobite proclivities; known for her
beauty as the Flower of Strathearn; was married to the sixth
Lord Nairne, whom she survived; wrote 78 songs, the most famous
among them being "The Land o' the Leal," "The
Laird o' Cockpen," "Bonnie Charlie's noo awa," "Caller
Herrin'," and "The Auld Hoose"; died at Gask
Nairnshire (9), a northern
county of Scotland, fronts the Moray Firth, wedged in between
Elgin on the N. and Inverness on the W. and S.; the surface
rugged and mountainous in the S. and E., slopes towards the
Firth, and is traversed by the rivers Nairn and Findhorn; Loch
Loy is the largest of several small lochs; scarcely one-fifth
of the soil is devoted to the raising of cereals, but more attention
is given to stock-raising; Cawdor and Auldearn are places in
it of historic and antiquarian interest.
Nairs, Hindus of high caste, claiming
to rank next the Brahmans, who lived on the Malabar coast of
India; among them polyandry prevailed, and the royal power descended
through the female line.
Namaquas, a pastoral people
of South Africa; one of the principal branches of the Hottentot
race, and inhabiting Great Namaqualand.
Namur (31), capital of a province
of the same name in Belgium, is situated at the junction of
the Meuse and the Sambre, 35 m. SE. of Brussels. The town is
strongly fortified, but only a few of its fine old buildings
have escaped the ravages of war. The citadel still stands, the
cathedral, and the Jesuit church of St. Loup. Cutlery, firearms, &c.,
are manufactured. The Province (339) skirts the NE. border
of France between Hainault and Luxembourg.
Nana Sahib, a Hindu traitor,
his real name Dundhu Panth, of Brahman descent, adopted son
of the ex-Peshwa of the Mahrattas, whose pension from the British
Government was not continued to Nana on his death, and which
rendered the latter the deadly foe to British rule in India,
and the instigator, on the outbreak of the Mutiny in 1857, of
the massacre of Cawnpore; he had on the outbreak of the Mutiny
in question offered his services to a British general, and placed
himself at the head of the mutineers; the miscreant escaped,
and his fate was never known; b. 1820. See
Nancy (87), capital of the department
of Meurthe-et-Moselle, North-East France, is prettily situated
amid woodland scenery on the river Meurthe, 220 m. E. of Paris;
the new town is spaciously laid out, while the old town, narrowed
in its streets, has many interesting old buildings, e. g.
the cathedral, the 16th-century palace; there is a university,
and an active trade in embroidered cambric and muslin, besides
cotton and woollen goods, &c.
Nanking (150), an ancient city,
and up to the 15th century the capital of China, is situated
on the Yangtse River, 130 m. from its mouth; between 1853 and
1864 its finest buildings were destroyed by the Taiping rebels;
its manufactures of nankeen and satin and of its once famous
pottery and artificial flowers have fallen off, but it still
continues the chief seat of letters and learning in China.
Nanna, in the Norse mythology
the wife of Balder, the sun-god; distinguished for her conjugal
fidelity, threw herself on the funeral pyre of her husband,
and descended to the shades along with him; when the pair were
entreated to return, he sent his ring to Odin and she her thimble
Nansen, Fridtjof, Arctic
explorer, born at Froen, near Christiania, son of a Norwegian
advocate; explored the seas in a scientific interest round Spitzbergen
in 1882, and crossed Greenland in 1888, conceived the idea of
reaching the Polar regions by following the Polar ocean currents;
sailed in the Fram, a ship specially constructed for
a Polar voyage, in 1893, and on his return wrote an account
of his expedition in "Farthest North" in 1897;
Nantes (116), capital of the
department of Loire-Inférieure, North-West France, on
the Loire, 35 m. from the sea; its fine streets, handsome buildings,
and historical associations make it one of the most interesting
cities in France; the cathedral and the ducal castle date from
the 15th century; shipbuilding, sugar-refining, and hardware
are the staple industries, while an active shipping trade is
kept up with the colonies.
Nantes, Edict Of, edict
granted by Henry IV. 1598, allowing to Protestants religious
liberty and political enfranchisement, and confirmed by Louis
XIII. in 1614, but revoked, after frequent infringements, in
the shape of dragonnades and otherwise, by Louis XIV., Oct.
23, 1685, at the instance of Madame Maintenon and Père
Naphtha, a liquid hydro-carbon
of an inflammable nature that exudes from the earth or is distilled
from coal-tar, &c.
Napier, Sir Charles,
the conqueror of Sinde, born at Westminster, descendant of Napier
of Merchiston; entered the army, was present at Coruña,
served in the Peninsular War, was in 1841 made commander-in-chief
of the Bombay army, defeated the Sikhs at Meeanee in 1848 in
a brilliant engagement; became governor of Sinde, returned to
England, and was welcomed with enthusiasm; went to India again
on the outbreak of a second Sikh War, to find it suppressed;
quarrelled with the Governor-General and came home; was a brave,
upright, and humane man, and a great favourite with the army
Napier, Sir Charles,
admiral, cousin of preceding, born near Falkirk; entered the
navy as a volunteer in 1799, assisted in two naval engagements,
and for a time served as a volunteer in the Peninsular army;
joined the Portuguese navy, defeated the fleet of Dom Miguel,
tried to reform the navy of Portugal but failed, assisted by
land and sea in driving Mehemet Ali out of Syria, and held the
command of the Baltic fleet during the Crimean War, but disappointed
expectations and was deprived of command (1786-1860).
Napier, John, laird of Merchiston,
mathematician, born in Merchiston Castle, near Edinburgh;
famed over the world as the inventor of logarithms; wrote a
book on the Apocalypse, which contains some plain-spoken counsel
to King James; believed in astrology, and was addicted to divination
as well as mechanical invention (1550-1617).
Napier, Sir William,
brother of the conqueror of Sinde; entered the army at the age
of 15, served all through the Peninsular War, and wrote, besides
the "Conquest of Sinde," the "History of the
Peninsular War," a celebrated work, written from intimate
knowledge of the events and with matchless graphic power (1785-1860).
Napier of Magdala, Lord,
military engineer officer, born in Ceylon; distinguished himself
at the sieges of Multan, Delhi, and Lucknow; commanded an expedition
in Abyssinia, stormed and took Magdala in 1868, for which he
was rewarded with high honours (1810-1890).
Naples (536), the largest and
richest city of Italy; has a lovely situation within the bend
of Naples Bay, spreading from the foreshore back upon wooded
hills and rising terraces, behind which lie the snow-clad Apennines;
to the E. lies the old town with its historic Via di Roma and
narrow crowded thoroughfares; the newer portion on the W. is
more spaciously laid out, and much has been done in recent years
over the whole city to improve the sanitation and water supply;
the national museum, rich in Pompeii relics, the university
(4150 students), the national library (275,000 vols.), the archiepiscopal
cathedral, and the four mediæval gateways are the chief
architectural features; large quantities of wine, olive-oil,
chemicals, perfumery, &c., are exported, while woollen,
silk, linen, glove, and other factories carry on a good home
trade; Naples became incorporated in the kingdom of Italy in
1861 after the Bourbon dynasty had been swept away by Garibaldi.
Napoleon I., emperor of the
French, born at Ajaccio, Corsica, the second son of Charles
Bonaparte and Lætitia Ramolino; trained at the military
schools of Brienne and Paris; distinguished first as a captain
of artillery at the siege of Toulon in 1793; elected general
of brigade in the Italian campaign of 1794; he fell under suspicion,
but was soon after invested with the supreme command of the
army there and the conduct of the war, which was rendered memorable
by the victories of Montenotte, Lodi, Rivoli, Arcole, &c.;
on his return to Paris he was received with an enthusiasm which
excited in him the ambition to render himself indispensable
to the country; to utilise his services in their own interest
the Directory determined to strike a blow at England, and Egypt
being the point of attack selected, he sailed in command of
an expedition for that destination in 1797, and conducted it
with successes and reverses till, in 1799, the unpopularity
and threatened fall of the Directory called him back; it was
the occasion for a coup d'état which he had meditated,
and which he accomplished on the henceforward celebrated 18th
Brumaire (9th Nov. 1799), when a consulship of three was established,
himself First Consul, and eventually in 1802 Consul for life;
his administration in this capacity, while disgraced by several
despotic acts, was in the main of a nature for the public benefit,
and distinguished by its regard for the interest of law and
good order, but his personal ambition the while was not asleep,
for, by a Concordat with the Pope he so attached the Catholic
Church to the state as to secure the clerical support to his
ambitious projects, and was able on the 18th May 1804, to get
himself invested with the imperial dignity, only Carnot in the
Tribunate and Grégoire in the Senate protesting against
the step as a violation of liberty; Napoleon owed it to his
victories in the field that he attained this elevation, and
the sword must maintain what the sword had won; from this date
accordingly began that long array of wars against the rest of
Europe, distinguished by the victories of Austerlitz, and Jena,
and Eylau, and Friedland, and Eckmühl, and Wagram, and
which contributed to inspire all the nations around with a sense
of the terror of his name; but with the unfortunate expedition
into Russia, in 1812, Napoleon's glory began to wane and the
tide to turn; after the battles of Lützen and Bautzen,
he might perhaps have signed an honourable peace, but he declined
the terms offered, and was defeated at Lützen by the Allies,
who invaded France, and entered Paris in 1814 in spite of all
his efforts to keep them at bay, upon which he was compelled
to abdicate at Fontainebleau and retire to Elba, 20th April
1814; it was in vain for him to return from his retreat and
re-enter Paris on the 20th March following, for the Powers,
with England and Prussia at their head, leagued against him
and crushed him at Waterloo; by this defeat he had forfeited
the throne, and was compelled to abdicate, but unable to escape
from France, delivered himself up to Captain Maitland of the
Bellerophon, and was shipped off to St. Helena, where,
after some six years of misery, he died 5th May 1821, whence
his body was disinterred and buried with great pomp under the
dome of the church of St. Louis, 15th December 1840; "he
believed," says Carlyle, "too much in the dupeability
of men, saw no fact deeper in man than hunger and thirst; he
was mistaken; like a man that should build upon clouds, his
house and he fell down a confused wreck, and departed out of
the world"; the one article of his faith being "the
tools to him that can handle them" (1769-1821).
Napoleon, Louis. See
Louis Napoleon, also
Napoleon, Victor, son
of Prince Napoleon; claimed to be head of the house of Bonaparte
in 1891, though his younger brother, Prince Louis, a colonel
in the Russian Imperial Guard, is preferred to him by many Bonapartists;
Napoleon d'Or, a French
gold coin worth 20 francs, named after the Emperor Napoleon
Naraka, among the Hindus and
the Buddhists the place of penal suffering after death.
Narcissus, a self-satisfied
youth who disdained the addresses of Echo, in consequence of
which she pined away and died, and who, by way of penalty, was
doomed to fall in love with his own image, which he kept beholding
in the mirror of a fountain till he too pined away and died,
his corpse being metamorphosed into the flower that bears his
Narrows, The, name given
to the section of the St. Lawrence River which extends between
Lake Superior and Lake Huron.
Narses, a statesman and general
of the old Roman empire, rose from being a slave to be keeper
of the imperial privy-purse; was successful against the Goths,
whom he drove out of Rome; d. 573.
Narthex, a space in early churches
railed off from the rest for catechumens and penitents.
Naseby, a village in Northampton,
where the Royalists under Charles I. and Prince Rupert were
defeated, "shivered utterly to ruin," by the Parliamentary
forces under Fairfax and Cromwell in June 1645, the "Ironsides"
bearing the brunt of the battle and winning the honours of the
Nash, John, English architect,
born in London; besides designing plans for some of the chief
streets in the city and the buildings in them, was the architect
of Buckingham Palace and the Pavilion at Brighton (1752-1835).
Nash, Richard, known as "Beau
Nash," born at Swansea; installed himself as master of
the ceremonies at Bath, and ruler of the assemblies of fashion
in that resort; was a charitable man as well as gay; died in
poverty, but was honoured with a public funeral (1674-1761).
Nash, Thomas, English satirist,
born at Lowestoft, a Cambridge University wit; wrote plays,
as well as pamphlets, bearing on the
(q. v.) (1567-1601).
Nashville (81), capital of
Tennessee, U.S., on the Cumberland River, 185 m. SW. of Louisville;
a suspension bridge and railway drawbridge joins it with Edgefield
suburb; it is an important railway and educational centre, the
seat of the Fisk, Vanderbilt, and Nashville universities, and
is actively engaged in the manufacture of cotton, tobacco, flour,
paper, oil, &c.
Scottish landscape painter, born in Edinburgh; did portraits
also, and one of Burns in particular, deemed the best likeness
we have of the poet (1757-1843).
Nasmith, James, mechanician,
son of the preceding, born in Edinburgh; invented the steam-hammer
and a steam pile-driver (1808-1890).
Nassau, till 1866 a duchy of
Germany, now included in the Prussian province of
Hesse-Nassau (q. v.).
Natal (544, of which 47 are whites),
British colony in SE. Africa, somewhat larger than Denmark,
fronts the Indian Ocean on the E., having a foreshore of 180
m., between Zululand on the N. and Kaffraria on the S.; the
Dragensberg Mountains form its western boundary; enjoys a fine
salubrious climate, and possesses abundance of fertile land,
watered by some 140 inches of rainfall; along the coast the
sugar-cane is largely cultivated, as also some tea, coffee,
tobacco, &c., while all kinds of fruits flourish in its
sub-tropical climate; the rising ground inland produces good
cereals, and large numbers of sheep and cattle find excellent
pasturage on the plains and mountain slopes on the W.; excellent
coal is mined in large quantities, and iron and copper promise
well; wool, sugar, hides, feathers, and ivory are the chief
exports, and are shipped mainly at Durban, the chief port; the
colony now enjoys the advantages of good railways, schools,
representative government, and a legal code based on old Dutch
(q. v.) is the capital; Natal was discovered in 1497
by Vasco da Gama, and after being annexed to Cape Colony in
1844, was declared, 11 years later, a separate colony.
Nathan, a Jewish prophet who
had the courage to charge King David to his face with a heinous
crime he had committed and convict him of his guilt, to his
humiliation in the dust.
Nation of Shopkeepers,
Napoleon Bonaparte's contemptuous name for the English.
National Anthem, its
authorship has been long matter of controversy, and it is uncertain
to this day; it has been ascribed to H. Carey and to Dr. John
the revolutionary assembly of France, consisting of 749 members
chosen by universal suffrage, which on 22nd September 1792 supplanted
the Legislative Assembly, proclaimed the Republic, and condemned
Louis XVI. to the guillotine; in spite of its perplexities and
internal discords, it was successful in suppressing the Royalists
in La Vendée and the south, and repelling the rest of
Europe leagued against it, not only in arms, but in the field
of diplomacy; it laid the foundation of several of the academic
institutions of the country, which have since contributed to
its glory as well as welfare, and collected them together in
the world-famous Institute; its work done, "weary of its
own existence, and all men sensibly weary of it," it willingly
deceased in an act of self-dissolution in favour of a Directory
of Five on 20th October 1795.
National Guard, The,
a militia of citizens organised in the municipality of Paris
in 1790, with Lafayette as commandant, but suppressed in 1827,
and again suppressed in 1872, after two revivals, in consequence
of their taking part with the Commune of the latter date.
name given by Darwin to the survival of certain plants and animals
that are fitted, and the decease contemporaneously of certain
others that are not fitted, to a new environment.
Carlyle's name in "Sartor" for the supernatural found
latent in the natural, and manifesting itself in it, or of the
miraculous in the common and everyday course of things; name
of a chapter which, says Dr. Stirling, "contains the very
first word of a higher philosophy as yet spoken in Great Britain,
the very first English word towards the restoration and rehabilitation
of the dethroned Upper Powers"; recognition at bottom,
as the Hegelian philosophy teaches, and the life of Christ certifies,
of the finiting of the infinite in the transitory forms of space
Naturalism, a philosophical
term used to denote the resolution of the supernatural into
the natural, and its obliteration; the reference of everything
to merely natural laws, and the denial of all supernatural interference
Nature Worship, the worship
of the forces of nature conceived of as personal deities.
Nausicaa, the daughter of Alcinous,
king of the Phæacians, who gave welcome to Ulysses when
shipwrecked on the shore, and whom Homer represents as, along
with her maidens, washing the clothes of the hero and his companions.
Nauvoo, a village in Illinois,
on the Mississippi, where the Mormons first settled in 1840,
and from which they were expelled in 1846.
Navarino, a bay on the SW.
coast of the Morea, the scene of the naval victory of the Athenians
over the Spartans 425 B.C., and of the annihilation of the Turkish
and Egyptian navies by the combined fleets of England, France,
and Russia, under Codrington, 20th October 1827.
Navarre (304), one of the 49
provinces of Spain, comprising by far the greater portion of
the old kingdom of Navarre, which lasted up to 1512, the other
part of which now forms French Basses-Pyrénées;
the Spanish province lies on the SW. border of France, is very
varied in surface and climate; in the N. the people are chiefly
Basques, and are much more energetic than the southern Spaniards;
maize, wheat, and red wine are the chief products.
Nawab, a viceroy of a province
in the Mogul empire, applied also to a Mohammedan chief in India,
and, spelt Nabob, to a man who has made his wealth in India.
Naxos (14), an island of the Cyclades,
in the Ægean Sea, famed for its marble, and exports salt
and emery powder.
Nayler, James, a fanatical
Quaker in the time of the Commonwealth, with a following as
fanatical as himself, who escorted him
through Bristol on his release from prison after the manner
of Christ's entry into Jerusalem; was very cruelly punished
for blasphemy in fancying or seeming to fancy himself a new
incarnation of Christ.
Nazareth (7), a town in a hollow
of the hills on the N. of the Plain of Esdraëlon, 67 m.
N. of Jerusalem and 11 m. W. of the Sea of Galilee, celebrated
over Christendom as the home of the Holy Family.
Nazarites, among the Jews
people consecrated by a vow to some special religious service,
generally for a definite period, but sometimes for life; during
its continuance they were bound to abstain not merely from strong
drink, but from all fruit of the vine, to wear their hair uncut,
and forbidden to approach a dead body, long hair being the symbol
of their consecration; the vow was sometimes made by their parents
for them before their birth; the said vow is the symbolic assertion
of the right of any and every man to consecrate himself, in
disregard of every other claim, to any service which God may
require of him.
Neagh, Lough, the largest
lake in the British Isles, lies in the NE. of Ireland, touching
the borders of five counties, is 16 m. long, and has an average
breadth of 10 m. and a greatest depth of 102 ft.
Neal, Daniel, Nonconformist
divine, born in London, and minister there; wrote a "History
of the Puritans" and a "History of New England"
Neal, John Mason, hynmologist,
born in London; was a zealous and advanced High Churchman, wrote
a "History of the Holy Eastern Church"; is best known
for his hymns, translated and original (1818-1866).
Neander, Johann August Wilhelm,
eminent Church historian, born at Göttingen, of Jewish
parents, his father's name Mendel, which he changed into Neander
(new man) on his baptism at the age of 17; studied theology
under Schleiermacher at Halle, commenced his work as a teacher
of theology in Heidelberg in 1811, but was two years after called
to the chair of Church History in Berlin, a post he occupied
with signal distinction till his death, his fame all along attracting
to him students from every quarter of Christendom; he was a
devout believer in historical Christianity, and had the profoundest
insight into the Christian faith, both in the root of it and
the development of it in the life of the Church; besides several
monographs, he wrote the history of the Church from its first
starting through its after expansion, and a "Life of Christ"
in answer to Strauss, which for its apprehension of the spirit
of Christ and His teaching has never been surpassed, while in
Christian character he was, if ever man was, "without spot
and blameless" (1789-1850).
Neath (11), a borough and river
port of Glamorganshire, on the navigable Neath, 6 m. NE. of
Swansea; is an old town, and has interesting ruins of an abbey
and of a castle (burned 1231); has prosperous copper, tin, iron,
and chemical works.
Nebiim, the prophets of Israel
as an organised class, who first figure as guardians of the
spiritual interests of the nation to the time of Samuel, when
it was threatened with extinction piecemeal at the hands of
the Philistines, and whose mission it was to recall the divided
tribes to a sense of their unity as the chosen of Jehovah, and
to see that they were welded into one under a single king; they
lived together in communities, appeared in companies, wore a
distinctive dress, and were called the sons of the prophets;
while they were performing and discharging their offices they
were true to their calling, but when order was established they,
as is usual in such cases, became more and more lax, until first
Elijah, and then another and another who were for most part
not of the order, had, if they would be true to their own souls,
to remind the nation of what its authorised teachers, in their
unfaithfulness, were failing to do, and in consequence suffering
God's cause to go to wreck.
Nebraska (1,058), one of the
west central States of the American Union, has Dakota on its
N. and Kansas and Colorado on the S., is 1½ times the
size of England; in the E. stretches of fertile land yield abundant
crops of grain (maize chiefly), hemp, flax, sugar-beet, and
tobacco, while in the W. rich prairie pastures favour a prosperous
stock-raising; the Platte, Niobrarah, and Republican Rivers
follow the eastward slope of the land; Omaha and Lincoln (capital)
are the chief centres of the manufacturing industries; climate
is dry and bracing; wolves, foxes, skunks, &c., abound,
chiefly in the "Bad Lands" of the N.; Nebraska was
incorporated in the American Union in 1867.
Nebulæ, name given to
masses larger or smaller of misty light in the heavens caused
by a group of stars too remote to be severally visible to the
the theory that the sun and planets with their satellites in
the solar system were originally one mass of nebulous matter
which, gradually cooling and contracting, under violent revolution
resolved itself into separate revolving orbs.
Necker, Jacques, celebrated
financier, born at Geneva, banker in Paris; married the accomplished
Susanne Curchod, the rejected of Gibbon, and became by her the
father of Mme. de Staël; was a man of high repute for probity
and business capacity; became in 1777 Director-General of Finance
in France, tried hard and honestly, by borrowing and retrenchment,
to restore the fallen public credit, but was after five years
dismissed; was recalled in 1788, but though the funds rose,
and he contributed to their relief two million livres of his
own money, was again dismissed, to be once more recalled, only
to expose his inability to cope with the crisis and to be forced
to retire (1732-1804).
Nectar, in the regard of the
Greeks the drink of the gods, which, along with ambrosia, their
food, nourished the ichor, their blood, and kept them ever in
the bloom of immortal youth; it was not permitted to mortals
to drink of it.
Needle-gun, a breech-loading
gun, the cartridge of which is exploded by a needle.
Negative, in photography a
picture of an object in which the lights and shadows are reversed,
so that the shady part appears white and the light in it appears
Negativity, the name given
in philosophy to the negative element determinative or definitive
of things and all ideas of things, whereby a thing is this because
it is not that, and is seen to be this because it is seen not
to be that, an antagonism essential to all forms of being, spiritual
as well as material, and to all definite and distinct thought.
Negritoes, Spanish name for
certain distinctive tribes of a diminutive race resembling negroes,
occupying the central portions of some of the Philippine Islands,
also known as Aëtas or Itas; sometimes loosely used to
designate Papuans and all the Melanesian peoples of Polynesia.
Negroes, the dark race of tropical
Africa, distinguished by their dark woolly hair, their black
eyes, their flat noses, and their thick
lips; they occupy rather a low level in the scale of humanity,
and are lacking in those mental and moral qualities which have
impressed the stamp of greatness on the other races that have
distinguished themselves in the history of the world.
Nehemiah, a Jew of the captivity,
of royal degree and in high favour, being king's cup-bearer
at the court of Artaxerxes, the Persian king; received a commission
from the king to repair to Jerusalem and restore the Jewish
worship, and ruled over it for 12 years, till he saw the walls
of the city amid much opposition restored; returned afterwards
to superintend the reform of the worship, of which the book
of the Old Testament named after him relates the story.
Nehushtan (a piece of brass),
the name given in contempt to what was alleged to be the "Serpent
in the Wilderness," which had become an object of worship
among the Jews, and was destroyed by King Hezekiah among other
idolatrous relics (2 Kings xviii. 4).
Neilgherry Hills, a
bracing mountain district in South India, forming a triangular-shaped
and somewhat isolated mass of elevated country, peaks of which
attain an altitude of close upon 9000 ft.; grassy slopes alternate
with thick masses of forest, amid which several small native
wild tribes still dwell; Ootacamund is the chief station of
the many Europeans who frequent the district as a health resort.
Nelson, 1, a Prosperous manufacturing
borough of Lancashire (23), 3½ m. NE. of Burnley. 2,
Capital of a district in the N. end of South Island, New Zealand
(11); has a busy harbour in Blind Bay, and manufactures cloth,
leather, soap, &c.
Nelson, Horatio, Lord,
great English admiral, born at Burnham Thorpe, Norfolk; entered
the navy as a midshipman in 1770, and after voyages to the West
Indies, the Arctic regions, and the East Indies, was promoted
to a lieutenancy in 1777; three years later he headed the expedition
against San Juan, was invalided home, and in 1781 acted under
Lord Hood in American waters; in command of the Boreas
on the Leeward Islands station, here he involved himself in
trouble through his severe and arbitrary enforcement of the
Navigation Act against American traders, and there also he met
and married in 1787 the widow of Dr. Nesbit; returning home
he lived for five years in retirement, but on the eve of the
French Revolutionary war he was again summoned to active service,
and in command of the Agamemnon, advanced his reputation
by gallant conduct in the Mediterranean operations of Lord Hood,
losing his right eye during the storming of Calvi, in Corsica;
conspicuous bravery at the engagement with the Spaniards off
Cape St. Vincent (1797) brought him promotion to the rank of
rear-admiral; in the same year he lost his right arm at Santa
Cruz, and in the following year, with an inferior force, annihilated
the French fleet in the Bay of Aboukir, for which he was raised
to the peerage as Baron Nelson, and created Duke of Bronte by
the King of Naples; at this time began his lifelong liaison
with Lady Hamilton (q.
v.); involving himself in Neapolitan affairs, he went beyond
his commission in suppressing the rebel Jacobins, and especially
in executing their leader Caracciolo; in 1800 he returned home,
his never robust strength considerably impaired; as vice-admiral
nominally under Sir Hugh Parker, he in 1801 sailed for the Baltic
and inflicted a signal defeat on the Danish fleet off Copenhagen;
for this he was made Viscount and commander-in-chief; during
the scare of a Napoleonic invasion he kept a vigilant watch
in the Channel, and on the resumption of war he on October 21,
1805, crowned his great career by a memorable victory off Trafalgar
over the French fleet commanded by Villeneuve, but was himself
mortally wounded at the very height of the battle (1758-1805).
Nemean Games, one of the
four great national festivals of Greece, and celebrated every
Nemean Lion, a monstrous
lion in Nemea, a valley of Argolis, which Hercules slew by throttling
it with his hands, clothing himself ever after with its skin.
Nemesis, in the Greek imagination,
the executioner of divine vengeance on evil-doers, conceived
of as incarnated in the fear which precedes and the remorse
which accompanies a guilty action.
Nennius, the reputed author
of a chronicle of early British history, who appears to have
lived not later perhaps than the 9th century.
Neology, the name given to the
rationalist theology of Germany or the rationalisation of the
Neo-Platonism, a system
of philosophy that originated in Alexandria at the beginning
of the 3rd century, which resolved the absolute, or God, into
the incarnation thereof in the Logos, or reason of man, and
which aimed at "demonstrating the graduated transition
from the absolute object to the personality of man"; it
was a concretion of European thought and Oriental.
Nepal (about 2,500), an independent
native State in North India, occupying a narrow mountainous
territory along and including the southern slopes of the Himalayas,
which separate it from Thibet; consists mainly of valleys and
intervening mountain ridges, among which dwell various hill
tribes, the dominant race being the hardy
Goorkhas (q. v.).
Nepenthe, an imaginary goddess,
the allayer of pain and the soother of sorrows, or the impersonation
of stern retributive justice.
Nepos, Cornelius, Roman
historian, born at Pavia; was a contemporary and friend of Cicero;
was the author of several historical works, no longer extant,
and the one still extant ascribed to him, entitled "De
Viris Illustribus," is believed to be an abridgment of
an earlier work by him.
Neptune, the chief marine deity
of the Romans, and identified with the Poseidon of the Greeks,
is represented with a trident in his hand as his sceptre.
Neptune, the remotest planet
of the solar system at present known; it is twice as far distant
from the sun as Uranus (q. v.)
is, deemed before its discovery the remotest; its diameter is
four times greater than that of the earth, and it takes 60,126
days to revolve round the sun, accompanied by a solitary satellite;
it was discovered in 1846 by Adams
(q. v.) and Leverrier
(q. v.), who were guided to the spot where they found
it from the effect of its neighbourhood on the movements of
Nerbudda, or Narbada,
a sacred river of India; has its source in the Amarkantak plateau
of the Deccan, and flows westward, a rapid body of greenish-blue
water, through the great valley between the Vindhya and Satpura
Mountains, reaching the Gulf of Cambay after a course of 800
m., the last 30 of which are navigable.
Nereides, nymphs of the Mediterranean
Sea, daughters of Nereus, 60 in number, and attendant on Poseidon.
Nereus, the god of the Mediterranean
Sea, the son of Pontus and Gaia, the husband of Doris, and father
of the Nereides, represented as a sage, venerable old man.
Neri, St. Philippo di, Italian
priest, born at Florence, of noble family; founder of the Congregation
of the Oratory; was known from his boyhood as the Good Pippo,
and he spent his life in acts of devotion and charity (1515-1592).
Festival, May 26.
Nero, Roman emperor from A.D. 54
to 68, born at Antium, son of Cn. Domitius Ahenobarbus and of
Agrippina, daughter of Germanicus; after the murder of Claudius,
instigated by Agrippina, who 4 years previously had become the
emperor's wife, Nero seized the throne, excluding Britannicus,
the rightful heir; during the first 5 years of his reign his
old tutors, Seneca and Burrus, were his advisers in a wise and
temperate policy, but gradually his innate tendency to vice
broke through all restraint, and hurried him into a course of
profligacy and crime; Britannicus was put to death, his mother
and wife, Octavia, were subsequent victims, and in 64 numbers
of Christians suffered death, with every refinement of torture,
on a trumped-up charge of having caused the great burning of
Rome, suspicion of which rested on Nero himself; a year later
Seneca and the poet Lucan were executed as conspirators, and,
having kicked to death his wife Poppæa, then far advanced
in pregnancy, he offered his hand to Octavia, daughter of Claudius,
and because she declined his suit ordered her death; these and
many other similar crimes brought on inevitable rebellion; Spain
and Gaul declared in favour of Galba; the Prætorian Guards
followed suit; Nero fled from Rome, and sought refuge in suicide
Nerva, Roman emperor from 96 to
98, elected by the Senate; ruled with moderation and justice;
resigned in favour of Trajan, as from age unable to cope with
the turbulence of the Prætorian Guards.
Ness, Loch, the second largest
loch in Scotland, stretches along the valley of Glenmore, in
Inverness-shire, is 22½ m. long, and has an average breadth
of 1 m. and an extreme depth of 280 ft.: its main feeders are
the Morriston, Oich, and Foyers; the Ness is its chief outlet.
Nesselrode, Count von,
celebrated Russian diplomatist, born at Lisbon, where his father
was Russian ambassador; represented Russia at a succession of
congresses, played a prominent part at them, and directed the
foreign policy of the empire under Alexander I. and Nicholas
I., from 1816 to 1856, though he strove to avoid the war which
broke out in 1853 (1780-1862).
Nessus, a Centaur who, for attempting
to carry off Dejanira, Hercules' wife, was shot by Hercules
with an arrow dipped in the blood of the
Hydra (q. v.), and who in
dying handed to Dejanira his mantle, dipped in his poisoned
blood, as a charm to regain her husband's affections should
he at any time prove unfaithful. See
Nessus' Shirt, the poisoned
robe which Nessus gave Dejanira, and which in a moment of distrust
she gave to Hercules. See Nessus.
Nestor, king of Pylos, a protégé
and worshipper of Poseidon, the oldest, most experienced, and
wisest of the Greek heroes at the siege of Troy; belonged to
the generation of the grandfathers of the rest of them.
Nestorius, a celebrated heresiarch,
born in Syria; was made patriarch of Constantinople in 428,
deposed for heresy by the Council of Ephesus 431, and banished
to the Lybian Desert, where he died; the heresy he taught, called
after him Nestorianism, was that the two natures, the divine
and the human, coexist in Christ, but are not united, and he
would not allow to the Virgin Mary the title that had been given
to her as the "Mother of God"; the orthodoxy of the
Church as against the doctrine was championed by Cyril of Alexandria.
Netherlands, a term formerly
applied to the whole NW. corner of Europe, occupied by
Belgium (q. v.) and Holland,
but now an official designation only of
Holland (q. v.).
Netley, the site of the handsome
Royal Victoria Hospital, on the shore of Southampton Water,
3 m. SE. of Southampton, and connected by a direct line with
Portsmouth; founded in 1856 as an asylum for invalided soldiers,
also the head-quarters of the female nurses of the army; in
the vicinity also are interesting remains of a Cistercian abbey.
Nettlerash or Urticaria,
an irritating eruption in the skin causing a sensation like
the stinging of nettles. It may be acute or chronic, frequently
caused by errors of diet.
Neuchâtel (109), a western
canton of Switzerland, lying between Lake Neuchâtel and
France; the surface is diversified by the Jura Mountains, and
plentifully supplied with small streams; the greater part of
the inhabitants are French Protestants; coal and iron are found,
stock-raising and agriculture are engaged in, but the great
specialty of the canton is watchmaking, which is chiefly carried
on at La Chaux-de-Fonds and Le Locle; Neuchâtel was incorporated
in the Swiss Confederation in 1815. Neuchâtel (17),
capital of the canton, has a fine situation on the NW. shore
of the lake, 86 m. NE. of Geneva; has many educational, art,
and charitable institutions, and is chiefly engaged in the manufacture
of watches, jewellery, &c. Lake of Neuchâtel
is a beautiful sheet of water, 25 m. in length, and from 3 to
6 in breadth.
Neustria, western portion of
the kingdom of the Franks in the time of the Merovingian and
Carlovingian dynasties, and in constant rivalry with
Austrasia (q. v.), the
kingdom of the East; it extended from the Scheldt to the Loire
and Soissons; Paris, Orleans, and Tours were the chief towns.
Neuville, Alphonse de,
French painter of battle-scenes, born at St. Omer; he was an
illustrator of books, among others Guizot's "Histoire de
Neva, a river of Russia issuing
from the SW. corner of Lake Ladoga, flows westward in a broad
rapid current past St. Petersburg, and discharges its great
volume of water into the Bay of Cronstadt, in the Gulf of Finland,
after a winding course of 40 miles.
Nevada (46), one of the western
States of the American Union, occupying a wide stretch of territory
on the Great Plateau or Basin, between the Rocky Mountains on
the E. and the Cascades and the Sierra Nevada on the W., has
Oregon and Idaho on the N., and California on the S. and W.;
elevated, cold, dry, and barren, it offers little inducement
to settlers, and is in consequence the least in population of
the American States; the great silver discoveries of 1859 brought
it first into notice, and mining still remains the chief industry;
Virginia City and Carson (capital) are the chief towns; was
admitted to the Union in 1864.
Neville's Cross, Battle
of, battle fought near Durham between the Scots and
English in 1346, in which the former were defeated and King
David taken prisoner.
Nevis, Ben. See
New Britain or Neu-Pommern,
a large island in the German Bismarck Archipelago, West Pacific,
lying off the NE. coast of New Guinea, from which it is separated
by Dampier Strait; is 300 m. long, with
an average breadth of 40 m.; is mountainous and volcanic in
the interior, and thickly clad with forest trees; fruits of
various kinds are the chief product; is inhabited by Melanesian
New Brunswick (321), a
SE. province of Canada, presents a long foreshore to the Gulf
of St. Lawrence on the NE. and to the Bay of Fundy on the SE.,
while directly E. lies Nova Scotia, to which it is joined by
the isthmus of Chignecto; the surface is diversified by numerous
lakes, magnificent forests of pine and other woods, and the
fertile valleys of the Rivers St. John, Restigouche, and Miramichi;
timber is the chief export, but only less valuable are its fisheries,
while shipbuilding is also an important and growing industry;
coal is mined in good quantities, and the chief towns, St. John,
Portland, and Fredericton (capital) are busy centres of iron,
textile, and other factories; the climate is subject to extremes
of heat and cold, but is healthy; many of the inhabitants are
of French origin, for New Brunswick formed part of the old French
colony of Acadia.
New Caledonia (63), an
island of the South Pacific belonging to France, the most southerly
of the Melanesian group, lying about 800 m. E. of Australia
and nearly 1000 m. N. of New Zealand; is mountainous, produces
the usual tropical fruits, and exports some nickel, cobalt,
coffee, &c.; is used by the French as a convict station;
discovered by Captain Cook in 1774 and annexed by France in
1853; Noumea (5), on the SW., is the capital.
New England, a name given
in 1704 by Captain John Smith to the eastern and most densely
populated portion of the United States, which now comprises
Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island,
and Connecticut; was first colonised under the name of North
Virginia by the Plymouth Company in 1606; the inhabitants, known
distinctively as Yankees, are mostly of Puritan and Scotch descent,
and are noted for their shrewdness and industry.
New Forest, a district in
the SW. of Hampshire, 14 m. from N. to S. and 16 m. wide, and
consisting of 92,000 acres, of which 62,000 belong to the crown
demesnes; one-fourth of the area consists of enclosed plantations,
chiefly of oak and beech, the rest being open woodland, bog,
and heath; Lyndhurst is the principal town.
New Guinea, the largest island
in the world (excluding the island continents of Australia and
Greenland), lies N. of Australia, from which it is divided by
Torres Strait (90 m. wide); is an irregular, mountainous, well-rivered
territory, 10 times the size of Scotland, and is held by three
European powers—the Dutch (200) in the western and least
developed half; the German (100); in the NE., Kaiser Wilhelm's
Land, administered by the German New Guinea Company, who export
tobacco, areca, bamboo, ebony, &c.; and the British (135),
in the SE., administered by the Commonwealth of Australia. Successful
encouragement has been given to colonisation, and good exports
of gold pearl-shells, copra, &c., are made. Much of the
interior is still to explore, and is inhabited by Papuans, Negritoes,
and other Melanesian tribes, many of which are still in the
cannibal stage, although others are peaceful and industrious.
A hot moist climate gives rise to much endemic fever, but encourages
a wonderful profusion of tropical growth, giving place in the
highlands to the hardier oak and pine, and still higher to a
purely alpine flora; as in Australia, the animals are chiefly
marsupials; the mountain ranges, which stretch in a more or
less continuous line throughout the island, have peaks that
touch an altitude of 20,000 ft. and send down many navigable
streams. Port Moresby is the capital of the British portion.
New Hampshire (377), the
second most northerly of the New
England States (q. v.), and from the beauty of its
lake and mountain scenery called the "Switzerland of America,"
lies N. and S. between Quebec province and Massachusetts, while
the Atlantic washes part of its eastern borders; is more engaged
in manufactures than in agriculture, and obtains valuable water-power
and waterway from its rivers, the Piscataqua, Merrimac, and
Connecticut; Manchester, on the Merrimac, is the largest city.
New Haven (108), capital of
New Haven county, Connecticut, and chief city and seaport of
the State, at the head of New Haven Bay, 4 m. from Long Island
Sound, and 73 m. NE. of New York; is a finely built city, and,
since 1718, has been the seat of Yale College; is an important
manufacturing centre, producing rifles, iron-ware of all kinds,
carriages, clocks, &c., was up till 1873 joint capital of
the State with Harford.
New Hebrides (70), a group
of some 30 volcanic Islands (20 inhabited) in the Western Pacific,
lying W. of the Fiji Islands and NE. of New Caledonia; is nominally
a possession of Britain, and inhabited by cannibals of the Melanesian
race. Missionary enterprise has had some effect in the southern
islands; Espiritu Santo (70 m. by 40) is the largest.
New Holland. See
New Jersey (1,444), one of
the 13 original States of the American Union, faces the Atlantic
between New York State on the N. and Delaware Bay on the S.,
with Pennsylvania on its western border; the well-watered and
fertile central plains favour a prosperous fruit and agricultural
industry, tracts of pine and cedar wood cover the sandy S.,
while the N., traversed by ranges of the Appalachians, abounds
in valuable forests of oak, hickory, chestnut, sassafras, &c.;
minerals are plentiful, especially iron ores. New Jersey is
thickly populated, well provided with railway and water transit,
and busily engaged in manufactures—e. g. glass,
machinery, silk, sugar. Newark (capital) and Jersey City are
by far the largest cities; was sold to Penn in 1682, and settled
chiefly by immigrant Quakers.
New Jerusalem Church,
a church consisting of the disciples of Emanuel Swedenborg,
formed into a separate organisation for worship about 1788.
New Mexico (154), an extensive
territory embracing the SW. end of North America and the larger
part of the great isthmus which unites the two Americas; was
in 1848 detached from Mexico (q.
v.), and constituted a part of the American Union; consists
mainly of elevated plateau, sloping to the S., and traversed
by ranges of the Rocky Mountains; the precious metals are widely
distributed, especially silver; good deposits of coal and copper
are also found. In the broad river valleys excellent crops are
raised, and stock-raising is an important industry. The territory
is divided into 14 counties; Santa Fé is the capital;
a State university exists at Albuquerque.
New Orleans (287), the capital
and largest city of Louisiana, is beautifully situated on both
sides of the Mississippi, 107 m. from its mouth, with a curved
river-frontage of 10 m.; is the second cotton port of the world,
and the greatest sugar-market in the United States; is the chief
trade emporium of the surrounding States, and the main outlet
for the produce of the Mississippi Valley,
which includes cotton, sugar, tobacco, wheat, and salt.
New South Wales (1,132),
the "mother colony" of Australia, fronts the Pacific
for 700 m. on the E. between Queensland (N.) and Victoria (S.),
is 2½ times the size of Great Britain and Ireland; mountain
ranges (including the Australian Alps) running parallel with,
and from 20 to 100 m. distant from, the coast, divide the narrow
littoral plains from the great plains of the W. and the interior,
and are the source of many large rivers (e. g. the Darling)
flowing E. and W.; the climate is warm and everywhere healthy;
rain falls plentifully on the coast lands and mountains, but
is scarce in the W. The mineral wealth of the colony is very
great—gold and silver are found in large quantities, as
also copper, tin, iron, &c., but coal is the most abundant
and valuable mineral product. Cereals, fruits, sugar, tobacco, &c.,
are cultivated, but in small quantities compared with the immense
output of wool, the chief product of the country.
Sydney (q. v.) is the capital
and chief port of the colony. Government is vested in a Crown
appointed Governor and two Houses of Parliament (triennial and
paid). Education is free and compulsory. Established in 1788,
the colony was, up to 1840, used as a settlement for transported
criminals. In 1851 the great gold discoveries started the colony
on its prosperous career.
New York (5,997), the foremost
State in the American Union in population, wealth, commerce,
and manufactures, the twenty-fifth in area, and is about the
size of England; is triangular in shape, with a north-western
base on Lakes Erie and Ontario, and an eastern apex reaching
the Atlantic between Connecticut (N.) and New Jersey (S.). Manhattan,
Staten, and Long Island are the most important of many islands
belonging to the State. The land slopes from the mountainous
E. to the shores of the great western lakes, and is pleasantly
diversified with mountain, valley and plain, forest and river.
The Hudson, Oswego, Genesee, and Niagara (with its famous waterfall)
are the principal rivers, while the St. Lawrence forms part
of the northern boundary. One-half of the area is under cultivation;
the vine flourishes, hops and tobacco are grown, and market-gardening
prospers near the large cities; but manufacturing is the chief
industry, and the transit of goods is greatly facilitated by
the many waterways and network of railways. Was finally occupied
by the English in 1664, after the expulsion of the Dutch.
New York City (3,437), but
including Brooklyn, Jersey City, and other suburban places,
nearly three millions, the premier city of the American continent,
and third wealthiest in the world; occupies Manhattan Island
(13½ m. long) and several smaller islands at the terminal
confluence of the Hudson with East River, which opens into Long
Island Sound; 18 m. S. of the city is Sandy Hook, where two
ship channels cross the bar, and lead into the outer or lower
bay, which in turn is joined by a strait to the magnificent
harbour or inner bay; all approaches are strongly fortified;
a suspension bridge spans East River, uniting the city with
Brooklyn; the rivers and the many wharves are crowded with shipping.
The old town is a busy hive of industry, with its great centres
of banking and mercantile enterprise—Wall, New, and Broad
Streets. The modern part of the city is a model of regularity,
is traversed by great avenues 8 m. in length and 100 ft. wide,
the finest being Fifth Avenue. The City Hall and the Court House
are of white marble; the hotels are the largest in the world;
Astor library (250,000 vols.), academy of design, university,
museums, art-galleries, and many other handsome buildings adorn
the streets; carries on industries of almost every description.
New Zealand (669, of which
42 are Maories), a British island colony in the South Pacific,
lying wholly within the temperate zone, 1200 m. E. of Australia;
comprises North Island (45,000 sq. m.), South or Middle Island
(58,000 sq. m.), Stewart Island (much smaller), and a number
of islets; total area considerably more than that of Great Britain.
The two main islands, separated by Cook Strait, are in no part
broader than 150 m., and are traversed from end to end by a
great and partly volcanic mountain chain, the range in South
Island being known as the Southern Alps (highest peak Mount
Cook, 12,350 ft), and that in North Island as the Ruahine Range
and the Tararua Mountains; everywhere rivers abound, Waikato
(North Island) and Clutha (South Island) being the largest;
numerous lakes (Lake Taupo, six times the size of Loch Lomond),
fertile valleys, and well-grassed plains, together with the
mountains, make up a beautiful and diversified surface, which
much resembles that of Scotland, while the climate, temperate
and healthy, is warmer and more equable than in Great Britain;
almost all the animals have been imported, as well as the grains
and fruits; great forests of indigenous kauri pines, however,
exist; sheep-farming, agriculture, and mining (gold and coal)
are the chief industries, wool being the chief export; Auckland,
the largest, and Wellington, the capital, in North Island, and
Dunedin and Christchurch in South Island, are the chief towns;
Government is vested in a Crown-appointed Governor, an Executive
Ministry, and a Parliament of two Chambers; education is free,
secular, and compulsory, but no State aid is given to any form
of religion; discovered in 1642 by Tasman, the islands were
first surveyed by Cook in 1769; their formal cession to the
British crown took place in 1840.
Newark (246), city of U.S., New
Jersey, 7 miles W. by New Jersey City. It has extensive tanneries,
and manufactories of hats, thread, and celluloid.
(18), a borough and old market-town of Staffordshire, 40 m.
S. of Manchester; is a well-built town, actively engaged in
brewing, malting, and paper-making.
(186), a city and county of itself, and chief town of Northumberland;
situated on the N. bank, and 10 m. from the mouth, of the Tyne,
275 m. N. of London. The old town extends some two miles along
the river bank, and with its crowded quays, narrow winding streets,
and dingy warehouses, presents a striking contrast to the handsome
modern portion, which stretches back on gently rising ground.
The cathedral is an imposing and interesting architectural structure,
while the public buildings are more than usually ornate. The
Colleges of Medicine and of Science are affiliated to Durham
University. There are several fine libraries, theatres, hospitals,
and charitable institutions, and the city is especially well
off in the matter of public parks and pleasure grounds. Three
bridges (including Robert Stephenson's famous High Level Bridge)
span the river and connect Newcastle with Gateshead. It is the
chief centre of the English coal trade, and is a busy hive of
all kinds of metallic, chemical, machinery, and kindred works,
which give rise to an immense and ever-increasing shipping trade.
As a centre of shipbuilding the Tyne is second only to the Clyde.
Newcomen, Thomas, blacksmith,
born at Dartmouth; invented a steam-engine
in which the piston was raised by steam and driven down by the
atmosphere after the injection into the cylinder of a squirt
of cold water, which cooled it, so that the steam when injected
did not raise the piston at once up. By James Watt's invention
of a separate condenser it was superseded, and employed afterwards
principally for pumping water. The interruption in the movement
between the descent and ascent of the piston made it worthless
for such purposes as Watt's invention is applied to; d.
Newdigate, Sir Roger,
born in Warwickshire; represented Oxford in Parliament, and
founded the Newdigate Prize for the best English poem by an
undergraduate; the winners of it have since distinguished themselves,
chiefly in letters (1719-1806).
Newfoundland (198), the
oldest island colony of Britain, situated at the mouth of the
Gulf of St. Lawrence, North America; is about one-eighth larger
than Ireland, and triangular in shape, the northern apex running
close in to the coast of Labrador; inland the country is bleak,
sparsely populated, and ill cultivated; lakes and rivers abound;
the deeply indented coast provides excellent harbourage for
the large fishing fleets that frequent it; minerals are found,
including coal, iron, lead, and copper; agriculture and timber-felling
are on the increase, but the fisheries—cod, salmon, herring,
and seal—form the staple industry; the climate is more
temperate than in Canada, although, subject to fogs;
St. Johns (q. v.) is the
capital; discovered in 1497 by John Cabot, seized by the English
in 1583, and finally ceded to Britain by the French (who retained
certain fishing rights) in 1713; Newfoundland possesses a responsible
government, consisting of a popularly elected Assembly and a
Crown-appointed Governor, and exercises political rights over
the adjoining coast territory of Labrador.
Newgate, a dark, gloomy prison
in London, the original of which dates as far back as 1218;
was two centuries afterwards rebuilt, and destroyed in the great
fire of 1666; rebuilt in 1780; is now used only for prisoners
awaiting trial during Sessions, and as a place of execution.
Newman, John Henry,
cardinal, born in London, son of a banker; educated at Ealing,
studied at Trinity College, Oxford, and obtained a Fellowship
in Oriel College in 1823; trained in evangelical beliefs, he
gradually drifted into High-Church notions, and becoming vicar
of St. Mary's, the university church of Oxford, in 1826, started
the Tractarian Movement in 1833, and, busy with his pen, wrote
no fewer than 24 of the celebrated "Tracts for the Times"
in advocacy of High-Church teaching, till Tract XC., which he
composed, overshot the mark, and he resigned his connection
with the Church of England, and was received into the Catholic
Church on the 28th October 1845; shortly after this he visited
Rome, was ordained a priest, and after some stay there on his
return became head of the Birmingham Oratory in 1849, where
he spent over 40 of the years that remained of his life; the
influence on Church matters which he exercised as university
preacher at Oxford was very great, and made itself felt through
the voluminous writings over the length and breadth of the Church;
on his secession he continued to employ his pen in defence of
his position, particularly in one work, now widely known, entitled "Apologia
pro Vita Sua"; what he wrote was for the time he lived
in, and none of it, except certain of his hymns, is likely to
endure; the religion he fought for and vindicated was an externally
authenticated one, whereas all true religion derives itself
and its evidences solely and wholly from within, and is powerless
and virtually nothing except in so far as it roots itself there
Newman, Francis William,
born in London, brother of the preceding, with whom he was wholly
out of sympathy, and at the opposite pole; he was a theist in
his religious opinions, and wrote in defence of them his principal
works, "The Soul: Her Sorrows and Aspirations," and "Phases
of Faith" (1805-1897).
Newport, 1, capital of the Isle
of Wight (10), and near its centre; in its vicinity is Carisbrooke
Castle, where Charles I. was imprisoned. 2, The largest town
in Monmouth (54), at the mouth of the Usk, engaged in manufacture
of various kinds, but chiefly as a port for the export of minerals,
which is very large. 3, A town in Rhode Island, U.S., (19),
a fashionable watering-place, as well as a manufacturing; was
for a time the residence of Bishop Berkeley.
Newstead Abbey, an abbey
near Nottingham, founded by Henry II. by way of atonement for
the murder of Thomas à Becket, which was given at the
dissolution of the monasteries to an ancestor of Lord Byron,
who lived in it and sold it, since which it has been restored.
Newton, Sir Isaac, illustrious
natural philosopher, born in Woolsthorpe, near Grantham, in
Lincolnshire; entered Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1661, where
he applied himself specially to the study of mathematics, invented
the method of fluxions (q.
v.), and began to theorise on gravitation, graduating in
1667, and becoming professor of Mathematics in 1669; failing
at first, from a mistaken measurement given of the earth's diameter,
in his attempts to establish the theory referred to, he set
himself to the construction of telescopes, and discovered the
composition of light; shortly after this, hearing of a correction
of the measurement required, he renewed his study of gravitation,
and made his theory good in a series of papers communicated
to the Royal Society, though it was not till 1687, encouraged
by Halley, he gave the complete demonstration in his "Principia"
to the world; in 1695 he was made Warden of the Mint, and afterwards
Master, a post he held till his death; his works were numerous,
and he wrote on prophecy as well as treatises on science (1642-1727).
Newton, John, English clergyman,
born in London; after a wild youth was converted, entered the
Church, and became curate of Olney, where he became acquainted
with Cowper, and had, owing to his severe Calvinism, an influence
over him not altogether for good, and was associated with the
production of the "Olney Hymns"; wrote "Cardiphonia"
Newton, Thomas, English
divine; edited Milton's "Paradise Lost" and "Paradise
Regained," and notes, and wrote "Dissertations on
the Prophecies" (1704-1782).
Ney, Michel, peer and marshal
of France, born at Sarrelouis, son of a cooper; entered the
army as a private hussar in 1797; distinguished himself by his
bravery in the wars of the Revolution and the Empire, and earned
for himself from the army under Napoleon, and from Napoleon
himself, the title of the "Brave of the braves"; on
Napoleon's abdication in 1814 he attached himself to Louis XVIII.,
but on his return from Elba he joined Ins old master, and stood
by him during the hundred days; on the second Restoration he
was arrested, tried by his peers, and shot (1769-1815).
Ngami, Lake, a shallow sheet
of water 50 m. long in S. Africa, on
the borders of the Kalahari Desert, which is always changing
its margin, is at one time, from the rains, sweet and drinkable,
and at another time, from drought, saline; it is infested with
crocodiles, and swarms with fish.
Niagara, a section of the St.
Lawrence River, in N. America, extending between Lakes Erie
and Ontario, having a descent throughout its course of 36 m.
of 326 ft., the Falls, preceded and succeeded by rapids, being
the largest in the world, the Canadian or Horse Shoe Fall being
2640 ft. wide, with a descent of 158 ft., and the American Fall
being one-third of the width of the Canadian, and with a descent
of over 162 ft.
Niam-niam, a people of the
E. Soudan, SE. of Darfur, occupying territory between the basins
of the Nile and the Congo.
Nibelung, king of the Nibelungen,
a mythical Burgundian tribe, the fabulous possessor of a hoard
of wealth so inexhaustible that "twelve waggons in twelve
days, at the rate of three journeys a day, could not carry it
off," and which he bequeathed to his two sons on his deathbed,
by the vanquishing of whom the hoard fell into the hands of
the redoubtable hero Siegfried.
Nibelungen Lied (i. e.
Lay of the Nibelungen), an old German epic, of date, it is presumed,
earlier than the 12th century; it consists of two parts, the
first ending with the murder of Siegfried by Hagen, his wresting
of the hoard (see supra)
from his widow, Kriemhild, and burying it at the bottom of the
Rhine, and the second relating the vengeance of Kriemhild and
the annihilation of the whole Burgundian race, Kriemhild included,
to whom the treasure had originally belonged; to the latter
part the name of the Nibelungen Not (or Distress) has been given.
Nicaragua (313, mostly mulattoes
and negroes), the largest and richest of five republics occupying
Central America, stretches across the isthmus from the Pacific
to the Caribbean Sea, between Honduras (N.) and Costa Rica (S.);
the Cordilleras traverse the heart of the country, and the immense
valleys of the W. are remarkable for the two great southern
lakes, Nicaragua and Managua, which are studded with volcanic
islands; rich in gold, silver, copper, and coal, with vast forests
of mahogany, rosewood, &c., splendid pastures and a fertile
soil; the country has through misgovernment and a bad climate
remained in a backward state; in recent times more has been
done; hides, bananas, coffee, and india-rubber are the chief
exports, and a considerable deal of mining goes on; the great
ship-canal from the Pacific to the Caribbean, begun in 1889
by a U.S. company, is not yet completed; Managua (18) is the
capital; asserted its independence from Spain in 1821, and has
since been rent by countless revolutions; a president and a
congress of 48 administer its affairs.
Nice or Nicæa, an
ancient city of Bithynia, in Asia Minor, celebrated as the seat
of two oecumenical councils of the Church, the first, presided
over by Constantine in 325, which condemned Arianism, and the
second, under the Empress Irene in 787, which deliberated on
Nice (74), capital of the department
Alpes-Maritimes, France, charmingly situated on the Mediterranean
coast near the Italian border, terraced hills shelter it on
the N., and its genial and equable climate make it a favourite
winter resort for invalids; the Paglione, a small stream, divides
the old and modern portion; Castle Hill, with ruins and pleasure
gardens, the cathedral, art-gallery, &c., are features of
interest; olive-oil is the chief export, and artistic pottery,
perfumery, &c., are manufactured.
Nicene Creed, a creed established
as orthodox at Nice (q. v.),
which affirmed as against Arianism that Christ as Son of God
was not merely of like substance, but of the same
substance with the Father.
Nicholas, the name of five
Popes: N. I., St., surnamed the Great, Pope from 858
to 867, asserted the supremacy of the papal see, Festival, Nov.
13; N. II., Pope from 1058 to 1061; N. III., Pope
from 1277 to 1280; N. IV., Pope from 1288 to 1292;
N. V., Pope from 1447 to 1456, after the capture of Constantinople
by the Turks, took the exiled Greek scholars under his protection,
fostered the learning of the East, and laid the foundation of
the Vatican Library by the collection of over 5000 Greek and
Nicholas, St., the patron
saint of boys, of sailors, of Russia and Aberdeen, as well as
other towns; was bishop of Myra, persecuted under Diocletian;
is generally represented in bishop's robes, and has either three
purses or three children as his attributes; the three children
and the three purses refer to one and the same story: St. Nicholas,
on learning that a father who had three daughters was tempted
by extreme poverty to expose them to a life of dishonour, went
by night and threw into the window of the house three bags of
money which served as a marriage portion for each, and thus
rescued them from a life of shame.
Nicholas I., czar of Russia,
born at St. Petersburg, third son of Paul I., ascended the throne
in 1825 in succession to Alexander I., his eldest brother; suppressed
with rigour and not a little severity a formidable conspiracy
which took form on his accession; took up arms against Persia
and wrested Erivan from its sway, struggled against both the
Poles and the Turks till his overbearing policy against the
latter provoked a coalition of France, England, and Sardinia
to their defence in the Crimean War, which was still going on
when he died; in 1848 he aided Austria in the suppression of
the Hungarian insurrection (1796-1855).
Nicholas II., czar of Russia,
born in St. Petersburg, son of Alexander III., and his successor
in Nov. 1894; was married on the month of his accession to Princess
Alice of Hesse-Darmstadt and granddaughter of Queen Victoria
through the Princess Alice, while his mother is a sister of
the Princess of Wales; his education under his father was conducted
expressly with a view to what might be required of him on his
accession to the throne; his ministers are in sympathy with
himself, and he has already (1899) distinguished himself by
putting his finger on the sore which is festering at the heart
and is sucking up as a vampire the life's blood of Europe;
b. May 18, 1868.
Nicholson, John, an Indian
officer, born in Dublin, son of a physician; served in the Sikh
Wars, and at the outbreak of the Mutiny in 1857 in the Punjab
crushed it in the bud; led the attack at the siege of Delhi,
Sept. 14, but fell mortally wounded as the storming party were
entering the Cabul Gate (1821-1857).
Nicobar Islands (7),
a group of picturesque islands in the Indian Ocean, S. of the
Andaman Islands and midway between Ceylon and the Malay Peninsula;
14 of the 20 islands are inhabited, chiefly by indigenous Indians
and Malays; after being in the hands of Denmark for upwards
of 100 years, they were annexed by Britain in 1869; trade is
carried on with India in cocoa-nuts, ambergris, tortoise-shell, &c.
Nicolaitans, a sect of heretics
that arose in the Apostolic Church, presumed to have been a
party of professing Christians of Gentile descent,
who, after their profession, continued
to take part in the heathen festivals, and to have contributed
to break down the distinction between the Church and the world,
so essential to the very existence of the faith they professed,
founded, as it is, no less absolutely on No to the world than
on Yea to God. See Everlasting
No and Everlasting Yea.
Nicole, Pierre, French
divine and moralist, born at Chartres, a
Port-Royalist (q. v.),
friend of Arnauld and Pascal; was along with the former author
of the famous "Port Royal Logic" (1625-1695).
Nicotine, a poisonous alkaloid
extracted from the leaves of the tobacco plant, is a colourless,
oily liquid, readily soluble in water, and has a pungent odour.
Niebuhr, Barthold Georg,
distinguished historian, born at Copenhagen, son of the succeeding;
studied at Kiel, and for a time at London and Edinburgh; after
various civil appointments in Denmark, entered the civil service
of Prussia in 1806; on the establishment of the university of
Berlin in 1810 gave in connection with it a course of lectures
on Roman history, by which he established his reputation as
a historian, several of the conclusions of which he afterwards
confirmed during his residence as ambassador at the Papal Court
at Rome from 1816 to 1823; the revolution of the three days
of July 1830 in Paris threatening, as he thought, a recurrence
of the horrors of the first, gave him such a shock that he sickened
of it and died; by his treatment of the history of Rome he introduced
a new era in the treatment of history generally, which consisted
in expiscating all the fabulous from the story and working on
the residuum of authenticated fact, without, however, as would
appear, taking due account of the influence of the faith of
the people on the fable, and the effect of the latter on the
life and destiny of the nation whose history it was his purpose
to relate (1776-1830).
Niebuhr, Karsten, a celebrated
traveller, born in Hanover; joined a Danish expedition in exploration
of Arabia, and alone of the members of it returned home, which
he did by way of Persia, Palestine, and Cyprus, and wrote an
account of the results of his researches (1733-1815).
Niel, Adolphe, French marshal,
born at Muret; entered the Engineers 1825, served in the Algerine
War in 1835, before Rome in 1849, at Bomarsund in 1854, at Sebastopol
in 1856, as well as at Magenta and Solferino, and finally became
Minister of War (1802-1869).
Niepee, Joseph Nicéphore,
French chemist, born at Châlons-sur-Saône; inventor
of photography, the method of effecting which he achieved after
long brooding in 1824, and afterwards communicated to Daguerre,
with whom he entered into partnership, and who made it known
after his death (1765-1833).
Niflheim or Misthome,
in the Norse mythology the primeval northern region of cold
and darkness, in contrast with Muspelheim, or Brighthome, the
primeval southern region of warmth and light, the two poles,
as it were, of the Norse world.
Niger, a great river of Western
Africa, whose head-waters rise amid the Kong Mountains behind
Sierra Leone; flowing NE. as far as Timbuctoo (2 m. from the
river), it there bends gradually southward, receives from the
E. its great affluent the Benuë, and about 100 m. from
the coast begins to form a wide forest and jungle-covered delta
(larger than that of the Nile), and finally flows into the Gulf
of Guinea by 22 mouths after a course of some 2600 m. Forms,
with the Benuë, an invaluable highway into the heart of
the country; its upper and middle parts, under the names Joliba, &c.,
are within the French sphere, and the lower portion below Say
is under English authority.
a famous philanthropic nurse, born at Florence, of wealthy English
parentage; at the age of 22 entered the institution of Protestant
Deaconesses at Kaiserswerth to be trained as a nurse, and afterwards
studied the methods of nursing and hospital management with
the Sisters of St. Vincent de Paul, Paris; after thoroughly
reorganising Harley Street Hospital, London, she in 1854 volunteered
to organise a staff of nurses to tend the wounded soldiers in
the Crimea; arriving at Scutari on the eve of Inkermann she,
during the terrible winter of 1854-55, ministered with unwearied
devotion to the suffering soldiers; on her return in 1856 she,
with public support, established a training college for nurses
at St. Thomas's and at King's College Hospital; she is author
of "Notes on Nursing," "Notes on Hospitals," &c.;
b. in 1820.
Nihilism, the principles of
a movement on the part of the educated classes in Russia which
repudiates the existing creed and organisation of society, and
insists on a root and branch wholesale abolition of them and
a reconstruction of them on communistic principles, and for
the purely secular and everyday ends of common life, subordinating
everything in the first place to the feeding, clothing, and
lodging of human beings in a manner worthy of their rank in
the scale of being. The term Nihilism is also applied to those
philosophical systems which sweep the course clear of all incredibilities
and irrationalities, but leave us bare of all our inherited
capital of a Russian government of the same name, situated at
the confluence of the Oka with the Volga, 274 m. E. of Moscow,
is the seat of Peter-Paul's Fair, the greatest in the world,
which lasts from July to September, attracting merchants from
Asia and Europe, and during which the population of the town
swells to six or seven times its normal dimensions; as much
as £20,000,000 worth of goods are said to be sold during
Nile, the longest river of Africa,
and one of the most noted in the world's history; the Shimiyu,
Isanga, and other streams which flow into Victoria Nyanza from
the S. are regarded as its ultimate head-waters; from Victoria
Nyanza, the Victoria Nile or Somerset River holds a north-westerly
course to Albert Nyanza, whence it issues under the name of
the Bahr-el-Jebel, swelled by the waters of the Semliki from
Albert Edward Nyanza; about 650 m. N. it is joined by the Bahr-el-Ghazal
from the W., and bending to the E., now under the name White
Nile, receives on that side the Sobat, and as a sluggish navigable
stream flows past Fashoda on to Khartoum, where it is met by
the Bahr-al-Azrak or Blue Nile; 200 m. lower it receives the
Atbara or Black Nile. Through Egypt the river's course is confined
to a valley some 10 m. broad, which owes its great fertility
to the alluvial deposits left by the river during it annual
overflow (July to October, caused by seasonal rains in Abyssinia, &c.).
From Khartoum to Assouan occur the cataracts; below this the
stream is navigable. A few miles N. of Cairo begins the delta
which lies within the Rosetta and Damietta—two main branches
of the divided river—and is some 150 m. broad at its base.
From Victoria Nyanza to the coast the river measures about 3400
an operatic singer, born in Sweden, daughter of a peasant, and
one of the foremost sopranos of her day; distinguished for her
dramatic talent no less than by her powers as a vocalist (1843-1882).
Nimeguen (34), an interesting
old Dutch town in Guelderland, on the Waal, 73 m. E. of Rotterdam;
has a fine 13th-century Gothic church and other notable buildings;
its prosperous manufactures include tobacco, perfume, beer, &c.;
here, in 1678-79, France effected famous peace treaties with
Holland, Spain, and Austria.
Nîmes or Nismes (68),
capital of the department of Gard, S. of France, lies surrounded
by the Cévennes in the fertile valley of the Vistre,
31 m. E. of Montpellier; has unique Roman remains, including
an imposing amphitheatre, now used as a bull-arena, the noble
Corinthian "Maison Carrée," a mausoleum, baths, &c.;
textiles (silk, cotton, &c.), wines, and brandy are the
chief articles of manufacture; it declared for the Reformation
in 1559, and suffered cruelly on the Revocation of the Edict
Nimrod, an early king of Assyria
or Babylonia, characterised in Scripture (Gen. x. 9) as "a
mighty hunter before the Lord"; a name now applied to a
Nineveh, an exceeding great
city, capital of ancient Assyria, which stood on the left bank
of the Tigris, opposite the modern town of Mosul, said to have
been included within a wall 60 m. long, 100 ft. high, the breadth
of three chariots in width, and defended by 1500 towers each
200 ft. in height.
Ninian St., early apostle of
Christianity to the southern Picts of Scotland, born on the
shores of the Solway, of noble descent; went to Rome, was consecrated
by the Pope, visited St. Martin at Tours on his way back; had
founded a church at Whithorn, Wigtownshire, which he dedicated
to the latter on his return, where he died, "perfect in
life and full of years," in 432.
Ninus, a legendary king of Assyria,
a celebrated conqueror, to whom tradition assigns the founding
Niobe, in the Greek mythology
the daughter of Tantalus, and wife of Amphion, king of Thebes,
to whom she bore six sons and six daughters, in her pride of
whom she rated herself above Leto, who had given birth to only
two children, Apollo and Artemis, whereupon they, indignant
at this insult to their mother, gave themselves for nine days
to the slaughter of Niobe's offspring, and on the tenth the
gods buried them; Niobe, in her grief, retired to Mount Sipylos,
in Lydia, where her body became cold and rigid as stone, but
not her tears, which, ever as the summer months returned, burst
Nirvâna, the name given
to the consummation of bliss in the Hindu, but especially the
Buddhist, religions, synonymous with extinction, which in the
Hindu creed means the extinction of individuality by absorption
in the Divine Being, and in Buddhism, not, as some presume,
the extinction of existence, but the extinction of agitation
of mind through the crucifixion of all passion and desire, the
attainment of self-centred, self-sufficient quiescence of being,
or rest and peace of soul.
Nisus, a Trojan youth who accompanied Æneas
into Italy, and whose friendship for Euryulus is so pathetically
immortalised by Virgil in the ninth book of the "Æneid."
Maxwell, Earl of, a noted Catholic, who took part in
the Jacobite rising of 1715, was captured at Preston, found
guilty of treason, and sentenced to death; the night before
the day appointed for his execution (24th February 1786) he
effected an escape from the Tower by exchanging clothes with
his daring and devoted countess, who had been admitted to his
room; he fled to Rome, where he lived in happiness with his
wife until her death (1676-1744).
Nitrogen, a gaseous element
which constitutes one-fourth in volume of the atmosphere, is
the basis of nitric acid, and is an essential constituent of
proteids, alkaloids, and albuminoids.
Nitzsch, Karl Ludwig,
German theologian, born at Borna; became professor at Bonn,
Saxony, in 1822, whence in 1847 he was removed to succeed Marheineke
at Berlin; was of the Schleiermacher school of theologians,
and author, among other works, of a "System der Christlichen
Lehre" and "Practische Theologie," the former
an able work, but most vilely translated into English, and the
latter in evidence of the importance the author attached to
the ethical element in the Christian religion (1787-1860).
Nixie, in German folk-lore a water-sprite
of a mischievous disposition, believed to have been suggested
to the imagination by the reflection of the stars in the water.
Nizam, the name given to a viceroy
or administrator of justice in the Mogul Empire of India.
Nizam's Dominions, The,
or Hyderabad (11,537), in the heart of the Deccan, situated
between the Central Provinces and the Presidency of Madras;
it is highly fertile, and the largest of the native States in
India. See Hyderabad.
Noah, the patriarch of Scripture
antiquity who, by the command of God, constructed an ark for
the preservation of the human race and the dry-land animals
during the prevalence of the deluge that would otherwise have
swept all these forms of life away.
Noailles, the name of an old
French family, several members of which distinguished themselves
in the service of both Church and State: Anne Jules N.,
marshal of France, celebrated for his cruelties against the
Huguenots (1650-1708); Louis Antoine de, his brother,
archbishop of Paris, who was made cardinal (1651-1729); Louis
Marie, Vicomte de, deputy to the States-General, who took
part for a time in the Revolution (1756-1804).
Noakes, John O', a fictitious
name for a litigious person, used by lawyers in actions of ejectment.
Noble, a gold coin first minted
by Edward III., formerly current in the country; worth 6s. 8d.,
and ultimately 10s., when the value of the gold increased.
Nocturne, picture of a night
scene; also a musical piece appropriate to the night.
Nodes, name given to the two points
in the orbit of a planet where it crosses or intersects the
ecliptic, called ascending when it goes N., and descending when
it goes S.
Nodier, Charles, able
French littérateur, born at Besançon; a man of
great literary activity and some considerable literary influence;
author of charming stories and fairy tales; "did everything
well," says Professor Saintsbury, "but perhaps nothing
supremely well" (1780-1844).
Nollekens, Joseph, sculptor,
born in London, son of an Antwerp painter; studied in Rome;
his forte lay in busts, of which he modelled a great
many, including busts of Garrick, Sterne, Dr. Johnson, Pitt,
and Fox, and realised thereby a large fortune; he was a man
of no education; his principal work is "Venus with the
Nominalism, the name given
to the theory of those among the Scholastics who maintained
that general notions, which we denote by general terms, are
only names, empty conceptions without reality, that there was
no such thing as pure thought, only conception and sensuous
perception, whereas realists, after Plato, held by the objective
reality of universals. And, indeed, it is not as modern philosophy
affirms, in the particular or the individual, in which alone,
according to the Nominalists, reality resides, but in the universal,
in regard to which the particular is nothing if it does not
Nonconformists, a name
originally applied to the clergy of the Established Church of
England, some two thousand, who in 1662 resigned their livings
rather than submit to the terms of the Act of Uniformity passed
on the 24th of August that year, and now applied to the whole
Dissenting body in England.
Nones, in the Roman calendar the
ninth day before the Ides (q.
v.), being the 7th of March, May, July, and October, and
the 5th of the rest.
Nonjurors, a name given to
that section of the Episcopal party in England who, having sworn
fealty to James II., refused to take the oath of allegiance
to William III., six of whom among the bishops for their obstinacy
were deprived of their sees.
No-Popery Riots, name
given principally to riots in London in June 1780, due to the
zeal of Lord George Gordon
(q. v.), ending in the death of near 300 persons.
a Swedish naturalist, born in Helsingfors; after several successive
voyages and explorations in the Arctic Sea, in which he paid
frequent visits to Spitzbergen, where he measured an arc of
the meridian, in 1878-79 discovered the North-East Passage by
traversing, along the N. shores of Europe and Asia, the whole
Arctic Sea from the Atlantic to the Pacific; has written accounts
of his expeditions; b. 1832.
Nordkyn (i. e. north
chin), the most northerly point in Norway, and of the continent
of Europe generally.
Nore, Mutiny at the,
a mutiny in the fleet stationed at the Nore, an anchorage off
Sheerness, in the Thames, which broke out on May 20, 1797, and
was not suppressed till June 15, for which the ringleaders were
tried and hanged.
Norfolk (455), an eastern maritime
county of England, lies N. of Suffolk, and presents a long eastern
and northern foreshore (90 m.) to the German Ocean; the Wash
lies on the NW. border; light fertile soils, and an undulating,
well-watered surface favour an extensive and highly developed
agriculture, of which fruit-growing and market-gardening are
special features; rabbits and game abound in the great woods
and sand-dunes; the chief rivers are the Ouse, Bure, and Yare,
and these and other streams form in their courses a remarkable
series of inland lakes known as the
Broads (q. v.); its antiquities of Roman and Saxon
times are many and peculiarly interesting.
Norfolk Island, a small
precipitous island in the Western Pacific, midway between New
Caledonia and New Zealand, 400 m. NW. of the latter; its inhabitants,
many of whom came from Pitcairn Island, and now less than 1000,
govern themselves under the superintendence of New South Wales.
Norman, Henry, journalist
and traveller, born at Leicester; travelled extensively in the
East; has written on "The Peoples and Politics of the Far
East," and "Round the Near East"; has since 1892
been on the staff of the Daily Chronicle.
a massive architecture introduced into England, particularly
in the construction of churches, abbeys, &c., by the Normans
even before the Conquest, which was in vogue in the country
till the end of Henry II.'s reign, and which is characterised
by the prevalence of the rounded arch.
Normandy, an ancient province
of France, fronting the English Channel, NE. of Brittany; received
its name from the Northmen who, under Rollo, established themselves
there in the 10th century; was for a long time an appanage of
the English crown after the Norman Conquest; after being taken
and retaken, was finally lost to England in 1450; it became
practically a part of France when it was taken by Philip Augustus
in 1204; it is now represented by the five departments Seine-Inférieure,
Eure, Orne, Calvados, and Manche.
Nornas, in the Norse mythology
the three Fates—the Past, the Present, and the Future;
maidens or dames who water the roots of
Iggdrasil (q. v.), the
ash-tree of existence, and determine the destinies of both gods
Norrköping (36) (north
market), a town in Sweden, called the "Scandinavian Manchester,"
113 m. SW. of Stockholm, with cotton and woollen factories worked
by the water-power of the river Motala, that in falls and rapids
rushes through the town.
Norroy King of Arms,
a name given to the third king-of-arms, whose province is on
the N. side of the Trent, the one on the S. side being called
a pseudonym of Prof. John Wilson in the "Noctes Ambrosianæ"
in Blackwood's Magazine.
North, Frederick, Lord,
English statesman; entered Parliament in 1754, became Tory leader
in the House of Commons in 1767, and Prime Minister in 1770;
was entirely subservient to the will of the king, George III.,
and was responsible in that relation for the loss of the American
colonies; a coalition was effected in 1783 between him and Fox,
to the disgrace of the latter, but it terminated in a few months;
he died, Earl of Guildford, blind (1732-1792).
North Berwick. See
North Cape, the most northerly
point in Europe, in the island of Magerö, in 71° N.
North Carolina. See
North Sea or German Ocean,
between the E. coast of Britain and the Continent, spreads out
into the Arctic Ocean, is shallow, is crossed by many sandbanks,
and is subject to frequent violent storms; the Dogger Bank,
between England and Denmark, 8 to 16 fathoms deep, is rich in
fish, especially cod.
North-East and North-West
Passages, the name given to the sea-routes through the Arctic
Ocean, the former by the N. of Europe and Asia and the latter
by the N. of North America, which the northern nations were
ambitious to open up into the Pacific, the access to which by
the Capes in the S. was in possession of the fleets of Spain
and Portugal; the attempts to achieve it cost much money and
much life, and realised no permanent material advantage.
(46,905), a province and lieutenant-governorship of British
India, embraces the upper portion of the Ganges Valley and Doab,
and reaches from Bengal to the Punjab, enclosing Oudh on all
sides but the N.; area twice that of England, is the chief wheat
province, and also raises opium, cotton, tea, and sugar; was
separated from Bengal in 1835, and with
it in 1877 was conjoined Oudh; Allahabad is the capital.
Northallerton (4), a market-town
and capital of the North Riding of Yorkshire, 30 m. NW. of York;
in the vicinity was fought the famous Battle of the Standard,
in which David I. of Scotland was routed by the English, August
Northampton (70), capital
of Northamptonshire, on the Nen, 66 m. NW. of London; has two
fine old Norman churches, is the centre of the boot and shoe
manufacture, and is actively engaged in brewing, lace-making, &c.;
in the outskirts is a popular racecourse; was the scene of Henry
VI.'s defeat by the Yorkists on July 10, 1460.
Northants (302), a midland county of England, bordering
upon nine others; has an undulating fertile surface, and is
distinguished from the surrounding counties by extensive woods
and plantations; is chiefly engaged in agriculture and stock-raising;
the Nen and the Welland are the principal rivers; among its
antiquities are Fotheringay Castle, where Mary Stuart was beheaded,
and Burleigh House; the battles of Edgecote (1469) and Naseby
(1645) were fought within its borders.
Northcote, James, English
portrait-painter; studied under Sir Joshua Reynolds, whose Life
he wrote as well as Titian's; wrote also "Fables"
Northcote, Sir Stafford
Henry. See Iddesleigh,
Northmen or Norsemen,
the name given in the Middle Ages to the sea-roving, adventure-loving
inhabitants of Norway, Sweden, and Denmark; in their sea-rovings
they were little better than pirates, but they had this excuse,
their home was narrow and their lands barren, and it was a necessity
for them to sally forth and see what they could plunder and
carry away in richer lands; they were men of great daring, their
early religion definable as the consecration of valour, and
they were the terror of the quieter nations whose lands they
invaded; at first their invasions were mere raids for plunder,
but at length they were satisfied with no less than conquest
and the permanent occupancy of the lands they subdued, settling
some of them on the shores of England and France, and even in
the S. of Italy; these invasions were common and frequent during
the whole of the 9th and the early part of the 10th centuries.
the most northerly county of England, lies on the border of
Scotland, from which it is separated by the Cheviots and the
Tweed; its eastern shore, off which lie the Farne Islands, Lindisfarne,
and Coquet Isle, N. of Durham, fronts the North Sea; is fifth
in size of the English counties; in the N. the Cheviot slopes
form excellent pasturage, but the Pennine Range towards the
W. presents dreary and less valuable moorland; on the W. are
arable lowlands; Tweed, Tyne, Till, Alne, Wansbeck, are the
chief rivers. Its great coal-field in the S.E. is the most celebrated
in the world, and is the county's greatest source of wealth,
and includes upwards of 100 collieries; Newcastle, Alnwick (county
town), Hexham, and North Shields are the principal towns. Within
its borders were fought the battles of Otterburn, Homildon Hill,
Northumbria, one of the
ancient English kingdoms; comprised the eastern half of the
island from the Humber to the Firth of Forth, and was divided
into the Northern Bernicia and the southern Deira; was founded
in 547 by Ida the Angle.
Northwich (14), a town in
Cheshire, with springs in and around of brine, from which salt
has been procured for centuries.
Norton, Charles Edward,
American littérateur, born in Cambridge, Massachusetts;
has travelled a good deal in Europe; edited, with Lowell, the
North American Review and the early Letters of Carlyle,
as well as the "Reminiscences," which had been too
carelessly edited by Froude; b. 1827.
Norton, Mrs., English novelist
and poet, née Sheridan, granddaughter of Sheridan,
authoress of "Stuart of Dunleath," "Lost and
Saved," &c., described by Lockhart as "the Byron
of poetesses," figures in Meredith's "Diana of the
Norway (2,000), a kingdom of
North Europe, comprising the western side of the Scandinavian
peninsula, and separated from Sweden on the E. by the Kjölen
Mountains; the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans beat upon its long
and serrated western seaboard, forcing a way up the many narrow
and sinuous fiords; Sogne Fiord, the longest, runs into the
heart of the country 100 m.; off the northern coast lie the
Loffodens, while the Skerries skirt the E. The country forms
a strip of irregular and mountainous coast-land 1160 m. long,
which narrows down at its least breadth to 25 m.; 70 per cent,
of the surface is uncultivable, and 24 per cent, is forest;
the lakes number 30,000, of which Lake Wenner (2136 sq. m.)
is the largest; immense glaciers are found in the great mountain
barrier, and innumerable rivers run short and rapid courses
to the Atlantic and to the Skager-Rak in the S.; the Glommen,
flowing into Christiania Fiord, is the largest (400 m.). The
climate of the W. coast districts is tempered by the Gulf Stream;
inland there is a great decrease in the rainfall, but much intenser
cold is experienced. The wealth of the country lies in its forests
and fisheries, mines and shipping; only 2 per cent, of the land-surface
is under cultivation, and 2.8 per cent is utilised for grazing;
the copper, iron, and silver mines are declining. Christiania
(the capital) is the centre of the industrial area; the shipping
almost equals that of the United States, and ranks third in
the world. The Norwegians are intensely democratic (titles and
nobility were abolished in 1821), and although under a king,
who also includes Sweden in his dominions, they enjoy democratic
home rule, no members of the Storthing (Parliament) being paid.
Education is free and compulsory, and the bulk of the people
are Lutherans. The monetary unit is the Krone (= 1/1½).
Norway, originally inhabited by Lapps and Gothic tribes, was
first unified by Harold Haarfager (A.D. 863-930), and subsequently
welded into a Christian kingdom by his descendant St. Olaf (1015).
From 1536 it was held as a conquered province by Denmark up
to 1814; in that year it was ceded to Sweden, and received national
rights and a free constitution.
Norwich, 1, an ancient cathedral
city and capital of Norfolk (101), situated on the Wensum, immediately
above its junction with the Yare, 114 m. NE. of London; its
beautiful woodland surroundings have won it the name of "the
city in an orchard"; chief of its many fine buildings is
the cathedral, a handsome Norman structure, founded in 1096;
of the old Norman castle only the keep now stands, crowning
a central hill; its celebrated triennial musical festivals began
in 1824; textile fabrics are still an important manufacture,
but have been superseded in importance by mustard, starch, and
iron-ware factories; has been a bishopric since 1094. 2, Capital
of New London County (16), Connecticut,
on the Thames River, 36 m. SE. of Hartford.
Norwood (24), a healthy southern
suburban district of London, at one time the locality of a gypsy
Nostradamus, a celebrated
astrologer, the assumed name of Michel de Notredame, born at
St. Remi, Provence; was a medical man by profession, but gave
himself to divination, uttered in rhymes in a series of published
predictions called "Centuries" (1503-1566).
Notables, The, name given
to certain actual or virtual rulers of the different districts
of France, consisting of men of different ranks, summoned together
in a time of civic perplexity and trouble to advise the king,
and especially the convocation of them summoned at the instance
of Controller Colonne, and that assembled at the Château
of Versailles on 22nd February 1787 to the number of a "round
gross," including seven princes of the blood, and who were "organed
out" nine weeks after, their debates proving ineffectual,
to be recalled on the 6th November the year following, to "vanish
ineffectual again on 12th December, and return no more."
Notary Public, a professional
person appointed to certify to a formality required by law as
observed in his presence.
Notre Dame, celebrated metropolitan
church of Paris, situated on the "Ile de la Cité";
it was begun to be erected in 1163 on the site of a prior Merovingian
cathedral, which itself had superseded a pagan temple on the
spot, and completed, at least the general ensemble of it, in
Nottingham (214), capital
of Nottinghamshire, on the Trent, 126 m. NW. of London; is a
spacious and well-built town, with an arboretum, castle (now
an art gallery), two theatres, university college, free library,
old grammar-school, racecourse, &c.; is the centre of lace-making
and hosiery in England, and manufactures cottons, silks, bicycles,
cigars, needles, beer, &c.; a fine granite and iron bridge
spans the river.
a north-midland county of England, lies wedged in between Lincoln
(E.) and Derby (N.), and touches York on the N.; embraces the
broad, level, and fruitful valley of the Trent, Sherwood Forest,
and Wolds in the S.; excepting the Vale of Belvoir in the E.,
part of the Wolds and the Valley of the Trent, the land is not
specially productive; coal and iron ore are found. The principal
towns, Nottingham, Newark, Mansfield, &c., are busily engaged
in the manufacture of all kinds of lace, hosiery, and various
woollen goods; iron-founding and cotton mills are also numerous.
Noumena, the philosophical name
for realities as distinct from phenomena, which are regarded
as but the appearances of reality.
Nova Scotia (450), a province
of Canada, lies E. of New Brunswick, facing the Atlantic, which,
with its extensions, Bay of Fundy and Gulf of St. Lawrence,
all but surrounds it; consists of a peninsula (joined to New
Brunswick by Chignecto Isthmus) and the island of Cape Breton,
separated by the Gut of Canso; area equals two-thirds of Scotland,
short rivers and lakes abound; all kinds of cereals (except
wheat and root-crops) are grown in abundance, and much attention
is given to the valuable crops of apples, pears, plums, and
other fruits; gold, coal, iron, &c., are wrought extensively,
manufactures are increasing; the fisheries (mackerel, cod, herring,
salmon, &c.), and timber forests are the chief sources of
wealth; the province is well opened up by railways, education
is free, government is in the hands of a lieutenant-governor,
an executive council (9), and a legislative assembly (38);
Halifax (q. v.) is the
capital; climate varies in temperature from 20° below zero
to 98° in the shade, fogs prevail in the coast-land; was
discovered in 1497 by Cabot, formed a portion of French Acadie,
and finally became British in 1713.
Nova Zembla, a long and narrow
island (sometimes classified as two islands) in the Arctic Ocean,
between the Kara Sea and Barentz Sea, 600 m. by 60 m.; the Matochkin
Shar, a narrow winding strait, cuts the island into two halves;
belongs to Russia, but is not permanently inhabited; is visited
by seamen and hunters.
Novalis, the nom de plume
of Friedrich von Hardenberg, a German author, born at Wiederstädt,
near Mansfeld, one of the most prominent representatives of
the Romantic school of poets, author of two unfinished romances
entitled "Heinrich von Ofterdingen" and "Lehrlinge
zu Sais," together with "Geistliche Lieder" and "Hymnen
an die Nacht"; was an ardent student of
Jacob Boehme (q. v.),
and wrote in a mystical vein, and was at heart a mystic of deep
true feeling; pronounced by Carlyle "an anti-mechanist—a
deep man, the most perfect of modern spirit seers"; regarded,
he says, "religion as a social thing, and as impossible
without a church" (1772-1801). See
Novatian, a priest of the Church
in Rome, a convert from paganism, who in the third century took
a severe view of the conduct of those who had lapsed under persecution,
particularly the Decian, and insisted that the Church, having
no power to absolve them, could not, even on penitence, readmit
them, in which protest he was joined by a considerable party
named after him Novatians, and who continued to trouble the
Church for centuries after his death, assuming the name of Cathari
November, the eleventh month
of the year, so called by the Romans, in whose calendar it was
Novgorod (21), a noted Russian
city, and capital of a government of the same name, is situated
on the Volkhof, 110 m. SE. of St. Petersburg; is divided into
two parts by the bridged river, contains the cathedral of St.
Sophia (11th century); with its foundation in 864 by Rurik,
a Scandinavian prince, Russian history begins; was by the 12th
century a free State, but in 1471 was put down by the Muscovite
Czar Ivan III.; the government of Novgorod (1,290) lies E. of
St. Petersburg, embraces the Valdai plateau and hills, is chiefly
forest land, and includes some 3000 lakes.
Nox, the Latin for "night,"
and the name of the "goddess of night." See
Noyades, drownages superintended
during the Reign of Terror at Nantes by the attorney Carrier,
and effected by cramming some 90 priests in a flat-bottomed
craft under hatches, and drowning them in mid-stream after scuttling
the boat at a signal given, followed by another in which some
138 persons suffered like "sentence of deportation";
of these drownages there are said to have been no fewer first
and last than 25.
Nubia, a large and ill-defined
region of North-East Africa, lies between Egypt (N.) and Abyssinia
(S.), and stretches from the Red Sea (E.) to the desert (W.);
is divided into Lower and Upper Nubia, Dongola being the dividing
point; Nubia has in recent times rather fallen under the wider
designation of Egyptian Soudan; except by the banks of the Nile
the country is bare and arid desert; climate is hot and dry,
but quite healthy.
Numa Pompilius, the second king
of Rome and the successor of Romulus,
its founder, born at Cures, in the Sabine country, and devoted
himself to the establishment of religion and laws among his
subjects and the training of them in the arts of peace, in which,
according to the legend, he was assisted by a nymph
Egeria (q. v.), who lived
close by in a grotto, and to whom he had ever and anon recourse
for consultation; he was long revered in the Roman memory as
the organiser of the State and its civil and sacred institutions,
and his reign was long and peaceful.
Numantia, an ancient Spanish
town on a steep height on the Douro, celebrated for the heroic
defence maintained by its inhabitants against the Romans, till
from the thinning of its defenders by starvation and the sword
it was taken and destroyed by Scipio Africanus in 134 B.C.
Numbers, Book of, the
fourth book of the Pentateuch, and so called from the two numberings
of the people, one at the beginning and the other at the close
of the period it embraces; it embraces a period of 38 years,
and continues the narrative from the departure of the camp of
Israel out of the wilderness of Sinai to its arrival on the
borders of Canaan, and relates an account of the preparations
for the march, of the march itself, and of the preparations
for the conquest.
Numidia (i. e. land of
Nomads), ancient country in North Africa, nearly co-extensive
with Algiers, the inhabitants of which were of the Berber race,
were brave but treacherous, and excelled in horsemanship; sided
at first with the Carthaginians in the
Punic Wars (q. v.), and
finally with Rome, till the country itself was reduced by Cæsar
to a Roman province.
Numismatics, the name given
to the study and science of coins and medals.
Numitor, a legendary king of
Alba Longa, in Italy, and the grandfather of Romulus and Remus.
Nuneaton (12), a thriving market-town
of Warwickshire, on the river Anker and the Coventry Canal,
22 m. E. of Birmingham; has a Gothic church; cotton, woollen,
and worsted spinning is the chief industry; was the scene of
George Eliot's education.
Nur ed-Din, Mahmoud,
sultan of Syria, born at Damascus; the extension of his empire
over Syria led to the Second Crusade, preached by St. Bernard;
compelled the Crusaders to raise the siege of Damascus, which
he made his capital; called to interfere in the affairs of Egypt,
he conquered it, and made it his own, a sovereignty which
Saladin (q. v.) disputed,
and which Nur ed-Din was preparing to reassert when he died
Nüremberg (143), an interesting
old Bavarian town on the Pegnitz, 95 m. N. of Münich, is
full of quaint and picturesque mediæval architecture in
fine preservation; has valuable art collections, a fine library,
and a museum; is noted for the production of watches, toys,
wood, metal, bone carvings, beer, and chemicals, and exports
large quantities of hops; was made a free imperial city in 1219,
and retained independence up to 1806.
Nutation, name given to a slight
oscillatory movement noticeable in the celestial pole of the
earth, due to the latter not being a perfect sphere.
Nyanza, Albert. See
Nyanza, Victoria, a large
lake of Central Africa, in the Nile basin, at the sources of
the river, and S. of the preceding, equal in extent to the area
of Scotland, at an elevation of 3890 ft.; discovered by Captain
Speke in 1858, and sailed round by Stanley in 1875.
Nyassa, Lake, lake in East
Africa, feeds the Zambesi; is 350 m. long by 40 broad, at an
elevation of 1570 ft., and was discovered by Livingstone in
1859; the waters are sweet, and abound with fish; the regions
bordering it on the S. and W. are called Nyassaland.
Nyassaland, a region in Central
Africa under British protection, lying round the shores of Lake
Nyassa, the chief town of which is Blantyre; it is known also
as the British Central Africa Protectorate, the administration
being in the hands of a commissioner acting under the Foreign
Office; the Europeans number some 300, and the natives 850,000,
while the forces defending it consist of 200 Sikhs and 300 negroes;
there are plantations of sugar, coffee, tobacco, &c., and
almost the entire trade is with Britain.
Nyâya, the name of one of
the six principal systems of Hindu philosophy, and devoted to
the dialectics or metaphysics of philosophy.
Nymphs, in the Greek mythology
maiden divinities of inferior rank, inhabiting mountains, groves,
seas, fountains, rivers, valleys, grottoes, &c., under the
several names of Oceanides (q.
v.), Nereids (q. v.),
Naiads (q. v.),
Oreads (q. v.),
Dryads (q. v.), &c.;
they are distinguished by their grace and fascinating charms.
Nynee Tal, a place of resort
in the summer season and a sanatorium in the North-West Provinces
of India, 22 m. S. of Almora, 6521 ft. above sea-level.
Nyx (i. e. Night), in the
Greek mythology the goddess of night, the daughter of
Chaos (q. v.), and the sister
of Erebos (q. v.), one of
the very first of created beings, the terror of gods, and by
Erebos became the mother of Æther, pure light, and Hemera,
daylight, as well as other entities of note.