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As is the case with all the cities in this part of China, Ningpo is permeated by canals communicating with a moat nearly surrounding the walls, and with the adjacent country. In one part of the city they expand into basins, and receive the name of lakes—the Sun lake and Moon lake. In the former is an island devoted to temples, and accessible by bridges. These bridges—good specimens of those aerial stone edifices which adorn this part of China-are required to sustain little more than their own weight, as the roads here are all mere footpaths, and no wheeled vehicles are found. One of the rivers is crossed by a bridge of boats 200 yds. long. The entire city is well paved; the streets are wider than those of most Chinese cities, and the display of shops is indicative of wealth and luxury. Nowhere, save at Hanchau, are such extensive and beautiful temples to be found. The most elegant and costly of these is dedicated to the queen of heaven; the goddess being the daughter of a Fuhkien fisherman, the people of that maritime province are her more special votaries. Elaborate stone sculpture, exquisitely fine wood carving, and a profusion of gilt and tinsel show that no expense has been spared to honor the popular goddess.
The center of the city is ornamented with an elegant seven-storied hexagonal towerthe heaven-bestowed pagoda, 160 ft. in height. A spiral flight of steps within the walls of the tower lead to the summit, from which the gazer beholds a splendid scene; innumerable villages dot the plain, which is reticulated by silvery water-courses, replete with evidence of successful commerce and agriculture. The population of the city is about 300,000; that of the plain, about 2,000,000. On many of the hills which environ these cities, green tea is successfully cultivated; while the mulberry, the tallow-tree, and numerous other stimulants of industry abound. Two crops of rice are procured annually from the fields; while the fisheries of the rivers and adjacent coast give employment to a numerous class of the population. Ice-houses close to the river give the banks a picturesque appearance; the ice is used for curing fish. Ningpo has an extensive coasting trade; but no considerable foreign trade has been developed, owing mainly to porterages on the inland water-communications, and to the proximity of Shanghai, where no such obstructions exist. The district city of Chinhai, at the mouth of the Ningpo river, is also a port. A walled town, containing about 30,000 inhabitants, 10 m. to the e. of Chinbai, is Kingtang, the nearest of the Chusan archipelago. Tinghai is the district city of the island of Chusan, which is 20 m. long, from 6 to 10 wide, and 51 in circumference. It is mountainous, with fertile valleys in a high state of cultivation. It has an excellent harbor. Tinghai was garrisoned several years by her majesty's forces from 1841, and was again temporarily occupied by the allied forces in 1860.-Dr. Macgowan's Lectures.
NINIAN, SAINT; the apostle of the Picts, liveà in the latter half of the 4th and the beginning of the 5th century. Whether Christianity had been introduced among the Picts before the time of Ninian has been a subject of controversy; but although the details of the legendary account are uncertain, it seems, beyond all question, that some Christians were to be found, at least among the southern Picts, in what is now known as the lowlands of Scotland, from the end of the 2d century. Nevertheless, either their number was originally very small, or the rising church had fallen away under adverse. circumstances; and it is certain that when Ninian appeared among them, the Picts were in the main a pagan people. He was a Briton, and of noble birth; but had been educated at Rome, and there ordained a bishop. The exact time of his preaching in Scotland is unknown. His labors appear to bave commenced in Cumbria, and to have extended over the greater part of the district as far n. as the Grampian bills, his see being fixed at Candida Casa, or Whithorn, in the modern Wigtonshire. His death is placed by tho Bollandists in 432; his festival is Sept. 16.
NINIGRET, about 1610-77; a Narragansett chief who figured in the Pequot war of 1632, and as an ally of the colonists in 1637. A visit to the Dutch on the island of Manhattan caused him to be suspected by the Connecticut colony of plotting against the EngKsh colonists. The commissioners of the united colonies in 1653 declared war against him while he was making war on the Indians of Long Island. A summons was sent him from Hartford to appear there, which he failed to comply with; whereupon maj. Simon Willard was sent against him, and forced him to leave the country. In 1660–62 the colonists bought his lands.
NINON DE LENCLOS, a celebrated French woman, one of those characters that could have appeared only in the French society of the 17th c., was born of good family at Paris in 1615. Her mother tried to imbue her mind with a love of the principles of religion and morality, but her father, more successfully, with a taste for pleasure. Even as a child she was remarkable for her beauty and the exquisite grace of her person. She was carefully educated, spoke several foreign languages, excelled in music and dancing, and had a great fund of sharp and lively wit. At the age of ten she read Montaigne's Essays. Six years later, she commenced her long career of licentious gallantry by an amour with Gaspard de Coligny, then comte de Chatillon. To Coligny succeeded innumerable favorites, but never more than one at a time. Among Ninon de Lenclos's lovers we may mention the marquis de Villarceaux, the marquis de Sevigné, the marquis de Gersay, the great Condé, the duc de Larochefoucauld, marshal d'Albret, marshal d'Estrées, the abbe d'Efiat, Gourville, and La Châtre. She had two sons, but never showed in regard to them the slightest instinct of maternity. The fate of one was horrible. Brought up in ignorance of his mother, he followed the rest of the world, and conceived a passion for her. When she informed him of the relation that subsisted between them, the unhappy youth was seized with horror, and blew out his brains in a frenzy of remorse. Even this calamily did not seriously affect Ninon de Lenclos; she was too well-bred to allow it to do that. Ninon de Lenclos was nearly as celebrated for her manners as for her beauty. The most respectable and virtuous women sent their children to her house to acquire taste, style, politeness. So great was her reputation, that when queen Christina of Sweden came to Paris, she said she wished particularly to visit the French academy and Ninon de Lenclos. We may gather some idea of her wit and sense from the fact that Larochefoucauld consulted her upon his maxims, Molière upon his comedies, and Scarron upon his romances. She died Oct. 17, 1706, at the age of 90, having preserved some remains of her beauty almost to the last.-See Guyon de Sardière's Vie de Ninon de Lenclos, Saint-Evremond's Euvres; Douxmesnil's Mémoires pour servir à l'Histoire de Mlle. de Lenclos.
NINTH, in music, the next interval above the octave, being the same interval which an octave lower is termed the second. See INTERVAL.
NI OBÉ, in Greek mythology, the daughter of Tantalus and (according to the most popular version of the story) the sister of Pelops. She was the wife of Amphion, king of Thebes, and bore him six sons and six daughters. Proud of her children, she despised Leto or Latona, who had only two children, Apollo and Diana, and prevented the people from the worship of these divinities; whereupon Latona, enraged, moved her children to destroy all the children of Niobé with their arrows. They lay nine days in their blood unburied, when Jupiter changed them into stone, and on the tenth day they were buried by the gods themselves. Niobé wandered about in distress, and at last was changed into stone on mount Sipylus, between Lydia and Phrygia, retaining, however, even as stone a sense of her woe. Such is the Homeric legend, which, bowever, was afterward much varied and enlarged. Niobé was a favorite subject of the ancient artists. A group representing Niobé and her children was discovered at Rome in 1583, and is now in Florence. Some of the sculptures are very beautiful. Even the ancient Romans were in doubts whether the work proceeded from Scopas or Praxiteles.
NIO'BIUM (symbol, Nb) is a rare metal discovered by H. Rose in the mineral tantalite, It is obtained by reducing the double fluoride of niobium and potassium with sodium: and forms a black powder insoluble in nitric acid, but readily soluble in a mixture of nitric and hydrofluoric acids. With oxygen it forms three compounds, a dioxide, Nb0). a tetroxide, Nb2O4, and a pentoxide, N 620s; chlorine, bromine, fluorine, and sulphur compounds have been prepared and examined. Neither the metal itself nor any of its compounds are of any practical importance.
NIOBIUM (ante) is now understood to be no separate metal, but the same with columbium. Pelopium, another supposed new metal, is merely the oxide of niobium or columbium. • NIOBRA'RA, a diocese of the American Protestant Episcopal church, comprising the state of South Dakota, and bounded by the Missouri river, the line between Dakota and Nebraska, the 104th degree of w. long., and the 46th degree of n. lat. Yankton agency is the episcopal residence.
NIOBRA'RA RIVER, or L'EAU QUI COURT, rises in Laramie co., e. Wyoming terri. tory, and flows in a generally e, course through n. Nebraska, entering the Missouri about 36 m. s.w. of Yankton, S. Dakota ; length about 450 m. The stream is shallow, not navigable, and very rapid in its course. In the upper part it flows through a very deep cañon, afterward passes through a sandy desert, but in the lower part winds through a fertile and well-watered region.
NIORT, a t. of France, capital of the department of Deux-Sèvres, on the SèvreNiortaise, is situated in an agreeable country, occupying the slope of two hills and the valley which intervenes, 110 m. n. of Bordeaux. Its principal editices are the church of Notre-Dame, the town-hall, the theater, and the old castle. Besides these, the beautiful fountain du Vivier, the promenades, the library, and the college are worthy of notice. The dressing of chamois and the manufacture of gloves are the principal branches of industry. Dyeworks and tanneries are in operation. Pop. '81, 21, 237.
Niort is an ancient town. In the 14th c. it was taken by the English, and held by them for 18 years.
NIPA, a genus of endogenous plants referred by some botanists to the order pandandccæ, and by others to palms. N. fruticans is very common in the Eastern archipelage, and northwards as far as the Mergui river, but becomes rare further north. It flourishes with the mangrove in places inundated when the tide rises. It abounds in saccharine sap, from which a kind of palm wine is made, and also excellent sugar. The leaves are much employed for roofing houses, and large quantities are sent from the Tenesserim provinces northwards for this use.
NI'PADITES, a genus of fossil palm fruits found in the eocene clays of the island of Sheppey, in Kent. They are referred to nipa as their nearest living ally, and are con
sidered to have resembled in habit that genus, and to have grown on the banks of an immense river which flowed from the tropical regions of a continent lying to the southward, and entered the sea at Sheppey, where it deposited the fruits and leaves borne down with the current, by the side of the starfishes and mollusca which inhabited the estuary. Some 13 different kinds have been described.
NIPIGON, or NEPIGON, LAKE, 35 m. n. of the most northerly part of lake Superior, in lat. 50° n., long. 88' w., about 70 m. long from n. to s., and 40 m. from e. to west. A coast line, with bold headlands, and deep bays, gives a total length of shore of 580 miles. Its surface is 813 ft. above lake Superior. A great number of mountain streams flow into it, and its waters flow out through the Nipigon river, 40 m. in length, southward, to Nipigon bay of lake Superior. The lake is very deep, studded with islands, and well stocked with fish.
NIP'ISSING, a co. in n. Ontario, Canada, having the Ottawa river for its e. boundary; having lake Nipissing (50 m. long and 35 m. wide), containing many islands, and numerous other lakes; its streams include French and Sturgeon rivers; 3,722 sq.m.; pop. '71, 1791. Its surface is hilly, the portion s. of the lake being 1100 ft. above the level of the sea.
NIP'ISSING, or NEPISSING, LAKE, in e. central Ontario, Canada, not far n. of the Ottawa river; length about 45 m.; greatest breadth, 28 miles. Its waters are mostly received from the n. by Sturgeon river, which connects it with a chain of smaller lakes. The only outlet is French river, by which the lake discharges into Georgian bay, an inlet of lake Huron. There are a number of small islands, and the vicinity is inhabited mostly by Indian tribes.
NIP'ISSINGS, an Indian tribe formerly living about the lake of the same name in the province of Ontario. They were known to Cartier and other French adventurers, and by them regarded as a peculiarly superstitious race. In the contests between the Hurong and Iroquois the latter drove the Nipissings n. and w. to the small lakes n. of lake Superior. They were accompanied by French priests who had already founded missions among them. After the conclusion of hostilities between the other tribes they returned eastward, and with other Algonquin tribes joined the Sulpician mission established near the lake of the Two Mountains. Their numbers have been greatly reduced.
NIPON', or NIPHON, the name improperly given by Europeans to the principal island of Japan, and borrowed from the Japanese name of the empire, which is Dai Nihon or Nippon. The chief island, or mainland, which is by far the largest part of the empire, had no separate name till lately, but is now officially called Honshiu or Hondo. The inland sea of Suonada separates it from the islands of Kiusiu and Sikopf, and the strait of Sangar on the n.e. from the island of Yesso. On the n. it is bounded by the sea of Japan, and on the s. and e. by the Pacific ocean. The length of Nipon is 900 m., and its breadth 240 ; and it has an estimated area of 86,000 sq. miles. Yedo (q.v.) or Tokio the capital of the empire, and the present residence of the mikado ; Miako (q.v.) his former residenco ; and Osaka (q.v.) are the largest towns. The chief treaty ports are Hiogo—the outlet for the trade of Osaka-Yokohama (q.v.), and Kanagawa (q.v.). The ports of Yedo and Niigata, in the northern part of the island, on the sea of Japan, the official capital of the province in which it is situated, are situated near the great inineral region of Aidsu, but unfortunately possess a wretched harbor. Important meteorological observations, which give a good idea of the climate of the country generally, were made by Dr. Hepburn at Kanagawa, the shipping port of Yedo, in 1860. These are exhibited in a condensed form in the following table :
Bracing sea-breezes make the heat of summer very endurable. The spring and autumn months are delightful. See HONDO.
NIBUKTA, or "Explanation," is the name of one of the six Vedôngas (see VEDA) which explains difficult Vedic words. That there have been several works engaged in such a task, even at a very remote period of Hindu antiquity, and that they bore the name of Nirukta, is probable, for “Nirukta authors" are quoted either generally or by name in several Sanskrit authors; but the work which is emphatically called Nirukta, and which,