North River

See Hudson River.


Northamptonshire, an inland county of England, bordering on the counties of Lincoln, Cambridge, Huntingdon, Bedford, Buckingham, Oxford, Warwick, Leicester, and Rutland; area, 984 sq. m.; pop. in 1871, 243,896. The principal rivers are the Nen, Welland, and Avon. The surface is undulating, belonging to the basin of the Nen and watered by numerous rivulets. The N. E. extremity of the county belongs to the great fen district, and is only a few feet above the sea. The county is well wooded with oak, ash, beech, and elm. The climate is mild and healthy. The chief agricultural pursuit is stock raising. There are no manufactures of any importance, except boots and shoes. The county has railway communication with all parts of the country. There are two principal canals, the Grand Junction canal and the Grand Union canal. The principal towns are Northampton, the capital, Peterborough, Daventry, Kettering, and Oundle.

Northern Lights

See Aurora Borealis.

Northwest Passage

See Arctic Discovery, and Polar Seas.


Nostradamus (Fr. Noteedame), Michel de, a French astrologer, born of Jewish parents at St. Remy, Provence, Dec. 14,1503, died at Salon, July 2, 1566. He studied at Avignon and Montpellier, and travelled in the south of France for five years. He was successful in curing the plague in Provence, by means of a powder which he. invented. About the year 1547 he began to believe in his own prophetic powers. In 1555 he published in Lyons seven "Centuries" of quatrains; and in 1558 he published a new edition, 1,000 in number, dedicated to King Henry II., whose death in a tournament the following year was found to be foretold therein. He was made physician in ordinary to Charles IX., and was consulted by all classes of persons for diseases and for the foretelling of fortunes and public events. He is said to have been the first to publish almanacs containing predictions of the weather. Of his "Centuries" the Lyons edition (8vo, 1568) is the best.


Noto, a town of Sicily, on a hill within a few miles of the Mediterranean, 14 m. S. W. of Syracuse; pop. about 15,000. It is one of the finest towns on the island, is the seat of a bishop, and has several schools. The ancient town of Notuin was flourishing several centuries before the Christian era. Under the Normans it was the capital of S. Sicily, under the name of Val di Noto. It was destroyed by an earthquake in 1693, and the modern town was founded in 1703 about 8 m. N. W. of the old site, now known as Noto Vecchio, where are remains of an amphitheatre and other edifices.

Novels (Novellm Constitutioncs)

See Civil Law, vol. iv., p. 622.


November (Lat. novem, nine), the 11th month of our year, and the 9th of the Roman when their calendar Was first founded. It was one of the 10 months of the year of Romulus, and consisted originally of 30 days, which number was afterward changed to 29, probably by the decemvirs. Julius Cresar again made it 30 days, and so it has remained.