NIBELUNGENLIED                                 1347                                NICARAGUA CANAL

with the old one by a passage 130 feet below the surface. The discharge tunnel was extended to the new pit, making the tunnel 7,437 feet long. In the new power-house and pit were installed 11 turbines and dynamos, each unit having 5,000 horse-power. So the total production at this point became 105,000 horse-power instead of 70,000 as previously.

Nibelungenlied {nē'bě-lůng'ĕn-lēt), a German epic, ranking as one of the greatest poems of the world. The oldest elements of the work must have been long current in the form of popular songs; but the incidents of the story seem to have been fused into one narrative before the 12 th century, though by whom it was done is unknown. The story of the poem is as follows : Siegfried, the son of the king of the Netherlands, becomes possessor of the fabled wealth of the Nibelungs, which carries with it evil to its possessor. He marries Kriemhild, sister of Gunther, king of Worms, and helps Gunther to win Brunhilde of Iceland. Then there is a dispute as to whether Siegfried or Gunther be the greater, and Brunhilde induces Hagen to murder Siegfried. Kriemhild after some years marries Etzel (Attila), king of the Huns. After Kriemhild became possessor of the Niebelungen wealth, Hagen took it from her and sank it in the Rhine. After several years Kriemhild, still mourning for Siegfried and desiring to be revenged for his death, asked her brother to visit her at her court. This he did, with 11,000 armed Burgun-dians, and the remainder of the poem is devoted to the wars and sufferings of the Bur-gundians. See English translations by Lettsom, Foster, Barham and Birch. See also Carlyle's Miscellanies, Vol. III.

Nicaea (ni-se'a), a city of ancient Bithy-nia in Asia Minor, lies on the eastern shore of Lake Ascania. It was built in 316 B. C. by Antigonus and named Antigoneia, but was changed to Nica by Lysimachus in honor of his wife. It is famed as the seat of two ecumenical councils : the first held by Emperor Constantine i n 325 A. D.; and the second called by the Empress Irene in 787.

Nicaragua (nē'k-rā'gwă), a Central American republic, stretches across the isthmus from the Caribbean to the Pacific and lies between Honduras on the north and Costa Rica on the south. It has an area of about 49,200 square miles. The Central American Cordillera extends through the country from northwest to southeast, not far from the

Pacific coast. From these the surface sinks rapidly westward, and the country is studded with large lakes, the largest being Nicaragua (115 miles long and 45 broad) and Managua (3 5 miles long and 20 wide). This tableland is also marked by isolated peaks and volcanic cones. On the west lie Managua the capital (population 35,000); Leon, Granada, Chinandega, Rivas and the harbors of the Gulf of Fonseca, Salinas Bay and Corinto; and on the east the harbor of Greytown on San Juan River. The principal rivers are the Coco (350 miles), San Juan, Bluefields and Rio Grande. Minerals are found, but only of late have they begur. to be worked. In 1898 the shipment of gold-dust amounted to 16,242 ounces. The rich soil yields corn, sugar, cocoa, rice, tobacco and indigo. The natural products are mahogany, rosewood, logwood, fustip, sandalwood, india-rubber, dye woods, medicinal plants and gums. The chief exports (besides gold) embrace coffee, rubber, bananas, timber, cattle and hides.

Nicaragua was a precolumbian center of civilization. Columbus sailed along the coast in 1502, and in 1524 Granada was founded by Spaniards, who had entered two years before. From 1560 to 1821 the state was a dependency of Guatemala, but in that year became independent and so remained for sixteen years. Then until 1865 it had a troublesome and warlike time, but since then it has made great strides toward peace and prosperity. In 1894 a new constitution was proclaimed, which was amended in December, 1896. By this the legislative power is vested in a congress of one house. Population, including uncivilized Indians, 500,000 Consult Bancroft's History of Pacific Slates. See America, Central.

Nicaragua Canal. The plan to cut a ship-canal through Central America by way of San Juan River and Lake Nicaragua was taken up in earnest in 1884 and a treaty made between the United States and Nica_

ragua. The Nicaragua Canal Company was formed and the canal was begun at Grey-town in 1889. But, after expending $4,000,-000, the company found the burden greater than they had anticipated, and sought an

Description images/pp0238 1