In addition to the daily papers, some people read the monthly periodicals—big, thick volumes, containing several serious articles on historical and social subjects, sections of one or two novels, satirical sketches, and a long review of home and foreign politics on the model of those in the Revue des Deux Mondes. Several of these periodicals are very ably conducted, and offer to their readers a large amount of valuable information; but I have noticed that the leaves of the more serious part often remain uncut. The translation of a sensation novel by the latest French or English favourite finds many more readers than an article by an historian or a political economist. As to books, they seem to be very little read, for during all the time I lived in Novgorod I never discovered a bookseller’s shop, and when I required books I had to get them sent from St. Petersburg. The local administration, it is true, conceived the idea of forming a museum and circulating library, but in my time the project was never realised. Of all the magnificent projects that are formed in Russia, only a very small percentage come into existence, and these are too often very short-lived. The Russians have learned theoretically what are the wants of the most advanced civilisation, and are ever ready to rush into the grand schemes which their theoretical knowledge suggests; but very few of them really and permanently feel these wants, and consequently the institutions artificially formed to satisfy them very soon languish and die. In the provincial towns the shops for the sale of gastronomic delicacies spring up and flourish, whilst shops for the sale of intellectual food are rarely to be met with.