The third volume is much better; the most serious defect of this final volume is the animal cruelty played for laughs in Letter XXII. (Well - there is also a great deal of silly dropping to the knees in this final section by an entire range of characters: You can almost hear the thumping of bruised knees on hardwood.) The only interesting character is introduced in the third volume (the heroine and her Lord are insipid). That would be Mrs. Selwyn whom I would describe as an Elizabeth Bennet at age forty-something, widowed, and grown meaner and more cynical. Mrs. Selwyn makes me laugh, at all the intended places, and saves Burney's reputation a bit for me. Mrs. Selwyn is the only truly competent character in the entire novel; she resolves the main problem facing the heroine after several family members fail miserably at that task. Fanny Burney has her heroine describe Mrs. Selwyn in this interesting way.