'The three reasons given for it in the Prayer-Book have always seemed to me to be inadequate,' agreed Mr. Prendergast. 'I have never had the slightest difficulty about the avoidance of fornication, and the other two advantages strike me nothing short of disastrous.'There is a deep truth hiding in Prendergast's comment about fornication. Reading the novel it quickly becomes obvious that one reason Prendergast might have little trouble avoiding fornication is because opportunities for fornication tend to avoid him. An awful lot of people who feel proud of their sexual continence are in the same boat whether from lack of opportunity, lack of desire or timidity.
The other two reasons conceal similar exercises in vanity. Mr. Prendergast is a laughable figure but he is, whether he realizes it or not, making a profound criticism here.