I'm afraid I was responding a bit satirically to the idea that Eliot was under
no moral or ethical responsibility to Emily Hale despite having continued a
relationship with her for 30 years. It was not a response to any lines in
For the record, I have never said he had any obligation to marry Hale, only
to treat her with some dignity and decency. That does not include having
her and Mary Trevelyan in Edinburgh the same week of the opening of The
Cocktail Party, for example, and taking both to the play on different nights,
while neither knew of the other. It also does not include letting her know
about his marriage after the fact though he knew she believed he would
marry her if anyone. I also never said he had an obligation to stay married
to Vivienne given the horrors of their mutual destruction of each other; I
said he did it in an unconscionable way.
Date sent: Sun, 29 Sep 2002 10:53:21 -0400
Send reply to: "T. S. Eliot Discussion forum." <[log in to unmask]>
From: Marcia Karp <[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: Sweeney Agonistes and the Gottas
To: [log in to unmask]
Nancy Gish wrote:
> The line about what a man's gotta do was not
> Eliot of course. It was about the claim someone made about Eliot.
Perhaps "We all gotta do what we gotta do" is what was gnawing at
Sweeney A. both are Sweeney speaking, very close to each other.
pointed out the first.
I knew a man once did a girl in
Any man might do a girl in
Any man has to, needs to, wants to
Once in a lifetime, do a girl in.
Well he kept her there in a bath
With a gallon of lysol in a bath
Well here again that donít apply
But Iíve gotta use words when I talk to you.
But hereís what I was going to say.
He didnít know if he was alive
and the girl was dead
He didnít know if the girl was alive
and he was dead
He didnít know if they were both alive
or both were dead
If he was alive then the milkman wasnít
and the rent-collector wasnít
And if they were alive then he was dead.
There wasnít any joint
There wasnít any joint
For when youíre alone
When youíre alone like he was alone
Youíre either or neither
I tell you again it donít apply
Death or life or life or death
Death is life and life is death
I gotta use words when I talk to you
But if you understand or if you donít
Thatís nothing to me and nothing to you
We all gotta do what we gotta do
Weíre gona sit here and drink this booze
Weíre gona sit here and have a tune
Weíre gona stay and weíre gona go
And somebodyís gotta pay the rent