As you read the sentence, it has an implied subject. It would then read
"You let us go, you and me," if one added the subject and read "you and
me" as an appositive for "us" (i.e. a phrase identifying the pronoun in the
objective case). But that makes no sense either logically or
grammatically. Logically it transfers to the "you" the agency for "let." So
the speaker would be asking "you" to make the decision. But it is
represented as a joint decision. So one could--just on that--read it as "We
let us go, you and me." But to do that is to arbitrarily change the
grammar Eliot used--and he seems to have cared about grammar. He
wrote "you and I," which grammatically MAKES the phrase the subject.
There are two possible pronouns to which "you and I" can refer back as
the antecedent: the implied "we" or the stated "us." But Eliot put it in the
nominative case, so that MEANS that it has to be read as the implied
"we" (or implied "You and I") as the subject.
One difficulty with grammatical meanings is that they exist in the words.
So you are determining to change the meaning of the words and to
assume an error. But there is no reason to do so, since the implied
subject as plural produces "We, you and I, let us go."
My point is that there is no logical reason to attribute a grammatical failure
to Eliot, and there is no syntactic reason to read it that way.
Date sent: Sun, 6 Apr 2003 09:01:18 EDT
Send reply to: "T. S. Eliot Discussion forum." <[log in to unmask]>
From: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Grammar
To: [log in to unmask]
In a message dated 4/5/03 2:46:05 PM EST, [log in to unmask]
> No, it should not read "you and me" because
> it is not an appositive for
> "us" but a direct address to the other,
> as in "You and I let us go." "You
> and I" is the subject of "let" if we put
> it in normal order. Compare, for
> example: "Shall we let us go?"
The "you and I" identifies who the "us" is, doesn't it? It's not a direct
address. It's rephrased as "You let us go", which expands to "You let you
and me go".
-- Steve --