Diana, the observations you've made so far are quite apropos.
Nevertheless, I hope, your initial objection to an irresponsible foetus is over. 
As for the image of a foetus laughing, one will have to concede that it is plain
absurd, even if quite fanciful -- but not quite as reprehensible.
Presumably, the poet might have been struck by a foetal look on the face of
Mr Apollinax (BR) laughing irresponsibly ;-)   The image has no literal validity

----- Original Message ----
From: Diana Manister <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Saturday, March 1, 2008 9:04:57 AM
Subject: Re: On the Making of a Simile

//Peter, yes babies in bottles were around in Eliot's day, but I doubt very much if any of them would be laughing, irresponsibly or not.// Diana

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