it can't be helped

it can't be helped

A phrase used when one is faced with something (usually something unpleasant) that cannot be avoided. I'm not thrilled to spend my Saturday cleaning, but it can't be helped—the house is a mess! We tried to stall for more time, but I'm afraid it can't be helped—you'll have to go on stage now.
See also: help
References in classic literature ?
If it won't do any good to make the thing known," said Nancy, who thought she might now allow herself the relief of entertaining a feeling which she had tried to silence before, "I should be very thankful for father and Priscilla never to be troubled with knowing what was done in the past, more than about Dunsey: it can't be helped, their knowing that.