Matthew Arnold was usually described in terms of contradictions: Both "a man of the world entirely free from worldliness" and "a man of letters without the faintest trace of pedantry," according to Russell. Affecting both foppishness and Olympian grandeur, he read constantly, widely, and deeply. His writings often baffled and annoyed contemporaries with their apparent contradiction between his urbane, even frivolous manner in controversy, and the "high seriousness" of his critical views and the melancholy, almost plaintive note of much of his poetry. TH Warren called him "a voice poking fun in the wilderness." Arnold wrote this about Goethe, in 1850:
Physician of the Iron Age,
Goethe has done his pilgrimage.
He took the suffering human race,
He read each wound, each weakness clear --
And struck his finger on the place,
And said -- Thou ailest here, and here.
TEN: The Love My Own Heart's Missing
"It is said that in the final days of planet Earth, everyone had bad dreams. To the west of the north of that world, the human race did gather in celebration of a pagan rite, to banish the cold and the dark. Each and every one of those people had dreamt of the terrible things to come. But they forgot. Because they must."
This over a shot of the world's moving meridian, and containing a favorite quote of RTD's, from Arnold's poem "Absence." Wilf walks through Christmas on the high street, through all the pageantry and fun. "They forgot their nightmares of fire and war and insanity. They forgot... Except for one." Wilf jerks, breathing, confused; he remembers the Master, laughing madly. He smiles and shakes it off, soon enough. While "God Rest Ye" plays -- "good tidings of comfort and joy!" -- he is suddenly drawn toward a church. Seen from outside time, perhaps it only just changed. Maybe that's why he is drawn there.
Inside, a choir of children is singing. Wilf stands in the back, removing his hat; written on the wall above his head is thanks, for "men who died for their country." Brings to mind Wilf's namesake, and Horace before him: Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori. It's the first clue, but it's too open-ended now to understand: I scatter the words and create myself. I was so focused on Donna last year -- as was the Doctor -- that we didn't really listen to Davros, when he explained that the Children of Time were an army. That for all the Doctor's travels with his women, Maiden and Mother and Crone, he'd never travelled with a man until Jackson Lake. Sure, he had male Companions, but he treated them like children. Sometimes, terribly so.