In making the contemporary case for the study of the classics and classical languages, Simmons states, "The glorious struggle is all a part — and an indispensable part — of climbing Parnassus. Thus do we learn both to freshen and strengthen our minds so as to be worthy conduits of high thought, eloquence, and, at the very least, clarity: not bad for one minute's, one hour's, or even one lifetime's, work. We are changed by it." (p. 179)
When we look at great sentences, like "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, that in order to secure these rights governments are instituted among men deriving their just power from the consent of the governed..." that we can really see the majesty of their classical education. These few words contain so many large ideas, concentrated into the most melodic language, encapsulated in a single sentence. Who writes like that today? Who thinks like that? Who can boil down eternal truths, connect them together, and make the case for them like that? Today we are incapable of coming up with a similarly powerful sentiment simply because we do not have the education they had. We do not have the teachers they had. We do not have teachers with the teachers they had. Those men were able to stand on the shoulders of intellectual giants and see farther because they had been bequeathed a magnificent heritage, stretching back to and encompassing the best that humanity had to offer from the previous eons. At best, we can at least start the process. But, at best we are 100 years or more from producing anything like our Founding Fathers.