Thoreau on reading the classics.

Men sometimes speak as if the study of the classics would at length
make way for more modern and practical studies; but the adventurous
student will always study classics, in whatever language they may be
written and however ancient they may be. For what are the classics but
the noblest recorded thoughts of man? They are the only oracles which
are not decayed, and there are such answers to the most modern inquiry
in them as Delphi and Dodona never gave. We might as well omit to study
Nature because she is old.

— from Walden, Chapter Three: "Reading."
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