Moreover, no philologist now supposes that any language has been deliberately invented; it has been slowly and unconsciously developed by many steps. (53. See some good remarks on this head by Prof. Whitney, in his 'Oriental and Linguistic Studies,' 1873, p. 354. He observes that the desire of communication between man is the living force, which, in the development of language, "works both consciously and unconsciously; consciously as regards the immediate end to be attained; unconsciously as regards the further consequences of the act.") The sounds uttered by birds offer in several respects the nearest analogy to language, for all the members of the same species utter the same instinctive cries expressive of their emotions; and all the kinds which sing, exert their power instinctively; but the actual song, and even the call-notes, are learnt from their parents or foster-parents. These sounds, as Daines Barrington (54. Hon. Daines Barrington in 'Philosoph. Transactions,' 1773, p. 262. See also Dureau de la Malle, in 'Ann. des. Sc. Nat.' 3rd series, Zoolog., tom. x. p. 119.) has proved, "are no more innate than language is in man." The first attempts to sing "may be compared to the imperfect endeavour in a child to babble." The young males continue practising, or as the bird-catchers say, "recording," for ten or eleven months. Their first essays shew hardly a rudiment of the future song; but as they grow older we can perceive what they are aiming at; and at last they are said "to sing their song round." Nestlings which have learnt the song of a distinct species, as with the canary-birds educated in the Tyrol, teach and transmit their new song to their offspring. The slight natural differences of song in the same species inhabiting different districts may be appositely compared, as Barrington remarks, "to provincial dialects"; and the songs of allied, though distinct species may be compared with the languages of distinct races of man. I have given the foregoing details to shew that an instinctive tendency to acquire an art is not peculiar to man.
With respect to the origin of articulate language, after having read on the one side the highly interesting works of Mr. Hensleigh Wedgwood, the Rev. F. Farrar, and Prof. Schleicher (55. 'On the Origin of Language,' by H. Wedgwood, 1866. 'Chapters on Language,' by the Rev. F.W. Farrar, 1865. These works are most interesting. See also 'De la Phys. et de Parole,' par Albert Lemoine, 1865, p. 190. The work on this subject, by the late Prof. Aug. Schleicher, has been translated by Dr. Bikkers into English, under the title of 'Darwinism tested by the Science of Language,' 1869.), and the celebrated lectures of Prof. Max Muller on the other side, I cannot doubt that language owes its origin to the imitation and modification of various natural sounds, the voices of other animals, and man's own instinctive cries, aided by signs and gestures. When we treat of sexual selection we shall see that primeval man, or rather some early progenitor of man, probably first used his voice in producing true musical cadences, that is in singing, as do some of the gibbon-apes at the present day; and we may conclude from a widely-spread analogy, that this power would have been especially exerted during the courtship of the sexes,--would have expressed various emotions, such as love, jealousy, triumph,--and would have served as a challenge to rivals. It is, therefore, probable that the imitation of musical cries by articulate sounds may have given rise to words expressive of various complex emotions. The strong tendency in our nearest allies, the monkeys, in microcephalous idiots (56. Vogt, 'Memoire sur les Microcephales,' 1867, p. 169. With respect to savages, I have given some facts in my 'Journal of Researches,' etc., 1845, p. 206.), and in the barbarous races of mankind, to imitate whatever they hear deserves notice, as bearing on the subject of imitation. Since monkeys certainly understand much that is said to them by man, and when wild, utter signal-cries of danger to their fellows (57.