See clear evidence on this head in the two works so often quoted, by Brehm and Rengger.); and since fowls give distinct warnings for danger on the ground, or in the sky from hawks (both, as well as a third cry, intelligible to dogs) (58. Houzeau gives a very curious account of his observations on this subject in his 'Facultes Mentales des Animaux,' tom. ii. p. 348.), may not some unusually wise ape- like animal have imitated the growl of a beast of prey, and thus told his fellow-monkeys the nature of the expected danger? This would have been a first step in the formation of a language.
As the voice was used more and more, the vocal organs would have been strengthened and perfected through the principle of the inherited effects of use; and this would have reacted on the power of speech. But the relation between the continued use of language and the development of the brain, has no doubt been far more important. The mental powers in some early progenitor of man must have been more highly developed than in any existing ape, before even the most imperfect form of speech could have come into use; but we may confidently believe that the continued use and advancement of this power would have reacted on the mind itself, by enabling and encouraging it to carry on long trains of thought. A complex train of thought can no more be carried on without the aid of words, whether spoken or silent, than a long calculation without the use of figures or algebra. It appears, also, that even an ordinary train of thought almost requires, or is greatly facilitated by some form of language, for the dumb, deaf, and blind girl, Laura Bridgman, was observed to use her fingers whilst dreaming. (59. See remarks on this head by Dr. Maudsley, 'The Physiology and Pathology of Mind,' 2nd ed., 1868, p. 199.) Nevertheless, a long succession of vivid and connected ideas may pass through the mind without the aid of any form of language, as we may infer from the movements of dogs during their dreams. We have, also, seen that animals are able to reason to a certain extent, manifestly without the aid of language. The intimate connection between the brain, as it is now developed in us, and the faculty of speech, is well shewn by those curious cases of brain-disease in which speech is specially affected, as when the power to remember substantives is lost, whilst other words can be correctly used, or where substantives of a certain class, or all except the initial letters of substantives and proper names are forgotten. (60. Many curious cases have been recorded. See, for instance, Dr. Bateman 'On Aphasia,' 1870, pp. 27, 31, 53, 100, etc. Also, 'Inquiries Concerning the Intellectual Powers,' by Dr. Abercrombie, 1838, p. 150.) There is no more improbability in the continued use of the mental and vocal organs leading to inherited changes in their structure and functions, than in the case of hand-writing, which depends partly on the form of the hand and partly on the disposition of the mind; and handwriting is certainly inherited. (61. 'The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication,' vol. ii. p. 6.'
Several writers, more especially Prof. Max Muller (62. Lectures on 'Mr. Darwin's Philosophy of Language,' 1873.), have lately insisted that the use of language implies the power of forming general concepts; and that as no animals are supposed to possess this power, an impassable barrier is formed between them and man. (63. The judgment of a distinguished philologist, such as Prof. Whitney, will have far more weight on this point than anything that I can say. He remarks ('Oriental and Linguistic Studies,' 1873, p. 297), in speaking of Bleek's views: "Because on the grand scale language is the necessary auxiliary of thought, indispensable to the development of the power of thinking, to the distinctness and variety and complexity of cognitions to the full mastery of consciousness; therefore he would fain make thought absolutely impossible without speech, identifying the faculty with its instrument.