The whole system of the languages of man is but the external and visible copy and true mirror of his inmost consciousness. The different epochs of their ancient production are but so many terms in the progression observed by the human mind in its development. Consequently, language in general, as the clew of memory, and tradition, which binds together all nations in their chronological series and succession, is, as it were, the common memory and organ of recollection for the whole human race.
Friedrich von Schlegel, Philosophy of Language, Morrison, tr., pp. 395-396.