Reference > Quotations > Hoyt & Roberts, comps. > Hoyt’s New Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations
Hoyt & Roberts, comps.  Hoyt’s New Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations.  1922.
Incipe; dimidium facti est cœpisse. Supersit
Dimidium: rursum hoc incipe, et efficies.
  Begin; to begin is half the work. Let half still remain; again begin this, and thou wilt have finished.
        Ausonius—Epigrams. LXXXI. 1.
  Incipe quidquid agas: pro toto est prima operis pars.
  Begin whatever you have to do: the beginning of a work stands for the whole.
        Ausonius—Idyllia. XII. Inconnexa. 5.
  Il n’y a que le premier obstacle qui coûte à vaincre la pudeur.
  It is only the first obstacle which counts to conquer modesty.
        Bossuet—Pensées Chrétiennes et Morales. LX.
Omnium rerum principia parva sunt.
  The beginnings of all things are small.
        Cicero—De Finibus Bonorum et Malorum. V. 21.
  In omnibus negotiis prius quam aggrediare, adhibenda est præparatio diligens.
  In all matters, before beginning, a diligent preparation should be made.
        Cicero—De Officiis. I. 21.
  La distance n’y fait rien; il n’y a que le premier pas qui coûte.
  The distance is nothing; it is only the first step that costs.
        Mme. du Deffand—Letter to d’Alembert, July 7, 1763. See also Gibbon—Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Ch. XXXIX. N. 100. Phrase “C’est le premier pas qui coûte” attributed to Cardinal Polignac.
Et redit in nihilum quod fuit ante nihil.
  It began of nothing and in nothing it ends.
        Cornelius Gallus. Translated by Burton in Anat. Melan. (1621).
Dimidium facti qui cœpit habet.
  What’s well begun, is half done.
        Horace—Epistles. I. 2. 40. (Traced to Hesiod.)
  Cœpisti melius quam desinis. Ultima primis cedunt.
  Thou beginnest better than thou endest. The last is inferior to the first.
        Ovid—Heroides. IX. 23.
Principiis obsta: sero medicina paratur,
Cum mala per longas convaluere moras.
  Resist beginnings: it is too late to employ medicine when the evil has grown strong by inveterate habit.
        Ovid—Remedia Amoris. XCI.
Deficit omne quod nascitur.
  Everything that has a beginning comes to an end.
        Quintilian—De Institutione Oratoria. V. 10.
Quidquid cœpit, et desinit.
  Whatever begins, also ends.
        Seneca—De Consolatione ad Polybium. I.
  Things bad begun make strong themselves by ill.
        Macbeth. Act III. Sc. 2. L. 56.
The true beginning of our end.
        Midsummer Night’s Dream. Act V. Sc. 1. L. 111.
C’est le commencement de la fin.
  It is the beginning of the end.
        Ascribed to Talleyrand in the Hundred Days. Also to Gen. Augereau. (1814).
Le premier pas, mon fils, que l’on fait dans le monde,
Est celui dont dépend le reste de nos jours.
  The first step, my son, which one makes in the world, is the one on which depends the rest of our days.
        Voltaire—L’Indiscret. I. 1.

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