For the old saying, "Well begun is half done," was
meant by its inventors to urge the importance of taking the
greater pains to make a good beginning than anything else.
And though some may consider this an exaggeration, in my
opinion it comes short of the truth; for one might say with
confidence, not that "the beginning was half the business," but
rather that it was near being the whole. For how can one
make a good beginning without having first grasped in thought
the complete plan, or without knowing where, with what
object, and with what purpose he is undertaking the business?
Or how can a man sum up a series of events satisfactorily
without a reference to their origin, and without showing his
point of departure, or why and how he has arrived at the
particular crisis at which he finds himself? Therefore both
historian and reader alike should be exceedingly careful to
mark the beginnings of events, with a conviction that their
influence does not stop half-way, but is paramount to the end.
And this is what I shall endeavour to do.