Charles Portis quotes

  • Listen, here's what I'd like to do: I'd like to live in a trailer and play records all night.
    -- Charles Portis

    #Night #Play #Records

  • Time just gets away from us.
    -- Charles Portis

    #Get Away

  • As he drank, little brown drops of coffee clung to his mustache like dew. Men will live like billy goats if they are let alone.
    -- Charles Portis

    #Coffee #Men #Mustache

  • You must pay for everything in this world one way and another. There is nothing free except the Grace of God. You cannot earn that or deserve it.
    -- Charles Portis

    #Grace #World #Pay

  • You do not think much of me, do you, Cogburn?" "I don't think about you at all when your mouth is closed.
    -- Charles Portis

    #Thinking #Mouths

  • Nothing I like to do pays well.
    -- Charles Portis

    #Pay #Wells

  • Nothing is too long or too short either if you have a true and interesting tale and what I call a "graphic" writing style combined with educational aims.
    -- Charles Portis

    #Educational #Writing #Long

  • I had hated these ponies for the part they played in my father's death but now I realized the notion was fanciful, that it was wrong to charge blame to these pretty beasts who knew neither good nor evil but only innocence. I say that of these ponies. I have known some horses and a good many more pigs who I believe harbored evil intent in their hearts. I will go further and say all cats are wicked, though often useful. Who has not seen Satan in their sly faces? Some preachers will say, well, that is superstitious "claptrap." My answer is this: Preacher, go to your Bible and read Luke 8: 26-33
    -- Charles Portis

    #Horse #Father #Believe

  • There is no knowing what is in a man's heart.
    -- Charles Portis

    #Heart #Men #Knowing

  • It was old President Diaz who said that nothing ever happens in Mexico until it happens. Things rock along from day to day, and then all at once you are caught up in a rush of unforeseen events.
    -- Charles Portis

    #Rocks #Progress #President

  • If you want anything done right you will have to see to it yourself every time.
    -- Charles Portis

    #Done #Want

  • One time you smash a bug with no mercy. Another time you find one helpless on his back with his legs flailing the air, and you flip him over and let him go on his way. The struggle that touches the heart.
    -- Charles Portis

    #Struggle #Heart #Air

  • Mexican homes as a rule are closed off to the world by high blank walls of yellowish masonry, topped with broken glass to discourage escaladores, or climbing burglars. The gardens and fountains and other delights are hidden, as in an Arab city.
    -- Charles Portis

    #Wall #Home #Garden

  • In the Anthropology Club, as I understood it, you were permitted, if not required, to despise only one thing, and that was your own culture, that of the West.
    -- Charles Portis

    #Culture #Clubs #West

  • She gave me a pledge card, a card promising an annual gift of $5, $10, or $25 toward the support of the Unity mission. I filled it out under the hot light of the projector. The name and address spaces were much too short, unless you wrote a very fine hand or unless your name was Ed Poe and you lived at 1 Elm St.
    -- Charles Portis

    #Light #Hands #Names

  • What have you done when you have bested a fool?
    -- Charles Portis

    #Done #Fool

  • We must each of us bear our own misfortunes.
    -- Charles Portis

    #Bears #Misfortunes

  • MR.GOUDY: I believe you testified that you backed away from Aaron Wharton. MR.COGBURN: That is right. MR.GOUDY: You were backing away? MR.COGBURN: Yes sir. He had that ax raised. MR.GOUDY: Which direction were you going? MR.COGBURN: I always go backwards when I am backing up.
    -- Charles Portis

    #Believe #Backing Up #Backing Away

  • People do not give it credence that a fourteen-year-old girl could leave home and go off in the wintertime to avenge her father's blood but it did not seem so strange then, although I will say it did not happen every day. I was just fourteen years of age when a coward going by the name Tom Chaney shot my father down in Fort Smith, Arkansas, and robbed him of his life and his horse and $150 in cash money plus two California gold pieces that he carried in his trouser band.
    -- Charles Portis

    #Girl #Horse #Father

  • But I had not the strength nor the inclination to bandy words with a drunkard. What have you done when you have bested a fool?
    -- Charles Portis

    #Done #Fool

  • I know what they said even if they would not say it to my face. People love to talk. They love to slander you if you have any substance.
    -- Charles Portis

    #People #Substance #Faces

  • I have known some horses and a good many more pigs who I believe harbored evil intent in their hearts. I will go further and say all cats are wicked, though often useful. Who has not seen Satan in their sly faces?
    -- Charles Portis

    #Horse #Believe #Heart

  • Lookin' back is a bad habit.
    -- Charles Portis

    #Habit #Bad Habits

  • On his deathbed he asked for a priest and became a Catholic. That was his wife's religion. It was his own business and none of mine. If you had sentenced one hundred and sixty men to death and seen around eighty of them swing, then maybe at the last minute you would feel the need for some stronger medicine than the Methodists could make.
    -- Charles Portis

    #Men #Swings #Medicine

  • I would not put a thief in my mouth to steal my brains.
    -- Charles Portis

    #Brain #Thieves #Mouths

  • The wicked flee when none pursueth.
    -- Charles Portis

    #Wicked

  • My Master of Arts degree means nothing at all to these monkeys and I have come to share their indifference.
    -- Charles Portis

    #Art #Mean #Degrees