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All The Pretty Horses Quotes from the novel by Cormac McCarthy

Related Quotes:  Cormac McCarthy  The Road  Blood Meridian
The wind was much abated and it was very cold and the sun sat blood red and elliptic under the reefs of bloodred cloud before him.
All the Pretty Horses
John Grady Cole, the evening of his grandfather's funeral, rides out on his horse from the ranch home he has shared with his grandfather, Chapter 1, Page 5.
What he loved in horses was what he loved in men, the blood and the heat of the blood that ran them.
All the Pretty Horses
Chapter 1, Page 7.
They rode out along the fenceline and across the open pasture-land. The leather creaked in the morning cold. They pushed the horses into a lope. The light fell away behind them. They rode out on the high prairie where they slowed the horses to a walk and the stars swarmed around them out of the blackness. They heard somewhere in that tenantless night a bell that tolled and ceased where no bell was and they rode out on the round dais of the earth which alone was dark and no light to it and which carried their figures and bore them up into the swarming stars so that they rode not under but among them and they rode at once jaunty and circumspect, like thieves newly loosed in that dark electric, like young thieves in a glowing orchard, loosely jacketed against the cold and ten thousand worlds for the choosing.
All the Pretty Horses
John Grady Cole sets out for Mexico on his horse Redbo, accompanied by best friend Lacey Rawlins on his horse Junior, Chapter 1, Page 30.
Way the world is. Somebody can wake up and sneeze somewhere in Arkansas or some damn place and before you're done there's wars and ruination and all hell. You dont know what's goin to happen. I'd say He's just about got to. I dont believe we'd make it a day otherwisetening to the water drip in the woods. Bedrock, this. The cold and the silence. The ashes of the late world carried on the bleak and temporal winds to and fro in the void. Carried forth and scattered and carried forth again. Everything uncoupled from its shoring. Unsupported in the ashen air. Sustained by a breath, trembling and brief. If only my heart were stone.
All the Pretty Horses
Rawlins tells John Grady he believes God looks out for people, Chapter 1, Page 92.
Finally he said that among men there was no such communion as among horses and the notion that men can be understood at all was probably an illusion.
All the Pretty Horses
Luis, Chapter 2, Page 111.
As he was drifting to sleep his thoughts were of horses and of the open country and of horses. Horses still wild on the mesa who'd never seen a man afoot and who knew nothing of him or his life yet in whose souls he would come to reside forever.
All the Pretty Horses
John Grady, Chapter 2, Page 117.
But there were two things they agreed upon wholly and that were never spoken and that was that God had put horses on earth to work cattle and that other than cattle there was no wealth proper to a man.
All the Pretty Horses
John Grady and Antonio, Chapter 2, Page 127.
Beware gentle knight. There is no greater monster than reason.
All the Pretty Horses
Don Hector to John Grady, Chapter 2, Page 146.
I cant back up and start over. But I dont see the point in slobberin over it. And I cant see where it would make me feel better to be able to point a finger at somebody else.
All the Pretty Horses
John Grady, Chapter 3, Page 155.
That night he dreamt of horses in a field on a high plain where the spring rains had brought up the grass and the wild flowers out of the ground and the flowers ran all blue and yellow far as the eye could see and in the dream he was among the horses running and in the dream he himself could run with the horses and they coursed the young mares and fillies over the plain where their rich bay and their rich chestnut colors shone in the sun and the young colts ran with their dams and trampled down the flowers in a haze of pollen that hung in the sun like powdered gold and they ran he and the horses out along the high mesas where the ground resounded under their running hooves and they flowed and changed and ran and their manes and tails blew off of them like spume and there was nothing else at all in that high world and they moved all of them in a resonance that was like a music among them and they were none of them afraid horse nor colt nor mare and they ran in that resonance which is the world itself and which cannot be spoken but only praised..
All the Pretty Horses
John Grady, Chapter 3, Page 161.
The truth is what happened. It aint what come out of somebody's mouth.
All the Pretty Horses
John Grady, Chapter 3, Page 168.
They all seemed to be waiting for something. Like passengers in a halted train.
All the Pretty Horses
John Grady and Rawlins and the captain as they watch one another in the stonefloored room at the Mexican prison in Saltillo, Chapter 3, Page 179.
Underpinning all of it like the fiscal standard in commercial societies lay a bedrock of depravity and violence where in an egalitarian absolute every man was judged by a single standard and that was his readiness to kill.
All the Pretty Horses
The prison in Saltillo, Chapter 3, Page 182.
Perez smiled. You are free to go, he said, I can see you dont believe what I tell you. It is the same with money. Americans have this problem always I believe. They talk about tainted money. But money doesnt have this special quality. And the Mexican would never think to make things special or to put them in a special place where money is no use. Why do this? If money is good money is good. He doesnt have bad money. He doesnt have this problem. This abnormal thought.
John Grady leaned and stubbed out the cigarette in the tin ash tray on the table. Cigarettes in that world were money themselves and the one he left broken and smoldering in front of his host had hardly been smoked at all. I'll tell you what, he said.
Tell me.
I'll see you around.
All the Pretty Horses
A persistently defiant John Grady refuses to deal with political exile Perez who has suggested that freedom from the Saltillo prison can be gained by payment of a bribe to him, Chapter 3, Page 195.
Dying aint in people's plans, is it?
All the Pretty Horses
Rawlins to John Grady, Chapter 3, Page 210.
And after and for a long time to come he'd have reason to evoke the recollection of those smiles and to reflect upon the good will which provoked them for it had power to protect and to confer honor and to strengthen resolve and it had power to heal men and to bring them to safety long after all other resources were exhausted.
All the Pretty Horses
John Grady on simple kindness of Mexican farmworkers, Chapter 4, Page 219.
By the time I was sixteen I had read many books and I had become a freethinker.
All the Pretty Horses
Alfonsa, Alejandra's grandaunt, to John Grady, Chapter 4, Page 232.
He said that those who have endured some misfortune will always be set apart but that it is just that misfortune which is their gift and which is their strength and that they must make their way back into the common enterprise of man for without they do so it cannot go forward and they themselves will wither in bitterness.
All the Pretty Horses
Alfonsa to John Grady, recounting words of revoltionary leader she fell in love with in her youth but was prevented from marrying by her disapproving family. It was Alfonsa paid bribe to get John Grady out of prison and made Alejandra swear never to see him again.
Chapter 4, Page 235.
I knew that what I was seeking to discover was a thing I'd always known. That all courage was a form of constancy. That it was always himself that the coward abandoned first. After this all other betrayals came easily.
All the Pretty Horses
Alfonsa, Alejandra's grandaunt, to John Grady, Chapter 4, Page 235.

The closest bonds we will ever know are bonds of grief.
All the Pretty Horses
Alfonsa to John Grady, Chapter 4, Page 238.

Those whom life does not cure death will.
All the Pretty Horses
Alfonsa to John Grady, Chapter 4, Page 238.

Between the wish and the thing the world lies waiting.
All the Pretty Horses
Alfonsa to John Grady, Chapter 4, Page 238.

There is no one to tell us what might have been. We weep over the might have been, but there is no might have been. There never was. It is supposed to be true that those who do not know history are condemned to repeat it. I dont believe knowing can save us. What is constant in history is greed and foolishness and a love of blood and this is a thing that even God - who knows all that can be known - seems powerless to change.
All the Pretty Horses
Alfonsa to John Grady, Chapter 4, Page 239.
In his new boots and shirt he began to feel better than he'd felt in a long time and the weight on his heart had begun to life and he repeated what his father had once told him, that scared money cant win and a worried man cant love.
All the Pretty Horses
John Grady, Chapter 4, Page 247.
She came from the shower wrapped in a towel and she sat on the bed and took his hand and looked down at him. I cannot do what you ask, she said. I love you. But I cannot.
He saw very clearly how all his life led only to this moment and all after led nowhere at all. He felt something cold and soulless enter him like another being and he imagined that it smiled malignly and he had no reason to believe that it would ever leave.
All the Pretty Horses
A devastated John Grady after Alejandra tell him she cannot bring herself to go with him to America, Chapter 4, Page 254.
He lay listening to the horse crop the grass at his stakerope and he listened to the wind in the emptiness and watched stars trace the arc of the hemisphere and die in the darkness at the edge of the world as he lay there the agony in his heart was like a stake. He imagined the pain of the world to be like some formless parasitic being seeking out the warmth of human souls wherein to incubate and he thought he knew what made one liable to its visitations. What he had not known was that it was mindless and so had no way to know the limits of those souls and what he feared was that there might be no limits.
All the Pretty Horses
John Grady after his rejection by Alejandra, Chapter 4, Page 256.
Captain, he said. You just fired a shot for the common man.
All the Pretty Horses
John Grady sets out to retrieve his horse, taking the captain hostage and using the captain's pistol to gauge the distance of his enemies, Chapter 4, Page 271.
He remembered Alejandra and the sadness he'd first seen in the slope of her shoulders which he'd presumed to understand and of which he knew nothing and he felt a loneliness he'd not known since he was a child and he felt wholly alien to the world although he loved it still. He thought that in the beauty of the world were hid a secret. He thought the world's heart beat at some terrible cost and that the world's pain and its beauty moved in a relationship of diverging equity and that in this headlong deficit the blood of multitudes might ultimately be exacted for the vision of a single flower.
All the Pretty Horses
John Grady riding through Mexican countryside, Chapter 4, Page 282.
It was good that God kept the truths of life from the young as they were starting out or else they'd have no heart to start at all.
All the Pretty Horses
Cafe proprieter to John Grady in Mexican village as they watch preparations in the square for a wedding, Chapter 4, Page 284.
Where is your country? he said.
I dont know, said John Grady. I dont know where it is. I dont know what happens to country.
All the Pretty Horses
Rawlins and John Grady, Chapter 4, Page 299.
And for a moment he held out his hands as if to steady himself or as if to bless the ground there or perhaps as if to slow the world that was rushing away and seemed to care nothing for the old or the young or rich or poor or dark or pale or he or she.
All the Pretty Horses
John Grady, at the funeral of his nursemaid Abuela, the last connection with the old way of life at the ranch, Chapter 4, Page 301.
All the Pretty Horses is the first volume in The Border Trilogy of novels by American author Cormac McCarthy. A story of loss and adventure it tells of the coming of age 16-year-old John Grady Cole, the last in a long line of Texas ranchers. McCarthy was born on July 20, 1933.

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