Sabrina Jeffries

“He strode forward, heedless of the murmuring that began among the women when they saw him. Then Sara turned, and her gaze met his. Instantly a guilty blush spread over her cheeks that told him all he needed to know about her intent.
“Good afternoon, ladies,” he said in steely tones. “Class is over for today. Why don’t you all go up on deck and get a little fresh air?”
When the women looked at Sara, she folded her hands primly in front of her and stared at him. “You have no right to dismiss my class, Captain Horn. Besides, we aren’t finished yet. I was telling them a story—”
“I know. You were recounting Lysistrata.”
Surprise flickered briefly in her eyes, but then turned smug and looked down her aristocratic little nose at him. “Yes, Lysistrata,” she said in a sweet voice that didn’t fool him for one minute. “Surely you have no objection to my educating the women on the great works of literature, Captain Horn.”
“None at all.” He set his hands on his hips. “But I question your choice of material. Don’t you think Aristophanes is a bit beyond the abilities of your pupils?”
He took great pleasure in the shock that passed over Sara’s face before she caught herself. Ignoring the rustle of whispers among the women, she stood a little straighter. “As if you know anything at all about Aristophanes.”
“I don’t have to be an English lordling to know literature, Sara. I know all the blasted writers you English make so much of. Any one of them would have been a better choice for your charges than Aristophanes.”
As she continued to glower at him unconvinced, he scoured his memory, searching through the hundreds of verse passages his English father had literally pounded into him. “You might have chosen Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, for example—‘fie, fie! Unknit that threatening unkind brow. / And dart not scornful glances from those eyes / to wound thy lord, thy king, thy governor.’”
It had been a long time since he’d recited his father’s favorite passages of Shakespeare, but the words were as fresh as if he’d learned them only yesterday. And if anyone knew how to use literature as a weapon, he did. His father had delighted in tormenting him with quotes about unrepentant children.
Sara gaped at him as the other women looked from him to her in confusion. “How . . . I mean . . . when could you possibly—”
“Never mind that. The point us, you’re telling them the tale of Lysistrata when what you should be telling them is ‘thy husband is thy lord, thy life, thy keeper. /thy head, thy sovereign; one that cares for thee / and for thy maintenance commits his body / to painful labour by both sea and land.’”
Her surprise at this knowledge of Shakespeare seemed to vanish as she recognized the passage he was quoting—the scene where Katherine accepts Petruchio as her lord and master before all her father’s guests.
Sara’s eyes glittered as she stepped from among the women and came nearer to him. “We are not your wives yet. And Shakespeare also said ‘sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more / men were deceivers ever / one foot on sea and one on shore / to one thing constant never.’”
“Ah, yes. Much Ado About Nothing. But even Beatrice changes her tune in the end, doesn’t she? I believe it’s Beatrice who says, ‘contempt, farewell! And maiden pride, adieu! / no glory lives behind the back of such./ and Benedick, love on, I will requite thee, / taming my wild heart to thy loving hand.’”
“She was tricked into saying that! She was forced to acknowledge him as surely as you are forcing us!”
“Forcing you?” he shouted. “You don’t know the meaning of force! I swear, if you—”
He broke off when he realized that the women were staring at him with eyes round and fearful. Sara was twisting his words to make him sound like a monster. And succeeding, too, confound her.”


Sabrina Jeffries, The Pirate Lord
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The Pirate Lord (Lord Trilogy, #1) The Pirate Lord by Sabrina Jeffries
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