In a brilliant passage (that I wish I’d written, because it’s so funny and, in my case, so true), Fretful Porpentine writes:

It occurs to me that in the Regency romance of the academic job market, I have become the Elder Sister Who Married the Poor Curate, and consequentially can be of no help whatsoever in bringing the younger ones Into Society. But you do have my very good wishes for a successful Season.

Austen’s ever-adaptable, to say the least. I am exceedingly sorry that there should be, to continue the metaphor, “such a large number of ladies” and so few gentlemen at the Annual Ball this weekend, but I’ll add a few lines from Spenser for luck to everyone venturing to secure an academic attachment:

And ye high heauens, the temple of the gods,
In which a thousand torches flaming bright
Do burne, that to vs wretched earthly clods:
In dreadful darknesse lend desired light…
Poure out your blessing on vs plentiously,
And happy influence vpon vs raine,
That we may raise a large posterity,
Which…
Vp to your haughty pallaces may mount,
And for the guerdon of theyr glorious merit
May heauenly tabernacles there inherit,
Of blessed Saints for to increase the count.
So let vs rest, sweet loue, in hope of this,
And cease till then our tymely ioyes to sing,
The woods no more vs answer, nor our eccho ring.
–Edmund Spenser, “Epithalamion” (1595)

Best of luck to a few particular friends–may your glorious merits receive the appropriate guerdons indeed, and inherit heauenly tabernacular office spaces and plentious salaries among the haughty pallaces–and more gen’rally happy hunting to all in this dreariest of job hunting seasons.

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