BUNDLING


by Henry Reed Stiles
BUNDLING "A man and a woman lying on the same bed with their clothes on; an expedient practiced in America on a scarcity of beds, where, on such occasions, husbands and parents frequently permitted travellers to _bundle_ with their wives and daughters."--_Grose, Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue_.

BUNDLE _v.i._ "To sleep on the same bed without undressing; applied to the custom of a man and woman, especially lovers, thus sleeping."--_Webster, 1864_.

BUNDLE _v.n._ "To sleep together with the clothes on."--_Worcester, 1864_.

      *Origins*

A NEW SONG IN FAVOUR OF COURTING


Adam at first was form'd of dust,
As scripture doth record;
And did receive a wife call'd Eve,
From his Creator Lord.

From Adam's side a crooked bride,
The Lord was pleas'd to form;
Ordain'd that they in bed might lay
to keep each other warm.

To court indeed they had no need,
She was his wife at first,
And she was made to be his aid,
Whose origin was dust.

This new made pair full happy were,
And happy might remain'd,
If his help mate had never ate,
The fruit that was restrain'd.

Tho' Adam's wife destroy'd his life,
In manner that was awful;
Yet marriage now we all allow
To be both just and lawful.

But women must be courted first,
Because it is the fashion,
And so at times commit great crimes,
Caus'd by a lustful passion.

And now a days there are two ways,
Which of the two is right,
To lie between sheets sweet and clean,
Or sit up all the night;

But some suppose bundling in clothes
Do heaven sorely vex;
Then let me know which way to go,
To court the female sex.

Whether they must be hugg'd or kiss'd
When sitting by the fire
Or whether they in bed may lay,
Which doth the Lord require?

But some pretend to recommend
The sitting up all night;
Courting in chairs as doth appear
To them to be most right.

Nature's request is, grant me rest,
Our bodies seek repose;
Night is the time, and 'tis no crime
To bundle in your clothes,

Since in a bed a man and maid,
May bundle and be chaste,
It does no good to burn out wood,
It is a needless waste.

Let coats and gowns be laid aside,
And breeches take their flight,
An honest man and woman can
Lay quiet all the night.

In Genesis no knowledge is
Of this thing to be got,
Whether young men did bundle then,
Or whether they did not.

The sacred book says wives they took,
It don't say how they courted,
Whether that they in bed did lay,
Or by the fire sported.

But some do hold in times of old,
That those about to wed,
Spent not the night, nor yet the light
By fire, or in the bed.

They only meant to say they sent
A man to chuse a bride,
Isaac did so, but let me know
Of any one beside.

Man don't pretend to trust a friend,
To choose him sheep and cows,
Much less a wife which all his life
He doth expect to house.

Since it doth stand each man in hand,
To happify his life,
I would advise each to be wise,
And chuse a prudent wife.

Since bundling is not the thing,
That judgments will procure,
Go on young men and bundle then,
But keep your bodies pure.
(Printed and sold by Nathaniel Coverly, Jun. Boston.)



      The foregoing version is evidently not complete, several verses having been left out on account of their containing _more truth than poetry_, but these may be supplied from a manuscript copy, evidently made from memory, with considerable variations from the printed copy, which by no means improve it, though the schoolmaster did his best, and probably saved for us a very complete version of the ballad as it passed from mouth to mouth before the printed copy was made.

      It was transcribed from a volume of manuscript ballads in the handwriting of Israel Perkins, of Connecticut, written in 1786, when he was eighteen years old, and teaching school.



This completes the listing of the stories on the History of Bundling. Remember we are always looking new and unusual stories.

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