Ancient Mysteries Bundling - Its Origin, Progress and Decline In America

Bundling - Its Origin, Progress and Decline In America

Bundling - Its Origin, Progress and Decline In America
Catalog # SKU1842
Publisher TGS Publishing
Weight 1.00 lbs
Author Name Stiles



Its Origin, Progress and
Decline In America

Henry Reed Stiles, M.D.

What was courting like in early America? Bundling may have been the great past-time for those early lovers.

"I find by all historians, whether ancient or modern, whom I consulted in searching for this work, the fact well recorded, and established beyond all controversy, that the Yankee nation are a set of talking, guessing, swapping and bundling sons of women."

From the Preface

Hereupon there came a buzzing around my ears. Divers good sons of Connecticut winced under the soft impeachment of having a bundling ancestry, and intimated that my sketch of society in the olden times was somewhat overdrawn. In 1861, an esteemed antiquarian friend in Connecticut wrote me as follows: "Some of your friends feel that, in your History of Windsor, you showed too much inclination to malign, or at least ridicule, Connecticut institutions, though I think none of them accuse you of malice in the matter, and they fear that this subject of bundling cannot be ventilated without endangering the fair fame of old Connecticut."

Upon that hint I speak. Although born in the city of New York, I am the son of Connecticut parents, and proud to trace my descent through six generations of honest, hard-working, God-fearing Connecticut yeomanry. By the mere accident of birth I cannot feel myself absolved from that allegiance to the Wooden Nutmeg State, which is imposed upon me by the ties of ancestry, of relationship, of youthful associations, and last, not least, by the deep interest which I have taken in the history of one of its eldest-born towns. I am, indeed, at this day, to all intents and purposes, as wholly and truly a Connecticut man as if born within her borders; and as proud of her past, as hopeful of her future, and as jealous of her reputation as any one could desire. I trust, therefore, that I may be allowed to disclaim any "inclination to malign, or at least ridicule Connecticut institutions," a task which, in my case, would savor of ingratitude, and which I should consider unworthy of my humble pen.

I cannot but think, also, that those who have found, or think that they have found, an inimical design in any pleasantries in which I may have indulged while describing the customs and manners of by-gone days-have betrayed a thin-skinnedness, and an ignorance of the true glory of Connecticut history, when they imagine that her fair fame can be seriously tarnished by the fly-specks of certain customs-at no time without their vigorous opponents-and long since rendered obsolete by the march of improvement.

The fun of the thing, however, is, that the sentence which has thus called forth the animadversions of the critics, will be found, with its context, on closer examination, to have applied to the New England Colonies, and not to Connecticut alone! In their haste to vindicate the land of steady habits, they seem to have assumed more than their share of the reproach involved in my simple historical statement.

As for myself, I am no believer in the theory that the objectionable portions of history should be kept in the background, and that only the bright side should be turned towards the world. If, as one has happily said, "history is experience teaching by example," we most surely need to have both sides fairly presented to us before we can properly extract therefrom the lesson of good or of evil which is therein taught. It is unnecessary to pursue the argument further. Suffice it to say, that perfection is as little to be expected in the history of a state or a community, as in the life of an individual. As to our ancestors, we must take them as history shows them to us-"men of like passions with ourselves," and "in all respects tempted as we are," yet neither worse, nor, again, very much purer or better than ourselves.


We learn from Woodward's admirable history of that kingdom, the following facts concerning the domestic habits of its people in the twelfth century:

"At night a bed of rushes was laid down along one side of the room, covered with a coarse kind of cloth, made in the country, called brychan; and all the household lay down on this bed in common, without changing their dresses.

The fire was kept burning through the night, and the sleepers maintained their warmth by lying closely; and when, by the hardness of their couch, one side was wearied, they would get up and sit by the fire awhile, and then lie down again on the other side.

It is to this custom of promiscuous sleeping, that some of the worst habits of the Welsh at the present day may be ascribed; and from the same custom which their forefathers, the ancient Britons, practiced, arose Cæsar's supposition that they were polyandrous polygamists."

Softcover, 8¼" x 5¼"", 90+ pages

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