Побродил по сети, поискал об этом побольше информации. Пишут, что было два функционально разных вида бандлинга:
1) Гость в доме ложится спать в одну постель с хозяйкой, или дочкой, и т.п. Например, потому, что дополнительных кроватей для гостей нет, а ночью холодно, а дрова или угли очень дорогие.
2) Юноша спит в одной кровати с девушкой, за которой ухаживает (это особенно интересно!). Это причём считается совершенно невинным поступком, ну как в коляске прокатиться, наверное.
Словарь это определяет, например, так: bundling - a former custom of an unmarried couple's occupying the same bed without undressing especially during courtship (Merriam-Webster).
Но я нашёл куда более подробные описания, а именно, две небольшие старые книги, выложенные в сети:
The Art of Bundling (Dana Doten, 1938)
Little Known Facts about Bundling in the New World (A.Monroe Aurand Jr., 1938)
Первая из них намного интереснее и подробнее; вторая - скорее небольшой памфлет, интересный своим идиосинкратическим стилем изложения.
Вот очень замечательный маленький стишок из первой книги (написан в 1780-х), отстаивающий практику бандлинга:
Nature's request is, give me rest,
Our bodies seek repose;
Night is the time, and 'tis no crime
To bundle in our cloaths.
Since in a bed, a man and maid
May bundle and be chaste;
It doth no good to burn up wood
It is a needless waste.
Let coat and shift be turned adrift,
And breeches take their flight,
An honest man and virgin can
Lie quiet all the night.
Забавно, что многие жители Новой Англии видели в диване (в 18-м веке -- модном нововведении, импортированном из Европы) куда большую опасность, чем в практике совместной ночёвки:
Notwithstanding the modesty of the females is such that it would be accounted the greatest rudeness for a gentleman to speak before a lady of a garter, knee, or leg, yet it is thought but a piece of civility to ask her to bundle; a custom as old as the first settlement in 1634. It is certainly innocent, virtuous and prudent, [...] I am no advocate for temptation; yet must say, that bundling has prevailed 160 years in New England, and, I verily believe, with ten times more chastity than the sitting on a sofa. I had daughters, and speak from near forty years' experience. Bundling takes place only in cold seasons of the year-the sofa in summer is more dangerous than the bed in winter.
В книге Дотена ещё очень много интересного материала есть об этом. Не могу удержаться -- процитирую ещё один длинный отрывок из письма девушки, которая уже в 19-м веке столкнулась с этой практикой, когда гостила у своей бабушки в штате Мейн. Отрывок взят из третьей главы книги Дотена. Стоит помнить, что lovers (напр. в первом же предложении в отрывке), означало тогда ухажёры, а не любовники.
You remember how you told me, before I left home, that I was so well looking that if I went so far back in the country I should be very much admired and nattered, and have as many lovers as I could wish for. I find it all true. The people here are remarkably kind and attentive to me; they seem to think that I must be something more than common because I have always lived so near Portland.
But I must tell you that since I have been here I have had a beau. You must know that the young men, in particular, are very attentive to me. Well, among these is one who is considered the finest young man in the place, and well he may be-he owns a good farm, which has a large barn upon it, and a neat two-story house, all finished. These are the fruits of his own industry; besides, he is remarkably good-looking, is very large but well-proportioned, and has a good share of what I call real manly beauty. .[...]
...If you go to walk with a young man here, instead of offering you his arm as the young men do up our way, he either takes your hand in his, or passes one arm around your waist; and this he does with such a provoking, careless honesty, that you cannot for your life be offended with him. Well, I had walked with my Jonathan several times in this kind of style. I confess there was something in him I could not but like-he does not lack for wit, and has a good share of common sense; his language is never studied-he always seems to speak from the heart. So when he asked what sort of a companion he would make, I very candidly answered, that I thought he would make a very agreeable one. 'I think just so of you,' said he, 'and it shall not be my fault,' he continued, 'if we are not companions for life.' 'We shall surely make a bargain,' said he, after sitting silent a few moments, 'so we'll bundle tonight.' 'Bundle what?' I asked. 'We will bundle together,' said he; 'you surely know what I mean.' 'I know that our farmers bundle wheat, cornstalks and hay; do you mean that you want me to help you bundle any of these?' inquired I. 'I mean that I want you to stay with me tonight!'
" 'It is the custom in this place, when a man stays with a girl, if it is warm weather, for them to throw themselves on the bed, outside the bed clothes; if the weather is cold, they crawl under the clothes, then if they have anything to say, they say it-when they get tired of talking they go to sleep; this is what we call bundling-now what do you call it in your part of the world?' 'We have no such works,' answered I; 'not amongst respectable people, nor do I think that any people would, that either thought themselves respectable, or wished to be thought so.'
" 'Don't be too severe upon us. Miss-, I have always observed that those who make believe so much modesty, have in reality but little. I always act as I feel, and speak as I think. I wish you to do the same, but have none of your make-believes with me- you smile-you begin to think you have been a little too scrupulous-you have no objection to bundling now, Have you?' 'Indeed I have.' 'I am not to be trifled with; so, if you refuse, I have done with you forever.' 'Then be done as quick as you please, for I'll not bundle with you nor with any other man.' 'Then farewell, proud girl,' said he. 'Farewell, honest man,' said I, and off he went, sure enough.
"I have since made inquiries about bundling, and find that it is really the custom here, and that they think no more harm of it, than we do our way of a young couple sitting up together. I have known an instance, since I have been here, of a girl's taking her sweetheart to a neighbor's house and asking for a bed or two to lodge in, or rather to bundle in. They had company at her father's, so that their beds were occupied; she thought no harm of it. She and her family are respectable.
"Grandmother says bundling was a very common thing in our part of the country, in old times-."
Очень, очень интересно!